Ixtlan 5.11c

 
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Whiskey Peak


Red Rocks, Nevada USA


Trip Report
I Got Five On It - Government Shutdown Sampler @ Red Rock

by WML
Sunday October 6, 2013 10:47pm
Sometimes the sociological studies of going to climbing areas can be enlightening, disheartening, and many times outright hilarious. Nathan and I were at the P2 belay today when the soundtrack for this TR came on, loud and clear, from folks unaware of our existence perched above them:



They were made aware of our existence by our laughter that ensued.


----------------------


After work this week I went mountain biking a ton. I have been battling some injuries of late - a damaged finger tendon this summer derailed a lot of my local plans but resulted in some fun trips out of the area to get on non-crimpy things. A nagging tendon pain in my elbow tempered my "get strong by bouldering a ton of mileage" plan once the monsoon ended a few weeks ago. In order to keep amused and get the cardio back to where it needs to be, I went mountain biking quite a bit after work this week

Stellar views on this pedal!
Stellar views on this pedal!
Credit: WML

While going out and seeking serenity on singletrack, I saw the hordes piling out at both Oak Creek pullouts, First Creek, and had seen an unusual amount of people heading out to the already popular Black Velvet Canyon.

The elbow still would pulsate in a bit of pain and indicate to me that climbing was a poor choice. As the week went on, things started to feel better...ice, rest, and a healthy dose of Vitamin I made things more tolerable.

Then came a text from Dave The Dent(dental student)ist. D-money wanted to go climbing after work Friday - Calico Basin. Sweet, lets rock.

I met up with Dave and his dental school friends after work and we our first few choices had people on them, so we did a quick pitch at Cannibal Crag. A team of six folks from Finland (hilarious, great folks) had been bouted by the shutdown in Yos and were the first of many Euro teams that landed in the desert of Southern Nevada to climb.

Huck the Adventure Poodle - Dave's awesome dog
Huck the Adventure Poodle - Dave's awesome dog
Credit: WML

After playing at Cannibal, we went to Moderate Mecca. I had seen this cool looking roof there called Scalawag and had wanted to climb it for a while, so I did:

Burly and powerful, but fairly straightforward
Burly and powerful, but fairly straightforward
Credit: WML

The technical difficulty on that one wasn't too awful, but the burl factor was in full effect. Made my way up that and called it a day.

The next morning I was booked back-to-back. Plans were made to go mountain biking early at the Late Night Trailhead, which hosts both 5-star singletrack as well as the dirt road which leads to the 5-star climbing at Black Velvet Canyon. Win-win!

Went for a quick pedal with Aimee and Mike - their first time riding out of Late Night

Mike (L) and WML (R)
Mike (L) and WML (R)
Credit: WML

With uncanny timing after finishing the ride and starting to get the climbing gear together at the car, Xavier arrived. Amped as always, we went down that dusty road out to Black Velvet and arrivied to 15 cars parked at the lot. Make that 16, including us. Fortunately we planned on a few routes which we didn't assume would be too crowded on Whiskey Peak.

Our "warm up" per Xavier was the STELLAR Maztlan, which features a necky start right off the deck. Mercifully, this was not my lead.

Xavier leading the CLASSIC Maztlan
Xavier leading the CLASSIC Maztlan
Credit: WML


This climb featured a masterful combination of exceptional stemming, jamming, and generally SWEET movement and position. If you removed the first 25 feet of the climb which features the crux and the absence of pro, this thing would have lines out the gates.

Whiskey Peak provides some of Red Rock's most classic cragging on generally awesome rock. Our next line for the day was Ixtlan, which a British team was finishing. The first two pitches were to be Xavier's leads and the third pitch offwidth was to be mine.

As we were pulling ropes from Maztlan and as Xavier was racking up at the start, I heard the grunts of the British team and a lump grew in my throat. Strong Brits, fresh from Yosemite, exerting themselves on this thing. Awesome.

Before I could finish seeing my own doom in the gaping maw 100+ ft above me, it was time to focus on giving a good belay to Xavier.

