After a day of short bolted routes, we decided to go back to the more fun traditional multi pitch climbs, but we would stick to ones in the sun (but keeping the grades reasonably moderate to look after Pete’s finger tendon injury)…
On Tuesday we started with the first on our tick list – Geronimo.
The route started well, steep easy climbing with great holds. I was getting ready to start the second pitch when Pete exclaimed “f**k!” 😯 and he watched his rock shoe fly off the HUGE(!) ledge down in to the abyss below. 🙄 There was nothing for it, we had to descend. Amazingly the shoe had actually landed right next to our bags, but there wasn’t enough time to complete the route before the loop road closed (big fines), so we retreated back to the hotel for consolation tea and cakes.
We had more ambition for Wednesday, so we went for Jubilant Song. This is an excellent climb and extremely committing, starting out with some off-roading, then a 1.5 hour hike up a very steep hillside (where we saw some long horned sheep), then eight pitches of awesome climbing which finished with topping out on to a summit with fantastic views. We couldn’t linger though, the sun was setting, although the light from the setting sun made the Red Rock panorama around us even more dramatic. We ran back down the relatively easy descent gully to the bags just as it got completely dark. Next we had the steep descent back to the car with one head torch and a mini maglite with flat batteries between us. We were knackered, and relieved, by the time we “found” the car.
After a days rest (and sight seeing), we decided to spend the last day (Friday) on the sunny Solar Slab. Excellent and fun climbing in the sun all day, even though it was actually only 3°C.