We arrived at Red Rock on Wednesday around noon and immediately set off for the route “Orange Clonus”, 5.10d, near the Brass Wall in Pine Creek Canyon
“Orange Clonus” climbs up from lower left of center to access the beautiful overhanging tight hands splitter in the middle of the photo
There's that splitter I mentioned. It started out as fingers (not seen) and went into overhanging thin hands for the crux before passing the small roof. I got worked on this pitch (fifth pitch) but it was worth it.
Chris got a nice photo of me going into the crux before I whipped. Thanks Chris!
The first pitch of “Orange Clonus” is rated 5.10d and follows the bolts to start and then up the corner. It felt like solid 11-.
Allison follows the upper part of the first pitch. Very cool varnished rock.
Josh and George were across the canyon on “Saucerful of Secrets”, 5.11d. This is Josh on the crux pitch.
Another shot of Josh, upper right, on the money pitch of “Saucerful of Secrets”
Meanwhile, back on Orange Clonus, I'm looking up the money pitch of the route--this beautiful splitter
Thar she blows
Allison following the finger crack below the crux pitch
Looking across Pine Creek Canyon at Juniper Peak and, beyond that, Rainbow Wall.
Looking down from the top of the crux pitch
We had to do a few short raps and some downclimbing to get into the Beer and Ice Gully and back to our packs
This rappel was wild...we had to squeeze between the tree and the chockstone to get into the free hanging rappel
George and Josh heading out after a successful first afternoon
We rendezvoused with Chris and Rose at the Bonnie Springs Motel for our lodging for the week. Time to hit the guidebooks and plan tomorrow's climbs. Our schedule was: Wake up at 5am, out the door by 6am, climb all day, go to the motel to shower, go get dinner somewhere in West Las Vegas, go to bed at 8:30pm. Repeat. It was perfect.
Thursday was super windy and we went to Black Velvet Canyon. George and Josh raced off to climb Epinephrine. Allison and I had hoped to climb Triassic Sands but it was on a buttress fully exposed to the wild wind so we opted for this beautiful line, ”Wholesome Fullback“, 5.10a. The first pitch is a long one, 165', and starts with this beautiful finger crack up a clean face which leads to the even more beautiful hand crack to roof to hand crack above. Pretty amazing.
I didn't take my camera up Wholesome Fullback so no photos but rest assured, it ruled. It was only two pitches and three single rope raps but that was perfect considering the jet-like winds
After Wholesome Fullback we crossed the canyon to Burlpa Buttress to seek the sun and escape the wind. We didn't find the sun but the wind was less over there.
We got on the first two pitches of “Arrow Place”, a fun 5.9 corner climb. Apparently the route goes for more pitches above the first two but it gets easier and the rock shittier. Here, Allison follows the first pitch, 5.9.
Based on the rope, you can tell it was still windy
Nice stemming, Fritz
Allison on the second pitch, 5.8
Really cool rock reminiscent of Dark Shadows over in Pine Creek Canyon
Hey pretty (cold) lady. After a windy morning we opted to go do some sport climbing at The Pier at Sandstone Quarry. On our way in we saw this modeling action. We were wearing down jackets and she was wearing that...
At the Pier we went straight to this cool looking 5.11a line, “Under the Boardwalk”. It was pretty rad. We climbed three routes here and called it a day.
The next morning we ran into Roger and Mark and hiked into the Brownstone Wall (1.5 hour approach) with them so we could climb “The Nightcrawler”, 5.10c, while they climbed “Armatron”, 5.9. It was the first time to Brownstone Wall for all of us.
We were treated to some amazing morning glory on Rainbow Mountain
And not to leave out Mescalito!
Some slabby approch action to The Brownstone Wall. The approach was suprisingly straightforward despite the tough reputation.
There's that corner I was talking about. It's four pitches to the top of the pillar with the third and fourth pitches being 5.10c money pitches up a beautiful varnished corner. Lots of technical stemming and laybacking was involved and I happen to love laybacking.
That's my ass. Not quite as beautiful as the corner system above but close.
Leading the 5.7 first pitch.
Allison seconding the first pitch
A tricky traverse over to the belay
The second pitch has some chimney climbing in it if you're short. For me, I grabbed the sweet edge off to the right.
Looking down the second pitch
Demonstrating my extremely attentive belay skillz
Looking up the super clean third pitch. I did not take my camera up the next two pitches opting to keep my weight down. This pitch starts with wide climbing in the corner (#4 camalot is key) and then goes to technical stemming which is, thankfully, bolt protected as the corner pinches off pretty tight.
So since I didn't take my camera up the third and fourth pitches of The Nightcrawler, you get to see photos of Kevin (belaying) and Rich on the third pitch. We had just met them at the base of the route after we rapped down. They had intended to climb on the Rainbow Wall but had found it too wet. Lacking a second rope for the rappel on Nightcrawler as well as lacking a #4 camalot for the third pitch, they borrowed ours while Allison and I climbed the nearby route, Armatron, that afternoon.
OK, back at the base of Armatron...a nice bonus about climbing up at Brownstone was the opportunity to see the awe-inspiring Rainbow Wall
Looking up Armatron. Super fun featured climbing down low accesses the amazing plated. varnished face above.
Allison on P1 of Armatron
The third pitch is the money pitch. 5.6 climbing doesn't get much better than this.
Now looking down the stellar third pitch as Allison seconds. Mark and Roger are visible at the base after they topped out on the route and did the walk off. They both highly recommended going to the summit for the view so we did.
My favorite photo from the trip. Allison on P3.
Another view of the Rainbow Wall
A rain cell brewing to the south...
And a serious rain cell to the north. Between two rain cells is the best place to be.
Topping out on Juniper Peak, as Mark recommended, was amazing. It gave us a perspective of Red Rock that we'd never experienced before. Loads of likely unexplored rock everywhere!
Juniper Peak summit! (We have matching helmets...how cute!)
Rain cell north of Calico Hills
The view of Mescalito from Juniper Peak was astounding. Here, a climber ascends the awesome varnished rock fifth pitch of “Cat in the Hat”, 5.6. (I know you can't see him yet but...)
There he is
Also, we had a great view of the route that kicked my ass two days earlier, Orange Clonus. The splitter crack is in the upper center of photo.
Beautiful sunset light on the Calico Hills as we got back to the car at the end of the day.
Looking down P1 of Ginger Cracks the next morning.
Cool, huge flake climbing
Pitch two. The route was in the shade all day and the light wind kept us chilled the entire time. Still, it was reasonable.
Looking down pitch 3.
For the last pitch we skipped the 5.6 corner and followed the final pitch of the route “Unimpeachable Groping”. Allison and I had been on that route a year or so ago.
Rappelling down Power Failure on the other side of the buttress.
Sarah's cousin Dave and his partner on the final pitch of “Unimpeachable Groping” after we got back down to the base of the route and started the hike out.
We were making great time home on Sunday morning but came across a one-car accident that blocked the east-bound lane of I-40. We sat in place for over two hours because the accident resulted in a fatality and the scene had to be documented. A large queue of trucks and cars formed with the snowy Humphreys Peak in the background.
The car apparently was headed west-bound, crossed the grassy median and rolled a few times across the east-bound lanes before coming to rest in the shoulder of the east-bound lanes.
By the time we started to go again we estimated the line of cars to be about 15 miles long.