Red Rocks

Oak Creek Canyon

Shirley hiking into Oak Creek Canyon.

Shirley and I have been going to Red Rocks since we started climbing and have made approximately 30 trips there since 2002. Obviously we do not hate the place. We have both road-tripped it (typically a 17-hour push each way from Portland) and have flown there (Southwest, Alaska, US Airways and even United can sometimes offer deals from PDX). We’ve camped it (both legally and…well, never mind) and hotelled it in places ranging from classy (for us anyway…there was that one time on our 10th Anniversary) to crack whore joints in Old Vegas. Most of the time though, we like the (pet friendly) accommodations of Motel 6. We have witnessed with disgust the shithole that is Summerlin begin to impinge on the margins of Red Rocks. We’ve climbed there in all seasons (10 months of the year) including the heat of mid-July to the deep freeze and (occasional) snows of January. We’ve had both great weather luck and shitty weather luck (four days of rain and cold on Memorial Day) there.

Trip Reports Listed Chronologically

2010-2016
Inti Watana

Shirley on Inti Watana (March 2009).

  • “Cloud Tower” (May 2016)
  • “RR BS” (April 2013)
  • “An Herbst And A Half” (January 2012)
  • “RR In & Out” (December 2011)
  • Sundog (November 2011)
  • Resolution Arete (June 2011)
  • Sunflower (April 2011)
  • “Red Rocks With Friends” (April 2011)
  • “Search For Warmth 2010” (December 2010)
  • “Post-Exam Freedom” (November 2010)
  • 2007-2009
    Refried Brains

    Refried Brains (May 2005).

  • “Quick Turkey Day Roadtrip” (November 2009)
  • “Armatron” (November 2009)
  • “Back For More” (March 2009)
  • “DOWT TR” (February 2009)
  • “Rainy Memorial Day” (May 2008)
  • Nightcrawler & Black Magic (April 2008)
  • “Red Rock Mix” (February 2008)
  • “Red Rocks And Moab For Turkey Day” (November 2007)
  • Black Orpheus Weekend” (October 2007)
  • “World Of Concrete” (January 2007)
  • 2002-2006
    Solar Slab

    Solar Slab (Apr. 2006).

  • “Diseased” (April 2006)
  • Triassic Sands (February 2006)
  • Epinephrine (May 2005)
  • Sand Felipe And Refried Brains (May 2005)
  • “Rainy Thanksgiving In Red Rocks” (November 2004)
  • “Summer Weekend In Red Rocks” (July 2004)
  • “Fourth Red Rocks Trip” (March 2004)
  • Third Red Rocks Trip” (January 2004)
  • “Second Red Rocks Trip” (December 2002)
  • “First Red Rocks Trip” (November 2002)
  • Routes Listed Alphabetically

    A-B
    Armatron

    Shirley at a belay on Armatron (Nov. 2009).

  • Armatron (5.9)
  • Arrow Place (5.9)
  • Atman (5.10b)
  • Beulah’s Book (5.9)
  • Bighorn (5.8)
  • Birdland (5.7)
  • Black Dagger (5.7)
  • Black Magic (5.8)
  • Black Orpheus (5.10a)
  • Black Track (5.9)
  • Black Widow Hollow (5.9)
  • Burlesque (5.9)
  • C-D
  • Cat In The Hat (5.6)
  • Cloud Tower (5.10+ A0)
  • Community Pillar (5.8+)
  • Crimson Chrysalis (5.8)
  • Dark Shadows (5.8)
  • Diet Delight (5.9)
  • Dream Of Wild Turkeys (5.10a)
  • E-G
    Dark Shadows

    Dark Shadows (Mar. 2004).

  • Epinephrine (5.9)
  • Fold Out (5.8)
  • Frieda’s Flake (5.9)
  • Frigid Air Buttress (5.9)
  • Frogland (5.8)
  • Geronimo (5.6)
  • Ginger Cracks (5.9)
  • Gobbler (5.10b)
  • Great Red Book (5.8)
  • Group Therapy (5.7)
  • H-O
    Birdland

    Blondie sleeping on guard duty (Nov. 2007).

