The alarm sounded at 5am and we rose to a coffee and some beef and eggs followed by another coffee ad infinitum . We needed to get out to the canyon and get out there quick. It was windy and within hours the sun would be baking not only us but also the beautiful glowing sandstone that is Red Rock Canyon State Recreational Area. We arrived at the gates of the park at about 8am and we were welcomed with a friendly “Good morning sir, be careful the winds are at 70 mph (112kmh) this morning and picking up a little before midday”. Dan flashed his annual pass, said thank you and we were off.
Walking through the desert presents a whole new set of things to consider and being back in Vegas and heading out to the second pullout to go climbing today has reminded me of this very quickly. The critters out here are very cool and couple of them are a little dangerous. The heeler monster is one very weird looking and poisonous lizard, wont kill ya’ but still give a nasty bite and then you have the rattlers. Rattle snakes are a little more dangerous and they blend into the desert colours camouflaging themselves beautifully.
Fortunately for Dan and I we didn’t see either of these little nasties, but we were very aware of their possible presence. Anyways, enough of the scare tactics and on with the day. We were at the second pullout because I was very keen to head up to Wall of Confusion sector. The possible trophy was a Red Rocks classic called “Fear and Loathing” 7a+ (5.12a) and Dan and I were super keen to get out there on it again.
This was the second timeout to try and tick the route. We were both sort of rested and ready for action. We warmed up on “The Runaway” 6a+ (5.10c) and “American Sportsman” 6b (5.10c). I was really excited about this, as “American Sportsman” and “Fear and Loathing” were established in part by Boone Speed, a seemingly very cool dude indeed.
Ready for a bit of Fear and Loathing again I tied in and put on my slippers. Dan checked my gear and off I went, pulling on and hitting what I think is the most committing move on the route. I nailed it and headed up through the steepness, clipping quickly and climbing well. Wrong handing myself at the 6th clip, I blew a hand placement and that was it………..oh well…….at least I have most of the route dialled now.
Dan jumped on and looked sensational through to the 6th clip, rested out and continued to the top, making the route look too damn easy. I was really pleased for him as this style and the steepness isn’t really his thing. He descended to the ground and very calmly said “I’m glad I did that, its not really my style at all…….what a fun route!”
I had a second shot and reached a new highpoint……..Both very satisfied we decided to call it a day as the sun was now on us and the route, it was approaching 25 degrees celsius. We chatted all the way to the car and happily sat in the air conditioned comfort for our half hour trip to our lunch destination………Dan thanks again for a great morning out.
Laugh loud, love long and climb hard…………its fun!