After many many years of walking into Black Velvet Canyon and staring at the magnificent stretch of rock to the left of the "Prince of Darkness", I finally had the opportunity and the partner to give the route "Rock Warrior" a try. This route links a beautiful series of natural features with just enough bolts to show the way and keep things relatively safe but still interesting. Just 30 feet to the right, "The Prince" is a seven pitch clip up which makes for an interesting juxtaposition in style and boldness.
I led the even pitches and my great partner led the odds. I think the odds are a little scarier but it's always hard to say when on a top rope. I always start thinking how scared I would be "if" I were leading the pitch. When on lead I guess I think things through a little more carefully and try not to climb into a pickle.
This route has great climbing and links beautiful cracks and natural features and has interesting climbing that seems more varied than the endless edge pulling on "The Prince of Darkness".
A good rack would include lots of small and medium stoppers and single cams from a green C3 to a .75 C4.
Nothing too scary but I probably wouldn't want to lead every pitch. It was nice to swap leads and just enjoy the exposure and movement without always thinking so much.
This wall is so wonderful and goes unbroken by ledges for pitch after pitch. The exposure is great and makes you feel like you are on a more committing and serious route.
Rock Warrior was so fun we decided to go back in the next day and give "Fiddler on the Roof" a try. Many people call this the best route on the wall and there is a famous pitch that traverses the lip of a massive roof. Rumors abound about climbers falling on the traverse and swinging out over the roof and having to prussik back to solid ground.
The climbing proved to be fantastic and the roof traverse was spectacular! The pitch above the roof involved some of the best face climbing and varnish that I have yet seen in Red Rocks.
Unfortunately the belay before the traverse doesn't have a good view of the roof so it's impossible to get a good photo that shows the wonderful climbing and exposure.
What a fantastic place to be.