Grace Wu

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Stop #21: Las Vegas / Red Rock Canyon

My dad and I headed back to Las Vegas for a few days, again staying with my Aunt. We didn’t do much touristy things (both my dad and I are terrible at gambling) but we did drive through the Strip once to drop off my Aunt’s friend. I think I can confidently say I don’t need to come back to that part of Vegas ever again. 😆

The one thing I would definitely come back to do is the climbing. Red Rock Canyon is famous in the climbing world, but most people come during the cooler months to climb the sandstone. Random fact: the sandstone walls are NOT climbable after it rains. The sandstone will crumble when wet.

I didn’t think I’d be able to climb during my stay there since I had no partners and the high was still in the upper 90’s. But then I met a nice ranger at the nearby Spring Mountain Ranch State Park and although he couldn’t climb, he put me in touch with his friend Taylor. (Grateful for nice people like these two!)

Taylor and I met up early in the morning and headed to Panty Wall. To find climbs outdoors, a location is divided up into sections and then further divided up into individually named walls, each with their own set of climbs. Panty Wall got its name from a black mark on the wall, said to resemble a lady’s undergarment.

This wall amazingly has many easy routes lined up in a row, which is not always the case when climbing outside. Also, this wall is in the shade until about 11am. Thank goodness. I hadn’t climbed on this kind of sandstone before and it was interesting. Holds included thin flakes that looked like they would pop off any minute. Now I could really see why you don’t climb here when the rock is wet. While Taylor was on a climb, a Northern Harrier hawk flew overhead. We cranked out four climbs just as the sun was cresting the wall.

We packed up and headed back to the parking lot. I left with some sore fingers and a new friend. I can’t wait to get back out to Red Rock for more climbing. 😁

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