Levitation 29 5.11c

  • Currently 5.0/5

Eagle Wall

Red Rocks, Nevada USA

Trip Report
Red Rock pt 3: Levitation 29 (III 5.11c)
Friday April 18, 2014 9:08pm
When Lisa and I got back to the car after climbing Inti Watana To Resolution Arete I was psyched we didn't have to ever use headlamps. When I checked my phone and read a text message from Mark, I got even more excited:

“F**k it! We are doing Levi29 tomorrow. So hopefully you aren’t too worked.”

Well, aside from doing a Grade V route on 6th consecutive day of climbing, I feel great! Some active rest, wouldn’t hurt though. Mark and I settled on climbing Unimpeachable Groping (6 pitch 5.10+) on day 7 and saving Levitation 29 (III 5.11c) for the 8th day. On the way back to the Bay Area I was really excited that my body handled eight consecutive days of climbing. However, those who have heard of Henri Barber’s climbing habits will smirk. If you have not, I would strongly suggest to listen!

Eagle Wall - Levitation 29 goes up the middle of this beast
Eagle Wall - Levitation 29 goes up the middle of this beast
Credit: Vitaliy M.

Visit on blogspot.com

Mark likes to play around with rocks

Visit on blogspot.com

Me posing on the approach

Visit on blogspot.com

Climbing on Unimpeachable Groping was some SERIOUS FUN

Aside from screwing up the approach to Unimpeachable Groping and finding a three man party on the route with another party at the base, the day went great. Party in line decided to climb something else, and we took our time climbing the route on a windy day. Weather in Red Rock have been fairly ‘alpine’ for the whole duration of our trip. Cloud cover and winds made cragging feel a little less enjoyable. Poor man’s Patagonia indeed.

Not much to say about Unimpeachable Groping. It was steep, clean and had cool climbing. Kind of the usual, I loved it. Mark however, wasn't impressed. He was impressed by Levitation 29 though! Since he sprained his ankle on the descent from Epinephrine he didn't get to climb much for majority of our trip. I been climbing my ass off every day, so we decided he will take the evens, which included the 5.11c crux of Levi 29. I would be lying if I didn't admit Levitation 29 was really intimidating to me. 5.11c face climbing. Jesus, I usually suck on 5.11 face in the gym. Crimps are probably my biggest weakness and I sport climb as much as I get laid. Since Mark is stronger at face climbing it was logical for him to take the crux pitch anyway. But at least I had a better excuse for not fighting hard to take that lead.

Visit on blogspot.com

Mark leading pitch 1 of Levitation 29

Visit on blogspot.com

Another look at Mt. Wilson

Visit on blogspot.com

'Snail eye' before leading pitch 2 (5.11) on Levi 29

We started the approach early and got it done in exactly two hours. We took the low 5th class direct option which seemed fairly easy to follow, but not very direct. There was no scary scrambling on it. Top third of this approach was like walking up a never ending Half Dome. Steep slabs for eternity. As Mark racked up for pitch one another party showed up and got in line behind us. “Great,” I thought, an audience to see me flail like a rag doll. I told them that if they were mega crushers who would be slowed down by a few dudes who want to ‘get up’ the route, they could pass right ahead. They said they weren't in a rush and made a great first impression, which was strengthened by continuous positive communication we had through the day. At times having another party on a route is a nuisance, but these guys only brought joy to my day.

Visit on blogspot.com

Mark on the approach with Mt. Wilson behind him

Visit on blogspot.com

Mark following pitch 2

Visit on blogspot.com

Party behind us on pitch 2

Visit on blogspot.com

Mark leading the crux - pitch 5

Mark led the first pitch not without huffing and puffing. Even though ‘just’ a 5.10b, this pitch was more interesting than any of the 5.10 pitches we have done on the trip. Next pitch was a 5.11 roof which is supposedly another crux of the route. It seemed giant and I was intimidated. The lead started out well but than I got hit with some insecure stemming and was forced to slow down. After figuring it out I continued up on cool edges, used a two finger pocket to get under a wild roof and than it took me a long time to commit to some action there. After a few false starts I tried to do something I had not much faith in and almost took a fall. Even though falling here would be like falling on top rope, I really wanted to do the moves clean. I was barely able to down-climb back to my stance likely with help from a tight belay provided by my patient partner. After a bit more thinking I figured out a completely different way of putting the moves together. The moves actually went smooth and I got the pitch clean! Mark ran up the next pitch – a fun 5.8, and I took pitch four (5.10b).

Visit on blogspot.com

Mark following pitch 6

Visit on blogspot.com

Guys behind us having a blast

Visit on blogspot.com

Original bolt on route

Visit on blogspot.com

Another view of Mt. Wilson and the descent canyon

After we got done with the first four pitches, the crux was staring us in the eyes. We heard a lot about it, but seeing it in person was a different experience. Thin face climbing to a short section of fist jams through a roof than crimpy face climbing to the anchor. The pitch was so tightly bolted that I don’t think there would be much difference in a length of fall between leader and a follower. : ) However, locking off and clipping the draws/rope into the bolts makes it a different game. Mark did really well but messed up the sequence through the roof. I had a desperate time but followed the pitch clean. It took a lot out of me and I was pumped out of my mind. While leading the sixth (5.10d) pitch I thought I was gonna go for a ride mid way up when my footwork and fatigue from following pitch five put me in a difficult situation. I was really proud of my ability to block off fear of falling, concentrate on pulling hard, making the moves to work my way out of shitty situation and succeed. Mark led the 7th pitch (5.11a) and we were done with the hard climbing. Both of us thought the 6th and 7th pitches were quality pitches with difficult climbing. Some people recommend rapelling after pitch five, but we don't understand why. Last two pitches are 5.8 and 5.9 and we were not sure if we could rappel after those so we rapelled after pitch seven. I was fairly happy with my performance on the route – no falls, no hangs. Since I am a mountaineer at heart, the only regret I have was for not going to the top of the formation, which I am sure will happen at some point in the future. I enjoyed the route very much and the whole outing to Red Rock kicked ass. The climbing style was completely different than what I am used to in CA, which was enjoyable and challenged in the same time. Can’t wait to go back and climb in Red Rock some more!

