In February, Manley Feinberg and I set out for one of our favorite places to climb in the world, Red Rock Canyon.
We believe that recovery from “vacation” should take you a good week or you didn’t really go on a vacation. We caught a direct flight on South West Airlines and landed in Las Vegas around 10:00 PM. By the time we got the rental car, went to the grocery and lugged our gear up to the room it was around 12:00 AM. Finally at 2:30 AM we were racked up and ready!
My bed prior to racking up!
As I was drifting off to sleep I was visualizing putting on my shoes, tying my knot and dipping my hands in my chock bag. As I dipped my hands in my chalk bag I realized that I didn’t actually pack my chalk bag in my pack. I quickly got up and packed it, who says visualization doesn’t work. I finally drifted off to sleep and at the wonderful hour of 5:00 AM the sound of Ducks from my iPhone and Bob Marley from Manley’s proceeded to play in concert with each other. Now that is a wake up call!
Our goal for the day was Master Z and Armatron. All in all with some 3rd class scrambling we were looking at 1,720 feet of climbing. Considering we live in the flat state of Missouri we were PSYCHED! After an hour of hiking and a bit of bush-whacking we finally found the start of Master Z
According to Gearlooptopo.com the first pitch is 140 feet with the crux about 40 feet below where you setup your anchor in the chimney.
Me leading Pitch 1 right above the Crux
After 140 feet of climbing, I reached the chimney where I built my anchor. I plugged a #4 Camelot way up in the chimney and girth hitched two slings around the rock to give me three points. As I was breaking down the anchor pieces of the rock started to crumble so I was happy to the #4.
Next it was Manley’s turn to lead the 110 foot second pitch. He got several pitches throughout the day with poor pro options. He is a very creative one when it comes to placing gear. I always love following him to see what he comes up with.
Coming up Pitch 2 – Look at those plates!
I was back on the sharp in for the 140 foot 4rd pitch. This pitch was extremely easy, the rock was beautiful and the weather was AMAZING!
As I reached the 140 foot point I saw this HUGH chalk stone from which I built a natural anchor. Who doesn’t love natural anchors?
Manley coming up pitch 4
Manley was back on point for pitch 5. This was a 140 foot 5.6 R pitch and this would get us to the 230 feet of scrambling back to the Brown Stone Wall.
Manley ready to lead pitch 5.
Manley flew up this pitch and setup the anchor to bring me up.
Right before the anchors on Pitch 5.
Quickly were at the top of Master Z and ready to begin the 3rd class scrambling.
Summit Picture of Master Z
After the 3rd class scrambling we reached the base of the Brown Stone Wall by about 10:00 AM. So all in all it took us about 3 hours to climb Master Z. It was time for lunch and a little break in the sun.
Next up was the 5.9, 4 pitch Armatron.
It was my lead for pitch 1 and this climbing was significantly different than that of Master Z. After clipping 5 bolts in 110 feet I reached the anchors for a slight hanging below.
Me Racking Up For Pitch 1
Me Leading Pitch 1 – Look at those beautiful blue sky!
Switching leads it was Manley’s turn to lead the 5.9 160 foot pitch 2 and the CRUX! To make matters a bit worse it also says there is a loose block right at the crux. Manley sent this was flying colors as he usually does. I pulled hard on what I thought was the loose block, but it that was it, it wasn’t that loose.
View from anchor off of pitch 1
Manley Leading Pitch 2 – Picture came from Go Pro Hero
Next up was the 160 foot 5.6 pitch 3. The plates on this pitch were amazing. The rocks at Red Rock Canyon can be so varnished at times it is something else to see. I got several C3’s in on this pitch and a few smaller nuts.
Once again it was Manley’s turn to lead us to the summit. Pitch 4 is a 110 foot 5.6 pitch and it ends on a nice ledge which lent itself to a nice summit shot. Manley brought his photo extender and this turned out to work great for getting a different perspective on summit shots.
After the summit, we rapped 4 times to the base of the wall and put our shoes back on. We then proceeded to hike back to the car. In the book it says it takes 2 hours to hike up to the Brown Stone Wall, but it took us about that time to hike down from the wall. It is a slog up to the wall if you don’t climb Master Z. At least it would be for this Flat-Lander. At about 6:15 PM we reached the car and headed back to Las Vegas for a nice dinner with friends.
Thanks to Manley for taking all the pictures.