|Black Velvet Wall
Technical and thought-provoking, Ancient Futures is a great rock climb that flirts with Epinephrine but takes a mostly independent line up a beautiful stretch of rock just right of the Black Tower. Begin as for Epi.
P1-2: Climb the first three pitches of Epinephrine which are easily linked into two pitches right up to the bottom of the main chimney.
P3: Just right of the main chimney, climb a slot formed by a huge, wedged pillar of rock. Near the top there is a bolt around to the left that protects some awkward and difficult moves out of the slot and up to a belay ledge with bolts. 5.10d, 110'.
P4: Continue up a thin crack, clipping a bolt off the belay, and then stem with great difficulty out right to a flake. Continue up this (hollow?) flake to the right-facing corner above and an excellent rest. From here the climbing gets really difficult: Instincts may tell you to stem desperately up the corner, but the way to go is unlikely: Work up sloping holds on the face to the right for a body-length before collapsing back into the corner and some thank-god jugs. Two bolts protect this crux, and above is some wide climbing that will feel downright easy, though it's probably 5.9 or 5.10. Belay at a bolted anchor on a ledge. 5.12a, 140'.
P5: The route apparently originally climbed up a severely overhanging, leaning, and yes, blank, corner above the belay passing two bolts. This seemed very 5.12 to me, so I instead pre-clipped the second bolt and down-climbed from the belay and moved right to an improbable, hidden crack. Great 5.11 climbing up this crack rejoins the original line just above the corner. Continue up through a roof and tricky face climbing and gear to a stance. Above is a stretch of bolted face climbing up fragile holds. This climbing is spectacular, interesting, and exposed, but the holds are flexing - without a very delicate touch this pitch could be destroyed - use caution! Belay on a narrow ledge at a bolted anchor. 5.11+, 140'.
P6: A very difficult move right off the belay past a bolt leads to some scary, frightening, and balancey moves back to the left where, if memory serves me correctly, there's gear and/or some bolts. I remember thinking I'd annihilate my belayer if I fell off this section. Above, some easy climbing up the right side of the Elephant's Trunk leads past a bolt and wildly up soft rock to the top of the trunk. 5.10++, 150'
Rap the route with two ropes or continue up Epinephrine.
Single set of cams from blue Alien/0 TCU to #3 Camalot, wires, at least a dozen draws/slings, two ropes.
Looking down the fragile pitch.
Apr 5, 2012
This climb is stellar. The 2nd 5.12 might be harder than the first, but with a crux so low, it's an easier redpoint. Are there any bad lines across the BV wall? That whole zone of rock is top-notch.
For the lazy folks like me who'd rather leave 8' of cord and a biner than haul up a second rope, here was our descent.
Rap Beta w/1 70m, all from rap-equipped bolts unless noted:
-Lower one climber from atop the elephant trunk back to the belay. Second climber raps to the 5th(?) bolt (brand new), which can be backed up with a nearby hand cam while they mess around and re-rig the rappel from one bolt. We left a biner on it.
-34m rappel straight down the .12a pitch
-34m rappel straight down the other .12a pitch
-25m rappel down the 1st independent ancient futures pitch
- 35m rappel to a tree/ledge, we left a bit of tat around the tree
-10m rappel from tree to a bolted Epi anchor (in retrospect this looked 5.easy to downclimb, and avoid the tree rap)
-25m rappel to the trees/ledge atop Epi P1 (sling another tree)
-15m rappel to the ground off a tree
|By Max Tepfer|
From: Bend, OR
Apr 1, 2013
FWIW, the opening corner on the 2nd crux pitch is hard, (I have yet to send it) but isn't nearly as bad as the description makes it sound. If you can do the first two moves, you can do all the moves. It's basically 20' of V3. The hard part is stopping and clipping.
Also, +1 for the the 10+ pitch being rated a bit on the sandy side. The crux moves off the belay are pretty desperate for the grade.