  • Healy’s Haunted House (5.7)
  • Honeycomb Chimney (5.9)
  • Inti Watana (5.10c)
  • Johnny Vegas (5.7)
  • Johnny Vegas (5.7)
  • Jubilant Song (5.8)
  • La Cierta Edad (5.10c)
  • Lotta Balls (5.8)
  • Misunderstanding (5.9)
  • Nightcrawler (5.10c)
  • Olive Oil (5.7)
  • Overhanging Hangover (5.10a)
  • P-R
    Epinephrine

    Epinephrine in new rock shoes (May 2005).

  • Physical Graffiti (5.6)
  • Power Failure (5.10a)
  • Prince Of Darkness (5.10c)
  • Pro Choice (5.11a)
  • Ragged Edges (5.8)
  • Refried Brains (5.9)
  • Resolution Arete (5.10 C1)
  • S
  • Sand Felipe (5.10a)
  • Solar Slab (5.6)
  • Solar Flare (5.10)
  • Sour Mash (5.10a)
  • Straight Shooter (5.9)
  • Sundog (5.9+)
  • Sunflower (5.9)
  • T-W
    Resolution Arete

    Shirley leading pitch 13 of Resolution Arete (June 2011).

  • Topless Twins (5.9)
  • Triassic Sands (5.10c)
  • Tunnel Vision (5.7)
  • Unimpeachable Groping (5.10b)
  • Varnishing Point (5.8)
  • Wholesome Fullback (5.10a)
  • Y2K (5.10-)
  • Larry DeAngelo’s Classic Trad Lines

    Frigid Air Buttress

    Frigid Air Buttress (Jan. 2006).

    A random-ish list of multi-pitch Red Rock moderates from the excellent book entitled Red Rock Odyssey The Ultimate Red Rock Climbing Book, a one-of-a-kind book on the area. It focuses on 13 routes scattered throughout Red Rocks that are (largely) traditional in nature and with significant history behind them. These range in difficulty from 5.6 to 5.10 and grade II to IV. More than a guidebook (though it includes detailed beta on the 12 out 13 routes), it also includes both a historical and personal account for each of the routes. Can’t say that we’re actively working on ticking those off but then again we have not really been disappointed by any of the lines that we’ve done from this list. For now:

    .
    Black Orpheus

    Black Orpheus (Oct. 2007).

  • Sentimental Journey IV 5.9 on Mt. Wilson.
  • Jubilant Song III 5.8 on Windy Peak.
  • Triassic Sands III 5.10 on Black Velvet Peak.
  • The Snake Buttress IV 5.9 on Rainbow Mountain.
  • The Velvet Wall IV 5.9 on Black Velvet Peak (Epinephrine is the closest we’ve gotten to this one – the chimney pitches are shared).
  • Tunnel Vision II 5.7 on White Rock Mountain.
  • Solar Slab III 5.6 on Rainbow Mountain.
  • The Rainbow Buttress IV 5.8 on Rainbow Wall.
  • Community Pillar III 5.9 on Juniper Peak.
  • The Frigid Air Buttress III 5.9+ on Bridge Mountain.
  • Cat In The Hat II-III 5.6 on Mescalito.
  • Lady Wilson’s Cleavage IV 5.9 on Mt. Wilson.
  • The Black Orpheus IV 5.10 on Rainbow Mountain.
  • Red Rocks For All Most Seasons

    Crimson Chrysalis

    January freeze.

    Triassic Sands

    February comfort.

    Dark Shadows

    March rain (& dorkiness).

    .

    Nightcrawler

    April freshness.

    Epinephrine

    May toastiness.

    Black Track

    June chill.

    .

    Crimson Chrysalis

    July sauna.

    Black Orpheus

    October sweetness.

    Armatron

    November niceness.

    Red Rocks From Above

    Red Rocks

    Red Rocks from 35000 feet. View is to the north here with Calico Hills visible at the center/top of photo and the main peaks lined up on the left. Mid-march 2013…unfortunately a work trip not involving RR..