Trip ReportEpinephrine, a TR
Epinephrine has been very high on my rock route tick list ever since I first read about it, which was actually not that long ago. Probably back in 2007. Since then, everyone I've asked about the route says basically the same, it's an incredible route, do it if you get the chance.
This was my first trip specifically for climbing outside of California since moving to the state in 2009 and it took some doing to convince my rope gun John to go to RR instead of his usual haunt of J Tree.
My primary goal for the trip was Epi and fortunately for us, I think we picked the best weather day to do it.
We awoke early in the campground to brisk breezes and to be honest, I thought we were going to freeze our asses off. I was thinking cold, shady chimneys and maybe some more of those winds that had damaged both of our tents back at camp. Along the bumpy road the temperature gauge in the car kept dropping and read something like 36 when we left the car. Another group pulled up (of course) as we were making the required Red Rock Rapid Deployment from the trailhead.
The first two pitches are pretty uneventful. The route actually starts off like a well-bolted sport route. I linked the first two and led the next bit leading up to the fabled Epinephrine chimneys.
Edited to add:
After reading another persons TR I recalled that the first actual chimney of this route is very near if not R rated. The holds are there but it's got a bit of an exposed sequence out of the chimney onto the face. The team behind me thought the pitch was a bit spicy and after reflection, I agree.
It's said that even people who despise chimneys or anything approaching something wide, appreciate these chimneys. I can see why. These chimney pitches were by far the best chimneys I've ever done. The sides are slick (for RR) the chimneying methods required are varied and above all, extremely fun. We broke them up into 3 pitches, for us there was a definite crux at the end of the 2nd pitch were we both opted to take the squeeze exit option.
Couple pics from the third pitch of the climb.
Fourth pitch, more wide chimney action
Fifth pitch. This one sports a few bolts and more face holds but still rocks.
The top of this pitch lands you on top of the "Black Pillar" and the unfortunate end of the chimneys.
Post chimney "ecstasy!?"
The route continues up the corner above the tower.
You can link more pitches here and move really fast. The climbing is steep and fun on oodles of face holds.
After 5 or 6 easy pitches above, you'll come to a very obvious right turn where the climbing basically ends. We simul-ed from here and it went fast. Look for this ramp and tree in the next pic. After that, you can un-rope and walk to the summit.
You want to have the descent covered because it would be really easy to screw this one up and epic. You want to basically follow the ridge that runs east from the main Black Velvet Peak summit to it's end and then follow the trail/cairns down to the northeast. This eventually joins the Frogland buttress descent and then back to the car and water.
The climb was phenomenal and lived up to all the hype I had built up for it in my head. We climbed it in pretty good style. Just the right amount of water and food and relatively quickly. Car to car in about 10.5 hours. It was definitely the highlight of the trip.
Few other pics from the week...
Up on Frogland. Got lucky and walked right onto this one.
1st pitch of Amber, next to Wholesome Fullback
Wholesome Fullback buttress. This is a fine climb with tips, hands and a short chimney.
Until next time!!
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