Xavier styling the THIN first pitch of Ixtlan
Xavier styling the THIN first pitch of Ixtlan
Credit: WML

After following Xavier's lead on the difficult first pitch and feeling a bit worked through the second (which he linked), I wasn't sure if the OW would go for me that day. The first pitch features thin, technical, powerful, delicate climbing that can only be described as awesome. The second pitch follows a huge gong-sounding Stegasaurus flake. Outrageous to climb and so good, but also taxing if you are weak, as I certainly am.

"Sh#t, I'm worked...and my lead is next, and it's hard offwidth" was all i could think of through my battle with the lower pitches, interspersed with "holy hell this is good"

I get to the hanging belay that Xavier is at and take in the exposure below me. I look up at the gash that I am to climb up and through. I fondle the #6 Camalot on my harness and giggle - placing big gear has always been strangely funny to me. Xavier gives me some much-appreciated encouragement and then provides a VERY patient belay as I grunted, swore, and HUNG my way up this thing. Both classic and burly, the pitch gave me what I was looking for and then some.

"This is what you wanted, this is what you get"
"This is what you wanted, this is what you get"
Credit: WML

Pushing the #6 along as far as I could and clipping the rusted, spinning bolt hangers at the crux with the wall falling straight to the base of the peak was definitely a life affirming experience I won't forget. My left side of my body won't forget or forgive me any time soon, either, for that pitch. The crux was a very strange one for me - very difficult to describe, but once it was over it was classic, cruiser face to the anchors. This set of anchors also gives you an awesome view into upper Black Velvet Canyon - somewhere I was supposed to visit the next day.

X makes short work of the pitch and we are both back on the ground in no time. I feel like I was hit by a semi going 75 mph on my left side from the thrutch-tastic time I had up there. We hiked back to the car, X gave some friends of the other Brit crew a lift, and I sat back for the most part and listened to the discourse on the merits of the British system of government and the American system.

I get back to my house that evening and recognize that there is no way I could safely lead hard (for me) slab the next day AND do the long hike back to Sick For Toys. The mountain bike ride in conjunction with the hard (for me) climbing resulted in fatigue which I had underestimated. Nathan, whom I was supposed to climb SFT with, was on his way back from a trip to New Jack City and we quickly decided to figure out an alternative plan in the morning.

Fast forward to Dunkin Donuts after a slow start in the morning for both of us and the stoke begins to flow. We decide to check out a quasi-obscure mellow route called All That, Jazz.

This route is located on the Happy Acres Wall in Calico Basin. A quick 20 minute hike and we are there.

P1 flew by
P1 flew by
Credit: WML

The fun P2 headwall above
The fun P2 headwall above
Credit: WML

Nathan enjoying P2
Nathan enjoying P2
Credit: WML

It was shortly after this that Nathan and I were at the belay and started laughing over the VERY loud blasting of "I Got Five On It" in the canyon below. With the level of the noise, it HAD to be a Ghetto Blaster...which made it all the more hilarious as we were a ways back from the road. I set off on P3 rapping the words I knew.

Hey! I can see my house from here
Hey! I can see my house from here
Credit: WML

WML at the top out
WML at the top out
Credit: WML

Nathan enjoying the views at the top-out on P3.
Nathan enjoying the views at the top-out on P3.
Credit: WML

Not too much to say about this route - first two pitches are fun, third pitch has some bad rock and some good rock. I snapped a foothold unexpectedly and almost went for a ride. Must have over-paid the gravity bill this month. The walk-off is beautiful, as you are on the ridgeline between Calico Basin and where the scenic loop is. It was very eerie to see the scenic loop entirely deserted, without so much as a single car parked anywhere. I joked with Nathan that the five BLM LEOs I saw yesterday at the entrance were probably hanging out there again today. As we hiked back to the car, we saw a chopper heading back to the loop - probably to yell at cyclists entering via the exit and being on the loop like they did a few days ago. Hopefully this fiasco ends sooner rather than later - there are routes that await deep in the park.

  Trip Report Views: 3,521
WML
About the Author
WML is a purveyor of premium malt liquor beverages, margaritas and diet mountain dew (although not together, nor necessarily in that order) who lives to redline the fun meter

Comments
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Comment on this Trip Report
RyanD

climber
Squamish
  Oct 7, 2013 - 12:25am PT
Like hearing about the lesser known climbs there. That OW looks wild!




