New Route in Red Rock!

Above all other peaks and walls in Red Rock Nevada, Mt. Wilson looms the most impressively. I'd never climbed Mt. Wilson, but after climbing The Warrior on Cactus Flower Tower, I knew what route I wanted to attempt. From atop of the spire, I'd seen a line of cracks leading up for a few pitches from the Wilson/Cactus Flower Tower col, on the NE Face of Wilson. How better to try a new route on Mt. Wilson than by heading up a new line on Cactus Flower Tower to get there?

I was easily able to entice former Washingtonian Chris Weidner into joining me, and we began with a chimney just left of The Warrior. 
P1 was wide climbing, and just mossy enough to make me feel at home.

Roughly 1000' of great 5.9 crack climbing lead us to the final anchor on The Warrior, and the easy romp to summit #1. 


A belayed downclimb and one rappel landed us in the windy col.

Downclimbing to the col

The route on Wilson was only 3 belayed pitches, but the middle one had long and varied crack climbing that is THE BEST crack pitch I've climbed in Red Rock. 
Perfect cracks!

This route (we named it the Cactus Connection) would be an easy way to finish after any route up Cactus Flower Tower. There are certainly other obvious new routes available there too.

Here are a few photos of the new routes.

Chris Weidner posted info here:


It amazes me that one can still walk up to a feature easily visible from the highway in one of the nation's busiest climbing spots, and establish two new routes ground-up, onsight, and boltless in a day. 

Atop Wilson amid raging winds

We found a very casual descent from Mt. Wilson into Oak Creek, past Solar Slab, and out to our car.

  1. Walk straight away from the Hwy for ~25 mins, staying on the ridge crest
  2. Soon after the ground changes from red sandstone to grey limestone, hang a hard right down toward Oak Creek.
  3. As long as you are descending a drainage near the limestone/sandstone interface (err skier's left) you'll be easily able to walk back to the car using just a single 40' rappel from a fixed rope roughly halfway down the wash. Everything else is mellow walking.


Rocking Red Rock

I was in Red Rock for a week, climbing, teaching at the Red Rock Rendezvous, and working on some product design sessions for Outdoor Research.

I climbed a bunch of excellent routes:

  • Cloud Tower
  • Rainbow Wall
  • Ancient Futures
  • Adventure Punks
  • Spring Break / Tarantula / Gotham City
  • Texas Hold 'Em
  • Velvet Tongue (some of)
  • Cactus Flower Tower
  • Mt. Wilson
In Red Rock, it seems to make the most sense to basically ignore 70% of the routes there (anything on light-colored rock, most of the single pitching) and focus on the swaths of amazing stone, where every route is good.

Black Velvet Canyon, Brownstone Wall, South Side of Juniper Canyon, South Side of Pine Creek, and a few other smaller areas seem to house the best concentrations of good routes. Almost all of the good multipitch climbing faces north, but we did spend one colder day climbing some amazing overhung trad routes (Spring Break area) in Icebox Canyon.

Ancient Futures was really really good- definitely worth a lot more traffic than it gets, which isn't much. We also rapped the route with 1 70m rope (from atop the Elephant's Trunk on Epinephrine) and I posted some beta here

Velvet Tongue - I'm definitely going to be back for this one. The climbing is unforgettable, the wall is shady and quickly approached, and there are lots of new bolts! Now I just need to practice uncontrolled falls into and out of a corner. 

Cloud Tower

Panhandle Crack on Texas Hold 'Em

Cloud Tower P4

Bryan Gilmore Crushes Rainbow Wall

Cruxy moves on Texas Hold 'Em - Black Velvet Wall

More Rainbow Wall

Bryan on Ancient Futures - Black Velvet Wall

Chris Weidner amid overhanging hand jams atop the Black Velvet Wall

Gilmore pre-cruxing on Ancient Futures

This surly Scottish fellow tried to feed me tinned fish.

Adventure Punks with a couple fellow PNWers and an OR employee

Dialing in our Easter Egg skills

More Ancient Futures (the last pitch) - this belays atop the Elephant's Trunk on Epinephrine

Texas Hold 'Em delivered lots of fun again - Both of the 5.10+ pitches are among the best of their grade in the park. But I really want to know the story with that wildly overhung bolted arete to the right of the final pitch on Hold 'Em.