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beginner trad routes?
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By travis rossiter
From henderson nv
Jun 19, 2011
i was curious of your thoughts on acceptable beginner trad routes. i am thinking single pitch,possibly top ropeable basically to get used to placing pro without the falling factor. at or around red rock

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By Rob Gordon
From Hollywood, CA
Jun 19, 2011
Tough Mantle Problem.  Haven't sent yet...
Snake Dike.

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By Andrew Carson
From Wilson, WY
Jun 19, 2011
Gallatin Canyon
Lots of good choices on the Ragged Edges wall, to the left of R.E. I suppose you'll need to think about shade right now... I'm not positive but afternoons are perhaps shady in there, though I've never climbed in RR in June. The sun's pretty high in the sky.

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By John Hegyes
From Las Vegas, NV
Jun 19, 2011
South of Windy Peak
Here's a link to a Mountain Project search of RR trad routes, 2 or more stars, up to 5.6 difficulty. Easy RR Trad

I haven't done much top roping but check out Jason Martin's guidebook "Fun Climbs Red Rock". As far as leading trad, routes I'd recommend these single pitch routes:
Tonto 5.5
Peaches 5.5
Doobie Dance 5.6
Romper Room 5.7
Schaeffer's Delight 5.7
Pillar Talk 5.7

Then I'd go for these multi-pitch:
Cat in the Hat 5.6
Solar Slab Gully 5.3
Solar Slab 5.6
Geronimo 5.6
Cookie Monster 5.7
Physical Graffiti 5.7
Johnny Vegas 5.6
Northeast Arete 5.6

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By Mike T
From Las Vegas, NV
Jul 1, 2011
John, any morning shade on the walls around Doobie Dance this time of year? Do Gin Ricky / Rob Roy hold shade first thing in the morning?

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By sqwirll
From Las Vegas
Jul 1, 2011
Cool snow formation at the base.
Doobie Dance will be sunny. The Gin Ricky area was in the shade when I drove past at 10 AM last weekend. The hike in will be toasty though.

Great Red Book is a good summer route. The corner creates shade for the 1st few hours in the morning while it is still cool.

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By TomCaldwell
From Clemson, S.C.
Jul 1, 2011
Me on One Pitch Wonder at Whitesides.  Photo credi...
Mike T wrote:
John, any morning shade on the walls around Doobie Dance this time of year? Do Gin Ricky / Rob Roy hold shade first thing in the morning?


I believe most of the stuff on First Creek is NE facing. So expect first morning sun, but probably only for a few hours. There is probably more sun on that wall in the spring, when the sun is more in the East.

The Handren book shows you the direction that almost every cliff faces. So then it is just a matter of knowing where the sun is in the seasons.

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By saxfiend
Administrator
From Decatur, GA
Jul 1, 2011
Relaxing at the P1 belay of Fruit Loops at Rumblin...
John Hegyes wrote:
As far as leading trad, routes I'd recommend these single pitch routes: Tonto 5.5 Peaches 5.5 Doobie Dance 5.6 Romper Room 5.7 Schaeffer's Delight 5.7 Pillar Talk 5.7 Then I'd go for these multi-pitch: Cat in the Hat 5.6 Solar Slab Gully 5.3 Solar Slab 5.6 Geronimo 5.6 Cookie Monster 5.7 Physical Graffiti 5.7 Johnny Vegas 5.6 Northeast Arete 5.6

Of the single-pitch climbs you list, the only ones I've been on are Doobie Dance and Romper Room; I don't think either of these are beginner trad leads. As far as multi-pitch, I'd recommend that the OP not even consider this until he has a lot of single-pitch leads under his belt.

JL

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By -sp
From East-Coast
Jul 1, 2011
Buenos Dias!
John Hegyes wrote:
... As far as leading trad...I'd go for these multi-pitch: Cat in the Hat 5.6 Solar Slab Gully 5.3 Solar Slab 5.6 Geronimo 5.6 Cookie Monster 5.7 Physical Graffiti 5.7 Johnny Vegas 5.6 Northeast Arete 5.6


Solar Slab and the NE Arete as a recommendations for a new leader? Have you actually climbed anything you've just recommended or is this some kind of who-gives-a-shit joke?

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By John Hegyes
From Las Vegas, NV
Jul 1, 2011
South of Windy Peak
-sp wrote:
Solar Slab and the NE Arete as a recommendations for a new leader? Have you actually climbed anything you've just recommended or is this some kind of who-gives-a-shit joke?

Yes, I've climbed all the routes on my list. My intent was to provide a list that could be followed roughly in order to provide good progression through some beginner routes. Red Rock is not really a top-rope destination. But I recommended Martin's book for more info on that.

It's beyond me why the Romper Room and Doobie Dance suggestions are not well-recieved. That's ponderous. But everyone has their own opinions, I guess. I would remark that I learned trad climbing in Red Rock over the years, and after climbing hundreds of beginner trad pitches these are my opinions.

