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Black Velvet Canyon


Red Rocks, Nevada USA


Trip Report
Red Rocks: POD and JV/SS Nov 2013

by dkny
Tuesday November 12, 2013 3:42am
Had a fantastic weekend in Red Rocks climbing with Kyle Linebarger. Two highlights were Prince of Darkness (POD) and Johnny Vegas/Solar Slab (JV/SS). POD is a 6 pitch, heavily bolted sport line up the center of the steep and tall Black Velvet wall. While I’ve heard folks criticize POD for being monotonous, painful on the toes, and over bolted, I found it to be very fun and engaging with great exposure and an easy descent.

The Handren guidebook describes POD as the most popular on the Black Velvet wall. So we knew an early start would be the key to success….

Credit: dkny

Credit: dkny
Kyle gearing up at the base.

Credit: dkny
Kyle heading up P1.

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Following P2 with 4 parties at the base. Awwww yeah….

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We saw these guys while descending the route. Here, Fred from France leads P3. Notice no one at the base now at 11am… we could have slept in after all….

Credit: dkny
Starting to feel the pain in the toes…

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Kyle leading P3.

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Kyle arriving at the belay and ready to rest those feet!

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The first rap.

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We rapped using two 60m ropes. Our first two raps descended Yellow Brick road and then the final raps used the P2 and 3 anchors of the Gobbler. Here’s Kyle on the final rappel.

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Friendly couple from Wyoming and Colorado (?) goofing around on Dream of Wild Turkeys.

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After a day of cragging in the Hidden Falls and Ragged Edges areas (very fun!) we set our sights on Johnny Vegas/Solar Slab.

Credit: dkny
Walgreens is a great place to rack up. There’s free light and you can make color scanned print outs of your guidebook for 33 cents!
Credit: dkny

JV/SS is a ~14 pitch 5.7 that ascends a broad white face on the North side of Oak Creek Canyon. The route is steep, sunny, and full of solid jugs making for an enjoyable romp up ~2000 vertical feet. Once again, beating the crowds would be key to success. We got up at 3:30am and were the first ones on the route. Win!
Credit: dkny
Solar slab ascends the broad white face in the center of the photo. Johnny Vegas goes up discontinuous cracks and jugs up the lower half of the wall.

Credit: dkny
Sunrise from P1 of JV.

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Leading P2 of JV.

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Looking down the amazing crimps and jugs of P2 JV.

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Kyle linking P3/4 of JV.

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Top of JV.
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Credit: dkny
Kyle following P1/2 of SS.

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Kyle leads P2 SS

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Me belaying atop P1/2

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Starting up P3/4. More gorgeous climbing on desert patina…

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Arriving at P4 anchors.

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Starting P5/6

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Me belaying Kyle up the last technical pitch.

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The last 5.5 technical pitch with ~500’ of 4th class to the shoulder of the formation.

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Summit time!

We chose the rappel/walk-off descent through Painted Bowl which took us ~2 hours from the summit to the car through incredible scenery. Highly recommended! It also avoids the crowds and other potential rappel shenanigans if rapping the route.

Credit: dkny
Kyle follows cairns to the first rappel. It’s about a hundred feet past that bush down 4th class terrain.

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4th classing it to the first rappel.

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There are two sets of rappel anchors visible from the first rappel. Here the arrow indicates the higher of the two, the second is at the edge of the red rock behind my left hand. We believed these to be for the double rope rappels and instead followed the instructions in the Handren guidebook for the descent “with one rope”. This worked out great and we rapped to the ledge marked X.

I wonder if anyone has rapped with a single rope using the bolted anchors?

Credit: dkny
Me at the bottom of the first rappel.

Credit: dkny
Arrow pointing to the second rappel anchors at the end of the ledge.

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Rap #2.

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After the 3rd rap from a tree it’s a casual walk off through amazing terrain.

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Kyle approaching the “IBM boulder”.

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Final 20 foot butt slide on super slick rock into the wash…it’s about another hour to the car from here.

Credit: dkny
Hitching a ride. Thanks Jason!

  Trip Report Views: 753
dkny
About the Author
dkny is a trad climber from Irvine, CA.

Comments
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RyanD

climber
Squamish
  Nov 12, 2013 - 03:56am PT
Awesome, thanks! The sandstone there is just… So rad!! Mega features everywhere. Thanks for bringing us along, good beta on the walgreens photocopies.
Stewart Johnson

climber
lake forest
  Nov 12, 2013 - 10:46am PT
thanks!
Blakey

Trad climber
Sierra Vista
  Nov 12, 2013 - 11:29am PT
I/ve only managed to get to Red Rocks once, but it's a fabulous place, and Sandstone rocks!

Makes me want to go back.

Thanks,

Steve
Jek

Trad climber
Denver, CO
  Nov 12, 2013 - 12:46pm PT
Sweet trip report DK!
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Nov 12, 2013 - 01:03pm PT
RR is such a great place, with so many awesome routes.

Nice work fellas!
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Nov 12, 2013 - 06:54pm PT
Loved the descent pics off of SS, looks like quite a day!!!!!
eKat

Trad climber
  Nov 12, 2013 - 06:57pm PT
LOVE rackin' up at Walgreens!

HA!

TFPU!
caughtinside

Social climber
Oakland, CA
  Nov 12, 2013 - 07:15pm PT
Waking up before 4am? Holy smokes that is some motivation. Nice going.
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