The trip has been a blast, it has been a year and a half since I was last here and I am never disappointed to come back to this magical place. The Red has an absurd amount of steep sandstone sport climbing and development has continued at a steady pace over the last few years. Some highlights of the trip thus far-
Kerry Scott's send of Kaleidoscope (5.13c). Kerry worked this beast over three days and finally put it down two days ago. She ended up skipping the last clip and running it to the chains for the send, she fought hard and earned it- jumping from .13a to .13c for her first of the grade.
Evan spent two days working on Spank (5.13a) before we got a day with good conditions...he warmed up and sent the route on his first try that day.
Evan and I worked on a newish route at Drive By called Thug Life (5.13d) at the end of our day on Saturday. This route is pretty rowdy. Super steep with surprisingly good holds and essentially no feet. Pockets and crimps that feel fairly atypical for the Red make this an interesting challenge. The traversing nature of the route makes the line look very impressive, deterred only slightly by a few manufactured elements of the climb.
I also got to try Super Charger (5.13d/.14a) which was absolutely amazing. A hard boulder problem start leads to a full on battle with pinches, tufas, underclings, drive by's, heel toe cams- this route is the full package. I'm hoping to be able to invest more time in this next week when I am back for a bit.
At the Dark Side, Solomon Barth sent The Return of Darth Moll (hard 5.13b or c) on his fourth try of the day. This route is stout but super good, excellent moves on amazingly sculpted pockets. The Dark Side is quite unique in its pocketed, limestone- esque nature. Evan also sent Tuskan Raider (5.12d) on his third try- a fun little romp up steep pockets to a cool mini dyno into a hueco.
Today is our last day (Tuesday 7/2) and we are heading to the Chocolate Factory to check out some of the newer routes put up in the last year or two. The number of routes here has almost tripled in the last year or so. Signing off for now.
All photos- copyright Emily Varisco.