The list was obviously not all-inclusive, but after getting on these and other single-pitch routes under your belt, multi-pitch is not out of the question, right? What's wrong with Solar Slab?? The gully is pretty easy, and besides being crowded, would be a great beginner trip. The upper Slab is a great route and while long, is set for bailing at any anchor, so facilitates multiple attempts. A beginner can grow into that route just fine. The NE Arete is admittedly not often done but it is easy climbing, actually barely 5th class. The crux is getting to the base of the route. But finding the route is often a trial in Red Rock, so I made the Arete suggestion with that in mind. Route finding is an important skill that a beginner needs to practice.

I would also add that the OP didn't mention season. So I listed both sunny and shady routes, that should be done at various times of year depending on temperatures.

At least I made suggestions. Rather than getting all hysterical, I'd like to see Sax and SP come forward with suggestions. It's like walking on egg shells around here...

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By sqwirll
From Las Vegas
Jul 1, 2011
Cool snow formation at the base.
John Hegyes wrote:
The NE Arete is admittedly not often done but it is easy climbing, actually barely 5th class. The crux is getting to the base of the route. But finding the route is often a trial in Red Rock, so I made the Arete suggestion with that in mind. Route finding is an important skill that a beginner needs to practice.


I agree, this is one of the easiest multipitch routes I have done in RR. You could place gear every 2 feet in the crack. The approach is not super obvious, but the decent is very easy to follow.

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By saxfiend
Administrator
From Decatur, GA
Jul 1, 2011
Relaxing at the P1 belay of Fruit Loops at Rumblin...
John Hegyes wrote:
At least I made suggestions. Rather than getting all hysterical, I'd like to see Sax and SP come forward with suggestions. It's like walking on egg shells around here...

Hysterical?? Hardly. I was just expressing a different opinion based on my own direct experience with those climbs. Didn't mean to hurt your feelings.

As for suggestions, I didn't make any because I don't have any. I'm by no means a Red Rock authority, I haven't climbed there that much. All I can say is that none of the routes I've done there would be suitable for someone who's just starting to lead trad.

JL

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By -sp
From East-Coast
Jul 1, 2011
Buenos Dias!
John Hegyes wrote:
Yes, I've climbed all the routes on my list. My intent was to provide a list that could be followed roughly in order to provide good progression through some beginner routes. Red Rock is not really a top-rope destination. But I recommended Martin's book for more info on that. It's beyond me why the Romper Room and Doobie Dance suggestions are not well-recieved. That's ponderous. But everyone has their own opinions, I guess. I would remark that I learned trad climbing in Red Rock over the years, and after climbing hundreds of beginner trad pitches these are my opinions. The list was obviously not all-inclusive, but after getting on these and other single-pitch routes under your belt, multi-pitch is not out of the question, right? What's wrong with Solar Slab?? The gully is pretty easy, and besides being crowded, would be a great beginner trip. The upper Slab is a great route and while long, is set for bailing at any anchor, so facilitates multiple attempts. A beginner can grow into that route just fine. The NE Arete is admittedly not often done but it is easy climbing, actually barely 5th class. The crux is getting to the base of the route. But finding the route is often a trial in Red Rock, so I made the Arete suggestion with that in mind. Route finding is an important skill that a beginner needs to practice. I would also add that the OP didn't mention season. So I listed both sunny and shady routes, that should be done at various times of year depending on temperatures. At least I made suggestions. Rather than getting all hysterical, I'd like to see Sax and SP come forward with suggestions. It's like walking on egg shells around here...


What's wrong with Solar Slab for a beginner is exactly what you said: it's long and crowded and unless the leader can move at a brisk pace he/she will most likely end up rapping at night. Let's not forget the 80-foot run-out that starts the climb.

And as for the NE Arete, suggesting a remote climb with a long approach leaves little room for error, and is exactly the position you don't want a new leader in.

And if your list is in order please tell me how Physical Graffiti, a two-pitch 5.6 with a 15 minute approach, ends up after Solar Slab?

As for my recommendations: for single pitch stuff anything with a short to moderate approach, good gear, a bolted anchor. The first pitch of Birdland comes to mind. It's steep, takes gear and typically has a party on it or waiting should there be a problem.

As for longer stuff, which I think should be put off for awhile, Lady Luck in First Creek is practically 5 pitches of 5.2 except for the last 15 feet, which could be aided by pulling on gear.

As for being a snotty with my response, OK my-bad, I actually thought you were being a dick and not serious.

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By John Hegyes
From Las Vegas, NV
Jul 1, 2011
South of Windy Peak
-sp wrote:
And if your list is in order please tell me how Physical Graffiti, a two-pitch 5.6 with a 15 minute approach, ends up after Solar Slab?

