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A Summer in Red Rock

By Kimmie Tu
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A Summer in Red Rock

In April 2021, my friends Lynn, April and I decided to temporarily rent a place in Las Vegas so that we could climb in Red Rock Canyon. My main goal for climbing in Red Rock Canyon was to improve my trad climbing skills and tackle as many multi-pitch climbs as I could. From April through June I was able to knock out ten multi-pitch climbs! I wanted to do more but finding a willing partner to go on a suffer-fest with me was not easy. Here is a list of what I climbed and some highlights of each route:

Multi-Pitches Climbed

 

Triassic Sands - 5.10b

Wow, this route was stellar! I loved the 5.10b pitch. The crux required me to place my right foot really high into a stem position and then I had to perform a layback in order to reach the faraway left crimp. I didn’t lead this part but I did send it while following. This was a challenging but really cool sequence to do while up on a multi-pitch. The rush of feeling high up while performing a beautiful move is something I will remember forever.

I led the 5.10a pitch. It was challenging for me because I had forgotten how to crack climb. I was fine pulling the beginning roof move but struggled in the next section that was a crack. I was nervous because I felt out of my element and I didn’t want to fail. Despite being rusty, I managed to climb through this section without failure. The next section required me to smear my feet into a thin left-facing corner. I was also rusty with these moves but after a few minutes of talking myself up, I led my way to the top and sent the climb! I was proud of myself for onsighting my first 5.10a in Red Rock with gear, but I was unsatisfied with the crack climbing performance. Since I had time while waiting for our second party, I top-roped the pitch again and climbed it beautifully. 10/10 would climb this route again! I would love to lead it all next time.
Partner: Sean

 

Tele-vision to Tunnel Vision - 5.9+

What an adventure it was to climb through and out of a “cave”! I got lost at the end and ran out of rope but we managed to get through the climb safely. I climbed this with two teams of females and we felt really badass! I would climb this route again. The variation of moves and climbing style made this route fun! 
Partners: Lynn, Debbie, & April

 

Cookie Monster to Cat in A Hat - 5.6

The day was hot (around 90 degrees) but my girlfriends and I wanted to go on an adventure! Julie led the first pitch. She struggled through the heat and had to take a small break during the climb and drink water but she managed to recover and brought me and Lynn up. I led the next pitch. It was mostly mellow climbing on massive jugs. Before the Cat In The Hat link up, we stopped at the big ledge and we took some group photos to commemorate a fun day out in the mountains. Julie led the last pitch and we took some more fun photos at the top. We got a little lost on the rappel but manage to make it back down to the ground safely.
Partners: Julie & Lynn

Group Therapy - 5.8 Variation

Climbing Group Therapy was the first time I had ever brought up two followers at once while I was leading. I made a few mistakes on this route and I was frustrated at many times, but I learned a lot. My first mistake was building the anchor too early and I chose a hanging belay. I didn’t get the memo that I should always try to look for ledges to build my anchor when I’m on an easy-moderate multi-pitch climb. My second mistake was pulling both ropes up at once and not separating them into different piles. This caused my rope to all get tangled together. Stephen was patient enough to help me move my anchor and untangle the ropes for me after he climbed up to meet me. My next lead went smoothly. I built the anchor in the right place and separated the two ropes into different piles. On my last lead, I built the anchor in the wrong place again and stretched the entire length of my rope. Stephen had built his previous anchor in the wrong place, which caused me to have less rope for my lead. Plenty of mistakes were made but we had a good time! This route was fun.
Partners: Stephen & Lynn

 

Dark Shadows - 5.8

There was a lot of parties on this popular classic route! For this outing I teamed up with Courtney and Bridgitte. We all took turns leading which was really cool. Courtney dropped one of my nuts in the water below us, but the team behind us retrieved it for us. On this route I ran into some new friends I had met the previous week on Tele-vision to Tunnel Vision. For the last pitch, Bridgitte took forever because she thought she had to climb the wide section. She didnt realize you could just face climb! 
Partners: Brigitte & Courtney

 

Y2K - 5.10a

I teamed up once again with Brigitte and Courtney for Y2K! The first pitch was a beautiful 5.10a face climb with a fun roof for a crux. Pulling easy roof moves is one of my favorite styles of climbing! The second pitch was a beautifully exposed jug haul in 5.8 territory. I brought a full rack but you truly only need a single rack for this entire route. There wasn’t very many places for gear and some places actually felt a bit chossy. The wind was blowing hard which made my lead much more thrilling. Finding the way was easy, which was awesome. All the belay stations were bolted except for the last 5.9 pitch. Brigitte led the 5.9 pitch with mostly nuts. Some of the gear placements were too shallow for my comfort but that’s really all you get! I was glad Brigitte led this pitch. Brigitte and Courtney studied the rappel beta carefully and got us down without any hiccups. I was super appreciative that they both put in a lot of effort to studying the beta ahead of time. Great partners and a terrific climb! 
Partners: Brigitte & Courtney

La Cierta Edad - 5.10d

Definitely one of my top favorite multi-pitch adventure in Red Rock after Triassic Sands! The beginning pitch is a 5.8 and it actually had some moves on it! Felt a bit stiff for a 5.8 rating. The crux was thin and I had to think about the sequence a lot. Sean also felt that the 5.8 rating is sandbagged. Who knows, maybe something broke. I led the chimney 5.9 pitch. I climbed it poorly and ended up taking at the bolt. My lack of experience climbing chimneys caused me to stem this pitch and made it harder than it should me. Sean led the next two pitches which were very exciting! They both required some off-width climbing techniques which made me nervous but I actually found the off-width section much easier than Dolphin 5.7 in Joshua tree. I would love to go back and lead the 5.10 sections. I’ll have someone else lead the chimeny pitch. 
Partner: Sean

 

Other notable multi-pitches were: Black Magic (5.8), Purblind Pillar (5.8), and Peyote Power (5.9). All in all, it was a great summer challenging myself to learn trad and multi-pitches. I am excited to go back and lead pitches I struggled on with the beta to be able to climb them smoothly. I am back in California for the summer and will be doing some more trad climbing in Joshua Tree. 


Gear Used

November 19, 2021
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