Friday, May 28, 2010

Red Rocks

Glad to get out of the gloomy weather in the valley, our first stop: in-n-out. Two double double hamburgers and fries, soo good. Around 8 hours later, our next stop: wal mart. It was nice to buy food at half the price of the grocery store in yosemite village. Starving, we decided to make dinner right there in the parking lot. I guess because I had been camping for two weeks already, for some reason I didn't really think it would be a big deal. Many laughed and stared as I boiled pasta on my whisperlite stove. Just as we were done eating, the wal mart managers came out and told us that we couldn't barbeque in the parking lot.. because a car might back into us and it was a liability issue... right.

We pulled into the group campground just outside of vegas around midnight. We thought we might be able to get away without paying. As I cooked banana pancakes the next morning, to start the day off right, the campground hosts drove up. The lady was probably the meanest person I've ever talked to.. no joke. She was trying to make us pay $40 for staying in the site. We were able to get away with only paying $15, which was the price of a normal site. We finished eating, packed up, and then headed for oak creek canyon to climb black orpheus. We cruised up it, but the hike was pretty long. It takes about an hour and a half to get there, and two to get back.

We saw this guy on the road, so we moved it so no one would run it over.

For the next day, we planned to climb levitation 29, a classic ten pitch 5.11c. I was nervous because I was going to lead the steep crux on pitch 5. I've never climbed that hard, that high off the deck. I sent it, and then decided to link the next 5.11 pitch. I was super pumped, but thought that I'd rather fall linking the two pitches, than onsight both pitches with a rest between them to belay Colin up. Colin was also pretty pumped after following the long pitch. It was his turn to lead, but he graciously gave me the next 5.10d pitch. I was psyched, I got it all onsight. 

The grading at red rocks is easier than most places, especially yosemite. There are plenty of 5.9 climbs here in the valley that I am not good enough to lead, yet in red rocks I can climb most of the 5.9 in my approach shoes. But still though, on mountain project the consensus is that that route is still 5.11b/c. For some reason all of my pictures didn't get uploaded so I lost some of them, and only got this one below. All the new bolts this route, and black orpheus were super close together. It was almost unreasonable. Sometimes the belays would have up to 5 or 6 bolts.......hmm 

Colin on the first crux on levitation 29.

We decided to take a rest day the next day, and then head back to the yosemite. Colin knew of some hot springs in arizona that weren't too far away (arizona is really close to vegas). Though hot springs didn't sound too appealing because the temperature was in the 80's and I was sunburned, I still wanted to check it out. We had to cross the hoover dam to get there, so that was pretty cool. 

We had to hike 3 miles to get there, it was funny how we passed people with there hiking boots and trekking poles wearing nothing but flip flops and shorts. 

Wild stallions

On our way back to the valley, stopping at in-n-out of coarse, I drove most of the way, and then got too tired about 30 miles from yosemite. We stopped the car and slept for a little while. It was raining, but when we woke up there was 2 inches of snow. Colin's civic equipped with summer tires made driving pretty difficult. Living in colorado for most of my life, I'm more used to driving in snow. I would have kept going, but it's his car, so I agreed to stop and wait until the roads got plowed. Instead of sleeping sitting up in his car, I figured it would be more comfortable to sleep outside in my bivy sack. I slept in a puddle, but I stayed dry. 5 AM I got woken up by a ranger, you're only allowed to sleep in designated camp sites, on walls, or if you have a backpacking permit. Sleeping next to the car didn't fulfill any of those requirements. I explained that we had to pull over because the roads were too bad to drive, and the ranger was totally understanding. The roads looked pretty good, so we drove the rest of the way in.  

Every day I am so amazed at how beautiful this place is. 

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