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Red Rock: Ice Cube Canyon October water conditions

Discussion in 'Nevada' started by Tricam, Sep 18, 2020.

  1. Tricam

    Tricam

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    How wet is Ice Cube canyon generally in mid October?

    I know this is variable, but if one or two people are willing to get wet, is it possible to set up guided rappels to avoid others getting wet?
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  2. Rapterman

    Rapterman

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    Depends totally on rainfall.
    Extremely dry and hot for a while now.
    Ice Cube is awesome when full of water, as in a total blast, like a junior Imlay...
    Miserable when dry (in my opinion)
    Is water a problem?
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  3. Tricam

    Tricam

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    @Rapterman Thanks! My wife and I will be out there mid October. We will have wetsuits with us, but it seems we will have 2-4 others joining us that will not, and I'm trying to figure out if they need to arrange getting ahold of some to join. It was pretty hot last time I was in Red Rock in October, but I'm not sure if it gets cool in the canyon, or if they would be ok without them.
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  4. Rapterman

    Rapterman

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    http://www.bluugnome.com/cyn_route/red-rock_ice-cube/red-rock_ice-cube-canyon.aspx

    Lake many (most?) canyons, conditions and difficulty in Ice Cube can vary.
    A lot. Be aware that elite climber types have dropped into the CUBE thinking to 'flash' it and have gotten
    spanked. As in all day and night hypothermic epic kind of spanked.
    Ice Cube can be ghosted (no bolts used or sling left behind) EXCEPT for the final rappel.
    Recommend you have the gear and skill set to do this or consider other canyons.
    :D
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2020
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  5. Tricam

    Tricam

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    Thanks again @Rapterman !

    If we end up taking this on, we'll make sure anyone that joins has wetsuits, drybags with towels, and headlamps at a minimum. Right now it is a bit of a stretch goal depending on how our time in Utah leading up to this goes, but this route seems to be the most recommended in Red Rock by far. Are there any other specific canyons you might recommend if we aren't up for this?

    We plan on this being a 5am start kind of day to allow for mistakes, and although it wouldn't be our first time epicing out of Red Rock at midnight, it would be the first time dealing with being wet while doing so, which would make things much worse.

    On the plus side, all the suffering makes that early morning 4x4 from In-N-Out that much better :D
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  6. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    There are also issues with when the gate opens, so getting a 5 am start is unlikely...

    We did it this summer, July I think, brought wetsuits and put them on too early. The upper section has a bit of water that can be tolerated. The walk/scramble between the upper and lower section was not so fun in the heat, with a wetsuit on. Then the lower section had quite a few swims and we got cold, which actually felt good, for a while.

    It's a long canyon, like The Squeeze.

    Tom
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  7. Tricam

    Tricam

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    Ah.... completely forgot about the loop not opening early, since a lot of the good climbs can start outside the loop. Looks like the loop opens at 6am, so we'd probably loose 1.5 hours by the time we get to the start, which may be prohibitive.

    I'll need to call about getting the "2 hour extension" if we do this... and more likely be prepared for the fine if we get stuck late :/
  8. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Gate hours might change with the seasons.

    Tom
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  9. Tricam

    Tricam

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    It looks like opening time is consistent, but they change the closing time throughout the year, although I'll need to call to verify there if there is anything special going on before we head out there:

    The Scenic Drive is open every day of the year with hours changing slightly according to the season:

    Nov – Feb – 6:00 AM to 5:00 PM
    March – 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM
    Apr – Sep – 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM
    Oct – 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM
    https://www.redrockcanyonlv.org/
  10. Rapterman

    Rapterman

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    Tricam
    Highly recommend calling for the extension- so the over-stressed rangers know what you are up to at least.
    Every canyon has a PRICE, and in the case of the CUBE it is the long, hot, rather unpleasant center section...
    For simplicity and speed many will opt to leave wetsuits on for this trudge, but....:dead:
    :D:D two grins to Tom.
    There are a few more good canyons at Red Rock (see the blugnome link above) definitely worth doing.
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  11. Canyonero

    Canyonero

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    Don't do canyons with people unwilling to get wet. Or be cold. Or be hot. Or get scraped up. Or endure the occasional near presence of a dead animal. These are all part of the sport of canyoneering and you'll eventually get burned. You'll thank me for this advice later. Make sure your crew is properly outfitted or don't do the canyon. It becomes a miserable experience for them and they'll never do a canyon with you again. Or worse.

    In fact, a high tolerance for suffering seems to be the most important factor in partner selection.
  12. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    "This may not be the best hobby for you. Have you considered stamp collecting?"

    (Bonus Points for the reference)
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  13. Brian in SLC

    Brian in SLC Brian in SLC

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    Worth it to get a late exit permit. I see now they charge a small fee. 50 cents. Used to be just a phone call and you'd leave a message with your vehicle description.

    https://www.blm.gov/nevada/red-rock-canyon-nca/recreation

    Like Luke says, you can also see if you can get an overnight permit it you think you'll be a bunch slower. Might be worth a stop at the Visitor Center a day prior to launch.

    An option I've done in the past, mostly to beat folks onto rock climbs in the early morning, is to hike the loop road in reverse by parking at the exit. Would add around 6 miles to your day, one way. Friends could meet you at the Ice Box trailhead for a pickup. Really early start would only justify this option. Is a neat hike in the dark, though...

    Another option is to have someone shuttle you to the top and then they drive out. Leave your car at the exit to the loop road parking lot. Would be a grind of a hike on the road on the way out (4.6 miles according to google), but, you'd finish when you'd finish. And, Vegas doesn't close so you could calorie up anytime back in town.

    Take note that climbers have reported an immense number of car break ins around the area. Loop road exit, or, roadside along highway 159, ect. Take care not to leave anything of value in a parked car.
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  14. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Getting Shuttled to the top would be a big benefit! I think it was about an hour to go fetch the shuttle vehicle at the end.

    Tom
  15. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Skeptical that this is a good choice of canyon for you and your group. It is not a good canyon for beginners, even with expert leadership.

    Tom
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  16. Kuenn

    Kuenn

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    What we all were thinking about 6 weeks into Covid after putting together every puzzle in the house.
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  17. Tricam

    Tricam

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    Luckily the others meeting us there are a group of mountaineer / alpine climber types from Montana who routinely suffer in freezing cold at high altitude... well beyond the level I am willing to do voluntarily :)
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  18. Tricam

    Tricam

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    Heh - funny they charge now... I guess just enough to be a deterrent. At least you can do it online now though.


    I've done that for climbs near the exit, but this one would be quite far... We're hoping to avoid parking outside the loop with the rampant thievery that seems to be going on right now, and even getting a hotel instead of camping to have somewhere to stash anything that we won't have on us. It seems like its crazy out there this year.
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  19. Tricam

    Tricam

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    Agreed - I'm not convinced it is either. I only started looking into this once since it is so highly praised and seems to be the gem of Red Rock, and that some of the alternatives (ex: Hidden Falls Canyon) don't look much different than the scenery you get on a regular climbing descent there.

    Another thing that is complicating this is that we want to avoid parking a car outside the loop if possible with all of the break ins, which seems to be a requirement for several of the other options.

    I've got a month to keep researching and assess our skills, so hopefully something good jumps out in that time.
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  20. Rapterman

    Rapterman

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    About the simplest (legal) thing we have come up with is a VERY good friend with a high clearance 4X4 and
    time on their hands.
    Drive up the gnarly road past willow springs to the approach start and drop you off,
    then they return in the pm, drive most of the loop again and hang out at icebox parking where you exit...
    would not hurt to have satellite / texting ability just in case.
    :cool:
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