Trip Report
Spring Sessions - Red Rock & Joshua Tree - Photo Intensive TR

by W.L.
Monday May 5, 2014 10:59am
Spring is in the air in the desert, and aside from my allergies kicking up to full force, that also means it is one of the best times of the year to climb - aside from all the time.

The Soundtrack:



Red Rock has some fantastic single pitch crack routes. While they aren't concentrated, they are certainly worth seeking out, and even sometimes have other fun routes accompanying them in the same area.

Gin Ricky is one such route. It is a 180' masterpiece FA'd by Harrison, Crawford, Van Betten, and Obenheim that has a little bit of everything, but the meat of the route is fingers.

City and desert coexist <br/>
Depending on the things you're wearing <br/>
City and desert coexist
Depending on the things you're wearing

Credit: W.L.

Credit: W.L.

But don't take my word for it - T-Pain agreed while following.

T-Pain enjoying fantastic jams
T-Pain enjoying fantastic jams
Credit: W.L.

T-Pain following
T-Pain following
Credit: W.L.

Rappa Ternt Sanga throwin' up the horns, stoked!!!
Rappa Ternt Sanga throwin' up the horns, stoked!!!
Credit: W.L.

The glassy right hand wall on this route begins very well featured, then the features go away and the gloss remaining is as slick as any glacial polish I have encountered in The Meadows or The Valley. This resulted in that familiar, pucker-inducing squeak that results from too much trust in your feet and the friction coefficient not being in your favor.

After a run up Gin Ricky, it was over to the Romper Room for T-Pain to get his lead on. T-Pain took the lead and cruised the super fun namesake route for the wall.

T-Pain romping up Romper Room
T-Pain romping up Romper Room
Credit: W.L.

Glory all around!
Glory all around!
Credit: W.L.

A quick lap on that and it was time for our afternoon session to end. The next day was supposed to be the main event of the weekend - KH, MC, and I were to climb Adventure Punks, a route which had been on my list for a very long time.

While the crux of the route is the final pitch, the psychological crux of the route is undoubtedly the first pitch, with tenuous moves, ornamental protection down low, and a very bad landing. The plan was to have KH lead the psychological crux 1st pitch and 2nd pitch, MC to lead the aesthetic and crack intensive P3 & P4, and for me to get the final technical crux.

Track 2



KH keeping his cool on P1
KH keeping his cool on P1
Credit: W.L.

MC following P1
MC following P1
Credit: W.L.

MC following P2
MC following P2
Credit: W.L.

MC leading P3 - the glorious finger crack.  An awesome OS by MC
MC leading P3 - the glorious finger crack. An awesome OS by MC
Credit: W.L.

KH following P3 - yes, it climbs as good as it looks
KH following P3 - yes, it climbs as good as it looks
Credit: W.L.

No pics of P4 unfortunately, but it is very stout for 10b and was a great lead by MC. The whole time we were climbing, P5 both literally and metaphorically loomed over my head. From the approach you can see the gaping maw of the fifth and final pitch of Adventure Punks. I looked up and my inner dialogue started going at mach speed about how I couldn't do it. This inner chatter kept nagging me and nipping at my heels while following the other four pitches. After I followed the final pitch and started psyching up for my lead, I was also planning to skip the retro-bolts on the pitch as well. I brought the big gear, and the mental image of Richard Harrison on the FA making due with significantly less and just running it out stood out to me. I normally wear a helmet while leading and in this instance, some internet beta had suggested to not bother with one on this pitch. A wise suggestion. In addition to this, some other internet beta has suggested that this pitch is one of those wide pitches where you can bump a cam the whole way and be, for all intents and purposes, on top rope. I had 2 #6's leading this pitch and that is not the case. And the final resting place for the second one is in absolute junk rock. I say this in case someone else who is not that bold (such as myself) is seeking out beta. Be prepared to run the rope on 10d.

