Mike and I spent a week rock climbing at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area — better known as “Red Rocks” — just west of Las Vegas. It’s about an 8-hour drive from Reno, out of the Great Basin and into the Mojave. Once there, we met up with Anchorage friends Bryn Clark and Louis Sass, and then Don Wray and his friend Jackie came over from Colorado for a few days as well. So we were a merry group of six climbing up crags and coming back down again, and enjoying beers, food and good company at the BLM campground near the canyons.
It was fun to spend a few days in the Mojave, with its warmer temperatures, tarantulas on the move, and fragrant creosote. We all did dinner in town one night, at Main Street Station Casino which has a nice brewpub. Our final day in the area was topped off with a Grand Day Out on a route called Solar Slab, twelve pitches and 1500 feet of moderate climbing on sun-baked sandstone. Getting everyone up and down (12 rappels) added up to 13 hours car-to-car — what a day! Here are some highlights from a week of sandstone and sleeping in the “four-season Ford” — deluxe!