Red Rock Canyon

cover photo
Jan 21, 2019 - Jan 23, 2019

First time climbing at top climbing destination: Red Rock Canyon, Nevada.

Drove up with Andre Sat morning and made it to the crag by noon. Parking lot was full with tourists but walked up to route a few feet from car. Andre practiced trad climbing on a short 5.6 crack and I followed on top-rope, practicing cleaning the cams and draws. Toes still sore from last weekend's climbing on too-small shoes, but pain would subside by 2nd day and gone on 3rd. New shoes may be too big for me than the last, but at least my toes won't frickin fall off. After a couple on the crack moved to some harder routes nearby then made for the city for dinner and supplies. Set up camp at nearby campground walk-up sites and hit the sack early.

2nd day started at Callico Hills area on the iconic red rock with some crowded but enjoyable 5.8 routes. Moved on to a 5.6 arrete climb then back to the previous day's crack. After full day, enjoyed some sushi and drove down the Vegas strip to see the shiny lights. Much more crowded and closed-in than the 90's Vegas I remember. Back to camp where we stayed up to watch the rare Super Blood Wolf Moon event! Once the moon had eclipsed and turned a rusty red hue, wind really picked up so battened down the hatches and hit the sack. Unfortunately since my Hilleberg was still out of commission, only had a hammock and ultralight z-packs tent. With no trees, was relying on the z-packs which was no match for the 60 mph gusts assaulting the desert canyon all night. Spent most of the night restoring fallen trecking poles that act as the only structure and basically being miserable. By 5:30 I was already awake for Andre's wake-up call. Broke camp and decided at breakfast that it was probably too windy to climb. Nevertheless it seemed to have died down in town, so we drove back to the reserve to check it out. I thought it was too windy but Andre seemed undeterred so we scrambled to a rock with a 5.7 or 5.8 multipitch. Rock was just too cold for me and wind was blowing some light hail pellets, so I convinced Andre we should bail after the 1st pitch.

After that we decided to check out a climbing spot outside of Barstow, CA on the way home to see if it was less windy. Drove into Apple Valley to a large clump of boulders (Fairview) and were met by the friendly local routesetter who sold Andre a guidebook of his and led us to some routes. By the time we got there we had time for only a couple climbs each, but I got more chances to practice anchor & rope management with a climber below for future multipitch climbs.

Difficulty5.6 - 5.9
Highest Elevation
JurisdictionRed Rock National Monument
TrailheadSandstone Quarry & Calico I