For the past week I have been climbing in Red Rocks, Nevada enjoying the warm desert temps. The climbing here is world class and every day is a new adventure. There are so many routes here that its hard to stay focused on one route and immediately I abandoned the thought of projecting routes. Instead I focused on sending 13’s within a few tries and exploring the classic sport routes scattered around Calico Basin.
The first day in Red Rocks was spent climbing at the Gallery on the short sport routes that line the cliff. I was set on warming up on The Gift 12d which had been my first 12 back when I was 13. It was a really unique experience getting back on the route and seeing my progression through the years. I was surprised that I remembered most of the holds and topped out with a little trouble pulling over the overhang after the crux. I lowered off and quickly jumped on The Glitch 12c. The Glitch is a traversing crack line with a stopper crux in the middle. I pulled through pretty easily with out falling and lowered off.
After hanging out at the Gallery for a little longer, we headed down to the Meisters Edge. This arete was bolted ground up and is pretty stout at 11a. With a very delicate mantle half way up the arete and a potential fall onto a ledge, this proved to be a bold lead. Lowering off you get a chance to peer at the route to the right and check out a 13a called the Aspirant. The line was chalked and took a blank looking line up a arete feature halfway up the wall. The first two bolts were missing and right off the ground you have the first crux on tiny crimps to a jug where the third bolt is. We stick clipped the third bolt by swinging over from Meister’s Edge and I decided to give it a go. Right after the first crux, technical climbing leads to a huge hueco where you can lye down comfortably and get a full recovery rest. Leaving the hueco, you enter the final crux through a technical sequence up tiny crimps to a hard mantle at the top. This route proved to be a lot more fun than the guidebook suggested and well worth the effort of stick clipping the third bolt.
The next day was spent climbing at The Pier and exploring The Stratocraster Area. The highlight of the day was sending Stratocraster Direct 12b into Stratocraster 11d forming a 35m pitch of sustained climbing. The whole Stratocraster area has some of the most unique sport climbing in Red Rocks and I was quite surprised there wasn’t any another parties on the wall. The next four days were spent climbing the classic 12’s in Calico Basin and by the last day we were starting to get pretty tired. I had one main goal that I still hadn’t got on and finally I got the chance. After warming up properly on several 12’s I headed to the base of Monster Skank 13b. This route was unlike any other 13 in Red Rocks. 9 bolts of sustained endurance climbing up a slightly overhanging red wall. My first attempt I focused on working the moves and memorizing every foothold and hand hold. After 30 minutes I lowered off and rested at the base while my dad climbed some of the 11’s on the other side of the corridor. After resting for an hour I tied in and took a deep breath before starting up. I was quite intimidated by how sustained the route was, but as soon as I passed the opening finger locks I knew this was going to be my chance to send. The four bolt long crux went smoothly and I reached the half way rest in a nice hueco. From here there was still several bolts of long lockoffs through several crimps before the final jug. I shook out and started up the crimps feeling the pump gradually build. On the second to last clip I had a moment of doubt. I barely made the clip and fought through the last hard moves to the top and was very relived to clip the chains. I lowered down and got the chance to meet Mike Ward who developed a lot of sport routes all over Calico Hills and was the owner of Desert Rock Sports.
The next day my family had to head back to Reno and in a quick decision I decided to drive back with them and visit my hometown for a couple of days. On one of the rest days in Reno I had the chance to go back to The Somersett Boulders. There are still a lot of projects in the area and I started playing around on a slightly overhanging arete that I cleaned last summer. Within a few tries I was able to stick the crux and send creating Reno’s new hardest boulder problem. I am now looking forward to heading back down to Red Rocks to meet up with the CU Alpine club for another week of climbing. This time I want to focus more on some of the multi pitch routes.