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Partner cracklover


Jan 15, 2006, 4:21 PM
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Your 10 best climbs
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Hi all,

I'm planning my first climbing road trip ever. I plan to hit a few places in the west, and am looking for recommendations as to which climbs I should do. If you're familiar with any of these places, please give me your top 10 list. And if you haven't actually done the climb yourself, that's okay, feel free to recommend it, but at least let me know that this is second or third hand information!

Feel free to do anything from just listing climbs to raving about why each one is great, and the experience you had. I'm looking for climbs, and also to get psyched!

Here are the places I'd like to hit:

Colorado: Flatirons, Eldo
Utah: Moab area, Zion
Nevada: Red Rocks
California: Yosemite Valley

Timing - April.

My limitations:
Trad - With decent gear, I mostly climb pretty confidently up through 5.9, and can sometimes onsight up to mid 5.10s.
Sport - Up to hard 5.11 or really easy 5.12.
Aid - I'm a noob. Realistically C1+, though I'm going to try hard to get solid at harder stuff before my trip.

Thanks very much in advance!!!

GO
{edited to swap in the Flatirons and swap out RMNP - trying to keep low altitude to avoid snow/ice}


slavetogravity


Jan 15, 2006, 4:39 PM
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In reply to:
Utah: Moab area, Zion

Castleton Tower buy as many routes as possible.


http://www.rockclimbing.com/...mp.cgi?Detailed=2076


valeberga


Jan 15, 2006, 4:39 PM
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It would be kind of interesting if there was a feature here on rc.com by which people could rate routes, much in the same way that photos are rated...


mur


Jan 15, 2006, 4:46 PM
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Red Rocks:

Straight Shooter 5.9
Great Red Book 5.8
Ragged Edges 5.8
Dark Shadows 5.7
Ultraman 5.8+
Blacktracks 5.9
Olive Oil 5.7
Peaches 5.7
Tonto 5.5
Physical Graffiti 5.6

From short and sweet, to easy multi pitch. All Trad ex. Ultraman (bolted slab)


slavetogravity


Jan 15, 2006, 4:48 PM
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In reply to:
Nevada: Red Rocks

Anything on the Black Velvet wall.
http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=22886


trevzilla


Jan 15, 2006, 5:25 PM
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Red Rocks. . .

Olive Oil
Frogland
Tunnel Vision
Group Therapy
Epinephirine
Chrimson Chrysalis (I haven't done this one, but I hear it spectacular)
Johnny Vegas
And ANY other climb out there. It is phenomenol!

Ever thought about climbing Devil's tower too? There are tons of spectacular routes on that as well. Well worth a road trip, depending on the season you go.


slobmonster


Jan 15, 2006, 5:50 PM
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Your trip will be limited significantly by its timing. Save RMNP and Yosemite Valley for a late May-June or early Autumn trip.

That leaves you with the rest.

Moab and Indian Creek can have very stable weather around April, you should be good to go. Sometimes a storm system blows in, and you're hosed, so if you're in a vehicle consider heading down to Mt Lemmon if the shizzle hits the fizzle (did I just type that?).

You've already received a number of suggestions for routes in Red Rocks, so have fun. You might see me there.

Of course Zion is basically in between, so stopping to at least take a looksee is not without precedent. Try your hand at a trade routre, don't take too much gear, have fun.

Yosemite Valley might be out, but the East Side is likely to be fine, with excellent weather. If you have your skis you may find some excellent touring.

Dare I ask: what are you driving?


buddhaclimber


Jan 15, 2006, 5:59 PM
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Indian Creek

Chocolate corner
Fat Cat
Tom cat
Generic Crack......
I could keep going

Eldo

Bastille crack


tslater


Jan 15, 2006, 6:08 PM
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The best road trip I ever did was just about what you're doing. In 16 days we did:

Charlotte Dome-Sierra (Amazing)
American Fork sport stuff
El Matador & Durrance Route - Devil's Tower (must go there!)
Tri-Couni Nail - Needles
Yellow Spur - Eldo
Sidetrips to Freemont Canyon, Wild Iris, Vedovoo (sp?)
Petit Grepon - (amazing summit for 5.8) RMNP
Flagstaff bouldering
Spaceshot - Zion
Stopped by Grand Tetons but it was snowing
Some limestone cave near Vegas
and ended the trip on a sea stack in Big Sur.
If you hit the valley, just pick a classic one. You can't lose.

go for it! Have a blast!


flamer


Jan 15, 2006, 7:52 PM
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April can be hit or miss for the weather....

