Austin Hoyt: The Road to Red Rocks | Part Two
This is part one of a two-part series from Ranger Ready partner, Austin Hoyt, detailing his trip to Nevada to attempt some of the most difficult climbs in the country.
After a full night’s rest at the campsite, I decided to go back to Squoze to start Day 2. Feeling a bit fresher, and after having a good and healthy breakfast, my Dad and I headed out to the boulders. I made sure to actually warm up – it probably was still not the best warmup, but it was enough. Getting on Squoze (V15) felt a bit better and all the moves I had done the previous night felt just as good. I started trying the hard move again and slowly started to get a bit closer to sticking it. As I tried more and more, my fingers, again, became sore. I realized it probably wasn't worth it to keep trying and ruin my chances of doing other climbs. So, I decided to call it. I wanted to keep climbing, but I also wanted to stay injury free for the future and be able to get back the next day.
Day 3 was a rest day, so I went for a little hike to clear my head and explore a bit. It is amazing to be able to go to these magical places and roam free, exploring canyons that people often don’t get to. I was also very thankful to have Ranger Ready in my hiking bag so I could focus on getting my mind clear and ready to climb without having to worry about the bugs. After my hike, I went back to the camper and we we spent the night around the fire, enjoying the beauty of the desert at night.
Day four, I was back at it with my friends, trying the Nest (V15) which is one that is high on my list of dream climbs. After an 90 minute hike we finally arrived at the Nest exhausted but excited. The elevation and rocky trails took a lot out of us! However, when we started trying it, it was just as good as we thought it would be. Quickly we did all the moves except the crux lock off - I spent a while trying to figure it out and had one or two really close attempts. Even though I had no expectations for today, I wasn't super excited with how it went and am already looking forward to getting back at some point for this amazing boulder. Luckily, we were able to hike out a bit faster and made it out before it got dark.
The next two days were pretty low key as well, I went to try this boulder called Trieste. Although it has an easier grade than the others, it felt a lot harder for me personally and not much progress was made. Then I went to try a classic boulder called Wet Dream and quickly did every move, but for some reason I couldn't seem to link them together and had to walk away from it.
Day 7 in Nevada on Burnt (v12)
Day seven was different. I started to only climb to have fun and wasn't holding myself to any expectations. It seems like I always forget that that's when I climb my best! I went to try this v12 called Burnt and did it super fast! Finally, a hard send for the trip. It felt really good to take something down even if it wasn't the hardest or best boulder around. It was definitely a necessary thing for my mental game. After doing Burnt, I went to try a rarely repeated one move climb called Ackright that my friend had done the day before. Surprisingly I got super close but after some major wind and light rain made its way into the canyon, we decided to head out and head back to camp. Heading back wasn’t frustrating, though - we were having the steak I had been waiting for all trip!
Cruising up Burnt on Day 7, finally getting a hard send!
The last day of the trip quickly crept upon us. I made plans to go climb with my friend, Troy, who is also from the Northeast. We headed out to a boulder I've wanted to check out forever called Vantablack, and although no one else seemed to like this one, I thought it was great. I even managed to do the moves, which totally felt possible, but I definitely need to come back fresh for the next trip.
Last day of the trip on Vantablack with some buddies
As we hiked back towards the cars we made a few stops, first at this v9 called Tailpipe. Troy quickly did it on his first try and my other friend, Adam, and I got a bit shut down. While we were climbing Jake was actually cleaning a new line around the corner that we all migrated too. As we started to try it, it became apparent it wasn't that good of a climb, but to get a first ascent in Red Rock is awesome! It was a battle between Troy and I, and luckily, I was victorious! Albeit it's close to the ground nature, it was surprisingly fun and I highly recommend it if you're ever around there. After I did it, Troy was quick to follow.
The crux jump of the newest v8 lowball in Red Rock, Dungus Destroyer.
Since it was our last day, we decided we wanted to just climb until we couldn't anymore. We chose to end our trip on a good climb and stopped at a v9 dyno called Taurine. It was getting pretty dark so we hiked up in the dark with lights. Feeling exhausted, I barely made it to the actual boulder and wasn't even sure if I could climb, but against all odds I put on my shoes and started. Somehow, I pulled whatever I had left out of me and managed to do the climb fast.
This trip was an experience I will always remember. While at times I was frustrated with my climbing, I definitely had a lot of fun and learned a lot about my climbing along the way. I got to hang out with friends and make new ones, and I even got to try some of the best climbs in the country.
I wouldn't trade this trip for anything - well, maybe if I sent a v15 that would have been just as cool…