One of our favorite places to climb is Red Rock Canyon National Conservatory just outside of Las Vegas. There are thousands of amazing routes ranging from single pitch sport routes to long trad routes over 20 pitches long. We didn't make it to Red Rock very many times this past winter so we wanted to make one last trip out there before it got too hot. We invited Gwyenn along and she told us that she'd think about it, but wasn't sure yet. Well, a couple of days before we left, Gwyenn let us know that she would be joining us, and that she was bringing someone else along. Bennett (Gwyenn's husband) was in Afghanastan as a fire fighter for a year, so we weren't sure who she was bringing along, but we figured it would be fine whoever it was.
Emily and Adeline
Well, Friday morning rolled around and we packed up the car and waited for Gwyenn to join us so that we could caravan together. When she arived, I noticed that the person she brough was male, and I just figured that it was either one of her brothers or brothers-in-law who was coming but didn't think too much about it. As they aproached the door, I finally got a good view of who was with Gwyenn and was quite shocked when I realized that it was Bennett. It turns out that he got a job offer with Cal-Fire just as he left for Afghanastan but hadn't told anyone about it, so he had returned from Afghanastan a couple days earlier and was the reason the Gwyenn wasn't sure if she would be coming or not.
After catching up with Bennett for a few minutes we decided to hit the road so that we could get some clibing in that afternoon.
When we arived at Red Rock, we got a campsite, set up our tents, then decided to do some climbing on the calico side of the park rather than heading onto the 17 mile one way loop road. Since it was Bennett and Gwyenns first time at Red Rock we figured that we better take them to Canibal Crag since it is close to the road and is a good introduction to Red Rock sport climbing.
We started by climbing the typical warm-up, a 5.8+ called "A Man in Every Pot". All four of us took turns leading it and everyone did it cleanly. After that route we decided to try a suposed 5.10a called "Mac and Ronnie in Cheese". Again we all lead it and all did it cleanly, but I'm going to have to say that it was the softest 5.10a that I've ever climbed and was actually easier than the 5.8+ that we had started with.
Bennett climbing "A Man in Every Pot" - 5.8+
Gwyenn TRing "A Man in Every Pot"
Gwyenn doing her first 5.10a lead - "Mac and Ronnie in Cheese"
After those two routes I was wanting to do something harder, but the kids weren't having any of that, so we decided to call it a day and head back to the campground.
On Saturday we decided to start out with some more sport climbing at the first pullout. We headed to Dog Wall, but when we got there, Bennett decided he wanted to do a trad line first, so he racked up and crushed the unknown 5.5 crack on the left side of the wall. I followed him and cleaned the gear, then we hiked off.
Bennett leading an unknown 5.5
Me Following the unknown 5.5
When we got back to the base of Dog Wall, I decided that I wanted to try something a bit harder, and I had climbed a 5.11c (allthough a bit soft for .11c) called "Here Kitty Kitty" a couple of times previously, but had never gotten the redpoint. I roped up, and ended up cruising up the route with no problems at all getting the redpoint on what would be my third try over an 11 year period;) After I finished, everyone else TR'd it and we moved on to our next route.
For our final route on Dog Wall we decided on a 5.10a called "Cat Walk". I lead the route and got the redpoint, but just bearly. At one point I went to make a little dynamic move to what looked like a good chalked hold, but turned out to be nothing. Luckily I was able to hold on and didn't blow the redpoint, but it was kind of funny almost falling off of a .10a after easily redpointing an .11c. Again everyone else TR'd the route after I got down.
Cat Walk - 5.10a
After those routes, the kids were getting hungry so we headed back to the car to get them some lunch, then we decided to head to the other side of the canyon so that we could chase the shade. We headed over to the Ragged Edges area since it is a good introduction to Red Rock single pitch trad clibing.
Bennett leading "Ok, Ok, Ok" - 5.6
At Ragged Edges we started out by climbing a 5.6 called "Ok, Ok, Ok" which is a pretty fun route that folows a crack up a nice huecoed wall. Bennett lead the route and got the onsight, then Amy and Gwyenn TR'd it, and I finished up and cleaned the anchor. For our last route of the day we decided to do the namesake Ragged Edges which is an amazing 5.8 crack up the beautiful vertical huecoed wall. I lead the route, then everyone else took turns TRing it.
Amy TRing "Ragged Edges" - 5.8
After that it was time to head home since we had a 3 and a half hour drive back to good old SoCal. As always though, we had a great time in Red Rock.