I don't really see how a short approach factors into the degree of difficulty for a climb. And there is a short section on pitch 2 of Physical Graffiti that is more difficult than anything on Solar Slab.

If a party gets benighted on Solar Slab, it's probably because they didn't retreat soon enough. I repeat, you can bail SS from any anchor.

And SS is crowded precisely because it is a great beginner route. When a climber thinks that he's good enough at multi-pitch to try something tall, then SS is a pretty good choice. The climber should be smart enough to know when they are ready to climb 10+ pitches in a day. Until then, they should stick to shorter routes. This should go without saying, but I guess it was not obvious.

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By cassondra
From las vegas, NV
Jul 3, 2011
in repose
Personally, for single-pitch beginner routes, i would recommend Cover My Buttress, Abbey Road, and p1 of Chips and Salsa. After doing some of the other mentioned routes recommeneded in this thread, Chips and Salsa is also a good beginner multi-pitch route. All of these routes have short approaches, CMB can be reached from the top, and the first pitches of all of them are bolted. Very beginner. It's what I started with, almost. My first trad lead was that 5.4 on the Cannibal Crag. I don't recommend that one for beginners (open coldshut anchors.)

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By John Wilder
From Las Vegas, NV
Jul 3, 2011
John Hegyes wrote:
I don't really see how a short approach factors into the degree of difficulty for a climb. And there is a short section on pitch 2 of Physical Graffiti that is more difficult than anything on Solar Slab. If a party gets benighted on Solar Slab, it's probably because they didn't retreat soon enough. I repeat, you can bail SS from any anchor. And SS is crowded precisely because it is a great beginner route. When a climber thinks that he's good enough at multi-pitch to try something tall, then SS is a pretty good choice. The climber should be smart enough to know when they are ready to climb 10+ pitches in a day. Until then, they should stick to shorter routes. This should go without saying, but I guess it was not obvious.


For the beginning trad leader, the approach completely factors in as they are not experienced enough to know that they need to factor the approach into their time estimates. also, because they are new they may not recognize that the time to turn back has come and gone, and as a result, get to spend the night on the wall. in the case of Solar Slab, a winter route, this can have consequences.

given the large numbers of beginners i've seen and heard about spending way too much time on Solar Slab, i really wouldn't recommend it as a beginning multi-pitch route. I think Birdland or Cookie/Cat in the Hat would be much more appropriate. Once a climber can handle modest grade III's efficiently, then i would say yes, Solar Slab is a great route for the moderately experienced multi-pitch leader. (i think that John is saying the same thing in his post, just not as verbose...)

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By smassey
From CO
Jul 5, 2011
The 5.4 on Cannibal Crack is a pretty decent beginner lead. The ASCA/LVCLC replaced the open shut(ironic name...) anchors over a year ago with 1/2" bolts with regular hangers and mussy hooks. If a new leader was to climb this route, 1-2#5 C4s (in addition to a regular rack) would allow them to sew this up. I had a new leader climb this and he got in at least a dozen pieces.

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By cassondra
From las vegas, NV
Jul 5, 2011
in repose
It's good to hear there is a new anchor there. I would have appreciated it very much on my first trad lead.

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By Chris D
From the couch
Jul 10, 2011
Sign near the Third Flatiron
Rob Gordon wrote:
Snake Dike.


+1

I actually laughed out loud when I read this. If someone took that seriously, would it actually be (maybe not the biggest but) the most dastardly sandbag ever?

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By david doucette
Dec 2, 2012
Top of Intersection Rock, Joshua Tree NP.
John Hegyes wrote:
Here's a link to a Mountain Project search of RR trad routes, 2 or more stars, up to 5.6 difficulty. Easy RR Trad I haven't done much top roping but check out Jason Martin's guidebook "Fun Climbs Red Rock". As far as leading trad, routes I'd recommend these single pitch routes: Tonto 5.5 Peaches 5.5 Doobie Dance 5.6 Romper Room 5.7 Schaeffer's Delight 5.7 Pillar Talk 5.7 Then I'd go for these multi-pitch: Cat in the Hat 5.6 Solar Slab Gully 5.3 Solar Slab 5.6 Geronimo 5.6 Cookie Monster 5.7 Physical Graffiti 5.7 Johnny Vegas 5.6 Northeast Arete 5.6


john, great list! i made my first trip to RR about a month ago with sport climbing friends but want to get back soon for trad. i bought the handren book which is awesome but your list is great! i lead 5.6 in joshua tree (i'm only 2.5 hours away so i've been going out there once to twice a week the last couple of months), have done multipitch in tahquitz, jtree (there are a few places) and a bit in yosemite, so your list is perfect for my next few trips to RR. i'll be sure to check out tonto and the willow springs area. cat in the hat and solar slab have been on my list for awhile. thanks again for the great list!

david

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