Armed with all the wide gear I could muster up.  #Murica on my dome, t...
Armed with all the wide gear I could muster up. #Murica on my dome, the usual under-helmet-attire.
Credit: W.L.

Me leading P5 - not clipping the BS retro bolts
Me leading P5 - not clipping the BS retro bolts
Credit: W.L.

Gucci airbag just in case we crash
Gucci airbag just in case we crash
Credit: W.L.

Now for the spraydown - the crux moves are transitioning out of the wide as a squeeze chimney closes down on you. Stemming well above gear in very bad rock. At least that is what it was and how it felt for me, YMMV. This was one of the most memorable leads I have ever had due to the committing nature of the climbing and the fact that I was able to overcome myself.

On the way up the crew was laughing hard at the belays, singing all sorts of songs ("Short people ain't got...") and cracking jokes. Climbing a 5 pitch sustained 5.10 route with a party of 3 takes some time. My wimpering and hesitation on the final pitch cost us a serious chunk of time, and we only had one headlamp among the three of us. After MC and KH seconded the final pitch, we had to get down - and fast. 3 of the 5 rappels wound up being done in the quasi-dark, and we had a long hike out of Pine Creek Canyon ahead of us. Fortunately, my cell phone was in a bag at the base so I got to make due with the "brightest flashlight ever" app - one I had contemplated deleting a myriad of times. Needless to say my unexpectedly late arrival home that night landed me in the doghouse with my girlfriend...first time I had needed a headlamp in Red Rock since my night climb last July. Adventure Punks was, indeed, an adventure, and definitely a memorable day in the hills.

The following week I took a trip to Indian Creek, and a few weeks later had plotted going to Zion to take down one of my big route goals for the year. Weather did not permit this, or much else, so it was on to Plan F - Joshua Tree



Heavy winds were expected, and in spite of an early arrival, all campgrounds were in fact full. Normally bandit camping is cool with me, but when the winds in the park were significantly less than in the lands of bandito camping? Not stoked!!!

We hopped on two routes that night. First up was Hobbit Roof:

Yours truly &#40;a hobbit-like creature I would guess&#41;, leading th...
Yours truly (a hobbit-like creature I would guess), leading the Hobbit Roof
Credit: W.L.

Blue skies and quartz monzonite, yeah!
Blue skies and quartz monzonite, yeah!
Credit: W.L.

Next up was the dastardly death route of all moderates, dun dun dun.....Double Cross!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Having never been on it before, and having trained extensively for it, I was shaking in my little space boots before takin' off on this bad boy

NO PRO!!!! FERSHERGONNADIE!!!!! #DeathRoute #BringBackTheBolts #OhTheH...
NO PRO!!!! FERSHERGONNADIE!!!!! #DeathRoute #BringBackTheBolts #OhTheHorror #Lulz #Spray
Credit: W.L.

That was it for us our first day in Joshua Tree. We ate dinner in town and then went out to the Bandito Zone, where not much sleep was had. The wind was battering our tent and eventually rain as well. I feel that this sapped the motivation for the rest of the trip, which truly was a bummer. T-Pain and I eventually found a campsite in Hidden Valley CG and set up shop. The stoke from this got me pumped to try one of the routes I've always wanted to try in Josh - More Monkey Than Funky.

The result? Solid beatdown and even more respect than I already had for JB (RIP). The thought of him soloing that thing and making it look as casual as it looked in the videos I have seen is mind blowing.

More Monkey Than Funky climbs the easy slab to a horizontal &#40;15'&#...
More Monkey Than Funky climbs the easy slab to a horizontal (15') hand crack through a roof, which becomes ringlocks at the lip where the crux begins. Sustained and short, this thing is no joke for a punter like me
Credit: W.L.

Starting out - hero handjams
Starting out - hero handjams
Credit: W.L.

Under the roof? Pretty casual.  Above? Strictly business.
Under the roof? Pretty casual. Above? Strictly business.
Credit: W.L.

