American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Cactus Flower Tower, Blood on the Tracks; Mt. Wilson, Cactus Connection

Nevada, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Author: Blake Herrington, AAC
  • Climb Year: 2012
  • Publication Year: 2013

In early April 2012, Chris Weidner and I linked up up two of the biggest peaks in Red Rock, in a day, both via new routes climbed onsight. We began in the crack system 100m to the left of the Warrior on Cactus Flower Tower and climbed 120m before veering right to the next dihedral system. The climbing was varied and never harder than 5.9, with generally good rock and protection: Blood on the Tracks (300m, 5.9). We joined the Warrior atop its final pitch, then scrambled the final fourth-class terrain to the summit.

From there, we downclimbed and rappelled to the col between Cactus Flower Tower and the Aeolian Wall on Mt. Wilson. Beginning just south of the col, we climbed 100m of excellent cracks to the shoulder of Mt. Wilson. The crux was a splitter fingers-to-hands pitch straight out of Indian Creek. From the shoulder of Mt. Wilson, we scrambled up stepped terrain to the summit. This finish up Mt. Wilson is consistent with the grade and quality of the Warrior, and would be a logical extension to that climb after summiting the tower: Cactus Connection (100m, 5.11). Even the famous, highly visible features of Red Rock still hold potential for boltless, ground-up adventures!

Blake Herrington, AAC

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