"Ginger Cracks" is located on Rainbow Mountain, next to a climb we had done a couple of weeks earlier, "Power Failure". It follows an obvious crack system to the top of Ginger Tower. We got an early start, drove through the gate a little after 6am and got to the Juniper Canyon parking lot at 6:30AM. Since Juniper Canyon is the standard parking for the classic and mega-popular climb "Crimson Chrysalis", it is not uncommon to see a lot of cars there as soon as the scenic loop opens. When we arrived that morning, there were already two other cars and the race up to the base of "Crimson" was beginning. The approach to Ginger Cracks follows the same approach as per "Crimson". It is rather steep and with climbing packs, it usually takes a good hour.
After a leisurely breakfast at the base of the route, we started climbing around 8:15am and led in blocks; Lucie led the first 3 pitches and Eric took the upper pitches. "Ginger Cracks" climbs the crack system to the top of Ginger Tower just right of the curving chimney. The first pitch goes up an easy wide crack (5.7), easily protected with a #4 Camalot (this pitch is much harder with frozen hands). It was quite cold that morning and the base of the route was still in the shade. In fact, Eric stated that he was frozen and did not shoot any pictures of the first pitch. The second pitch is nice and one of the most difficult pitches of the route. It goes up a chimney past an overhang. Moving in and out of the chimney is quite tricky. The third pitch climbs a 5.7 right-facing corner. Pitch 4 is the technical crux of the climb (5.9) and involves a couple of 5.9 face climbing moves that are well protected with three bolts. The 5th pitch involves going up a right facing corner and some more face climbing on OK rock (we encountered a few loose blocks). The next pitch ends up at the base of a left facing corner and is only 4th class. The last pitch is fun and climbs the easy left facing corner (5.6) to the top. Pitches 1 through 5 had bolted anchors.
We were on the top of Ginger Tower at around noon and enjoyed a couple of sandwiches for lunch (and some GU of course) with nice clear views of Las Vegas. To descend, we did a single rap to the gunsight. We then scrambled down a bit to the notch to reach the top of the rap route, "Power Failure" that we climbed three weeks earlier. From there, three double raps got us down.
Ginger Cracks, Red Rocks, NV
|On the approach towards Ginger Buttress.|
|"Ginger Cracks" follows crack systems right of the curving chimney.|
|Starting up the 2nd pitch (finally in the sun!).|
|Just below the chimney of the 2nd pitch.|
|Past the small overhang on the 2nd pitch.|
|Eric leading the crux pitch (4th pitch).|
|The right facing corner on the 5th pitch.|
|Going up the fun left facing corner of the last pitch.|
|Arriving at the summit.|
|On the trail back to the car with lots of flowers in bloom.|