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Should I avoid Red Rocks during the Rendezvous?
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By Jon Dokulil
From Camarillo, CA
Mar 18, 2013
My wife Aimee and I after our first 5.10

The company I work for does a retreat in Vegas every year around March/April. Each year I bring a few co-workers out for a day of climbing at Red Rocks. I climb often enough to be safe doing easy stuff and they always have a fun time. In years past we've climbed at The Hamlet, Panty Wall and Cowlick Crag. This year we're going to be there the same weekend as the Red Rocks Rendezvous and I'm wondering if we should bail on climbing altogether. That would be sad, but I think preferable to waiting in line all day just to climb one or two routes.

Will there be hordes of people at all the easy walls? I realize this is pretty subjective/hard to answer, any input is appreciated. Thanks!


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By Dow Williams
From Saint George, UT
Mar 18, 2013
Dow Williams, 2011

Jon, there are always tons of good trad routes with no one on them, no matter the event or holiday weekend....but that is usually due to grade (as you get on the 5.10's on up) and fear (most folks are more comfortable climbing the same routes as others, over and over)....about 50-50. In other words there are a plethora of 5.7-5.11's that are better than the trade routes that have folks waiting in line which they will do at RR, these less known routes just require a bit more courage and in some cases a little more approach.

That does not seem to be your fix though...if these are non-climbing co-workers and you have to stick to easy sport in easily accessible areas...you better be creative during Rendezvous as that is exactly what 80% of those folks are looking for as well. If you want suggestions for multi pitch trad lines that will be wide open within a specific grade, you are welcome to email me.

Red Rock


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By sqwirll
From Las Vegas
Mar 18, 2013
Cool snow formation at the base.

Here's a list of crags that were used last year.

mountainproject.com/v/red-rock-rendezvous-crags---2012/10752>>>

You'll probably have a hard time finding crags for the skill level you want.


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

You might check out the Fringe and the Meetup Wall, but they'll likely be crowded with folks who arent participating in the Rendezvous.

I've actually never climbed in the Calico Hills during the Rendezvous (except at the first one, where they only had a couple hundred people). Always figured it would be insane.


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By Patrick Maun
Mar 18, 2013

We've gone out many years during and for the Rendezvous and as mentioned, if you get out into the canyons you won't have too much trouble getting on something especially if you go out during the Rendezvous as people are at First, Second or Calico for clinics. This time of year any of the popular sport areas are going to be crowded because of spring break, not just the Rendezvous.

I remember last year spending 8 days back in the canyons and seeing next to no one the entire time and then walking past Cannibal Crag and it looking like a freakin' gym. I have never seen more GoPro's in one place at the same time with dudes getting ready to record their sick sends.

Long story short. Sport routes and Birdland are always going to be crowded. Get an early start and you can get on most anything - though you may not be the first party up Cat in the Hat that day.

Finally, the Rendezvous is a lot of fun if you haven't been. Come out for that some time. Really great clinics and a good time. Worth doing once or twice.


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By Jon Dokulil
From Camarillo, CA
Mar 20, 2013
My wife Aimee and I after our first 5.10

Thanks, everyone, for the advice! The other folks from my company are pretty new to it. I insist they all get certified to belay at the local gym beforehand (and a few of them get lead certified at the gym as well). I'm thinking this year maybe I'll trim it down to just me and the wife to avoid the crowds. Even then I need to stick with easy routes up to maybe five pitches.

These are the routes I've been thinking about:
Prime Rib
Lean Lady
Physical Graffiti
Berry Nice
Abbey Road


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By cassondra
From las vegas, NV
Mar 21, 2013
in repose

Physical Graffiti is probably the least problematic of the routes you have selected, its only drawback being its popularity. Cookie Monster to the top of the 5th pitch of Cat in the Hat would be in your range and can be done in 3 pitches (rappels Cat in the Hat, though.) Abbey Road is in Moderate Mecca, right in the midst of Rendezvous activities. Lean Lady is very fun, but a bit tricky to find.


