Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Crimson Chrysalis

Vegas baby! After Pumpkinman, Anatoly, Stephen and I went to Stephen’s parents house to enjoy the hot tub and dinner. Paul visited with friends on the strip and made it over around 1am. We decided to crash there and just drive the 15 min to Red Rock Canyon in the morning. A 5am wake up call was unwelcome, but we drug ourselves to the car and headed out. Arrived at the gate, organized our crap and drove in promptly at 6am. Pine Creek pullout is close to the end of the 13 mile one way loop. We were on the trail to Juniper Canyon at 6:30am and made it to the base of the climb (up a huge ramp!) a little after 8am.

Here is the rockclimbing.com description:
“Crimson Chrysalis is one of those climbs listed in the North American Classics. It is a spectacular crack system that ascends the massive pillar on the north side of Rainbow Mountain. Head up the obvious ramp to the base of the pillar. Locate the massive crack disappearing into the sky. Although only 5.8+, it is still a major undertaking. Watch the rope-eating rappels.”

Boy does that massive crack disappear. The size of this wall is colossal. Paul took the lead on the first pitch and I bit the bullet and lead the 2nd pitch. It was awesome!! Paul lead the rest of the climb until pitch 7 which was a 9 bolt 110’ climb. I thought I’d be fine with just draws and didn’t take the rack. Mistake! I clipped 6 bolts and couldn’t see another one until about 40’ above the last one. 80’ fall? I don’t think so. I downclimbed (scary!) to my last draw and Paul lowered me. We made it to the top of that pitch (with 2 placements) and made it to the red stripe!! It was after 3pm and 3:30 was our last possible turn around time, so we decided to skip the last 2 short pitches and rap down. We watched/pulled and prayed on those rope-eating rappels and luckily didn’t have any epics. Made it to the base by 5pm and to the car at 6:30…just in time to avoid a $250 ticket. In and Out on the strip for dinner, returned the rental car and flew home. Home sweet home crashing into my bed.

Not your typical weekend in Vegas.

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