|Mid-crux on pitch 4 of Cloud Tower|
On April 10th, Jonathon and I escaped the Salt Lake City area in search of sunshine, warm temps, and rock climbing. We drove down to Red Rocks, NV just outside Las Vegas. We both really wanted to climb some long classic multi-pitch routes, since that is what Red Rocks is known for. Jonathon has spent over 100 days climbing here, but I have only been here on a couple trips. We wanted to climb some of the major classic routes like, Cloud Tower, Levitation 29, The Challenger, Risky Business and Dark Shadows. We only had a couple days so we knew we would not be able to climb all of them. With the tempertures being in the mid 80’s climbing in the shade was ideal.
We spent the first day warming up to the rock by single pitch climbing at the Second Pullout. The next day we got on “The Challenge” which is located deep in Pine Creek Canyon on the Challenger Buttress. Here is a breakdown of “The Challenge 5.10d“
The Challenge 5.10d, Pine Creek Canyon
Rachel entering the crux on pitch 2 The Challenge
|Leading the balancy moves at the start of pitch 4|
Rap the route with a single 70m rope. Be careful pulling your rope on the second pitch. We got our rope stuck in the crack and I had to lead that pitch again. Fortunately it was the best and easiest pitch!
The following day we got shut out from climbing due to high winds. The forecast for the next day was looking good as the winds where expected to calm down. We organized the gear for climbing the Cloud Tower. I have wanted to climb this route for a while and was psyched to get on some hard pitches way off the ground. The route is truly a classic with all the pitches being 5.10 or 5.11, except for the first two, which happen to be really good 5.8 pitches. Here is the breakdown:.
Pitch 1 and 2: 5.8. Can be linked with a 70 m using long gear and strategic gear placements. Belay at the tree with slings on it. 210 ft.
Pitch 3: 5.10 -. scramble up the broken 4th class terrain (30 ft) towards the amazing 2″ hand crack splitting the headwall. Trend left on face holds to reach a bolted belay. 150 ft.
|Jonathon finishing up pitch 4|
Pitch 5: 5.10. Start up a hand crack through a roof. Continue up the amazing hand crack as it widens to a fist crack. Before the crack goes into the chimney, step left onto a small ledge and build a gear anchor (0.5 and .75 cams). 150 feet.
|Jonathon starting up the 5th pitch.|
Pitch 6: 5. 8 R. Start up the chimney/offwidth and when it gets wide enough tunnel and squirm your way through until you reach the other side. Belay in the sunshine on a large ledge. 70 feet.
Pitch 7: 5.11c. This is the endurance crux, especially since it’s baking in the sun and is the last of several hard pitches. Follow the amazing right facing corner, starting with a steep thin hands crack then moving to a 2 – 3″ hand crack. A couple bulges and rests are found along with way. Save energy for the final crux at the end of the pitch (.4, .5 and #1 cams). 130 feet.
|Starting up the final Indian Creek style splitter|