Trip Report
My Red Rock Rendezvous with Cindi

by BMcC
Sunday May 26, 2013 11:25am
With Lovers Leap and Yosemite only a few hours away, why go all of the way to Red Rocks? Well, pretty much simply because Cindi was coming down from Alaska for the Rendezvous and needed a partner... and I was itching to climb, had not been climbing (rock) in quite a while, had a few days available between family obligations, and was certain that my prior visit to Red Rocks on a smoggy, ugly-hot afternoon in 1985 had been too short and poorly focused to show me anything about the area's potential. It was time to address my misconceptions.

I ordered up a copy of Red Rocks Climbing by Greg Barnes (nicely done!) on sale (thanks, Chris McN) to supplement my 1984 copy of The Red Rocks of Southern Nevada by Joanne Urioste. Glancing at the route descriptions and pics, I was immediately reminded of the articles I had seen over the years on various classic Red Rocks routes: Epinephrine, Dream of Wild Turkeys, Black Orpheus, ....

We set our sights much more modestly. Cindi had done almost no leading, wanted to do some, and I was reluctant to fully trust trad gear in sandstone because the sandstone I have climbed over the years in the Santa Cruz Mountains and on Mt. Diablo can be pretty soft. So we picked some very mellow routes. It had been raining some and blowing hard when I pulled into the campground on Monday the 8th of April looking for Cindi's van. Later in the day, it rained a bit more on us as we drove and hiked about checking out approaches. The wind blew hard, but no rain fell Monday night, helping (we hoped) dry and restore the rock. The guidebook(s) recommend not climbing after (heavy) rain because it makes the rock more fragile. We figured that the heavily trafficked, easier routes might be a little less weather sensitive.

Enough with the words - here are some pics.

Sunset from our campsite after a windy and sometimes rainy hiking Mond...
Sunset from our campsite after a windy and sometimes rainy hiking Monday - 4/8/13.
Credit: BMcC

With the rain, one could sense that the desert was going to bloom soon...
With the rain, one could sense that the desert was going to bloom soon like I had seen before in Death Valley and near Tucson.
Credit: BMcC

There are numerous tourist trails. Plenty of smiling tourists in the p...
There are numerous tourist trails. Plenty of smiling tourists in the parking lots, too.
Credit: BMcC

Cool 'big walls'...
Cool 'big walls'...
Credit: BMcC

... with real climbs like:
http://www.supertopo.com/tr/The-Original-Route-Rainbow-Wall-Red-Rock-Photo-TR/t11933n.html

Approaching the Cat in the Hat on Mescalito in Pine Creek Canyon.
Approaching the Cat in the Hat on Mescalito in Pine Creek Canyon.
Credit: BMcC

Some trail-side rock.
Some trail-side rock.
Credit: BMcC

The Cat in the Hat is just around the left skyline of Mescalito. We hi...
The Cat in the Hat is just around the left skyline of Mescalito. We hiked to the base of the route in the rain on the 8th and climbed it on the 9th.
Credit: BMcC

Cindi coming up to the 1st belay.
Cindi coming up to the 1st belay.
Credit: BMcC

Credit: BMcC

Cindi leading the 2nd pitch.
Cindi leading the 2nd pitch.
Credit: BMcC

Credit: BMcC

Cindi on the 4th pitch looking for her blue camalot.
Cindi on the 4th pitch looking for her blue camalot.
Credit: BMcC

Steep, featured rock. Pretty solid, too.
Steep, featured rock. Pretty solid, too.
Credit: BMcC

Almost up the last bit of the Cat in the Hat. Note our trail far below...
Almost up the last bit of the Cat in the Hat. Note our trail far below on the floor of Pine Creek Canyon.
Credit: BMcC

Nice rock. Having fun.
Nice rock. Having fun.
Credit: BMcC

Adjacent buttress.
Adjacent buttress.
Credit: BMcC

Fixed rap stations sped our descent.
Fixed rap stations sped our descent.
Credit: BMcC

Home sweet motor homes away from home - Cindi's van conversion and my ...
Home sweet motor homes away from home - Cindi's van conversion and my Honda Pilot with the back seats folded flat. It was so windy that I slept with the windows closed, happy to not be in a tent or bivy sack.

Credit: BMcC

Johnny Vegas below and the Solar Slab higher above.
Johnny Vegas below and the Solar Slab higher above.
Credit: BMcC

Several parties already on Johnny Vegas ahead of us  - with another pa...
Several parties already on Johnny Vegas ahead of us - with another party waiting behind the trees. We had to wait a few minutes to start up this route. Lots of smiles talking with the other climbers.
Credit: BMcC

Cindi taking the sharp end on the 1st pitch of Johnny Vegas.
Cindi taking the sharp end on the 1st pitch of Johnny Vegas.
Credit: BMcC

Credit: BMcC

Kind of featured.
Kind of featured.
Credit: BMcC

Cindi just over the roof on the 3rd pitch of Johnny Vegas.
Cindi just over the roof on the 3rd pitch of Johnny Vegas.
Credit: BMcC

Credit: BMcC

The Solar Slab Wall (6 more pitches of moderate climbing) abov...
The Solar Slab Wall (6 more pitches of moderate climbing) above Johnny Vegas for climbers who started much earlier than we did.

