Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Johnny Vegas

[by Shelley]
How could we resist a 3-star route called “Johnny Vegas”? Yesterday (was it only yesterday??) we were back on Solar Wall for our last day of climbing at Red Rocks. An hour’s hike took us to the bottom of the route. Andrew led the first pitch accompanied by the beat of Indian drums somewhere in the distance. Very nice! Perhaps there was something going on the at the Red Rock Visitor’s center.

I led the second and hardest pitch (how did that happen???) to the annoying sound of yelling boys. A wise woman once told me “Boys are stupid.” Why, after walking on level ground for 30 minutes and then scrambling on top of a 10 foot boulder, is there a need to yell and scream at the top of your lungs for several minutes as if you’ve conquered the world???

The guidebook said the first part of the third pitch had no protection but Andrew came up with some innovative gear placements -- threading a nut and tying a sling on a “chicken head” rock formation. It was impressive seeing him go out under a huge roof and then disappear over the arête.

The last pitch was an easy scramble up to the top of the buttress. A few rappels down the nearby gully brought us back down to the base of the route. Only to find that the zipper on the top of the pack we’d left behind was opened, a plastic bag chewed through and only one of our two apples left! The chipmunks (or whatever critters were responsible) are very bold and strong!

After a last coffee break back at The Coffee Bean, we headed east from Vegas. Very sad to be leaving Red Rocks. We did a lot in 6 days of climbing and 1 day of hiking but there’s still so much more that could be done!

Now at the Grand Canyon and packed up, ready to hike down tomorrow and back up the following day. Looking forward to some amazing views!

2011-01 Red Rocks 4

The photos are from three days - hiking up Turtlehead Peak, sport climbing, and then Johnny Vegas.

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