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Red Rock questions,Solar Slab
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By Nemmrs
Jul 19, 2014
Hello, I am attempting to do my first multi pitch in the Red Rocks. We are heading to the Vegas area Aug 9 for a week of climbing and we are going to start with Solar Slab Gully. I see that there are a lot of bolted anchors but was wondering if someone could fill me in a little more specifically about what gear I need for the climb. Do I need my trad gear? Are the routes bolted or just anchor points? What about Solar Slab, we are going to do that climb too hopefully. Thank you!

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By Sam Cannon
From Holladay, Utah
Jul 19, 2014
a
mountainproject.com/v/solar-sl...

mountainproject.com/v/solar-sl...

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By Sam Cannon
From Holladay, Utah
Jul 19, 2014
a
Both climbs suggest a "standard rack," which is going to be different for different people. If you're going out to do multipitch trad, I'm assuming you've done single pitch trad, in which case you should have an idea of how much pro you use for climbs that are 5.6 or easier. If you are a newer trad climber and don't feel comfortable with long runouts on easy terrain, a standard rack in this case will probably mean a selection of small cams, a full set of stoppers, and doubles to 3".

For future reference you can look up the routes you want to climb on mountain project and the page for that climb should have the info you're asking about. Yes, Solar Slab is a trad climb and you will need your gear. Oftentimes they will have information about bolts and bolted anchors as well. As a general rule, you probably shouldn't climb multi-pitch trad without a sufficient enough knowledge of gear anchors to be able to set one up and safely belay a second.

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By thedogfather
From Las Vegas, NV
Jul 19, 2014
Solar Slab in August is usually not a great idea. It is called Solar Slab for a reason and the average temp in August if over 100 degrees. The upper pitches have no place to escape the sun. The Solar Slab gully should be plenty shaded though but a much better start is Johnny Vegas.

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By John Wilder
From Las Vegas, NV
Jul 19, 2014
I wouldn't even do the gully in August- you'll have alot of sun, and temps will be warm enough that dehydration will be a real threat.

Generally, Red Rock is too hot for most folks in August- especially those not from here. If you must climb in the park, start early, climb shaded routes, and pack lots and lots of water. Look in Black Velvet, Pine Creek (Dark Shadows area), and possibly White Rock (Angel Food Wall) for multipitch trad routes that are shaded for part or all day.

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By Chris S
Jul 19, 2014
Nemmrs, be sure to find someone's copy of Red Rocks Supertopos, by Greg Barnes and printed by Supertopo. Its an awesome "select" guide and has the detail that you're seeking.

For certain bring your trad rack - Red Rocks is famous for its long, moderate trad routes.

Otherwise, its a personal call based on personal experience. If you're lacking that experience, pack heavy, and if you're not, well, make the call! For me, a "standard rack" on a climb with bolted anchors = one set of cams to #3 BD, one set of stoppers, 4-6 shoulder length slings, and 4-8 quickdraws (depending on how much the route wanders). Plus a cordellette and a double length sling per climber. If I'm climbing at my limit, building trad anchors, or climbing lllloooonnnggg pitches (i.e. full ropelength), then I'll add cams or even double up on the full set.

Have fun!

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By Optimistic
From New Paltz
Jul 19, 2014
All of the above is extremely good advice.

To elaborate a little on the runout comment above, I'm pretty sure that the first piece off the Solar Slab Ledge is about 70 feet up.

Also, definitely be aware that this route (whenever you do it) is quite long, especially if you do the (completely awesomely beautiful but somewhat complicated) Painted Bowl descent. If big multipitch is a newer experience for you, plan on a very long day, with water to match.

If you simply must do the route, consider a true alpine start and park at the lot at the end of the loop road.

You'll be a lot happier if you head for Tuolumne or the Sierras at this time, I promise!

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By D Young
From Las Vegas, Nevada
Jul 19, 2014
Nemmrs, I have been guiding Red Rock for several years now and am more that happy to give your team a complete overview of all of the things to consider. I can be hired either through Mountain Skills at climb@climibingschoolusa.com 575-776-2222, or Red Rock Climbing Center 702-254-5604. When considering your first time on a Red Rock long route, sun exposure, epic descents, route finding, etc the guide fee is a small price to pay to increase your chances of an awesome day.

Dan Young

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By Mark Limage
Jul 21, 2014
So utterly professional Dan. Bravo.

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By Optimistic
From New Paltz
Jul 21, 2014
Forecast high for Blue Diamond on Jul 30th (that's as far out as my forecast goes) is 106! With the heat radiating back out of the rock on top of that, I'm thinking it'll be ohh...around 200 million degrees up there.

Let us know how it all turns out!

