Playing around in the Football Field on our way to...
Windy Canyon is the place to go to get away from it all. No crowds, no parking issues, and some excellent moderate long routes with a bit of a backcountry feel.
Windy Canyon is located a couple canyons south of Black Velvet Canyon (Mud Spring Canyon is in between). From the 159/160 intersection, head west on 160 for around 5.5 miles and make a right on an unassuming dirt road. Take the first left and go about 0.3 mile and make a right. Then go north on the most obvious road, avoiding side paths for about 0.4 mile and park where you can see Windy Canyon off to the NNW. Takes between 90 minutes and two hours to hoof up into the canyon to the climbs.
Start about 80 feet left of Windy Corner. Face climb up and right, passing to the right of a bush, to a small left-facing corner in the clean white rock. Pitch 2 starts by climbing up to the small roof, then move left and cross the roof (5.9) onto the varnished rock above. Easier rock leads to a belay stance. Continue up the dramatically corrugated buttress (rough, like a crocodile's back!) for about 200 feet to a belay position near Windy Corner. Climb up about 40 feet and join Windy Corne...[more]Browse More Classics in NV
I've never seen any water up there although this year it may be different. We've seen increased levels of water in every canyon recently, but I wouldn't bet on it. It would be a great place to bivy, up in the football field.
Approach update, 2006: The very beginning of the road where you turn off Route 160 is paved for a short distance, turning to dirt beyond the cattle guard. Continue on this road for about a mile and a half and make a left turn. Follow this road for about 2 miles as it wanders through the desert, eventually arriving at a 4-way crossroad. Make a right here. In a short distance the road dips down into a steep arroyo. Conservative drivers can park at this point; the rest continue west, then south, passing the first obvious parking area and go to the second turnout.
There is now a pretty good trail that leaves from this turnout. Hike down and across the main wash and pick up the trail on the opposite side. The trail goes west, not very directly, toward a fenced off spring in the area of some strange dark orange-brown outcrops. These outcrops are on the south side of the main Windy Canyon streambed. Shortly after passing the outcrops, go up the rounded ridge a few yards then drop into the streambed on the right. Go west on the right hand side (north side) of the wash following mostly good trails. After a while, a large sub-canyon on the right blocks progress. The easiest spot to cross this is at its left (downhill) side. This avoids the worst brush, boulders, and ticks. Cross the subcanyon and pick up a trail on its far side. Go up and right to a steep hillside that leads up to the Football Field. Go to the far (west) side of the Football Field, then head up slabs and trail fragments to the main face.
We drove in both ways and found the way that does not start on the Black Velvet road to be slightly easier as well as shorter. Either way is a little tough on a normal clearance car, but many had made it. We were lucky to rent a 2WD Jeep Patriot, which made it easy.