Me attempting to throw a heel hook - mistake.  Flail to float, right?
Me attempting to throw a heel hook - mistake. Flail to float, right?
Credit: W.L.

T-Pain Following
T-Pain Following
Credit: W.L.


The beatdown received on More Monkey was taxing, so off to easier streets for us. Travis was up to lead Buissinier next...a super fun moderate route

White stone, blue sky, yeah!
White stone, blue sky, yeah!
Credit: W.L.

T-Pain getting his cruise on
T-Pain getting his cruise on
Credit: W.L.

That's the end of the pics of climbing from that J-Tree trip, the next day we got in a few quick pitches (White Lightning and Poodles Are People Too), then back to Vegas for us.

Credit: W.L.

Credit: W.L.

Credit: W.L.

Credit: W.L.


Track 3 - TURN DOWN FOR WHAT


Sour Mash was the plan, but other parties and high winds limited our options. Instead we had to settle for another pair of shorter low 5.10 cruise, damnit!

Overhanging Hangover was first on the menu...

Credit: W.L.

Credit: W.L.

After leading the first pitch I looked up with excitement at the roof and the hallmark traverse of this route. The route goes up the corner system to the right and then to the roof and goes out of the angular portion jutting out to the right, traversing with nothing but 200' of air beneath your feet (on improbable edges) to a hanging belay. The first pitch is engaging, technical for the grade, and really really fun.

Credit: W.L.

What's a good trip report without a #SELFIE mid-lead
What's a good trip report without a #SELFIE mid-lead
Credit: W.L.

View back to the belay from #SELFIE land
View back to the belay from #SELFIE land
Credit: W.L.

This pitch, in my humble opinion, is one of the finest easy 5.10 pitches in Red Rock. The position is unforgettable and the movement exquisite. #SORADBRAH #STOKEOFFHARDBRAH #HASHTAG #TURNDOWNFORWHAT

T-Pain gets stoked right out of the gate on this one, and ze stoke does not stop !!!!

T-Pain, P2 of Overhanging Hangover
T-Pain, P2 of Overhanging Hangover
Credit: W.L.

Credit: W.L.

Credit: W.L.

T-Pain stoked and feelin the breeze.  About to make the airy traverse....
T-Pain stoked and feelin the breeze. About to make the airy traverse. So cool!
Credit: W.L.

The station for P2 of this route puts you in one of the more uncomfortable hanging belays I have had, and then you get a 200' free hanging rappel, in high winds yesterday, so that was awesome

Rapper with guns!
Rapper with guns!
Credit: W.L.

The Gobbler is another Black Velvet classic, offering three pitches of mega-quality climbing and tremendous variety (only one of the three pitches is high-step-and-crimp-land).

P1 of The Gobbler goes very fast
P1 of The Gobbler goes very fast
Credit: W.L.

Credit: W.L.

P1 goes fast, really cool bolt protected climbing. No need for the rack on this pitch (doh!). We flew up it and were on to P2...

A party &#40;or two&#41; on top of Our Father, which also serves as th...
A party (or two) on top of Our Father, which also serves as the Wholesome Fullback rappel route.
Credit: W.L.

P2 starts off with hero fingers and hands to some cool movement in a c...
P2 starts off with hero fingers and hands to some cool movement in a corner
Credit: W.L.

so fun! W.L. leading
so fun! W.L. leading
Credit: W.L.

A fun and interesting chimney section leads you to more glory in a corner, then a ledge with an anchor

Credit: W.L.

T-Pain followed this pitch quickly and so far we were flying up the route. This changed quickly.

I launched off on the third pitch lead and came to a fork in the road. Figuring that I'm climbing a 5.10- route, I should probably follow the easier-looking of the two bolt lines. In the words of Borat, "Not so muuuch!" - After the fact I would learn I wandered on to an 11d route. Whoops.

