Thursday, April 7, 2011

Leaving Las Vegas

Ah Vegas. Land of flashy lights, over indulgence and awesome mountain biking. Yep, the Las Vegas area offers some excellent mountain biking. Twice we rode the trails that start in Blue Diamond (previous post). As with prior visits, we started at the Blue Diamond Bike Outpost. These trails are fun and excellent riding with good climbs, swooping descents and zig-zags through rocky washes. Bootleg Canyon Mountain Bike Park in Boulder City has a little for everyone. From bomber black diamond downhill runs to zippy, technical cross country trails. I only rode one day here, but Tony rode the trails three times. By riding without me he can push his limits and not worry about me taking the correct trail.

Of course, we can't forget why we went to Vegas. Rock climbing! We sampled only a portion of the thousands of rock climbing routes in the area. Of course we visited some old favorites; Sweet Pain, Sunny and Steep, The Gallery and The Trophy. A highlight of our time was visiting four new to us walls in Red Rock. The first was Cannabis Crag . It is located in Calico Basin downstream from Sunny and Steep. The climbing here is a cross between Sunny and Steep and The Gallery. The second new wall was Sonic Youth. It is a shady wall that kept us away during our prior cold December visits. This wall is located at Sandstone Quarry. The third new wall at Red Rock we visited was Cannibal Boulder. This is also located in Calico basin and offers a mix of slightly slabby to steep and powerful routes. The last new wall we visited isn't even in our 15 year old guide book! The Pier is shady and accessed from Sandstone Quarry. There is a good selection of powerful 5.11 and 5.12 routes.

We also spent a day at Mt. Potosi. The approach hike is not to be trifled with and neither is the powerful limestone climbing. The routes in the main cave are short and powerful, definitely not a style at which either of us excel. The views are spectacular and the solitude very enjoyable. We would like to return when feeling a bit stronger.

The mountain biking and climbing was excellent. The time spent climbing with new and old friends was very enjoyable. Thanks Amy, Joe, Chris, Brian, Alex, Jeremy, Dave, Mike, James, Aaron, Lewis, Heather, Tristan, Alan, Julie, Will and many more for the excellent company. We saw a good progression in our fitness over our stay and feel pretty good about our climbing given the time off during December. We are now looking forward to changing up the program with some bouldering.

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