There were about a dozen total climbers in our crew, I met about half of them for the first time on the trip. Hello to @eleddy, @sudarkoff, @adrienneknits, @rockgrrl, @voden, @katiebeth, @tiffanymroyal, @joshuamontague, @chadcat, @JeremyShapiro, and @pwcarey, who took the above photo of me above on the 2nd day.
The trip was fantastic. I'd driven through red rock once before, but this was a different way to experience the park. There were unmarked trails in guidebooks which once followed led to hidden cracks chock full of other climbers, it felt like "the secret world" of Red Rock. This was only our third trip climbing outside of the gym, so it was even more of an experience for us.
Magic Bus area, which is actually one of the less red of the red rocks. A pretty vertical flat face, a great way to warm up. We heard some thunder in the distance, ate some lunch and as the area started to get crowded we headed on to Black Corridor for the afternoon. Black Corridor is a area with two vertical walls facing each other, like if you cut a loaf of bread in half and pulled the halves apart just a little bit. There were a ton of people already here, but there were also a ton of different routes available. It was a perfect afternoon spot as the two walls gave you plenty of shade when you weren't on the rock. I tried a fun route that was giving everyone trouble, a 5.10 (in theory) with a specific move about halfway up that none of us could get past. It required pulling up on a ledge not deep enough to get a whole finger joint onto.
Panty Wall in the morning whose base was a wide flat ledge above another vertical cliff, so it was a bit nerve wracking for several of us, myself included, when looking down at the drop below. But the view of the canyon was georgeous and the routes on the wall were lots of fun. For the afternoon, the group decided to head over to Calico Basin, on the flip side of Red Rock's best formation, but technically outside the park. We climbed around on Cannibal Crag, a massive boulder with routes on both sides. Jeremy showed me how to do a pitched route (although only 1 pitch) as well as how to lead belay, as we climbed the route "you are what you eat" with the big crack you can see in the picture to the left.
There were a few people with camera's going all the time, namely Cristin and Peter. Lots of photos available for anyone interested. I'm the guy usually in the blue jacket and orange helmet.
- Some Red Rock Photos (not climbing): http://picasaweb.google.com/jennifer.mccain/RedRockCanyonApril2010
After we departed Red Rock, Cristin and I took a side trip to Death Valley for 2 nights. We did a couple fun hikes, including one through a canyon with extremely smooth marbled walls that get cut by waterfalls in the rainy months, making for some fun little rock slides. Another hike took us to the base of a small ice melt waterfall at a higher elevation, something I never expected to find in Death Valley. It was literally a desert oasis. Wherever the water flowed there was tons of life, but only a few feet away it was dry desert terrain. There are more photos of death valley here: http://picasaweb.google.com/jennifer.mccain/DeathValleyApril2010