Friday The 13th
P2 P2 P2 P3
Non-refundable, non-adjustable, non-direct, hardly pressurized, barely heated, almost outside-the-plane seats but a bargain otherwise -kind of fare on United and a shit forecast for Red Rocks
. Oh well. I bust out of the office at 4:30pm sharp running to my car only to find a totally deflated tire. As the tires were due for a change 50K miles ago, I care little for them & roll a mile on the flat to Les Schwab to swap in the spare. Pick up Shirley from work & we make check-in as boarding begins…A quick call of nature needs answering and so I burst into the nearest restroom and soon am exhaling a sigh of relief over a melodious sound of a small waterfall. Wait – why no urinals in this establishment? And why is this woman staring at me as I zip myself up?? Shirley comes out of the next stall with a “what-the-hell” look on her face but quickly comes to my defense: “It’s OK miss, he’s a just a harmless pervert.” We park our behinds among the live cattle and chickens in the steerage area of the 757 and breathe a sigh of relief only to hear the captain announce that we’ll be 2 hrs late pushing from the gate. There goes the connection (United sucks!). We run out of the plane, and I prostrate myself in front of the check-in person begging for a change of dates. A bit of crawling & kissing of her boots and we get credit for our tickets (United rules!!). Head home & spend the three day weekend watching DVD’s & rain.
A Week Later...
P3 P2 P4 P4 P5 P4 P5 P9 P2 - ooh, just like that P6 - Deeelicious! P4
So we’ve been monitoring RR
weather all week long. Beautiful – sunny and 60’s. But of course an appreciable chance of precip for the weekend. Ahhh – perfect. All is right with the universe: we still have the touch when it comes to seeking out shitty weather. Nevertheless, we repeat the previous Friday’s events, minus the flat tire but including another “accidental” visit to the wrong restroom (daddy got a new hobby it seems…) but this time all goes well and we actually make Red Rocks
at 1am. We go for our main goal early on Saturday as Sunday looks worse and we only have until 4pm anyway…
Hike in to Black Velvet Wall
at the ass crack of dawn. Are we lost? We must be lost. Not a soul within sight or earshot?! What is this universe we ended up in?? I reluctantly agree to take odds (reluctant only for show – all preplanned for me to get the shorter, generally easier and always ending on superior belay ledges pitches) and start up the 5.6 opener of Turkeys
. Shirley quickly dispatches pitch 2 and we’re rolling. Things move well – pitch 3 crack is indeed harder than the traverse above and pitch 4 finale is the crux (but that’s Shirley’s problem & she takes care of it nicely). Pitch 5 traverse is fun and Shirley enjoys the patina flake pulling on pitch 6. Pitch 7 is cool but I can’t remember exactly what it was and pitch 8 is a quick scramble. I get my favorite pitch of the route (#9 – looks hard but climbs like warm butter….ummmm good!) and Shirley takes us to the top of 10. There’s a stream running down the face there but the pitch itself is mostly dry. Though the sun never shines on us (BV wall is shady esp. in winter time and there’s overcast over whole of Red Rocks) there is also no wind and so conditions are excellent. A party comes along and engages in a heavy carpet bombing campaign against the base of Epinephrine (guessing they were establishing a new route up-canyon…can’t imagine an existing line being that loose!). A couple parties top out on Whiskey Peak
, but there is not a soul on Black Velvet Wall
all day long! We rap POD
next-door fearing that our new tangle-prone twins will cluster-f but things go smoothly and we’re down 10 pitches in about an hour. Did I mention that there was not a soul on BV Wall…on a dry and pleasant Saturday!
A Day Later...
Our main goal ticked off, we wake up late on Sunday. Though we thought about going back to BV Wall
, we don’t feel like it (esp. w/o butt bags for hanging belays). Flip through the guidebook and settle on breakfast. Finally, we’re at the base of Y2K lunch-timeish with a thickening overcast above. Shirley starts up the first pitch, pulls the roof and whips (to my surprise as I thought she was through the crux already). It starts to drizzle and that’s my excuse for not offering to try the lead. We bail and hike out in rain. By the time we’re done with lunch, the drizzle seems to have stopped. No matter – time to go home. Epic 9-hour flight home ensues (could’ve reached London in that time).
DOWT on BV Wall