Climbing in Red Rock Canyon, Nevada

A fall, sprain and fractures in the tibia and talus meant I spent most of September and October on the couch watching bad Netflix, [reading] [a few] [good] [books] and learning how to code jquery mobile. No late summer / fall rock climbing trip for me.

After the doctor said I wasn’t going anywhere tickets were cancelled and the news was broken to my climbing partner who was pretty bummed that he wouldn’t get the chance to drag me up Sierra granite. Alas.

And so winter arrived and here I sit unable to ski and unable to fit my (still swollen) foot into a rock shoe. Rock climbing will have to wait till next summer and until then all I can do is look at old photos and reminisce about warm rock and sun.

Which brings me to these photos- a year ago today Yvonne and I headed down to Red Rock Canyon for a week of sun and desert sandstone. I had never been to Red Rocks before – even though just about every climber I know had told me again and again that I need to go – so we finally made plans and headed down.

Pitch 6 – the fun slabby crux of Cat in the Hat.

Our first day was spent climbing easy bolted routes and mellow cracks at First Pullout. Yvonne lead her first gear route (a fun 5.5 corner called “Cover my Buttress”). The second day was spent on “Physical Graffiti”, a beautiful two pitch 5.7 and “Man’s Best Friend”, a fun albeit over-bolted two pitch 5.7 right next to the road.

Cover my Buttress

Man’s Best Friend

Solar Slab pitch 12

After getting a feel for the area we opted for longer days and climbed “Cat in the Hat” – wonderful 6 pitch 5.6 route and spent another day climbing 12 pitches of the fun (and spectacularly sunny) “Solar Slab”.

In-between climbing we toured the strip, checked out Chihuly’s glass sculpture at the Bellagio, ate lots of food and explored the petroglyphs at Nevada’s Valley of Fire State Park.

Chihuly’s glass piece at the Bellagio.

A Munch impression in sandstone.

Elephant Rock – Valley of Fire State Park.

The snow and sandstone was a welcomed break from Anchorage’s cold and snowy November days (it was 8 degrees this morning). Wish I were there now.