Johnny Vegas 5.7
Solar Slab Wall, Oak Creek Canyon
About the Climb
Johnny Vegas is a great short climb on the lower tier of the popular Solar Slab Wall. The climb is full of enjoyable face climbing and also includes a little bit of crack climbing. The route has a short runout section, but the abundance of grips makes the climbing feel pretty secure.
Johnny Vegas is a popular start to Solar Slab (5.6) on the upper tier of the wall, which means it is often busy, especially in the early morning. However, Johnny Vegas by itself is also worth the walk in, but in this case it is better to start a little later, after the morning rush. All the belays are bolted and equipped for rappel, which speeds up the climbing, so even if there are other parties ahead of you, it should not be too much of a problem.
Although all the belays on Johnny Vegas are equipped for rappel, if there are parties below you, it is better to rappel down the Solar Slab Gully just to the right of the climb. Rappeling down Johnny Vegas requires doubles ropes, while the Gully can be rapped with a single rope. Avoid the gully when it rains because it can become a waterfall.
The best combination is to continue and climb Solar Slab (5.6) after Johnny Vegas for a total of more than 10 pitches of great climbing. However, Solar Slab is also a very popular route, so expect to get in line. If the line is too long, a good option to avoid the crowds is to climb Going Nuts (5.6), a fun two pitch climb that allows you to reach the second belay of Solar Slab. From here, you can keep going on Solar Slab, or rappel back down to the Solar Slab Ledge. Other options to extend your day on the upper tier also exist.
If you don't want to climb a route on the upper tier, but still want to extend your day, try Beulah's Book (5.9) which is just to the left of Johnny Vegas. Beulah's Book has lots of face climbing, and in addition includes a superb laybacking section. The route also has a short chimney section, which can be avoided by a nice face variation.
For similar climbs with lots of face climbing at a similar grade try Geronimo (5.6) or Birdland (5.7+). Geronimo is almost pure face climbing, while Birdland has a bit more crack climbing than Johnny Vegas.
If you are looking for a climb with lots of face climbing at little bit harder than Johnny Vegas, you should go for the ultra-classic Crimson Chrysalis (5.8), which has many pitches of sustained and steep face climbing. However, it is a really popular climb, so plan accordingly.
Another great classic climb at a similar difficulty is Olive Oil (5.7). This climb has a better mix of climbing compared to Johnny Vegas, but does not have any equipped belays.