I follow the right-hand of the two bolt lines and things start feeling harder than .10a, a lot harder. I keep making moves and climbing for a ways, keeping iin the back of my head some beta from the internetz saying that the third pitch was quite stout. Eventually I see that there is an anchor in space a ways above me, and I knew that this route ends on a ledge. Whoops. I traverse 20' or so to the left, sketchily, and regain the proper line, which feels easy except for the whole rope drag thing. This whole exercise in poor route finding skillz cost us some serious time. After making the anchors I was pretty stoked, especially after a few fictional pieces of gear like a #3 BD micro-stopper between two plates of varnish. Trad is rad!

T-Pain following:

T-Pain in a sea of featured sandstone
T-Pain in a sea of featured sandstone
Credit: W.L.

P3 The Gobbler
P3 The Gobbler
Credit: W.L.

T-Pain following P3
T-Pain following P3
Credit: W.L.

Following this we had an uneventful rappel and boogied on outta BV Canyon and went back to our respective homes.


I hope everyone enjoyed reading this TR and gets stoked! Summertime is right around the corner and I'm fired up for lots of fun climbing then as well.

  Trip Report Views: 1,838
W.L.
About the Author
W.L. is a climber from Loxahatchee, FL who now resides in the desert.

Comments
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Comment on this Trip Report
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Old West Crackramento
  May 5, 2014 - 12:43pm PT
Yeah, boieeee!!!
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
  May 5, 2014 - 01:09pm PT
Sweet!
TFPU
RyanD

climber
Squamish
  May 5, 2014 - 01:34pm PT
Great stuff, I always thought adventure punks sounded awesome, great to see some pics & a firsthand account.

Thanks for the shot of buissinier as well, I always thought that route was the bong until I soloed it one morning after breakfast. I was like 5.4?!?! Uuuuhhhhhhhhhhh...,,,,,when I found the real bong later on I was laughing my head off. Never knew the actual name until now.
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  May 5, 2014 - 06:36pm PT
#nice to have you back,
GNAR!!!!
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Old West Crackramento
  May 5, 2014 - 07:31pm PT
Huh. Not much comment to a quality TR. I guess it isn't the favored form of limp dick bitchfest that epitomizes the site, lol!
overwatch

climber
  May 5, 2014 - 08:11pm PT
I know this isn't as well thought out as yeah boooiiee but thanks for the report.
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Old West Crackramento
  May 5, 2014 - 08:27pm PT
Thanks for your input, limp dicks!
johntp

Trad climber
socal
  May 5, 2014 - 08:42pm PT
Damn dood! You keep posting up climbing TRs on this political forum you will be banned again. Even dawgs eventually learn to not crap on the rug.
drljefe

climber
El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
  May 5, 2014 - 08:47pm PT
Nice work!
I'm liking Animal's music choices more than Kermit's.
thebravecowboy

climber
just banana-jam it
  May 5, 2014 - 09:16pm PT
woohoo! nice work!
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Relic MilkEye and grandpoobah of HBRKRNH
  May 5, 2014 - 10:17pm PT
Welcome ba-ack,, yur dreams were yur ticket out~~~;-)
W.L.

climber
Edge of the Electric Ocean Beneath Red Rock
Author's Reply  May 6, 2014 - 01:51am PT
Hawk - Ratio is way out of wack for sure!!!!

Ryan - Which bong you talkin' bout? ;-) That had to be an amusing solo vs. what you were anticipating

drjefe - ask anyone who has ever been on a road trip when my iPod plays...very diverse taste in music here. Certain things fit certain experiences better, naw'mean?

Thanks for reading everyone, I put a lot of effort into this thing.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  May 6, 2014 - 02:30am PT
Your psyche is contagious! Hope you can get your original account back
kaholatingtong

Trad climber
Marcus McCoy from Nevada City
  May 6, 2014 - 02:52am PT
W.L eh? ditched the M and upgraded your TRs, it seems. this one is epic, and i always quite enjoy the variety of sensory input provided by your Trs, cheers.
W.L.

climber
Edge of the Electric Ocean Beneath Red Rock
Author's Reply  May 6, 2014 - 11:14am PT
Thanks!
mhay

climber
Bishop, CA
  May 6, 2014 - 11:33am PT
Keep gettin' after it!
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
  May 6, 2014 - 12:19pm PT
W.L. - take the red pill, and you'll finish on your .10- lead. Take the blue pill, and you'll gain immortal cred by battling up .11d...