All three reports about climbs I did in Red Rock could be found here:
Part 1: http://vividrea1ity.blogspot.com/2014/04/red-rock-pt-1-epinephrine.html
Part 2: http://vividrea1ity.blogspot.com/2014/04/mt-wilson-inti-watana-to-resolution.html
Part 3: http://vividrea1ity.blogspot.com/2014/04/red-rock-pt-3-levitation-29-iii-511c.html

  Trip Report Views: 5,033
Vitaliy M.
About the Author
Vitaliy M. is annoying gym climber from San Francisco.


  Apr 18, 2014 - 09:28pm PT
Good Job V!

Can't wait to go back & finish this one. We got rained off at the top of pitch 2 :-(......

Social climber
Ridgway, CO
  Apr 19, 2014 - 12:20am PT

Really excellent photos Vitaly! The bolt shot is quite exqusite . . . capturing the patina of rock and steel.

Inspiring, as are all of your TR's.

Trad climber
Erik O. Auburn, CA
  Apr 18, 2014 - 11:25pm PT
Thank you for posting another great report!

  Apr 19, 2014 - 10:44pm PT
Thanks for more climbing stoke and on quality stone at that..

I'll read this later when I go to bed and give it another bump..

Front page TR's f*#k yeah!

Social climber
Joshua Tree
  Apr 19, 2014 - 12:47am PT
Nice one dude. I always tell people heading up there, it ain't the crux pitch you need to worry about, it's the first pitch. Slick varnish, not straightforward, and less than perfect protection all before you're warmed up (well, you're plenty warm from those f#$%^ slabs on the approach, but not climbing-warm)...get through that one and the rest is just bitchin' pullin.

Social climber
boulder co
  Apr 19, 2014 - 09:29am PT
Nice TR! TFPU, red rocks is awesome, your tr's are getting me stoked to go back.

Trad climber
Salt Lake City, UT
  Apr 19, 2014 - 10:17am PT
Hey that's my buddy Rob who was climbing behind you guys.

"I sport climb as much as I get laid." Maybe you should sport climb more Vit.
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Apr 19, 2014 - 10:12am PT
Another great Tr, thanks V!!!!!

Big Wall climber
santa cruz, ca
  Apr 19, 2014 - 07:43pm PT
Killing it!

  Apr 19, 2014 - 08:56pm PT
Nice! Great TR and great attitude!

Thanks and keep them coming.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
  Apr 19, 2014 - 09:39pm PT
Nice, V Haven't done any of the hard long routes at red rocks but hopefully some day. Was there a lot of trad gear placed on the route or mostly bolts?
handsome B

Gym climber
  Apr 19, 2014 - 09:58pm PT
Nice one. The walk-off is a phenomenal journey down red-swirled sandstone chutes, highly recommended.

Social climber
Southern Arizona
  Apr 19, 2014 - 10:26pm PT
Totally envious. TFPU, V. Nice write-up.

Trad climber
  Apr 20, 2014 - 01:15am PT
Great report and you seem to have had a great trip
craig morris

Trad climber
  Apr 20, 2014 - 12:07pm PT
thanks for the reports. great photos.

Bishop, CA
  Apr 20, 2014 - 12:42pm PT
8 consecutive days including some big routes is proud! TFPU
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Author's Reply  Apr 21, 2014 - 12:32pm PT
Was there a lot of trad gear placed on the route or mostly bolts?

It was a mix, but mostly bolted.

What's next on your Vegas hard route tic list? Drifting...Cloud Tower??

Cloud Tower would be super awesome. The Warrior would be great. Aside from that whatever seems fun. Link up of Texas holdem to that other route above would be kickass. So many climbs so little time, and I never been to Zion!

Social climber
Oakland, CA
  Apr 21, 2014 - 01:30pm PT
Nice going, that's big for day 8. Don't know why people say to rap early though, the top pitches are really good, and easy to descend with a 70m.

Mountain View, CA
  Apr 21, 2014 - 02:24pm PT
great write-up, thanks for the stoke!

Big Wall climber
  Apr 21, 2014 - 03:09pm PT
Awesome. Did this in 95 - brought back soem amazing memories. One of the best routes I've ever climbed in The USA.

Eagle Wall - Levitation 29 5.11c - Red Rocks, Nevada USA. Click to Enlarge
Photo: Greg Barnes
Other Routes on Eagle Wall
Eagle Wall - Eagle Dance 5.10c A0 - Red Rocks, Nevada USA. Click for details.
Eagle Dance, 5.10c A0
Eagle Wall
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

With new bolts, Eagle Dance is destined to become a classic.
Eagle Wall - Ringtail 5.10d - Red Rocks, Nevada USA. Click for details.
Ringtail, 5.10d
Eagle Wall
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5