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Even More Red Rocks


Another year, at another trip to Red Rocks. Good weather, easy access, long moderate routes, so ever since Glen has moved there I have made it into a yearly trip destination. It also fits very well with the 4-5 day windows that I can free up, so away I go again.

Got a chance to climb with Victor, and our first day was affected by his getting in quite late on Thu night, after Vegas airport was closed for about 3 hours due to high winds.

On FriWe did Myster Z, on Jackrabbit Buttress. Victor did not enjoy it very much, even though he got to lead the best pitch (p4). Unfortunately he also got the last pitch which was very run out on less than great rock.

I thought the route was OK, and worth doing once. I thought we might have enough time to do a route on Brownstone Wall, but we weren't fast enough for that.


We got together with Ben and Glen, the next morning at First Creek Canyon trailhead. The stated objective was the 10 pitch Hot Flash, done as two teams of two. It turned into one team of three, as VIctor bailed on the climb after the approach, wanting to avoid an epic and save energy for the next day.

The climb was just great, and the descent not too bad (~2hrs).

One note on the descent is we complicated things by doing the first two rappels on a single instead of double rope. In retrospect it would be easy enough to get retrieve a stuck rope in those spots, so IMO double rope would go.

We were back at the car before dark.



No epic hence. We had been moving through a number of interesting features on the first half of the climb, culminating with the full rope crack pitch on p6. That pitch is as good as it looks in all the photos of the climb.

The climbing is interesting, but never too hard or sustained. We were able to climb all the pitches with the two followers climbing in parallel, hence the good pace.

The only minor hiccup had to do with the placement of the last (p 10) belay, where Ben stretched out the ropes all the way close to the crux. Then he set up a not so great anchor. Glen and I climbed to an alternate stance about half way up the rope, anchored there and sent Ben on to finish the pitch (and climb).



The last four pitches are considerably easier, and have been said to detract from the climb. They go very fast, so no big deal. The last pitch crux (5.7) was actually pretty fun, and a good way to end things.

Victor got all the leads the next day on Dark Shadows. This climb had been on his tick list for a while, and did not disappoint.

Did not do much else afterward, since Victor had to catch his flight. He took the rental car back at the airport and I waited for the second team to get back from the climb, and caught a ride back into town with them.





See Glen's blog for his story of the day. We got there before them, and thus were ahead in line (2d team that day). After rapping off, and getting our ropes wet - of course - we got a chance to watch Glen lead the last two pitches. We were wondering about his progess leading the 4th pitch, and it turns out he was stopping to take pictures on lead -:)

On Mon, we finished with another foray into Black Velvet Canyon. Did not move quite as well on Sour Mash, and bailed after the first four pitches. Seems to be a pattern for us, as on DWOT the previous time. Maybe we should tackle Black Velvet Canyon before we climb 3 days in a row ...

Glen got a good number of leads under his belt on this trip, and actually made the commitment to buy a rack. Hopefully a sign of more adventures to come.




List of Climbs

  • MysterZ (5.7*) 6p (Jackrabbit Buttress)
  • Hot Flash (5.8 ***) 10p (First Creek Canyon)
  • Dark Shadows (5.8 ***) first 4p only (Pine Creek Canyon)
  • Sour Mash (5.9 ***) first 4p only (Black Velvet Canyon)

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