Lead Climbing in Red Rock, Nevada

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In January 2014, I applied for a grant that would help me travel to Red Rock National Conservation Area outside of Las Vegas in Nevada in order to make my first attempt at outdoor lead climbing. In February I was awarded the grant and Scotty and I bought our tickets to Red Rock for March 26-29th!
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If only our eyes weren’t blinded by the sun! But here is the magnificent entrance to the park (check out those rocks in the background!). A day pass is $7 and a year pass is $30. A lot of the time a year pass may be well worth your while. And make sure to look out for the endangered tortoise and the plentiful burros of which we saw neither! Bahhh next time 🙂

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It was near impossible to miss all of the colorful climbing equipment people had brought with them; from bright orange ropes to every imaginable color of quick draw to these shoes above!
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Scotty crushing on lead in an area called Hamlet…well more specifically…we are just above Hamlet. With so many amazing walls, many of them do not end up in the guide books. This wall happens to be a local favorite because it tends to be less crowded than the nearby Panty Wall, which tends to be mobbed. (We never made it to the Panty Wall unfortunately)

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Grabbing some extra chalk!

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This in an area of the Second Pullout known as the Black Corridor. We went here after a recommendation from a friend at Planet Granite and it turned out to be one of our favorite climbing spots! Its this narrow corridor (maybe 10-15 ft wide) with almost 30 routes from 5.7-5.12.  Lots of 10s and highly recommended. This place can get packed, but don’t let that stop you from going- there are plenty of routes for everyone.The Black Corridor is also one of the few places in Red Rock where you can climb during the summer. This is because the high walls provide quite a bit of shade. But we warned…in the winter it can get quite cold and windy, so make sure to bring that down sweater! IMG_1522

Coming down after a climb can be super fun. Just pretend you’re superman and leap off the wall! (Only do this if you SUPER trust your belayer)

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Who wouldn’t trust that smile?
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This was my first lead route EVER! A 5.7 in the Black Corridor. SO MUCH FUN!! I also lead a 5.9 and attempted a 5.10a. Unfortunately, I was having some shoulder issues so I needed to come down, but it really taught me just how mental lead climbing is. Suddenly things you used to be crushing become quite a challenge! Its hard! IMG_1595

We spotted this little guy while heading back out to the Black Corridor. He is a red-spotted toad (Bufo punctatus) and is native to the southwestern United States. They flourish in arid regions, however, require seasonal pools for breeding.

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While taking a walk after a long day of climbing, we spotted this raven returning to its nest. Low and behold, there were also bolts way up there!! It seems like Red Rock is FULL of routes! It would be near impossible to climb everything.

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Scotty taking a break 🙂

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Thanks to the grant we were able to have a photo shoot with my new REI Quarter Dome tent! So easy to set up and light weight! Camping at the BLM camp ground turned out to be more competitive than we thought! We got there at 1pm on the first day and it was completely booked! Luckily, we made friends and were able to crash at their campsite.

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Since we were only car camping, we decided to rent a Coleman in order to make a scrumptious turkey bacon scramble and fresh Philz coffee (I’m a little obsessed).

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Yum Yum Yum!!!

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I try not to take random pictures of strangers….but this guy was crushing it! Plus he had some awesome sleeves. It was really fun to be able to watch other climbers crush difficult 11s and 12s. It is possible! And certainly something to train for.

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Chacos have become my shoe of choice. They are literally indestructible and soooo comfortable! Talk about arch support. I just wish Chaco made heels….naw my friends would never forgive me.

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Soaking up some sun! (And representing the Claremont Colleges) Don’t worry…I’m wearing SPF 30- its a desert after all. Gotta keep that skin young!

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The more you looked around, the more flowers you could see coming into bloom. This little red one caught my eye.

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We had been planing on checking out the Calico Hills, but weren’t able to get around to it until our last day. We were surprised to find some awesome bouldering rocks! (Along with the usual rad sport/trad routes) so Scotty and I had a little fun. YES, this is normally how he climbs. IMG_1677 IMG_1683

It was also nice to see that the insect life was thriving. Caught this little bee just as he was gathering pollen from this yellow flower. It has been shown that bees are naturally drawn to the color yellow, while humming birds are drawn to red, so plant your garden accordingly!

IMG_1698Overall, I highly recommend visiting Red Rock EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT A CLIMBER. There is just so much here. AND apparently there are wild horses just to the north of the park. Plenty of beautiful hikes and lookouts are encompassed in this huge park. I can’t wait to return. I felt like this experience was just dipping my toes into a giant pool. Next time I want to go for 4 months instead of 4 days…

Let me know if you have any questions or comments and thanks for reading!

~B

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