A friend gave More Monkey a go recently - he got hammered trying to move past the lip as well. Strong bastard, him, and the grade is within his range. But not to be.

Semi off topic, but I believe you've been in Vegas for a while now. Climbing aside, how do you like living there?
Rockin' Gal

Trad climber
Boulder
  May 6, 2014 - 02:04pm PT
I enjoyed your Entertaining, Ebullient and Enthusiastic TR. It made sitting at my desk eating my lunch much more Enjoyable.
W.L.

climber
Edge of the Electric Ocean Beneath Red Rock
Author's Reply  May 7, 2014 - 12:33pm PT
mhay - thanks!

le_bruce: Vegas is Vegas. I've been back here for a year now, lived in Reno the previous 8 and Vegas the 4 prior to that, so it is my second tour of duty here so-to-speak. I live in Summerlin right near the Albertson's near the campground - and I wouldn't live anywhere else in this city. I work from home so I avoid most of the traffic unless I am out meeting with clients, and the traffic here compared to other big cities is nominal. The summer gets hot and travel is key during those months, mostly for sanity, not necessarily for climbing. What else do you want to know?

As far as the climbing is concerned, the local climbing community is vibrant and full of great folks. You can climb year-round in Red Rock or flee up to Charleston to crank on limestone, and having Zion, J-Tree, Tahquitz, The Eastside, Tuolumne, and Arizona within weekend distance doesn't suck and provides options year-round.

Rockin' Gal - Glad you enjoyed! You also accomplished a feat, you made me google "Ebullient" - good word!
skcreidc

Social climber
SD, CA
  May 7, 2014 - 01:05pm PT
Cruzing the classics at J-tree and having some fun at Red Rocks! Great stuff. Anybody who likes the muppets can't be all bad. Musically, you could throw the old guys a bone or two. You know, throw up some Lawrence Welk.
thekidcormier

Gym climber
squamish, b.c.
  May 7, 2014 - 02:10pm PT
Good stuff eh.

I'd be stoked to check out the zones some day.

W.L.

climber
Edge of the Electric Ocean Beneath Red Rock
Author's Reply  May 7, 2014 - 04:34pm PT
skcreidic - Thanks! Can't knock the hilarity of the Muppets...

RE: the music aspect, sometimes I feel like Donkey Kong in this intro to the classic '94 video game when I put music into my TR's:


kidcormier - dude, definitely pay Red Rock a visit. J Tree, IMO, gets an A for the hang but a B for the climbing, whereas Red Rock gets a B- for the hang (if yer knott local/staying in some hilarious hotel) and an A for the climbing. Lots of it, and lots of good stuff. Still would rather have Zion or the Valley in my backyard, but hell, beggars can't be choosers.
phylp

Trad climber
Upland, CA
  May 8, 2014 - 01:01pm PT
Very nice TR as usual.
They are so much more work than people who've never done one realize.
Thanks and welcome back.
W.L.

climber
Edge of the Electric Ocean Beneath Red Rock
Author's Reply  May 21, 2014 - 05:48pm PT
phylyp - Thanks!!!


Also....


TURN DOWN FOR WHAT!
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
  May 21, 2014 - 05:55pm PT
Picture intensive indeed! Great tr....thanks for sharing. I have got to get on Adventure Punks.
skcreidc

Social climber
SD, CA
  May 21, 2014 - 06:52pm PT
Bump for a CRACK INTENSIVE TR. (and 'cause i need to de-ToX from the other threads i been reading).
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