Black Velvet Canyon, Red Rocks


We had planned to do a hike today, but were enticed by Oscar and Jules’ plan to get an early start on Frogland (5.8-), a seven-pitch route in Black Velvet Canyon. The morning goes well, and we have the base of the route to ourselves at 9 am. Jules follows Oscar up the first pitch, decides she can’t climb with a pack and lowers it to us. I start up feeling good. The tides of the day start to shift when Jezze starts barking, and another party approaches. They inquire about the route, and I yell down that they shouldn’t expect us to be quick because we don’t do a lot of multipitch. I can’t hear the response, but when Ann gets close to the belay I can see she’s in bad shape. She wants to bail, and I agree that six more pitches of misery aren’t worth pursuing. We wait for the next party and fix our rope to rap off, asking them to drop it when we got down. Of course we get tangled up with their ropes and nothing is easy. On our own again, Ann tells me that they were rude to her at the bottom and pressured her to be off by dark. Several times I glance up at them, three on a rope, one a complete novice, crawling up at maybe a pitch per hour. We try to ward off the bitterness and imagine returning on a longer, hot summer day when we might have the climb to ourselves. Ann takes a nap in the sun while I wander up the canyon to the awe-inspiring big walls rising up from the confines of the dry wash. Still dealing with lingering disappointment, worries, and frustrations, we head in to town where Ann has a shower, we drink tea and talk, have Sushi, shop for gear, and manage to climb into our bags feeling good again.

7 responses to “Black Velvet Canyon, Red Rocks”

  1. what a bunch of fucking assholes.
    this makes me very angry.
    ann, you gotta get some thicker skin if yer gonna climb THERE. that’s a very typical M.O. for climbers at the Red Rocks… that is not the first time I have heard a story like that.
    i wish it had been me there.

    i can’t even express myself in words. that just pisses me off so much. i wish i hadn’t read it.

  2. i am still pi$$ed at those wankers … remember when we set up the TR on “Coarse and Buggy”?.. those wankers.
    i wish we had stayed on it ’til dark just to fugg with them.


    the one and only time i climbed at Tahquitz, my friend was 1/2 way up the second pitch (me @ belay) of The Open Book.
    2 climbers approached the base and i heard / saw the guy who turned out to be the leader yell to his friend (as he stamped his feet)
    well, i didn’t know what this meant, but i knew it was directed at us and i knew it wasn’t good.
    well, i asked my friend Gene.. God, what a great partner he was… he was all calm and said “Oh, a ‘route bagger’ is someone who will run, cut trail or do whatever it takes to get ahead of you so they can get on the route first.”
    clearly, this was not us, i mean he was 1/2 up the 2nd pitch when those shitknockers came up.

    still, this thing at RR pi$$es me off waaay more. grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
    i mean, they had 3(!!!) people on the rope and one was a novice. talk about pigging up a route!
    i have to leave this subject, i am gettiing angered. ..

  4. shoulda gone into “Sin City” and got a kikk butt hotel room at the Rio or sumpin’. that’d cured your ills. .. breakfast buffet.. heh. ok, i am fantasizing again.

  5. ok.. i am done, septin’ for one stupid story i never brought up.

    me and a old partner Mark went to Fossil Falls .. this is when i lived in Ventura.
    we get there and the UCLA Lesbian club had ropes on all the route in the upper falls (i have still NEVER climbed up there).
    i saw one and she, withoug being prompted, angrily said “We have ropes on all the routes in the upper falls.”
    i just smiled and kept walking.

    OH! the routes at “Scotty’s Bluff”.. the columnar jointed crack area visible from the road.. apparently the Cartwright’s came up to some climbers we met the other weekend and told ’em to get out.

    ironic that it’s either Feinstein and Boxer or it’s private owners that wanna keep you off the rock. sick.

    ok, i am done with subject. for now.

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