I was lucky enough to be invited to Dal Riada’s Club Red Rock Climbing Trip.
More about the area here: https://www.mountainproject.com/area/105731932/red-rocks
This has been in the works by the legendary Calvin Torrans and Clare Sheridan for quite a while (over the summer) and we are finally here. Plan was simple -rent a house in fabulous Las Vegas, get 2 cars (1 for each pair), and explore nearby crags and mountains of Red Rock and other surrounding areas (all weather depending).
Expected conditions are mid 20C – just need to be careful of sun-exposed crags (easy to get baked in the sun) and rainy dais (where climbing on soft sandstone is forbidden then). The forecast has it full sun for extended periods.
I partnered up with Paul Collins (whom I’ve climbed with for quite a while over the years).
I arrived in the US a week before everyone. I’ve spent a week in my company’s HQ in Philadelphia, working on a big project with my US colleagues. This allowed me to not only accelerate the work but also break out the jetlag.
The plan here is to climb for 2 weeks, after which Paul and I are flying back, while Calvin and Clare will move further south for another 2 weeks.
In this series of blogs, I’ll try to give a quick day-by-day overview of the areas we visited and the climbs we did.
There was no time wasted – The team arrived on Schedule on Sat 4th evening and were ready to go from following morning.
Sunday – we’ve visited the Nearby Calico Hills area. It’s within the Red Rock Loop Road – which requires a special park pass (20USD single visit, 50USD for the year)+ a daily booking in advance (2USD per booking). It’s rather inconvenient, but unfortunately necessary to prevent overcrowding of the area – its very popular with tourists…
We arrived at the gates around 11, did all the reservations from the phone online, and waited patiently till our 12pm entry slot.
Once we were in we headed towards one of the areas (First pullout), and did a bunch of sport routes in the 5.7-5.8 range. https://www.mountainproject.com/area/105731953/first-pullout-calico-i
Paul also wanted to try the crag’s classic – a 5.10a trad crack – https://www.mountainproject.com/route/105732941/panty-raid – which I was happy to follow him on too. It was everything that it was promised – great climbing on immaculate rock.
It’s mandatory to leave the area by 5pm (Parks regulation), so we finished around 3.30 or so and headed home). On the way back Paul and I visited a local Wallmart to do a supply run and got home to.
Quick dinner left us with plenty of time to visit nearby South Point Casino – where i spent some 3h battling poker cash games with the locals. I won’t talk about the results (as there arent any ;)), but it was a lot of fun – and I’ll be sure to come back more than once!
Somehow the guys aren’t suffering too much from the jetlag, and are always ready in the morning for another adventure. Day 2 was as sunny as day 1 and we wanted to find more shaded areas. This time we went to a place outside of the loop road, that didn’t need timed entry.
We approach the other side of Callico hills from the side known as Callico Basin – the areas called https://www.mountainproject.com/area/105732135/dickies-cliff and https://www.mountainproject.com/area/105732138/gnat-man-crag
where we did a bunch of trad and sports routes.
Paul also did a route called https://www.mountainproject.com/route/106060936/gigantor – a 5.10c which happened to be too hard for me.
Above – overview of the Dickies Cliff and Gnat Man Crag with overlay of routes Paul and I did.
Calvin and Clare went on further up the crag (right based on the pic above) and did a combination of aptly named (in Clare words!) https://www.mountainproject.com/route/105933142/spontaneous-enjoyment https://www.mountainproject.com/route/105933183/geriatric-therapy
Talking to them later – It was quite an adventure mostly due to the high winds they encountered, but everything worked out fine, and we all finished safely around the same time, and walked back together towards the car park (no snakes were encountered this time).