Sour Mash, Black Velvet Canyon 5.10a

   
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Red Rocks, Nevada USA

  • Currently 5.0/5
Avg time to climb route: 4-5 hours
Approach time: 45 minutes
Descent time: 2 hours
Number of pitches: 7
Height of route: 700'
Overview
Often overlooked due to its extremely popular neighbors, Sour Mash is one of Red Rocks' finest climbs. With varied climbing, tons of thin cracks, tightly bolted face climbing cruxes, and an intriguing traversing roof to crack, Sour Mash is endless fun. To top it all off you will end the day rappelling off the middle of the giant roof!
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Climber Beta on Sour Mash
  A total of (9) submissions of route beta on Sour Mash
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History
Summer climbing in Red Rocks can be an interesting experience. The intense heat makes it impossible to climb in the sunshine. During their work on Sour Mash, George and Joanne set up a camp in Black Velvet Canyon. In the morning they would wake up and relax and maybe take a dip in one of the pools. Around midday, the wall would go into the shade and they would jumar to their high point. George, ever the gentleman, would go first to confirm the integrity of the fixed lines. If the climbing was hard and required much bolting, they might achieve only a single pitch before nightfall and return to camp.

The name of the route hangs on the end of a long chain. Sour Mash connects to a number of routes with whiskey themes. They all relate to “Black Velvet” which is the name of a particular brand of whiskey. Black Velvet evolved from the name “Velvet Wall” which had been chosen by Betsy Herbst to reflect the texture of the rock. But now the rest of the story… Joe Herbst and his climbing friends from the early days referred to the canyon by the code name “Crud Gulch.” They worried that a name such as Velvet Canyon would sound too good and entice a flood of climbers, thus ruining the wilderness solitude that they then enjoyed.
– Larry DeAngelo

Strategy
Like most routes in Black Velvet Canyon, winter provides little sun and frigid temperatures. ...   [full history for SuperTopo members only!]

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Approach
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Descent
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Everything You Need to Know About Red Rocks
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Source: SuperTopo Guidebook Staff Last update: April 18, 2008
Black Velvet Canyon - Sour Mash 5.10a - Red Rocks, Nevada USA. Click to Enlarge
Sour Mash is an overlooked awesome varied climb.
Photo: Greg Barnes
Other Routes on Black Velvet Canyon
Black Velvet Canyon - Epinephrine 5.9 - Red Rocks, Nevada USA. Click for details.
Epinephrine, 5.9
Black Velvet Canyon
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Epinephrine ascends the ominous 600-foot-tall chimney.
Black Velvet Canyon - Dream of Wild Turkeys 5.10a - Red Rocks, Nevada USA. Click for details.
Dream of Wild Turkeys, 5.10a
Black Velvet Canyon
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Over 1000 feet of amazing climbing on Black Velvet Wall.
Black Velvet Canyon - Prince of Darkness 5.10c - Red Rocks, Nevada USA. Click for details.
Prince of Darkness, 5.10c
Black Velvet Canyon
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Prince of Darkness is a classic bolted face route up Black Velvet Wall.
Black Velvet Canyon - Yellow Brick Road 5.10b - Red Rocks, Nevada USA. Click for details.
Yellow Brick Road, 5.10b
Black Velvet Canyon
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Yellow Brick Road is a two-pitch variation to Dream of Wild Turkeys.
Black Velvet Canyon - Overhanging Hangover 5.10a - Red Rocks, Nevada USA. Click for details.
Overhanging Hangover, 5.10a
Black Velvet Canyon
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Overhanging Hangover ascends an intimidating and exposed roof.
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