Credit: BMcC

Old rap anchors - pins hanging out. We used the nearby (out of vie...
Old rap anchors - pins hanging out. We used the nearby (out of view) bolts and chains.
Credit: BMcC

Nice morning colors.
Nice morning colors.
Credit: BMcC

Physical Graffiti follows the crack that splits the peak just left of ...
Physical Graffiti follows the crack that splits the peak just left of the center of the pic. Not in my Supertopo guidebook and much easier that its 5.9 rating in my 1984 guidebook.
Credit: BMcC

My lead. <br/>
My lead.

Credit: BMcC

Like our other routes, the rock seemed pretty solid for both climbing ...
Like our other routes, the rock seemed pretty solid for both climbing and protecting.
Credit: BMcC

Infectious enthusiasm!
Infectious enthusiasm!
Credit: BMcC

Fun corner. Cindi on the sharp end.
Fun corner. Cindi on the sharp end.
Credit: BMcC

Cindi cruising over the top.
Cindi cruising over the top.
Credit: BMcC

Our new friends Eric and Bob from Spokane. Eric &#40;farther below&#41...
Our new friends Eric and Bob from Spokane. Eric (farther below) and I had been swapping stories at the spacious 1st belay, while Cindi and Bob were climbing.
Credit: BMcC

Bob and Cindi. <br/>
Bob and Cindi.

Credit: BMcC

Having fun, yet? Heck yeah! &#40;pic courtesy of Cindi Squire with my ...
Having fun, yet? Heck yeah! (pic courtesy of Cindi Squire with my camera).
Credit: BMcC

Eric and Bob.
Eric and Bob.
Credit: BMcC

Desert flora.
Desert flora.
Credit: BMcC

The blooming from the rain had begun.
The blooming from the rain had begun.
Credit: BMcC

Credit: BMcC

Credit: BMcC

Credit: BMcC

Fauna: wild burros - $500 fine if you're caught feeding them. <br/>
Fauna: wild burros - $500 fine if you're caught feeding them.

Credit: BMcC

Other fauna.
Other fauna.
Credit: BMcC

Homeward bound - west of Brawley, driving towards the sunset before sw...
Homeward bound - west of Brawley, driving towards the sunset before swinging north - 4/11/13.

Credit: BMcC

It was great fun hanging and climbing with Cindi for a few days, and getting acquainted with Red Rocks. I'll be back.

  Trip Report Views: 1,007
BMcC
About the Author
BMcC is a trad climber from Livermore.

Comments
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socialclimber

Trad climber
CA
  May 26, 2013 - 11:56am PT
Excellent, when I was there in Feb we didn't see any burros... climbing was fun though!

Charles
BMcC

Trad climber
Livermore
Author's Reply  May 26, 2013 - 01:58pm PT
Thanks, Charles - it was quite fun to check out the rock there with the recent rain to freshen up the air and provide some floral color. Coolish temps, too. Lots of good looking routes to get after on future trips!
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  May 26, 2013 - 03:27pm PT
Very cool!
I will never feed the burros now!!!!!
Prod

Trad climber
  May 26, 2013 - 04:10pm PT
Awesome TR. I love that place.

Prod.
GhoulweJ

Trad climber
El Dorado Hills, CA
  May 26, 2013 - 05:15pm PT
Eric and Bob are 2 of the greatest there ever was.... Their wives are the other 2.

Great Tr. TFPU
tuolumne_tradster

Trad climber
Leading Edge of North American Plate
  May 26, 2013 - 07:11pm PT
Those look like fun climbs. Wish I could have been there.
BMcC

Trad climber
Livermore
Author's Reply  May 26, 2013 - 11:37pm PT
Ezra- Cindi had an interesting story for me about an in-the-dark on a narrow trail (bordered by cacti, of course) encounter with burros with attitudes. On this trip, we only heard them braying in the distance and saw this small herd one morning.

Prod - the place grew on me, too, this trip. Clean air, blooming cacti, no crowds or significant waiting to speak of. Good rock on the routes we climbed and lots of good looking routes to do on future trips.

Ghoulwej - it was fun sharing belays and talking with Eric and Bob. Eric's apparently climbed a lot at the Leap, Phantom Spires, the Valley, and about. Friendly folks.

Tradster - let's go next yr. Lots of routes to do!
Fletcher

Gym climber
A very quiet place
  May 27, 2013 - 12:27am PT
Highly enjoyable report! TPFU. One of these days, I gotta get me out there!

Eric
Ghoulwe

Trad climber
Spokane, WA
  May 27, 2013 - 08:41am PT
Great trip report Bill! Nice meeting you in Red Rocks on Physical Grafitti, great route. Sounds like we've got lots of common background and I'm surprised we haven't met earlier. We had a great time with Cindi here in Spokane a few weeks ago too.

Cheers!

Eric Barrett
Spokane WA
BMcC

Trad climber
Livermore
Author's Reply  May 27, 2013 - 10:02am PT
Ghoulwe/Eric - good fun meeting and talking with you on route at Red Rocks, and especially good that Cindi was able to connect and climb with Bob and you in Spokane.

See you out there - cheers!

Bill
BMcC

Trad climber
Livermore
Author's Reply  May 27, 2013 - 10:31am PT
Slightly off topic, but I got interested in the etymology of a couple of 'ghoulie' supertopian poster names and found it well covered in a thread several years ago. I missed it at the time (as I do with so much on supertopo), but 'ghoulie' has lots more history than I'd imagined:

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1309151

Enjoy!
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