Great Red Book 5.8 R

 
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Calico Hills


Red Rocks, Nevada USA


Trip Report
Red Rocks 101: Intro to Desert Varnish
Sunday November 20, 2011 7:07pm
Friends have told me how much they love climbing in Red Rocks, and I've wanted to go for quite a while. It's kind of a logistics headache from the bay area, but this year I managed it. Noal had been there several times before, so he pretty much had the place wired.

We drove down on Wednesday, got a site in the campground (very nice after all the renovation), and then got an early start on the loop road Thursday. The forecast was for clear, calm weather so we wanted to check out something north-facing and shady on the Angel Food Wall.

Angel Food Wall, from the trailhead
Angel Food Wall, from the trailhead
Credit: rhyang

Tunnel Vision and Group Therapy were staked out by some guides, so we decided to do Purblind Pillar (5.8) instead. I took the first pitch.

Looking down first pitch of Purblind Pillar
Looking down first pitch of Purblind Pillar
Credit: rhyang

Very nice indeed. Noal took the second pitch, which we thought was the best one on the route.

Noal on second pitch of Purblind Pillar
Noal on second pitch of Purblind Pillar
Credit: rhyang

The third pitch kind of wandered up, and Noal started up the wideness of the fourth pitch. It looks evil, but could mostly be stemmed around.

Noal on fourth pitch of Purblind Pillar
Noal on fourth pitch of Purblind Pillar
Credit: rhyang

It was a fun, though somewhat wide crack system. I had a good time climbing the knobs on start of the fifth pitch.

Looking up fifth pitch of Purblind Pillar
Looking up fifth pitch of Purblind Pillar
Credit: rhyang

We had good views of the other routes.

Tunnel Vision
Tunnel Vision
Credit: rhyang

The last pitch was a fun romp, and we were coiling the rope by noon. The descent gully was well-marked by cairns, and we were back to the car by mid-afternoon.

Friday morning dawned partly-cloudy, with a forecast of 10-15mph wind, gusts to 35mph. We decided to do something south-facing and sunny and headed for .. Windy Peak :)

Windy Peak, on the approach
Windy Peak, on the approach
Credit: rhyang

The hike up took about an hour and was well-marked by cairns. Noal started up the first pitch of Jubilant Song (5.8).

Looking up first pitch of Jubilant Song
Looking up first pitch of Jubilant Song
Credit: rhyang

My climbing muscles were warming up particularly slowly and I struggled on the roof. I managed to lead the second pitch without too much trouble though. The route description said "nice hand and finger crack with a couple of wide sections". I mainly found the wide sections :)

Looking down second pitch of Jubilant Song
Looking down second pitch of Jubilant Song
Credit: rhyang

Noal led up the easy third pitch. I took the fourth pitch traverse, which was really fun and heady.

Big roof on Jubilant Song's fourth pitch
Big roof on Jubilant Song's fourth pitch
Credit: rhyang

Part of the way across the fourth pitch traverse
Part of the way across the fourth pitch traverse
Credit: rhyang

I linked the fourth and fifth pitches and headed out right of the roof, up the brief lieback move and found shelter from the gusting wind. We both decided this was the best pitch on the route.

Noal headed up the chimney on pitch six, and then the start of the water groove.

Noal on pitch six of Jubilant Song
Noal on pitch six of Jubilant Song
Credit: rhyang

I took the seventh pitch, continuing up the water groove described as having "limited protection", which was heady but positive. We linked the eighth pitch, though I managed to get a little off-route (should have headed up the corner, oh well).

The forecast for 35mph gusts were pretty accurate, and we scrambled down off that thing with all due haste :) We got back down to the car before 4:30pm and felt like we'd had a good all-day adventure.

Saturday was forecast to be colder, so we decided to stick with something south-facing and sunny again, in the Calico Hills. Our primary goal was the Great Red Book (5.8).

Great Red Book, from the approach
Great Red Book, from the approach
Credit: rhyang

The approach took longer than we expected, but this just warmed us up. Ironically, the route was entirely in the shade when we did it.

Looking down first pitch
Looking down first pitch
Credit: rhyang

I wasn't really in the mood for a 5.9 lieback, so I just found what placements I could on the face -- the runout wasn't really that bad, by Tuolumne standards :)

Noal on second pitch
Noal on second pitch
Credit: rhyang

The second pitch was great fun !

I finished up by leading one of the 5.8 sport routes nearby. We hiked back to the car to have lunch, and on the way I marvelled at how much the crowd in the Black Corridor looked like Planet Granite on Tuesday night :)

I had never been to Las Vegas, so we decided to tour the Strip at night, and even caught a bit of the water show at the Bellagio.