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By FrankPS
From Atascadero, CA
Jul 21, 2014
Don't do Solar Slab in August. There...it's settled. :)

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By rgold
From Poughkeepsie, NY
Jul 21, 2014
The traverse out to the Yellow Ridge on the Dogsti...
Nemmrs, not to be harsh, but the fact that you are planning to climb Solar Slab in August suggests a deficient planning process and makes one worry about whether you understand what you are getting into more generally. Locals of course have all kinds of ways of adapting, but no one in their right mind journeys to Red Rock in August to climb unless some very specific circumstances (conference attendance, family reunion, etc.) leave them no choice of venue.

Look for cooler climbing at higher elevations in places like the Sierra and Tuolumne. There are also great options in the Colorado Rockies and the Tetons, but the weather isn't quite as stable and approaches and descents can be long and/or complicated. You might have snow to contend with in some of these places as well, although melting usually progresses pretty far by the beginning of August.

If you are new to multipitch climbing, then start off with routes that you can walk off, rather than adding the additional stresses and clusters involve with rappelling, problems that happen at the end of the day when the party is most tired, perhaps with the light fading---problems that even the most experienced climbers can't always avoid.

Routes with bolted belay anchors go faster and have greatly reduced commitment level because of the ease of bailing. But you shouldn't choose such routes if in fact you lack full confidence in your ability to build your own gear belay anchors---not saying you do, but if this is an an issue then it isn't yet time for multipitch climbing, bolted anchors or no.

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By Nemmrs
Jul 21, 2014
Definitely all good advice. Thank you! Unfortunately, it is, in fact, due to a particular situation that I will be heading down to the area at this time of year. I realize it is not the ideal time and that it will be very hot. It is true that I am not a local, obviously, and that is why I am posting here, asking you guys. If you guys say Solar Slab is no good, then great, glad I asked. Do you have any more suggestions on some fun routes that may be a little more shaded? Better yet, if anyone is free Aug 9 - 16 and wants to show a couple out-of-towners the area, let me know. I will definitely check out Dan's offer as well. Any and all information is welcomed and appreciated. Thank you again!

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By Dylan B.
Jul 21, 2014
Orgasm Direct, Devil's Lake, 5.11a  c. 2008
Nemmrs wrote:
Definitely all good advice. Thank you! Unfortunately, it is, in fact, due to a particular situation that I will be heading down to the area at this time of year. I realize it is not the ideal time and that it will be very hot. It is true that I am not a local, obviously, and that is why I am posting here, asking you guys. If you guys say Solar Slab is no good, then great, glad I asked. Do you have any more suggestions on some fun routes that may be a little more shaded? Better yet, if anyone is free Aug 9 - 16 and wants to show a couple out-of-towners the area, let me know. I will definitely check out Dan's offer as well. Any and all information is welcomed and appreciated. Thank you again!


I'm not a local, but I've been a half-dozen times, usually in November. If I were you, I'd stick to the sport climbing since it's going to be insanely hot. If you must do multipitch, maybe Dark Shadows would be a good choice. In the shade all day and not too long.

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By Nemmrs
Jul 21, 2014
Yes, I am going to begin looking up some good sport climbs too. The heat will be pretty viscous, so we'll definitely start off on some shorter sport and check out some other spots while we are there. Thanks for all the help.

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By Optimistic
From New Paltz
Jul 21, 2014
Nemmrs wrote:
Yes, I am going to begin looking up some good sport climbs too. The heat will be pretty viscous, so we'll definitely start off on some shorter sport and check out some other spots while we are there. Thanks for all the help.



The other thing (and surely you thought of this already) is just enjoy Sin City and surrounding tourist stuff (the Hoover Dam tour is pretty cool, literally and figuratively) during the earlier parts of the day, and then hit the crags when the sun goes over the hill later in the day...I think Physical Grafitti gets afternoon shade and is multi-pitch and pretty mellow, for example, or things around Ragged Edges and such. If you're there later in the day, be sure to scope out the late exit policy (and maybe that isn't kosher for short routes like you're talking about, I can't remember).

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By matt carpenter
From Las Vegas
Jul 21, 2014
focusing on the feet... mid-crux on El Camino Real...
Red Rock is completely climbable all year round. You just have to know where and when to find the shade; otherwise yes, there is chance of death due to dehydration / heat stroke.

currently all these easy / moderate trad routes below are climbable even if it it 100+ in las vegas
Birdland : shade after 2pm.
Darkshadows : shade 10-11am
Ragged Edges (including most of willow springs) : shade after 1pm
Tunnel Vision : shade after 2pm
Great Red book : shade before 10am

FYI... the Red Rock campground is closed for the season. Though you will need get a hotel, know a local or car/van camp on the road somewhere.

PM me if you would like more specific info...

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