5 days at Red Rocks


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Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Apr 4, 2006 - 01:58am PT
OK, I got my slides back and I have some pictures of our Red Rocks trip, Will and I met 3/23-3/27, we bailed on the 28th after a breakfast conversation about what the weather might be was terminated by rain. Gary joined us on the 24th and 25th, he was desperate to do some climbing so he drove down from the Bay Area for a couple of days.

These days corresponded to the RRR, which we thought might be a big pain, but actually turned out ok, fewer people then I thought were around.

The first day 3/24 Will and I were driving out and we met Gary on the way in. He turned his rig around and followed us to the First Pullout area. We decided to get used to the rock, none of us had climbed at Red Rocks before.

The crowds were forming but we could see there was no one on the Tuna and Chips Wall, off we went. Will led up Chips and Salsa and we toproped Waterstreak which has a number of possible ways up from 5.8 to 5.10a.

Here is Gary on Waterstreak

The RRR beginers workshop started to move over to our venue, so we left for Ultraman Wall, and climbed Speed Racer 5.8, Godzilla 5.7 and The Hex Files 5.6... the last one being a special request of Will's to do something where we could put gear in...

Will leading The Hex Files

and Gary in siesta mode:

Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 4, 2006 - 02:11am PT
The next day, Saturday 3/25 had us out to do Cat In The Hat 5.6+ 5 pitches which is on Mescalito in Pine Canyon. We got sort of lost, but were asked my another party to help them find the start of Y2K which we weren't much use for...

Another beautiful day as is evident on the walk out

Gary and I lead this with Will in the middle... what a nice climb! Will pulling up on top of the first pitch:

Gary spread eagle on the fourth pitch:

though there seems to be a debate as to whether or not we did a variation... I think the SuperTopo has us going up the crack and then jogging left at the roof to the groove... maybe Greg can say.

I got the terrific last pitch variation, what fun and what exposure... I was starting to get the hang of the rock and routes. Here is Gary pulling over the top:

We had trouble finding the start because we were the first there. After we arrived at the base (having concluded a trip upstream) we were joined by two most pleasant gentlemen: Slobmonster and Loud Bob... slobmonster is a SuperTopian and Loud Bob was his friend from the East. We had a great time conversing on the way up, Will gave slobmonster a detailed description of what Cliff Bars do to his Gastro-Intestinal system... and demonstrated it by consuming a slightly past date bar...

Slobmonster (left) and Loud Bob (right):

Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 4, 2006 - 02:28am PT
On Sunday Gary took off and Will and I just did approaches... Black Velvet Canyon was a place we wanted to scope out... but of course we took the wrong turn off the highway and ended up too far south... here is Will and the "Deathmobile" in the outback

Those familiar with the place can see we're really down beyond Windy Canyon. We eventually figured this out, actually by spotting a car coming down the dirt road from where we wanted to be. Not a problem, off we went with the "Deathmobile" and its rebuilt back differential with posi-traction Will thought he could go anywhere in 2-Hi...

We did get to Black Velvet Canyon but this is obviously a very popular place... climber on top of something just to the left (as you look at it) of the Frogland buttress

This might be slobmonster and Loud Bob on Dream of Wild Turkeys 5.10- which they talked about doing... but they will have to confirm.

And yet more climbers, I believe around the Mazatlan area

Topping out on the Black Tower pitch of Epinephrine 5.9

which is huge... lots to do on a return trip!

One amazing sight in this moderate long-route trad area were the "pad people" going into Black Velvet Canyon. It just seemed so incongruous... ah well...

Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 4, 2006 - 02:37am PT
On Monday Will and I decided to do Olive Oil 5.7 on Rose Tower in Juniper Canyon. We got lost for about 2 hours, asking locals and eventually figuring it out. Arriving with enough positive feelings to go up anyway, a party was in front of us...

Here is Will leading the fabulously steep second pitch

I had the rest of the leads, and it was just a blast. By now I felt dialed in, especially hip to the fact that I was not going to pull anything off of these well travelled routes. The run out was very managable, I can thank Tuolumne Meadows for that!