It was a fun trip. A parting shot in Baker -

Yum ..
Yum ..
Credit: rhyang

  Trip Report Views: 1,837
rhyang
About the Author
rhyang is a sand climber from SJC.

Comments
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telemon01

Trad climber
Montana
  Nov 20, 2011 - 07:12pm PT
nice!!
Prod

Trad climber
  Nov 20, 2011 - 07:16pm PT
SWEET. I love all of those routes!

Prod.
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Nov 21, 2011 - 08:47am PT
Awesome Rhyang, how did you find jubilant song?
Hard for the grade or about 5.8?
Thanks!
-e
phylp

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
  Nov 21, 2011 - 10:39am PT
Welcome back rhyang. Glad you finally made it down there and had a good time. Jubilant Song is high on my list for a cooler day on my next trip. It was nice to see the pictures of that.
Studly

Trad climber
WA
  Nov 21, 2011 - 10:43am PT
Way to knock off the routes. Jubilant Song has been on my tick list for a while, looks great!
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
  Nov 21, 2011 - 01:03pm PT
Rhyang seems to have cruised it, but I think JS has a 5.9 pitch on it, with an ankle-breaking fall at the crux section if you blow it. A lovely route nonetheless, in a more remote setting than much of the RR fare.

More pictures on my TR at http://www.supertopo.com/tr/A-Week-in-Red-Rock-151-A-Photo-Essay/t371n.html, including a Google map image of the trivial descent, which we managed to screw up...

Several years ago, the roads out there were pretty bad. It is worth asking around locally before heading out with something less than a 4WD.
murcy

Gym climber
sanfrancisco
  Nov 21, 2011 - 12:43pm PT
Sweet TR. Thanks!
Zander

climber
  Nov 21, 2011 - 01:05pm PT
Looks like fun to me!
bergbryce

Trad climber
South Lake Tahoe, CA
  Nov 21, 2011 - 01:10pm PT
Jubilant Song, YES!!!
Very high on my RR tick list.
Nice job.
Prod

Trad climber
  Nov 21, 2011 - 02:38pm PT
Hey Ezra,

I Climbed J.S. a few years ago. I felt the hardest pitch was the 2nd weighing in at a honest 5.7 OW. Its 5.7 OW the whole pitch. Pitch 7 has some run out 5.8. The first move is above an old 1/4" bold, then easier ground with no pro to a red TCU and another 5.8 move. This whole pitch is avoidable with a 5.4 variation to the left.

All in all it is an easy moderate with a few 5.8 moves. Easier than Frogland in my opinion.

Prod.
Daphne

Trad climber
Northern California
  Nov 21, 2011 - 03:03pm PT
Yay Rob! Great TR, so glad you had fun. So you didn't think the campground deserved the nickname "Afghanistan"?
rhyang

climber
SJC
Author's Reply  Nov 21, 2011 - 06:55pm PT
Thanks, I'm glad you all enjoyed it :)

I have the following comments/observations regarding Jubilant Song :

 The roof traverse on pitch 4 was exciting and balancy, but not overly difficult. Watch your footwork.

 I've read that some people pull over the roof on pitch 5, which looked like too much work to me :) I just traversed out right of it after placing a #4 wild country friend and headed on up. The "tricky" 5.8 lieback move wasn't a big deal, and that's coming from someone who dislikes liebacking.

 There were no bolts except for pitch 6, at the entrance to the water chute, and it looked pretty shiny.

 The pro on pitch 7 starts out with a solid cam at your feet, maybe 0.5 to 0.75 camalot (was using my partner's rack of metolius cams, so that's a guess). Precise footwork helps in the water chute, but I did not find it all that strenuous. I think the next piece was something like a blue master cam.

But it sounds like you can completely avoid the 5.8 on pitch 7 anyway. Enjoy !

Oh, before I forget .. the campground was awful, windy, no views, noisy, etc. Book a motel room in Vegas instead ;)
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Nov 22, 2011 - 08:11am PT
Thanks for the beta Prod and Rhyang!!!
NIce pics!!
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
  Nov 22, 2011 - 02:49pm PT
I love Red Rocks. Haven't done that one next to Group Therapy. Looks good.
Sherri

Trad climber
WA
  Nov 22, 2011 - 09:16pm PT
Good job! Great pics and write-ups...love the chance to read them and relive a few of my RR faves. When we did Jubilant Song, we exited left to avoid the spooky water chute pitch. Runout slab is not my gig. :0
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Calico Hills - Great Red Book 5.8 R - Red Rocks, Nevada USA. Click to Enlarge
Photo: Greg Barnes