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Red Rocks Route Advice and/or Partners 7/28-7/31
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By Jason Albino
From San Francisco, CA
May 17, 2013
Me

Hello all!

My girlfriend and I will be in Red Rocks area in the middle of a two-month road trip on 7/28-7/31 - our fourth trip to the area (yes, I know it will be hot but it's the only time we could make it this year so we'll have to make do chasing the shade!). We'll be staying in a cheap motel nearby.

If you're interested in climbing with us, please let me know!

If not, I would love to hear your advice on your favorite can't-miss routes. So far we've ticked Solar Slab, Johnny Vegas, Olive Oil, Cat In the Hat, Geronimo, and various single-pitch stuff.

For this trip, I've reviewed the Handren guidebook again for a plan, and so far I've bookmarked Frogland, Epinephrine, Dream of Wild Turkeys, Crimson Chrysalis, Dark Shadows, Tunnel Vision and Group Therapy, but I'd love to hear any (positive, constructive) opinions from you locals!

For reference:
- I lead ~5.9/10a trad and follow 10c/d
- I lead 5.10d/11a sport and follow 11b/c
- My girlfriend is just learning to lead over the last year but she's a great climber and fast learner (5.8+ trad/5.10a+ sport)

Cheers and thanks for reading,
-Jason from San Francisco

(forgive me if you see a similar post in other regional sections or a refresh of this post in a few weeks - I am trying to ping locals in each area along our trip!)


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By John Wilder
From Las Vegas, NV
May 18, 2013

It'll be hot. Hottest part of the deep summer, usually. So, alpine start, hike out in the dark. Freeze a gallon of water and leave it in the car- it should still be cold at the end of the day. Lots of water- at least two quarts each, if not more. Be careful if you're not from the desert- the heat can really do a number on you out here.

Frogland and Turkeys bake until mid-day, so keep that in mind. As does the upper part of Epinephrine, so take your time in the chimneys- you'll have plenty of daylight for the face climbing above.

Sour Mash is easier than Turkeys, and in alot of ways, a better climb, imho. Sun until noon.

Dark Shadows sees sun until mid-day that time of year.

Tunnelvision never sees sun, which is nice. Hike is hot, of course.

Group Therapy is in the sun until noonish? The descent gully for Tunnel and Group is in the sun from noon until probably 3p or so. Might be nice to do both of those in a day- Tunnel first, Group second.

Crimson should be shady for most of the day, as should Ginger Cracks (morning sun for both of those).

Community Pillar (old school at the grade, but fun) is shady and fun.

Again, it might be oppressively hot- possibly above 115 degrees in the city, which will put Red Rock near 110 for a high. Keep that in mind. If it is that hot, lows will be in the mid-90s, so even an alpine start will be quite warm. (Temps vary from year to year, but there is usually a two week chunk of time around mid/late July where its just nasty hot- above 110 in the city for 7-10 days in a row).

Although some may boo-hoo it, if its just too hot in Red Rock, Mt. Charleston is, at 8000', quite nice in the summer. Although it is all sport (limestone), its a nice respite from the brutal heat. Just an option depending on your tolerances.


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By Jason Albino
From San Francisco, CA
May 18, 2013
Me

Hi John,

Thanks a lot for your thoughts! I obviously would rather come at a different time of year but am hoping to make it work since we are time-constrained.

I was definitely considering the Tunnel Vision/Group Therapy link-up, as I probably wouldn't bother hiking into the area for just one or the other, but doing both sounds like a great day.

Perhaps that day, and then Crimson Chrysalis another, and then Community Pillar another and finish up with Epinephrine? I've been really wanting to do the latter.

How would you characterize the climbing at Mt. Charleston?


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By John Wilder
From Las Vegas, NV
May 19, 2013

overhanging limestone. Vegas limestone is pretty sharp, and it was developed in the 1990s, so most of the popular stuff at Charleston has been...smoothed (and in many cases, holds actually created with a drill). Lots of pockets, crimps, etc.

Not the best destination, and it certainly doesnt hold a candle to Red Rock, but for those days when the idea of slogging through the desert in 100+ temps just doesnt appeal...its not a bad place to go.


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By Jason Albino
From San Francisco, CA
May 19, 2013
Me

Thanks John! Sounds perhaps similar to the limestone in Southern Thailand? Had a blast there so if so, that has to be worthy in some regard.

I think we'll keep an eye on the weather and consider that drive as a Plan B if the weather feels too oppressive.


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By cassondra
From las vegas, NV
May 20, 2013
in repose

If the temps are about 108 in town, Willow Springs in the afternoon will still have pleasant temps, be in the shade, and have a relatively short approach...I don't leave the frozen gallon in my car, I take about 3/4 of a gallon frozen, and keep it close to my core while hiking in the heat. After arriving at my destination, I put it in my pack in the shade, and usually still have ice when I've finished climbing.


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By Jason Albino
From San Francisco, CA
May 20, 2013
Me

Thanks Cassandra, nice tips! I will check out Willow Springs as well.

Keep the comments coming everyone!

Hopefully this will be a helpful thread for summertime visitors.


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