Climbing at Red Rocks Nevada

For someone who mostly climbs 30-50 foot local crags, Red Rocks is quite an experience. The area around Las Vegas has a nearly lifetime quantity of rock, here is a small sample of it. These pictures are from two short climbing trips, May 1998, and March 1999. My climbing partners on the first trip were Mitch Chapman, Dave Ruel, Ryan Gudorf, and Jeff Waddell. My partners on the second trip were Jeff Waddell and Tony Feldkamp. Official trip photographer was my wife Sandy.

great red book great red book great red book
These 3 pictures are of the "Great Red Book", a 2 pitch 5.8 climb located at the second pullout of the Red Rocks scenic loop. The first pitch is about 130 feet and follows the crack/corner., It is all trad, up to a 3 bolt belay anchor. The second pitch starts out with 3 bolts, though there are a couple trad gear opportunities before the first bolt for people who like sewing up climbs. (like myself). The second pitch is about 110 feet long if you climb the last unprotected 30 feet up an easy chimney to the summit. The descent is a slightly tricky scramble down the gullies to the left of the climb. (the gullies to the right may be better, but I didn't try them)
silk panties silk panties thong
These pictures are at the "Panty Wall" area between the first and second pullout. The first two pictures are me leading "Silk Panties", a 5.7 sport climb with 5 bolts. The last one is Jeff Waddell leading "Thong", a 5.7 trad route. The climbs in this area have softer, more fragile rock than in other parts of Red Rocks. Be careful what you pull on.
physical graffiti physical graffiti physical graffiti
Physical Graffiti is a 2 pitch 5.7 trad climb in the Calico Basin Riding Hood Wall area. Getting to the start of the first pitch involves a fair amount of 4th class scrambling. The first pitch is about 110 feet long to a 2 bolt belay anchor. The second pitch is the crux pitch in my opinion, and is a little over 150 feet, where you set a belay anchor in cracks at the top. The Swain guide book says the descent is down gullies on the right of the climb. We started off with a long rap into the gullies, followed by scrambling and a short rap in one tricky spot.
first creek canyon Lotta Balls Doobie Dance
This is First Creek Canyon, located just past the scenic loop exit and Oak Creek Canyon. The middle picture is of "Lotta Balls" wall, named for it's rock features. It is in the left side of the first picture. The last picture is "Romper Room" wall, which is the small dark square in the bottom middle of the first picture. Lotta Balls is a 4 pitch 5.8, which I haven't yet climbed. The climb we are on in the last picture is "Doobie Dance", which is an easily protected single pitch 5.6.
Ragged Edges Ragged Edges Tonto
The first picture is an overview of the "Ragged Edges" area in Willow Springs. The next two pictures show "Tonto", a single pitch trad 5.5. "Ragged Edges" is a one or two pitch 5.8 that runs up the crack in the center of the varnished face to the right of Tonto. Both climbs have an easy walk down to the right. The area above Ragged Edges is Graduate Cliff.
The Mescalito
This peak is the "Mescalito". It is located in the Pine Creek area off of the loop road. The varnished face on the peak to the right of it is Brass Wall, the site of many one pitch climbs. The Mescalito's most noteworthy routes are Dark Shadows, and Cat in the Hat. Dark Shadows is on the right (north east) face, and Cat in the Hat starts on the south west face, and works its way around to the south east face on the right hand side. I climbed Cat in the Hat in March 2000 with Mike Lewis, an excellent climber from Jackson Hole Mountain Guides. Cat in the Hat is a 4 pitch 5.6, that ends at less than half of the height of the peak. We continued up, scambling, and climbing to nearly the peak. We made it about halfway through the red cap on the top of the peak. We had to turn back due to time and incoming bad weather.
cat in the hat wide shot cat in the hat zoom1 cat in the hat zoom 2
These three pictures are progressive zooms in on the Cat in the Hat. If you look at the top of the middle picture, you can see a little speck on top of the rock. That's me.

I am at the top of the last pitch of Cat in the Hat, which is still less than half way up the Mescalito. The last picture is zoomed in more and you can see both me on the top of the rock bringing up Mike, who is on the varnished face.

By the way, Mike has a good video out, NASKARMA, which documents a 3 month climbing roadtrip he did with a variety of partners in West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennesee, North Carolina, and Georgia. This video is distributed by Pusher. It was also available on the BoulderDash magazine web site, which no longer seems to be alive.
Rose Tower
This picture is just to the left (south) of the picture of Mescalito above. The area in the center front of the photo is Rose Tower, where the climb Olive Oil is. The peak to the left is Rainbow wall. From this angle, you can't tell that Rose Tower is a seperate feature from the rest of the wall around it. To get to the base of Olive Oil, you park in the Pine Creek area, and bear south, crossing a creekbed, and going up Juniper Canyon.

I climbed Olive Oil (5 to 7 pitches, 5.7) with Derrick of Jackson Hole Mountain Guides in March 2000. The route doesn't wander much, and has no fixed anchors, so you can let your gear supply and rope length dictate the length of your pitches. We did it in 5 pitches.

It started raining and snowing on us on the 3rd pitch. We considered bailing once we got to a better bail point, at the top of the 4th pitch. But once we got there, the weather cleared momentarily, and we decided to go for the top. It started raining and snowing again while Derrick was leading the last pitch, but we topped out and made it out without incident.

Back Last Updated March 13, 1999