I just got home from a week-long vacation last night.
I was walloped by a winter storm on my way to meet Mike Layton in Vegas. Interstate 40 was closed in Flagstaff. After a couple of beers and the worst bar food I've ever had, I managed to sneak onto the highway via a different entrance. Then it was a surreal drive on a deserted highway with snow 6" deep and no visibility. That night at the Red Rocks campground, I longed for my warmer camping gear.
The next morning started sunny so Mike and I made for Orange Clonus. But a persistent snow squall stymied us atop the first pitch.
We bailed to a casino and watched a movie.
The next night was slightly warmer and the following day we tried the same route again. The first pitch starts with some stiff sport climbing that felt harder than 10d.
The fifth pitch is the raison d'etre of the route: a long, sustained thin-hands to hands splitter.
Mike climbs through a bulge.
My rope got caught and I had to cut it on the first rappel. Such is the way at Red Rocks. We left Las Vegas for Zion where the atmosphere would be more relaxed than the Red Rocks ghetto.
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