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By Patrick Maun
Mar 21, 2013

Prime Rib is in the Southern Outcrops. I haven't done it but be warned that that area eats cars. Maybe it's better this year, but last year managed to bottomed out the rental a few times. If you're looking for a moderate I really like Rising Moons in First Creek Canyon. Three pitches that are all different. The last pitch is run out but it's pretty easy slab. You can combine that with a bunch of easy single pitch trad that's over there.


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By Ashley allard
From Las Vegas, nv
Mar 26, 2013
The stash

jon, i have attached a link to the rendezvous crags. i noticed physical graffiti is on your list and it is at riding hood wall which will be taken over by the rendezvous crowd.

www.mountainproject.com/v/red-rock-rendezvous-crags-2013/108>>>


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By Jon Dokulil
From Camarillo, CA
Mar 26, 2013
My wife Aimee and I after our first 5.10

Thanks for the heads up and the link, Ashley!


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By Matt N
From Santa Barbara, CA
Mar 26, 2013
OTL

How about when it rains for RRR?

Will they keep off the rock?


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By Malcolm Daly
From Boulder, CO
Mar 26, 2013

Matt,
They have cancelled entire clinic days due to wet rock. Happened a few years ago.
Mal


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By Ashley allard
From Las Vegas, nv
Mar 27, 2013
The stash

If it rains there shouldn't be any climbers on the rock. It soaks up water and turns to mush. Holds break, gear pops and routes get destroyed.


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By John Wilder
From Las Vegas, NV
Mar 27, 2013

Ashley allard wrote:
If it rains there shouldn't be any climbers on the rock. It soaks up water and turns to mush. Holds break, gear pops and routes get destroyed.


Shouldnt be, but I dont think thats been the case for years now. I went out the day after one of our huge rain events for a hike and saw 50 climbers (at least) climbing all over visibly wet rock. Because, you know, they came all this way and dont want to lose out on a day of climbing!


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By Ashley allard
From Las Vegas, nv
Mar 27, 2013
The stash

It is quite unfortunate how selfish some people can be.


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By bergbryce
From South Lake Tahoe, CA
Mar 28, 2013

sweet, gaperfest is during my spring break?
AWESOME!


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By Mark Limage
Mar 28, 2013

The sandstone "soaks up water and turns to mush." Seriously Ashley, if you're gonna pretend that you are part of the Wet Rock Police, you'll have to do better than that. Your argument against climbing on wet rock is, well, mush.


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By Ashley allard
From Las Vegas, nv
Mar 29, 2013
The stash

I was a skeptic myself until one damp morning on an approach I pulled on a rock solid(normally) hold while scrambling. It crumbled in my hand. I thought to myself "eh no biggie, probably just got too wet" was approaching to a steep wall so I figured the wall would be dry. Just before we got to the steep wall there is a huge flake, not part of any established routes, that is just slightly damp from the humid air, I pulled on it as a test and had this flake the size of a toilet seat flexing like a piece of rubber. Thankfully I had these two experiences that morning and decided to head back in instead of climb. It would have sucked for that experience to happen 30+ feet of the deck and have gear or a bolt pull. No thanks.

The moral here is, if you choose to be part of the selfish and skeptical group like I was, please don't destroy routes and please place extra gear because you never know how soft the wet rock is at that last bolt or trad placement. There are enough rescues out there already.There is plenty to do in Vegas on a rainy day, including two rock gyms. If you must climb outdoors please find mount charlestons limestone or take the drive to new jack city. Both areas have rock that is actually stable when wet.


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By John Wilder
From Las Vegas, NV
Mar 29, 2013

A couple years back I was out replacing bolts in the Calico Hills about a week and a half after a pretty good rain. Ground was dry, rock felt dry and good, we were good to go. I got about an inch into the rock with the drill and literally hit mud. Had to patch the hole and call it a day.

Just because the rock is dry to the touch does not mean its necessarily dry enough to climb on. Generally speaking, if the ground at the base of the cliff is wet, the rock is probably too wet to climb. If the ground is dry, you're good to go.


