Monday, June 4, 2012

Rainbow Wall - Mammut Peaks Project Climb

JD and I spent the past few days climbing on the Rainbow Wall. We were one of the US teams selected for Mammut's 150 Peaks Anniversary project. Originally the climb was to be the Nose Route  of El Capitan but the team had to change the location to the Rainbow Wall in Red Rocks. 

We arrived in the Las Vegas area last Thursday just in time for the areas first heat wave. We were ready for hot weather but not for 105 to 110 degrees. This extreme heat was a major concern for the two of us. Our plans were to spend two days on the wall. We decided to adjust our plans and climb when the route was shaded (12pm to 8pm) and then descend as the wall heated up the following morning. This plan worked well as we climbed over half of the route in reasonable temps to our bivi area. It was a treat to be high up and able to rest, refuel and recover high up on the wall. The following morning as the sun started baking the wall we made the decision to descend and escape the unrelenting sun and heat. 

Enjoy the photos of our Rainbow Wall climb.   

JD's first sight of the canyons and walls in Red Rocks.
Prepped with Mammut packs, ropes, and technical equipment.

Rainbow Wall up high right of center.

Art loaded down for the start of the long approach from Pine Creek.

We were amazed to see this cacti bloom in the scorching desert heat.

The approach steepens into Juniper Canyon.

The final slabs approach to the base of the route.

JD cruising in style on the Rainbow Wall.

I was given the opportunity to climb with Art Mooney of Mooney Mountain Guides thanks to Mammut and their 150 peaks project. Learning more about big wall processes and getting to experience climbing in such an amazing place was just awesome! The heat of the desert was brutal but made getting into the shade very rewarding. Climbing with Art was a fun and educational experience. Learning how to improve systems, refine rope work, and just enjoying being up on the wall. Good team work and communication is always important for a climbing team and made our climb more successful. Art's commitment to safety and to drive forward inspired me to keep pushing myself and trust my climbing partner when he needed me to get past a challenge.

After seeing the lights of Vegas and waking up on a ledge after an amazing day of climbing; I felt inspired to keep climbing an wasn't ready to head down.

It was an amazing experience and I am very greatful to have been selected for this opportunity. Mammut, you guys rock! Thank you so much for everything. Art, I'm still amazed by some of the moves you pulled off in aproach shoes! Thank you for everything and I look forward to climbing with Art and Mooney Mountain Guides in the future!


Steep climbing ended with hanging belays. 

View from our bivi site on Rainbow Wall.

JD getting a break after a long day. 

We were treated to the Las Vegas light show. 

JD and I enjoying our bivi area.

The rising big ball of fire - starting to heat up.

JD descending the clean dihedral on the middle pitches.

Desert wear - no points for fashion but the wet bandana kept the body much cooler. 

JD and I back at the car in the early afternoon.

Thanks to Mammut for this amazing experience. JD and I enjoyed meeting and climbing together and are making plans for another climb soon!

Art Mooney
IFMGA Mountain Guide  

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