Will and the other party on the huge belay ledge just below the last pitch

And Will finishing up atop the chimney

Here is a view of Rose Tower, the deep cleft on the skyline on the right is the descent gully, the start is around the toe of the tower to the left and up (and I do mean up) the next gully. The route is out of sight on the left, and was actually "out of sight", 5.fun

I am looking forward to a return visit and more challenging climbs.

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Apr 5, 2006 - 02:56pm PT
In the ongoing spirit of bumpage, here's a photo of John Bragg on Frogland taken around this time last year. (Sorry about the size...the site hosting it somehow increased its dimensions)

Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 5, 2006 - 03:30pm PT
WOW, Richard and John Bragg! that must have been quite a sight... east coast climbing celebrity. I also noticed the 2-rope 'Gunks technique being employed. I have reverted back to a single lead line, as is the habit of Yos climbers... but I have kept the diameter around 9mm much to Gary's chagrin.

Frogland was to be our Tuesday objective, but for the rain...

I was quite taken by the possiblities and hope to return this year to do some of the longer, more involved routes. And to bring Debbie along so she can walk in the desert.
Russ Walling

Social climber
Same place as you, man...... (WB)
Apr 5, 2006 - 03:43pm PT
Hey! Good set of pics there Ed. Nice job.

Trad climber
land of fruits, nuts and flakes
Apr 5, 2006 - 07:06pm PT
Ed... thanks for the pics. The waterstreak route conjured up an old memory. Me, thinking it be 5.8, and a good warm up climb to start the day. Getting to the base of the route, there were no hangers on the bolts - no big. I wound up cinching with small wire stoppers, all along then internalizing "why the hell am I struggling so hard on just 5.8 friction???" It wasn't until years later that I learned that the 5.8 rating is not neccesarily straight up the waterstreak - instead, wanders either right or left of plumb.
The last time I was at RR was OCT 04 We wound up rescuing some poor fella outta 1st creek canyon who had taken a serious head first fall that dislocated his shoulder, and punctured a lung. Then it mostly rained as well - which takes some time to dry out with the porosity of the stone. At least we found a good bar/grill to watch the Red Sox win the pennant.
So I'm dew you see to get back out to RR and soon I hope.
Since then, I've had many a great outing at RR - the place where I eventually took the AMGA adv. rock class.


Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Apr 5, 2006 - 07:14pm PT
Son of bumpage...

Here's a pic from the base looking up at climbers in the same position on Dark Shadows as the second in Radical's (bottom) picture.


Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV
Apr 6, 2006 - 12:32am PT

On the 4th pitch of Cat, the standard route traverses left under the roof and then goes up. The variation continues straight up (supposedly harder, although I found it to be about the same, but the rock was a bit spookier).

Also, great shots of the Black Velvet area- good stuff in there, I cant wait for it to warm up a bit so the crowds go away and we can get in there!

Nice job, glad you had a good time while you were here!
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 6, 2006 - 12:42am PT
VTG - thanks for your tips on how to avoid the crowds... obviously we took our chances, there didn't seem to be any crowds...

...and Will was the first one in on Thursday at the BLM 13 mile c.g. and got the second to last spot, so no bandit camping necessary! aside from the rain on the last day it was a great trip. Hope to get back again later this year.

Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV
Apr 6, 2006 - 12:48am PT
no worries! glad it worked out in your favor- its always awesome when you can go to an area and get on the classics without standing in line!

my first time up Double Cross was on a sunny saturday morning in January and no one was in sight-- i'm pretty sure that was a small miracle in and of itself, and all of the routes you did on your trip are usually packed!


Social climber
The West
Apr 6, 2006 - 01:43am PT
Thanks Ed, nice work.

Trad climber
berkeley, ca
Apr 6, 2006 - 03:24pm PT

it was nice meeting you and your buddies, ed. make sure you get in touch; it's a long and lonely season out here in the bay area (as you may already know).

aka "seth"

Trad climber
Erik O. Auburn, CA
Feb 26, 2016 - 01:52pm PT
Bummer that all the great pictures are missing from this trip report.
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