Frogland, located in the Black Velvet Canyon, is supposedly one of the longest and best 5.8 routes in Red Rock Canyon, and we thus chose that as our last objective after the wedding. The Black Velvet Canyon is located outside of the Conservation area which is both good and bad. Good because you are not limited by the short off-season opening hours of the 13-mile scenic drive, bad because the road to the parking lot is a gravel road only where you need a 4WD. We drove as far as we could in our rental car and then walked the last mile to the parking lot.

We didn't dare to drive across a deep washout and thus parked the car

1 mile before the parking lot. The mountain above Elvira is The Monument,

which forms the right side of the Black Velvet Canyon.

Frogland, Black Velvet Canyon, Red Rocks

Move the mouse cursor over the picture to see the route Frogland.

Looking down on the first pitch (5.7), which is a great dihedral.

At the first belay you can either choose to go leftwards on the original first ascent route or go straight up which is more common. I chose the first ascent variation which started out with a traverse and then up a thin face towards a wide crack. A very interesting and varied rope-length!

We had three rope-teams ahead of us, one of which was a 3-person team. It was thus really slow going and when we reached the second belay it had taken us four hours to get there!!! The second anchor consisted of two stuck wires which we enforced with a friend. The first anchor was a tree and we could thus still rappel the route, whereas we didn't know if we would also be able to rappel from further up. Doing a quick math and seeing how slow things were moving ahead of us we had to make a difficult decision: up or down!? As by magic it started to drizzle which made the decision easier - we started to rappel.

Elvira at the second belay not being too happy with the prospect of rappelling in a non-bolted anchor.

Elvira rappelling the route.

Elvira locking back on the route - did we make the right decision to turn around? Well, otherwise I am sure we would have been climbing in the dark.


A great route which I am sure I will come back to finish some day.


Next page


Last update: 10-3-2007

© Hans Bräuner-Osborne