|Las Vegas glitz and glamour|
|New York Hotel in Las Vegas|
|Bellagio water fountain show|
We arrived in Vegas at dusk, just as all the lights were twinkling on. The place made me feel like a hypocrite, I detest the obscene and crass use of our power resources, no doubt sucking some non-renewable energy source dry, and yet I couldn't help but oooh and aaah at the spectacular light displays. The vibe on the Strip is electric (excuse the pun :) and there is so many awesome things to see and do. Many of the hotels have a theme of sorts, and have free shows each evening. The Treasure Island Hotel & Casino has a free show called Sirens of TI, complete with ships, temptresses, pirates, singing, dancing, and acrobatics into the water! But my favourite is the Bellagio Hotel's (a really swank posh hotel) water fountain show, which uses a dramatic combination of music, water and light to deliver a show that is breath-taking. And the best bit is that each time it's to a different piece of music so it's always changing.
|Slots and cocktails|
After 2 nights of this we were more than ready to hit the wide open spaces and get in some cranking. Red Rocks was my destination of choice, the beautiful sandstone rock appealing to my style of climbing. But unfortunately the rock is very porous and requires a drying-out period following rainfall, and since it had been raining out in the mountains for over a week the locals said it was a no-go for the moment. However the forecast showed the rain clearing up in a day or two, so we decided to go to Mount Charleston for a few days, then back into the city for a couple days, and then hit Red Rocks once it had time to dry out.
|Mount Charleston (photo grabbed from the internet)|
|Robber's Roost crag|
After 4 days in Mount Charleston we were fed up of the cold and keen to get back to the city where the heat envelopes you like a nice warm blanket (at least that's how it first feels after being chilly for 4 days, but after about 30 minutes that wears off and you're just damn hot).
|Our campervan being towed away|
|Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Nevada, USA|
|Glorious red rocks|
Besides the flakes though, some of the routes have an amazing flow-like feature with rounded holes, almost as though it were carved out by water at some point (and quite possibly were). Of course when I talk of the climbing here I'm referring to the sport climbing, but there is a whole ton of traditional climbing here too.
|Red Rock Canyon Campground|
|Walking out from The Gallery crag|
|The Black Corridor crag, Red Rocks, Nevada, USA|
|The Gallery (photo from internet), Red Rocks, Nevada, USA|
But heck, I can't exactly complain … we were on a 53 day campervan cruise in the USA and it was just so amazing to get to climb at these magical destinations. The focus for me wasn't on ticking only hard routes, it was so much more about the experience and the places and the climbing. Red Rocks was another place that simply spoke to my soul … the gorgeous rock, the stunning open landscapes, the warmth of the sun, the Milky Way stars and bright full moon, and big roaring camp fires. I will most definitely be back one day, soon I hope!