Red Rock Day 7 – Back to Calico Basin

Day 7, Saturday – and a holiday for that matter. November 11th in the States is Veteran’s Day – a guarantee for big crowds everywhere.

Clare and Calvin figured out that the best bet was to escape to some far away, rarely visited crag, ideally outside of the loop road. They decided to go to Southern Outcrops, way out of everyone’s sight.

As usual, they were gone before Paul and I even had our bags ready. This time it paid off not to be fast, as we soon got a text from Clare that said that the access road was in bad shape, and it was best to pick a different spot. They decided to go and do Lotta Balls (5.8, 3 pitches 140m) in First Creek Canyon – the crag’s classic.

Below: Calvin on Lotta Balls

Clare’s text was good intel, so Paul and I decided to go back to Calico Basin’s Gnat Man’s Crag – a place we all visited earlier in the week.

While the place was completely overrun, and the car park and most of the roadside spots at capacity, we managed to squeeze in on one of the side ones. A short walk and quick scramble up to the crag and we were in a nice shade, with almost nobody nearby. All the tourists were down at the path below, and all the climbers were at the crags that were accessible easier.

The first few routes we’ve tried weren’t actually in our guidebook but looked manageable from the ground so we gave them a go. I turned out stuff was harder than expected. Still not a problem at all for Paul, I did struggle a bit at this elusive 5.11a grade… (F6c sports or E4 6a for trad).

Below: Paul on top of the Gnat Man Crag sector. Some routes you can lower off, and some require sketchy walkoff.

We did the following routes (mix of bolts and trad, Paul on Lead, me on 2nd):

We also walked in to check out The Fox – one of the Red Rock Mega Classic Cracks, which we passed earlier, but unfortunately, someone beat us to it and was just setting up at the bottom of the route.

Below: The Fox - mission for another day!

So finished the day on (which I didn’t try).

Below: Paul eyeballing first super high bolt of Gnat Man on Ranch Hands

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