Last month my friend Stan and I went to Red Rocks for a long weekend of climbing. Due to the government shutdown the park was technically closed but the rangers were allowing climbers to hike in as long as they didn’t use park roads. That meant longer hikes to some areas but wasn’t a big limitation. Stan is new to climbing (he’s a cyclist) and this was his first real outdoor trip so we mostly stayed on easy stuff. Here’s our tick list:
Friday: Oak Creek Canyon
I’ve climbed at Red Rocks at least a dozen times but had never visited the Solar Slab area in Oak Creek Canyon. Our objective was the classic moderate Johnny Vegas on Lower Solar Slab and maybe something on Upper Solar Slab if we moved quickly. Unfortunately, several other parties had the same idea – including some guys from an AMGA course that was underway. So we didn’t get started on Johnny Vegas until almost noon.
- Johnny Vegas (5.7, 3p)
- Arch Enemy (5.9, first pitch only)
Saturday: Black Velvet Canyon
- Schaeffer’s Delight (5.7, 3p)
- Triassic Sands (5.10b, pitches 1 & 2 only)
- The Misunderstanding (5.9, fist pitch only)
- Miss Conception (5.10a, 2p)
Sunday: Lots of hiking + Calico Basin
Our plan was to do the moderate mega-classic Olive Oil. We hiked in from the highway (not the normal approach) and after an hour and a half of looking for the route I realized we were in the wrong canyon (Juniper Canyon). Dumb mistake. By that point we weren’t too motivated to hike further in (since we had parked on the highway) and do a long-ish route so we hiked back out, grabbed lunch, and went to Calico Basin.
- Over the Hill to Grandmother’s House (5.9+, 1p)
- Baseboy Direct (5.11a, 1p, sport)
- Caustic (5.11b, 1p, sport)
Monday: Calico Basin
We had to catch a flight in the afternoon, so we headed back to Calico Basin and did a few routes at Gnat Man Crag.
- Bottoms Up (5.7, 1p)
- P-coat Sleeve (5.10a, 1p)
- Knock the Bottom Out Of It (5.10a, 1p)