In Eldo....Yellow spur, bastille crack, hair city, and reggae is a pretty good tour if you've never been.

In RMNP....unless you're down for some serious Alpine check out Lumpy Ridge. It in RMNP but it's sub alpine and gets full sun all day. Try J-crack, femp, Fat city, White whale, and Grapevine.

In moab....Castleton tower is an a good reccomendation. Also do The hidden chimney route on Ancient art in the fishers. Crag in Indian creek.

In Red rock....don't get me started! Classic's have already been listed.

In Zion.....Touchstone is basically a long free route with 2 pitch's of easy aid at the bottom, most of it goes at 5.9, and it's in the sun almost all day.

Have fun!!

josh


areyoumydude


Jan 15, 2006, 8:30 PM
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Yo GO,

In Moab: Ancient Art in Fisher Towers, Owl Rock in Arches NP, The Three Penguins in Arches NP, Space Tower on Kane Creek Road.

In Zion: Touchstone, Spaceshot, Moonlight( Ive only done touchstone, but the others are also C1ish)

In Red Rocks: Epinephrine and Frogland in Black Velvet Canyon.

Yosemite: Central pillar of Frenzy, Brail Book, Royal Arches/Crest Jewel link up, Leaning Towers west face, East Face of Washington Collumn.


Partner cracklover


Jan 15, 2006, 9:54 PM
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A couple of people have suggested that it's too early in the season for Yosemite Valley. If I go there, it'd be late April. Is it general consensus that the weather will be poor then?

Wow, the Nose, huh? Who the hell would consent to head up the nose with an aid noob like me? Damn, that'd be awesome, though!

Re. Devil's Tower - yeah, it looks very cool, and I've thought about visiting it before. A few issues, though: 1 - According to weather data online, it'll be cooler there than in Yosemite Valley. 2 - It's kind of out of the way - sort of North of everything else I was planning to hit. 3 - I only have four weeks, including all the driving time (I figure if I haul ass I'll still lose almost a week just driving out and back from Boston). That leaves six areas to visit in three weeks. Already completely unreasonable!

GO


couloir


Jan 15, 2006, 10:02 PM
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As far as the valley being unclimable in april is very dependent. You can climb there year round, but april can have big, wet storms so it all depends on that. But i'd say go because there won't be anyone there.


hand2foot


Jan 15, 2006, 10:26 PM
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Instead of routes, since Red Rocks has tons, I'll recomend 2 possible days of cragging since road trips can be like military drills.

My favorite day of chill single pitch sport/trad (If you're up for the hiking) is hitting up Sunny and Steep, Winter Heat Wall, and Ying Yang and Atman. All in Calico Basin... which means no driving the loop road, yay!!

Black Velvet of course... must dos are Ixtatlan, Mazetlan(doesn't look great, but it's classic!) Wholesome Fullback, and Our Father (all next to each other) on Whiskey Peak.. Not as tall as the of the Black Velvet classics, but much more varied climbing... and usually not crowded. On the balck Velvet Wall (pretty far from the previous mentioned, but if you're going that way) Sour Mash is great and typically not crowded. Again... no loop road required!

But the classics have been mentioned in previous posts...


Usually I don't give advice, but since I'm crutchin it (got ran over by a car), I'll live vicariously through you


Partner hosh


Jan 16, 2006, 1:02 AM
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I just did Illusion dweller for the first time today (First trip to J-tree! whoo-hoo!!!) and it's a sweet line. I'd highly recoment it. And there's like a million other awesome climbs in J-tree. I'd say put Josh on your hit list.

hosh.


Partner cracklover


Jan 16, 2006, 7:58 AM
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In reply to:
I just did Illusion dweller for the first time today (First trip to J-tree! whoo-hoo!!!) and it's a sweet line. I'd highly recoment it. And there's like a million other awesome climbs in J-tree. I'd say put Josh on your hit list.

hosh.