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By Mark Limage
Mar 30, 2013

Well, John, I guess that makes you the expert on wet sandstone, eh?...or not.

Your advice is confusing, even contradictory. You say "if the ground is dry, you're good to go." And yet, you drilled into "mud" when "the ground was dry, rock felt dry...." Makes me wonder what sound your hammer was making prior to drilling in the mudhole.

Perhaps you just want to play devil's advocate for 1500 RR Rendezvousers cranking on wet, friable rock during the rendezvous. I get that. Fine. But you want to tweak on people because they climb after it rains. How much rain is too much John? Did some wind assist in drying it out? Sunny? South-facing? varnished? Temperatures? Trade Route? FA? There are far too many factors to simply tell people they shouldn't climb after it rains because they will "destroy" the routes.

Maybe we can get some UNLV grad student to do a thesis on the strength of "wet" aztec sandstone. They can map the entire escarpment, check out rock densities in various canyons and aspects, correlate it storms that come out of the south vs north, monsoon season season vs winter storms, etc, etc. The BLM can institute mandatory closures if more than a 1/2" of rain is recorded in the tortoise pens at the VC.

Uhhh..yeah. And until then, you and the rest of the Wet Rock Police can stop pretending you know it all. It's not as simple as just telling everybody "they shouldn't climb after it rains." You have your experiences and I'll have mine.


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By John Wilder
From Las Vegas, NV
Mar 30, 2013

Mark Limage wrote:
Well, John, I guess that makes you the expert on wet sandstone, eh?...or not. Your advice is confusing, even contradictory. You say "if the ground is dry, you're good to go." And yet, you drilled into "mud" when "the ground was dry, rock felt dry...." Makes me wonder what sound your hammer was making prior to drilling in the mudhole. Perhaps you just want to play devil's advocate for 1500 RR Rendezvousers cranking on wet, friable rock during the rendezvous. I get that. Fine. But you want to tweak on people because they climb after it rains. How much rain is too much John? Did some wind assist in drying it out? Sunny? South-facing? varnished? Temperatures? Trade Route? FA? There are far too many factors to simply tell people they shouldn't climb after it rains because they will "destroy" the routes. Maybe we can get some UNLV grad student to do a thesis on the strength of "wet" aztec sandstone. They can map the entire escarpment, check out rock densities in various canyons and aspects, correlate it storms that come out of the south vs north, monsoon season season vs winter storms, etc, etc. The BLM can institute mandatory closures if more than a 1/2" of rain is recorded in the tortoise pens at the VC. Uhhh..yeah. And until then, you and the rest of the Wet Rock Police can stop pretending you know it all. It's not as simple as just telling everybody "they shouldn't climb after it rains." You have your experiences and I'll have mine.


Did you even read my post, Mark? If you're going to be a jerk, that's fine, but don't put words in my mouth.

I'll even say it again, since you didnt bother to read it the first time. In general, if the ground is wet at the base of the crag, you probably shouldnt climb on the rock.

Please note the uses of 'probably' and 'in general' as phrases that should let the reader know that this is a very general piece of advice and your individual mileage may vary.


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By notmyname
From Stony Brook, NY
Mar 30, 2013

at least the grades are soft no matter how wet or dry the rock is


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By Mr. Holmes
From Cascade West
Mar 30, 2013
#2

Mark,

Please ask your mom to make you some chicken noodle soup and take a moment.

Also, is there really a "Wet Rock Police"? cuz if so, coming from the PNW I would like to join up if you're taking new cadets!!!


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By pacowen
Mar 30, 2013

mark are you really that stupid?


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By John Hegyes
From Las Vegas, NV
Mar 30, 2013
South of Windy Peak

Going back to the original question: "Should I avoid Red Rocks during the Rendezvous? "

I suggest that the REAL question that should be asked is: "Should the Rendezvous avoid Red Rock?"

Save Red Rock. Stop the Rendezvous.


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By notmyname
From Stony Brook, NY
Mar 30, 2013

where else would gumbies get discounted top roping slaves, or a venue for wanna be sponsored climbers to self-promote and indenturedly sling gear for their companies?


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