Leggs

Sport climber
Made in California
  Oct 7, 2013 - 06:22am PT
Nice TR...
and very cute dog.
10b4me

climber
  Oct 7, 2013 - 07:07am PT
I like the routes at Moderate Mecca.
phylp

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
  Oct 7, 2013 - 07:21am PT
Thanks, always nice to see the Red Rocks.
Johnny K.

climber
  Oct 7, 2013 - 08:22am PT
Awesome climbing,those routes are amazing.
WML

climber
Edge of the Electric Ocean Beneath Red Rock
Author's Reply  Oct 7, 2013 - 03:54pm PT

Thanks, everyone!
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Oct 7, 2013 - 05:17pm PT
Great as always wml,

Way to kill the OW!!!!
XavierLV

Trad climber
Las Vegas, Nevada
  Oct 7, 2013 - 08:31pm PT
always fun climbing with you, brother. great work.
WML

climber
Edge of the Electric Ocean Beneath Red Rock
Author's Reply  Oct 8, 2013 - 08:47am PT
Thanks, guys!

Ezra: I think the OW wound up better off than I did

Xavier: Always a pleasure climbing with you, man. Thanks again for the patient catch...
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Peavine Basecamp
  Oct 8, 2013 - 08:47am PT
Ixtlan still looks sick! Way to go for it, man.
Chim-Chim

climber
  Oct 8, 2013 - 08:53am PT
Wml the upper pitches of Ixtlan are more than work it. Go up man! Same walk off as Triassic Sands. Will be in Vegas Wednesday. DanK
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Peavine Basecamp
  Oct 8, 2013 - 09:01am PT
Walk off Triassic Sands? Why? There's chains, man. I guess I'll never get summits and walk offs, I only do them if they are absolutely required ;).
Chim-Chim

climber
  Oct 8, 2013 - 09:08am PT
What's not to get, more climbing?
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Peavine Basecamp
  Oct 8, 2013 - 09:23am PT
I strive for efficiency and actually hate climbing, DanK.

Nah, I just think the whole Red Rock walk off posse is sort of silly. "You didn't do the route till you went to the choss top, man!"

First off, find better concerns in life.

Secondly, direct your anger at the guy who put the rap rings in, Broseph, I have some fruit rollups in my bag I need to rap to STAT!!!

ROPE!!!

What say you, Weston, I hear we can rap Lev 29 with a 70m?

BTW, Dan, you know anybody who hasn't but wants to do The Hand of God? I've heard rave reviews lately.
Magic Ed

Trad climber
Nuevo Leon, Mexico
  Oct 8, 2013 - 09:21am PT
Nice report--Red Rocks was always one of my favorite areas. Too bad the mountain biking around there is only mediocre.
Chim-Chim

climber
  Oct 8, 2013 - 09:22am PT
Above tho obvious ow pitch Ixtlan goes as follows. 9+ ow bolts and gear, next a nice chimney 5.8 out a window. A traversing pitch to the right, leads to a 9+ beautiful corner pitch Easy but fun symo to the top.Not angry, just trying to be informative. I've place plenty of anchor/rap bolts I get it. More climbing is best
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Peavine Basecamp
  Oct 8, 2013 - 09:27am PT
Ah, I'm just funning, Dan, I didn't think you were angry. More of a generalized rant than directed at you for my part.

Also, see my Hand of God partner question I added in that post.
Chim-Chim

climber
  Oct 8, 2013 - 09:30am PT
Hand of God is a fine climb Bomz. The first crux pitch can be avoided by climbing a 5.8 pitch to the right. Climb the first pitch, last, on TR ;) Dan
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Peavine Basecamp
  Oct 8, 2013 - 09:39am PT
Already climbed the 5.8 pitch when I did Jamming for Jehovah. Pretty underwhelming even as an approach pitch. I heard the first pitch was well pro'd on HOG, I'd just warm up on it or something else first and go for it in order.

Maybe when my bud gets back from road tripping I'll give it a go.
WML

climber
Edge of the Electric Ocean Beneath Red Rock
Author's Reply  Oct 8, 2013 - 09:46am PT
Jebus - Perfect...skip the supposedly cruddy climbing above...could even bring the twins and have fewer hanging rappel stations...

