Monday, 10 February 2014

Red Rock Canyon

From Zion National Park we headed over to the eastern edge of Las Vegas. It's about a 15 minute drive to Red Rock Canyon from where we're staying. We've been here several times before as it's one of our favourite climbing areas. So much to do and so much variety!

Day 1 - single pitch sport routes on Ultraman Wall. Long, steep, slabby, balancy, trust your feet!

Andrew rappelling from the top of one of the climbs on Ultraman.
Amazingly, even though it was Saturday and the canyon was quite busy with cars, cyclists, runner,
hikers and other climbers, we had this area to ourselves!
Love the red rock. 
Day 2 - single pitch trad routes at Willow Springs. Easy grades but good to get used to putting in gear again.

Bomber gear placement.
Andrew found a unique belay spot at the top of one climb. Not gonna get pulled off that one!
Airplane designs in the sky.
Day 3 - multi-pitch trad route called Cat in the Hat. This is a very popular route which we tried to do the first time we climbed at Red Rocks but there were so many people that it was a total gong show and we bailed off before we ended up in the middle of an accident scene.

This time we thought perhaps a weekday in "winter" and starting early would help. It did to some extent as there was only one other pair of climbers on the route. They started just ahead of us and moved a bit faster as the guy leading was quite a good and confident climber and barely put any gear in. His second was a slower climber and then slowed things further by having a conversation on her cell phone half way up the climb!

The route does deserve its popularity. Great views, mostly gets the sun, interesting rock features, a few challenging spots but really good gear placements.
Heading to Mescalito to climb Cat in the Hat.
Andrew at the top of the crack of Pitch 3.
Andrew nearing the top of the last pitch.
Love the red stripe of rock on this mountain.
Andrew and I both, at different times during the day, caught a glimpse of an animal with a ringed tail. We couldn't tell what it was for sure but when we stopped at the Visitor's Centre we found it was a ringtail cat. They are good climbers!
Day 4 - Rest! Or, as Andrew says, "Tomorrow Shelley is letting me have a rest day."  :-)

Andrew's blog post here.

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