Sick For Toys 5.10d
Corduroy Ridge, Black Velvet Canyon
About the Climb
Sick for Toys is one of the best slab routes in Red Rocks! This is a superb slab route that is split by an improbable looking crack/seam that will surely test your slab and crack climbing skills. Three of the four pitches even have some nice little roofs to surmount! Even better, a new bolted direct start has been added on the first pitch that makes things even more exciting. Get on this one, you won't be disapointed.
Bring extra webbing and rap rings if you want to rappel before the last anchor, or if you want to “update” the anchors. The route could use some rebolting and rappel station improvements. From the top of pitch 2, locate the rappel anchor to your right on the blank face, which will facilitate your descent. This is a nice alternative if the other routes in the canyon are too busy, and it gets lots of shade.
Black Velvet Canyon is located outside the Scenic Drive area and this means that you don't need to pay the entrance fee and there's no late parking problems. It is accessed by a dirt road that can be a little rough in places. A 4WD is not really needed, but it helps. A 2WD will make it, but extra clearance makes it easier. Be especially careful after big rain storms.
From the SR 159 and SR 160 intersection, go west for 4.7 miles. Look for a dirt pull-out and road on your right. Zero your counter when leaving SR 160. You'll pass a large gravel parking on the left, and the road will turn to dirt. Keep going on this. After 1.1 mile you'll see a fork, but keep going straight. The driving 'crux' is at about 1.5 mile. After 1.8 miles, a gate will be blocking the road and you must go left. Continue on this for another 0.4 mile, where several parking options exist. Note that camping is not allowed here and violators will get a ticket.
There are no direct combinations for this route. However, a new start has recently been added and it makes for a much more direct and consistent start. We highly recommend it, as it avoids the original long 5.9 start traverse.
Because the route is relatively short, you can easily climb another route in this fabulous canyon. Your closest option is Epinephrine (5.9), and although this is a long route, you can climb the bottom pitches and rap down. Many other combinations are possible with routes located on the Black Velvet Wall: Dream of Wild Turkeys (5.10a), which is located on the left side of the arch is a good choice. Dream of Wild Turkeys has 7 pitches so this would make for a very long day. However, you can rap from Dream of Wild Turkeys at any belay.
For a shorter option, you should climb The Gobbler (5.10a), which has 3 fun pitches and is located just right of Dream of Wild Turkeys. You can also continue on Dream of Wild Turkeys after finishing the Gobbler if you have enough energy and daylight left. Also check Prince of Darkness (5.10c), another good face climb from which you can rap at any point.
If you're looking for something a little easier, try Refried Brains (5.9). Although Refried Brains goes to the top of the wall, most climbers only climb the first 4 pitches and then rap down. The 3rd pitch is the best, so if you are pressed for time, it's possible to only do the 3 first pitches.
The Eagle Wall in Oak Creek Canyon is home to 2 amazing ultra classic climbs with lots of face and crack climbing, but these routes are less slabby and much steeper. Eagle Dance (5.10c, A0) has a short bolt ladder, but you can climb the 5 pitches below the aid section and rappel back down if you want. Another option is the famous Levitation 29 (5.11c), although this is quite a step up from Sick For Toys.
Although Red Rocks is not known for its slab routes, there are some nice single pitch slab routes on the Ultraman Wall in the Calico Hills (first pullout).