Dan - the climbing above looked good, but bolts bad and time was short. Plus, to be honest, after the spanking I received on that lower portion I was pretty beat up. Enjoy your stay down here! Most likely no climbing this weekend for me, as domestic duty takes precedence after a few weekends of nothing but climbing. I will likely be out Thursday and Friday after work either TR soloing or bouldering.

Ed - What it lacks in good, nice, firm dirt for mountain biking it makes up for with insane vistas of sweet rock climbs. Not too often you can be grunting up a hill and be staring at a climb you did the previous day - or will do later that day. I still have to give Reno, where I lived before, the nod as far as trail running and mountain biking are concerned (I'm not rad - I just enjoy swervy, nice singletrack).


Thanks for the comments, guys. Fun route and quite a challenge.
Chim-Chim

climber
  Oct 8, 2013 - 10:00am PT
Yeah Bomz, a tough warm-up(first pitch)HOG. Easier to lead after doing the upper pitches. You also don't have all the gear hanging on you that you need up high.

Wml hopefully things will change ie more access to route by next week. If not my head back up to east side and the fords. Dank
WML

climber
Edge of the Electric Ocean Beneath Red Rock
Author's Reply  Oct 8, 2013 - 10:11am PT
Plenty of access to be had here...esp if willing to walk. Haven't heard of any crowds on Mt Wilson of late...and I hear Inti Watana is STELLAR on that thing. Huge on my list this season.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  Oct 8, 2013 - 11:06am PT
Burly looking wide pitch and a good TR. I would laugh my ass off too if that track came up a pitch above...
WML

climber
Edge of the Electric Ocean Beneath Red Rock
Author's Reply  Oct 8, 2013 - 01:35pm PT
Thanks, V. Thing was pretty burl dawg fo sho.


Dude, when we heard that I about died laughing - gotta love how thw local folks can set the beats for what would become a part of a trip report, lulz
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
  Oct 8, 2013 - 05:20pm PT
Nice Work Men!

Gettin' after clandestine Ow, does it get better than that?
The other stuff looked cool too!
WML

climber
Edge of the Electric Ocean Beneath Red Rock
Author's Reply  Oct 10, 2013 - 10:56am PT
Thanks! Wish I could say it were more clandestine than it was, but we were amongst the hordes in Black Velvet Canyon. Never have seen it that busy back there, crazy!
eKat

Trad climber
Less than a second shy of 49 minutes
  Nov 11, 2013 - 04:56pm PT
BBST!

(As a reminder = BBST = donini for Bump for a Better SuperTopo)
portent

Social climber
your mom's house
  Apr 17, 2014 - 04:46pm PT
Bump
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
  Apr 19, 2014 - 08:26pm PT
Bring back WML!
Randisi

Social climber
Dalian, Liaoning
  Apr 20, 2014 - 04:06am PT
Yes, I'm so glad this menace to the community has been banned.

What a load of crap.
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Peavine Basecamp
  Apr 20, 2014 - 05:53am PT
Is dis one a dem antur gubbermint threds? I wust lookin fir one a dem against duh big cheese rigs to git mah protest on.
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Apr 20, 2014 - 06:03am PT
What happened to WML anyway? This is news to me.

What did he do?
Randisi

Social climber
Dalian, Liaoning
  Apr 20, 2014 - 08:09am PT
What happened to WML anyway? This is news to me.

What did he do?

Those who know won't say.

But how bad could it be compared to The Chief and his ilk?

Maybe he called Braun a turd...
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Peavine Basecamp
  Apr 20, 2014 - 04:50pm PT
They made a rule change and climbing is off topic now. WML was one of the worst offenders.
SC seagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz CA
  Apr 20, 2014 - 05:00pm PT
Is he still on the fly? Not right.
Susan
MisterE

climber
  Apr 20, 2014 - 08:08pm PT
Hey WML - is that Xavier of Teresa and X? If so, say hi to them from Skip and Erik - and congrats on the second one on the way!
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Whiskey Peak - Ixtlan 5.11c - Red Rocks, Nevada USA. Click to Enlarge
Located in Black Velvet Canyon, Whiskey Peak Wall is packed full of amazing climbs.
Photo: Greg Barnes
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