Tunnel Vision 5.7 R

 
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Angel Food Wall


Red Rocks, Nevada USA


Trip Report
Me Myself and I on Tunnel Vision - My First Longish Rope Solo

by WML
Monday May 13, 2013 11:10pm
All week my thoughts had been dominated in my typical obsessive fashion by the climb Jon (Cholo Kranky) and I were supposed to climb.

I was fired up and had even gone sport climbing throughout the week to hone in some face climbing skills that aren't exactly my strong suit, culminating in my first 5.11 sport lead. After T-Pain and I were done with our sport session, we met up with Cholo Kranky at the upscale pizza bar he works at in Tivoli Village and enjoyed what may have been the best pizza I had ever had as well as a few nice, cold IPA's.

At the end of the evening, Jon and I agreed upon our meeting time and spot and were set to meet at a fairly casual 7:00am for a run up Dream of Wild Turkeys.

I wake up very suddenly, with the sun at the angle it is at this time of year I feel that I may have overslept my alarm. I bolt over to my cell phone and see that it is 5:40, 5 minutes before my alarm. I also see that Jon shot me a text around 1am indicating he had to bail. His little sister was flying into town from Reno to surprise their Mom for Mother's Day on Saturday, not Sunday as he had thought, and by virtue of that he had to bail. He apologized for the late notice and while I was incredibly frustrated, I understood. I had everything packed the night before in the truck ready to go so all I had to do was throw ice in the cooler (for victory beers), hop in the truck, and head to the Late Night Trailhead in the morning. So much for that.

How to recover from a day nearly wasted. Temperatures were set to be quite warm in Las Vegas, hovering in the mid-90's in town and high 80's at my house at the edge of town. A beautiful, sunny day and I wasn't going to let it go to waste. I quickly start thinking of long routes I can rope solo where the climbing itself would be casual but being the rope soloing neophyte that I am, it would keep it interesting. Tunnel Vision comes to mind because of the fact that it has a short approach and a walk-off, and I hadn't climbed it yet. Fueled by caffeine, stoke, and a high level of determination to accomplish SOMETHING on Saturday, I load up the truck and take off.

Except, five minutes into my drive I forgot my wallet (with my pass to get into the park).

Wallet in possession, I take off for the park at a high speed. 5 minutes later, I show my pass and get to the White Rock Springs parking lot. I promptly take my bag out and am getting ready to load my rope into it when I realize the only ropes I had with me were my twins for the planned climb of Dream of Wild Turkeys. Somehow in the process I spaced on bringing the most important part of the whole rig - my 10.2 mm rope that works with my Soloist. Momentarily I considered free soloing the route but quickly decided against it - I still have huge trust issues with the sandstone here after being brought up a granite climber.

Fast forward a bit in the day and I'm back, with rope, hiking in the heat to the base.

The first pitch flows pretty quickly, but dealing with the system is somewhat awkward in the sense that the longest route I had rope soloed before was a 3 pitch 5.6 I had free soloed numerous times back in Reno.

The incredible thing about the rope solo was how in the moment I was, the entire time. I guess I'll shut up and stop rambling and share a few pics and then some thoughts at the end:

Looking down what might be the third pitch? Not sure I recall
Looking down what might be the third pitch? Not sure I recall
Credit: WML

Leading the easy pitch before the tunnel
Leading the easy pitch before the tunnel
Credit: WML

Looking up into the tunnel - a very strange vantage point which is dif...
Looking up into the tunnel - a very strange vantage point which is difficult to convey via photos
Credit: WML

Looking back toward my anchor mid-tunnel
Looking back toward my anchor mid-tunnel
Credit: WML

Vanity strikes, even in the tunnel
Vanity strikes, even in the tunnel
Credit: WML

Looking back upon the tunnel from which I came
Looking back upon the tunnel from which I came
Credit: WML

Leading further up on the tunnel pitch, apres-tunnel
Leading further up on the tunnel pitch, apres-tunnel
Credit: WML

Taking in the view from the top
Taking in the view from the top
Credit: WML

A tired shot on the top-out
A tired shot on the top-out
Credit: WML


Top out pano
Top out pano
Credit: WML

Parking lot views
Parking lot views
Credit: WML

All in all, TV was a pretty mediocre route with a very cool and novel pitch in the famous Tunnel pitch. The process of rope soloing the route was quite exhausting - climbing a 700' route twice, but very fun. I loved the way that it kept me in the moment the entire time, kept me occupied, and I moved at a fairly decent rate considering my near-noon start. More water would have been a very good thing, but man having to bring a pack up seconding this bugger was a pain - especially when you are already tired!

