Chiloe, I've done CC twice. Once many years ago (20?) when Joanne Urioste's guidebook was the only one and the climb had not yet become popular. Had the climb to ourselves. Then once again I think four years ago in March, on a dark and blustery weekday. The weather apparently scared off everyone (who had a modicum of good sense) and we had the route to ourselves again. So I've never done the route with anyone else on it!
I suspect that "bad" weekdays in March may be a good bet in general as they were for us, but of course you don't want to get behind a slow party when it is chilly and the winds are howlin', so its always going to be a gamble.
By the way, there has been quite an increase in the number of bolts on the route over the years. Other than the belay anchors, I remember very few.
The climb is in a wonderful position, but the climbing, in my opinion, isn't memorable. Not knocking it mind you, the same statement would apply to a number of RR climbs which are nonetheless worthwile for the beauty of the rock, the position of the climb, and the views from it.
The climb is in a wonderful position, but the climbing, in my opinion, isn't memorable.
I'd sort of gathered that from other reports too, but had kind of a nostalgic reason for wanting
to do the climb someday, in addition to its merits today. Back when Joe and I hiked up there in
'72, en route to our first try at the Rainbow, Joe pointed out that formation. He already had
named it Cloud Tower, and dreamed about finding a route.
A friend of mine and I jumped on CC the same week as you guys. We bailed after two pitches because we were both shivering and couldn't feel our fingers. And I thought I could handle cold.
Went cragging in the sun after that.
Thanks for the TR. I got up early and hiked in once to do CC and found more parties than I could count either on the wall or waiting to start. I think some had slept at the base. We went sport climbing instead.
I climbed a bunch at Red Rocks from 91-95ish. I miss it, but the last few times I went back (2001? maybe?) I got pretty down. I know I sound like a cranky jerk, but I just can't help comparing what it used to be. I know people go there now and have a blast and not knocking them, jealous actually of their good attitude. But thinking of that route, being stressed to get there early enough, waiting for slow parties, sharing hanging belays, rapping through crowds... god, how can that be fun?
Anyways, thanks for the pics and story. Bittersweet memory is an interesting emotion
For those who go up to do Crimson, there are two better routes just around the corner that go to the top of Ginger Tower which is to the left of Cloud Tower as you look up at Rainbow Mtn. Ginger Cracks 5.9, mixed gear and Unimpeachable Groping,5.10b, 7 pitch bolted sport climb(but bring a couple smaller pieces of gear anyway).
These two routes are not crowded, within a couple hundred yards of the start of Crimson. Also, the descent for these two routes is not down the route you climb up, but down Power Failure which is a burly 10c not done as often so you won't be rapping over the top of people and hanging out with a crowd at the anchors. My two cents worth.
I tell you what... coming from Arizona, you go across the Hoover Dam (for now) and that bridge they're building that will move the traffic off the dam is one of the most impressive engineering feats I've seen in a long time. The pictures don't do it justice. Maybe even worth driving out from Vegas if you have a rest day or some such, just to see the thing in progress.
These were shot from the truck while crawling across the bridge in traffic on the way home.