No doubt, there's a lot of great stuff in J-tree! But I've been there several times, and don't need to hit it on this particular trip.

However, I'm going to remove RMNP (no snow and ice for me, thanks) and add: the Flatirons (near boulder).

GO


Partner pt


Jan 16, 2006, 8:34 AM
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Eldorado:

Ruper
Rosy Crucifixion
Over the Hill
Long John Wall
Bastille Crack
Yellow Spur
Green Spur
Emerald City
Perversion
Xanadu

Lumpy Ridge

Pear Buttress
J-Crack
Loose Ends
Fat City to Cheap Date
The Nose
Kors Flake
Turnkorner
Melvins Wheel
Climb of the Ancient Mariner
The Sorcerer

RMNP

Try Days of Heaven if weather is good. It is lower elevation and not an alpine route.


Partner euroford


Jan 16, 2006, 8:50 AM
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In reply to:
However, I'm going to remove RMNP (no snow and ice for me, thanks) and add: the Flatirons (near boulder). GO

you should definitly add the flatirons. do the classic route on either the 1st or 3rd. they are waywayway easy, but a whole hell of allot of fun. go super lite and fast. we do the flatirons as our 'welcome to the west' climb; after driving all night from chicago we try to arrive at the trailhead about 5:00am, do the climb, get some lunch, crash out. a great first climb for the start of the trip.

i guess if you don't want anything to do with snow and ice i understand knocking rmnp off your list. but you'll be missing out if you do. we've gotten shut down two years in a row by weather attempting the petit and sharkstooth, but can't wait for this years try. i guess whats kept us going for a try a couple years straight at these is the kind of 'whole package' experience of it. the aproach, the scenery, bivying in the gash, kicking steps, nightmares about marmots, really all in all despite having mother nature hand me my ass on a platter its been the best time i've ever had.

for a visit to the estes park/boulder area this is the itinerary i would suggest:

day1: drive all night, arrive at Chautauqua trailhead by 5am. climb the direct route on the 1st flatiron. go get some lunch, drive up to rmnp, pitch camp, chill, drink beer, crash out by 8:00pm

day2: climb kor's flake or some other big classic route at lumpy ridge. hit the backcountry ranger station afterwords and get a bivy permit for the gash on day3 and skypond on day4.

day3: get up early, go hit a mild route at lumpy, like chrome plated or white whale. get back to camp, eat lunch and pack for the backcountry. start marching and bivy on the flat rocks a bit below the start of the northeast ridge on the sharkstooth.

day4: hang your packs near the continental devide near the base of the descent route, then go back down and climb the sharkstooth by the ne ridge route. rap off, get your packs and descend to the base of the petit grepon, chill out, have a scotch, eat, bivy.

day5: climb petit grepon by the south face route, descend, head back to car, go to estes, eat and drink at eds cantina, crash one more night at camp in rmnp.

day6: resume roadtrip.


pmyche


Jan 16, 2006, 9:14 AM
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Yosemite in April:

http://www.ousleycreative.com/(C)chrisfalkenstein.jpg

Like Summer, April can go any way weather-wise. It dumped snow a couple of days before the pic was shot, but weeks of sunshine and sublime temps followed. There was but one other party on the right side during this time.

I'm still trying to sandbag you, Cracklover...hehe, just ribbin' ya. Bagging the Nose has everything to do with how badly one wants it. My Nose partner and I did it after the West Face of the Tower (another insanely nice line I neglected to include on my list). We had been climbing for 4-5 years and led 10+/11- trad (up to 9+/10- on the Nose). We fixed to Sickle and did it in four days after that. No Aliens/offset cams, no Pro-Traxion, no pins, no Ball Nuts, no SuperTopos, no wallmasters on the team.* I can't imagine a guy called "Cracklover" who doesn't want to get in the Stovelegs and every other amazing system up there. GO indeed!

*One of the hacks:
http://supertopo.com/...atured.html?pid=1498


Partner cracklover


Jan 16, 2006, 9:32 AM
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First of all, thanks very much to everyone who's contributed already!