I wish I had more to say about the actual process of climbing the route, but I just got into such a zone of climbing, reclimbing, paying attention to my rigging and the systematic fashion of progression that nearly every thought had cleared out of the grey matter between my ears. That was nice for a change.


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WML
About the Author
WML is a purveyor of 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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Some Random Guy

climber
  May 13, 2013 - 11:24pm PT
yeah!
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
  May 13, 2013 - 11:49pm PT
Nice work Weston! I wanted to do that route so bad when i was in vegas. Next time...
Prod

Trad climber
  May 14, 2013 - 05:04am PT
Cool TR. Sort of surprised that the route was empty? Last time I was there it was lined up 4 or 5 parties deep, so I climbed Sand Hole to the left of Tunnel Vision then crossed over to the start of the Tunnel and finished on that. Pretty cool link up.

Prod.
WML

climber
Edge of the Electric Ocean Beneath Red Rock
Author's Reply  May 14, 2013 - 09:00am PT
Prod, that does sound like a fun link-up. How was Sandy Hole? I was completely amazed that I had the route to myself. Part of the reason I started so late was so that if there were slow parties ahead I would likely catch up to them toward the end rather than having to be stuck behind them.

Mike, the route is good but not great. Someone of your stature might have some fun in the tunnel since I am 5'7 175 and felt quite cozy in it. When will you be able to return to climbing here at Red Rock? Fall trip?
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  May 14, 2013 - 09:01am PT
Nice job!

Tunnel Vision was empty when we went to it also. Mid-week though, I think?
hillrat

climber
f*#kedville
  May 14, 2013 - 11:34am PT
nice!
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  May 14, 2013 - 09:01pm PT
Very cool, my buddy had a hold break on that route and went for a 40 footer , breaking his patella and knee!
WML

climber
Edge of the Electric Ocean Beneath Red Rock
Author's Reply  May 15, 2013 - 08:40am PT
Thanks, guys!

Survival - I went on a Saturday and surprisingly nobody...maybe if it were miserable cold and some dudes were trying to drag their girlfriends up the route I would have ran into 10 arguing parties? Either way, the solitude was appreciated but also lead to a weird head space.

Ezra - I wouldn't doubt that for a second given some of the rock quality on that thing. Glad I didn't free solo it, as the rock quality would have sketched me out more than the moves. Bummer about your friend...I ran it out quite a bit in the interest of time and easy climbing on it but was afraid of a hold breaking or something of that nature, especially dealing with the ropes and moderate rope drag in some areas.

hillrat - thanks!
phylp

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
  May 15, 2013 - 05:16pm PT
First the pass and then the rope - great persistance!
Fun TR.
MisterE

climber
  May 15, 2013 - 05:22pm PT
Epic pre-climb morning!

:>)
WML

climber
Edge of the Electric Ocean Beneath Red Rock
Author's Reply  May 15, 2013 - 09:48pm PT
haha, thanks guys! forgetting those things and then having to focus in when i started up the climb had me questioning where my head was at, but once again, just had to focus and dial things in. Smooth is fast, smooth is safe...kept playing that over in my head.
BMcC

Trad climber
Livermore
  May 25, 2013 - 03:03pm PT
Nice!

That route is on my list for a future trip to Red Rocks.
Studly

Trad climber
WA
  May 25, 2013 - 08:50pm PT
Enjoyed this route, seemed the start might even be the crux. Nice job on the solo!
WML

climber
Edge of the Electric Ocean Beneath Red Rock
Author's Reply  May 29, 2013 - 11:08am PT
Thanks!
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  May 29, 2013 - 11:36am PT
Awesome report Weston! Can't believe I missed it earlier.

Batter upppp! ;)
Reeotch

climber
4 Corners Area
  May 29, 2013 - 11:44am PT
Real cool, WML!

You don't see too many roped free solos.

Questions: What kind of system were you using? Just tieing knots? Or, did you use a device of some kind (Grigri, Soloist, SoloAid)? And, finally, did you follow the pitches free or with jumars?
WML

climber
Edge of the Electric Ocean Beneath Red Rock
Author's Reply  Jun 4, 2013 - 06:02pm PT
Thanks V! Batter uppppppp indeed!

Reeotch, I used a Soloist, rapped my pitches and followed everything free.
portent

Social climber
your mom's house
  Apr 17, 2014 - 04:47pm PT
Bump
westhegimp

Social climber
granada hills
  Apr 18, 2014 - 04:26pm PT
Cool!!!!

Thanks


Wes
Sanskara

climber
  Apr 18, 2014 - 08:06pm PT
^^^^^^^^

Nothing left to do but smile smile smile...
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Angel Food Wall - Tunnel Vision 5.7 R - Red Rocks, Nevada USA. Click to Enlarge
Photo: Greg Barnes
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