Diet Delight is an ideal objective during suspect (read cold and windy) winter days at Red Rocks, NV. It is featured on Chris’s SuperTopo site as well as in the Red Rocks Falcon Guide. Diet Delight, along with a few other short routes, is located on the shorter (than the upper south wall) east face of Windy Peak at the entrance to Windy Canyon. The advantage of the shorter approach as well as the east face being more protected from the prevailing winds in Windy Canyon make for less committing climbs than the classic routes on Windy Peak, namely Hot Fudge Thursday and Jubilant Song.
We had the east face of Windy Peak as well as the south face the next day completely to ourselves in December (2007). Windy Peak is named such for a reason, the upper face is south facing and the prevailing winds from west to east do enter the head space of leaders en route. I found the east face much more protected during the windy days I was climbing.
The descent for Diet Delight can be scrambled down making the route plausible despite windy conditions. The rock is smooth with fractured climbing up cracks and dihedrals. The route offers a little bit of everything, crack, stemming, etc. Diet Delight is another George and Joanne classic from the 70’s.
Catch Highway 160 off of I-15 south of Vegas and travel west towards Pahrump. After several lights, you will pass the Highway 159 junction on your right, which leads to the Red Rocks Loop Road. There are several dirt roads on the right that will get you to the base of Windy Canyon. I used the direct approach which requires a high clearance vehicle. There is a dirt road on the right that runs right below a large cliff wall to its right that emerges from the desert floor. Turn right off of the main highway, curve left and then take the right fork as it descends via a dip. Follow this somewhat treacherous road as it leads due north. Turn left at the dead end and pull off at the 2nd right pullout. This is the preferred trailhead for the Windy Mountain routes. You will be facing the east face. The 1000’ south face is quite a ways up canyon.
Descend from the trail head looking to gain a trail that eventually circumvents the obvious large pile of brown and red rocks to the right. Descend into a wash from there and attempt to pick up any number of faint trials, not that there really is an established one beyond wild burro trails, that lead up to the base of the east face. Diet Delight starts mostly center of the face up a short pillar to a thin crack in the middle of the largest clean face as seen on approach.
Route Description400’, 4 Pitches, 5.9
This is a true trad route, requiring you to build your own stations.
1st Pitch- 150’- 5.9/ The 2nd pitch showcases the crux move of the route, but the fist pitch is more sustained for the grade. Follow easy ground up the short pillar and then follow the thin crack as it angles right into a corner. Move up and left on easy ground into another corner and ledge that you can fix a belay with a #1 Camelot and a nut. Ignore the fixed station out right.
2nd Pitch- 95’- 5.9/ Easy climbing up an assortment of flakes, offering little pro, that angle left landing you at the crux move of the route which is protected by a relatively new bolt (only fixed gear on Diet Delight in 2007). Clip the bolt and pull the slight overhang up and into an easy 5.8 corner climb above a large ledge. Belay at a comfortable treed ledge to the right with several .4 Camelots. There is a pocket of sorts for a .75 Camelot, but I would have preferred to have saved two .4’s for a bomber crack above the pocket instead.
3rd Pitch- 70’- 5.8/ Follow a corner feature up as it turns right past a bush for 70’. You can sink a #4 Camelot on this pitch if you brought it. The belay takes a #2 and #3.
4th Pitch- 70’- 5.8/ You can probably combine these last two pitches, albeit experiencing quite a bit of rope drag. The last pitch is fun, but short lived and easy for the grade. Climb an arête to the left of a large crack/crevice. Scramble up to a horizontal crack where you can place #2 or #3 Camelots to build your final station.
DescentYou can scramble down an obvious gully to the west by scrambling up 50 meters or so and traversing left into it. A few cairns showed the way in 2007. Once down 400’ or so, traverse back left to the base of Diet Delight and then reverse direction and ramp up to the base of Jackass Flats to add two more pleasant pitches to your day. The approach to the base of Jackass Flats is not well marked and takes some thought.
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