Couple of questions: Estes park - that's up by RMNP, right? I'm trying to stay away from high elevations, thanks. Yes, I know I'll be missing out, but missing out is inevitable, and snow/ice is just not what I'm after on this trip. And Lumpy Ridge - is that high up, too? Sorry, I know I sound like a moron because I don't know what's what, but so be it. I was under the impression that the Flatirons were fairly low elevation.

Thanks again, and keep it coming!

GO


Partner j_ung


Jan 16, 2006, 9:37 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
Nevada: Red Rocks

Anything on the Black Velvet wall.

God. Damn. Right. :D


Partner cracklover


Jan 16, 2006, 9:54 AM
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In reply to:
I can't imagine a guy called "Cracklover" who doesn't want to get in the Stovelegs and every other amazing system up there. GO indeed!

You better believe it!!! But I also have a hell of a lot of respect for that big chunk of stone, and I'm not sure I'm ready for it. What's a good first wall in YV? (Of course finding a partner is a whole other ball of wax.) I'm thinking grade V, or maybe easy grade VI

My wall experience consists of a solo of a grade III/IV in the east (The Prow - Cathedral Ledge, NH), and one grade V (Touchstone - in Zion) with a more experienced partner. Both went very well, for whatever that's worth.

Oh, and in re. to Red Rocks - I've done Sour Mash already (yes, it was excellent!) and Epinephrine is already a definite on my to-do list. Yes, the other recommendations in Black Velvet are welcome, since I'll probably do something smaller there the day before and cache gear near the base, making the approach a lot easier the next day.

GO


edge


Jan 16, 2006, 9:57 AM
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In reply to:
Couple of questions: Estes park - that's up by RMNP, right?

Gabe, it is the gateway to the park, but the elevation is significantly lower than the alpine peaks in the park. Beware, it is like the Hampton Beach of the Rockies. Bring pepper spray to keep the tourists at bay...

In reply to:
And Lumpy Ridge - is that high up, too? Sorry, I know I sound like a moron because I don't know what's what, but so be it. I was under the impression that the Flatirons were fairly low elevation.

Thanks again, and keep it coming!

GO

Lumpy is just outside of Estes, and should be very climbable. I second the recommendations for J Crack and Fat City, both on the Book.

The flatirons should be in fine shape then, and you should hit all of the classic, easy routes on each of them. Easy, but you can get in such a grip it and rip it mode that you will wish it could go on forever.


snoangel


Jan 16, 2006, 10:05 AM
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As far as Yosemite in April, like it's already been said, the weather can go either way. Also, I don't know what your driving route will be, but don't plan on crossing over the Sierra's via one of the passes. Depending on the snow dump (which is getting deep this year), the passes probably won't open until late May, especially Tioga.

If you decide against Yosemite, I would recommend the Eastern Sierra. You won't be able to do any of the alpine routes due to the snow-pack, but there are plenty of fun places to hit for a day of craggin'. Owen's River Gorge (Bishop) is a good place for sport climbing and April is a great time to be there. You can also hit Benton crags (outside of Bishop) for some trad. If you feel like slumming it with the boulderers for a day, :wink: the Buttermilks have simply gorgeous views and great granite.

But I would recommend spending some quality time in Red Rocks. April is a perfect time to be there and the rock is amazing!


pmyche


Jan 16, 2006, 10:11 AM
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In reply to:
What's a good first wall in YV? (Of course finding a partner is a whole other ball of wax.) I'm thinking grade V, or maybe easy grade VI

My wall experience consists of a solo of a grade III/IV in the east (The Prow - Cathedral Ledge, NH), and one grade V (Touchstone - in Zion) with a more experienced partner. Both went very well, for whatever that's worth.

The usual suspects are good first-wall contenders: WFLT, SFWC, the Prow on WC. The Reg of HD is not much harder than those, but more involved due to it's location (and possibly the descent in early season). Any of those those pre-cursors contain most any technique you'll find on the Nose, just less of them (except big penjis...no biggie for anyone with some aptitude and athleticism.)

Heck, you're already soloing walls...you're stoked!

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