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Redgarden - S Buttress
Routes Sorted
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A Breed Apart T 
Anthill Direct T 
Archer McLanahan T 
Back in Black S 
Backstroke T,S 
Backtalk T,S,TR 
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Blackwalk T 
Book of Numbers T,S 
Bulge Indirect T 
Bulge, The T 
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Dessert T 
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Left Side of Roark, The T 
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Original Anthill T 
PA's Variation T 
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Pseudo Sidetrack, Direct Finish T 
Redguard T 
Restless Nights T 
Semi-Wild T 
Semi-Wild Slab T 
Shades of Gray T 
Sticky Feet T 
To Night T 
Trinity Cracks T 
Vaporizer, The S 
Variation to Lower Meadows T 
Walk the Talk T 
Whistle Stop, The T 
Whittle Wall, The T 
Whittle Whisk T 

Backtalk 

YDS: 5.10c French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII ZA: 20 British: E2 5b R

   
Type:  Trad, Sport, TR, 1 pitch
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10c French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII ZA: 20 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: T Montgomery, M Brooks 1986
Fixed Hardware: 2 Lead Bolts, 2 Belay Bolts [details]
Page Views: 1,488
Submitted By: Andrew Wellman on Aug 10, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (40)
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At the bad pin at the end of the runout. It's hard...

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  • Description 

    This route is on the Bulge Wall. It has the same start as Blackwalk before splitting off to the right. This route is great fun to toprope, but I really wouldn't recommend it as a lead because of the poor bolt placements. It is of the same style as Blackwalk, thin technical face, but is more sustained and not quite as runnout.

    Start up the easy corner of Blackwalk and move right at an overlap. From here, the first bolt is straight up, but to reach it climb up the left angling ramp till you can traverse onto the blank face via small holds. Your waist will be above the bolt when you can finally clip it, and the holds you are clipping from are the smallest on the route. The crux is immediately after the bolt. The route continues up on fairly decent holds past a #1 Camalot placement and a bolt to a half driven LA for the last slopey move.

    Protection 

    The pro goes as follows: #0.75 Camalot, bolt, #0.75 or #1 Camalot, bolt, manky fixed LA. There are double bolt rap anchors at the top which can be rapped with a single 60m.


    Photos of Backtalk Slideshow Add Photo
    Starting the crux moves at the first bolt.  Angle ...
    Starting the crux moves at the first bolt. Angle ...
    Shaking out at the second bolt.
    Shaking out at the second bolt.
    The hard moves above the second bolt angle left wi...
    The hard moves above the second bolt angle left wi...
    Matt high stepping to start the real climbing.
    Matt high stepping to start the real climbing.

    Comments on Backtalk Add Comment
    Show which comments
    By jason seaver
    From: Estes Park, CO
    Feb 7, 2002

    Although I agree with this pitch's "s" rating, I would not discourage anyone from leading it. The first bolt is in a strange place, but you CAN clip it when you are directly left of it (not above it). The slot above this bolt does NOT accept a #1 camalot, a .75 or something comparable is needed. Great climbing on this pitch, I thought, with some route-finding challenges and exciting climbing. I wonder if the Lost Arrow (driven only half-way in and upward) would hold a fall. The moves past it are not the crux but are certainly thought-provoking.
    By Dr. Dan
    From: Steamboat Springs, CO
    May 6, 2002

    The moves off of the ramp going right are really cool. Use the finger slot jams to position yourself for a clip. It is a more challenging climb than Blackwalk, requiring more precise foot and hand work. I thought the danger level as far as a serious fall was less on this climb than Blackwalk, although the potential for loss of skin and bruising is significant.
    By Bill Wright
    May 6, 2002

    I've led this climb three times and Blackwalk maybe five times. I find Blackwalk considerably harder and much scarier. I just have lots of trouble at the crux of Blackwalk. This route is much more straight forward for me. It is exciting though as you can't see the marginal fixed pin until you are eye to eye with it. It doesn't look good, but it is the only piece. Fun, exciting climbing. Both of these are good tests for your head.
    By Peter Spindloe
    From: North Vancouver, BC
    Oct 28, 2002

    The smallest size Trango ballnut (blue I think) can be placed just right of the pin. It's about as good a placement as you can get for this piece. The next size up might work too (or perhaps even both).
    By Ivan Rezucha
    From: Fort Collins, CO
    Jan 25, 2003

    There are two good but small brass nuts down and left from the first bolt to protect the first clip. I clipped both from below, long, and then from the left, short, and from the left was much easier. The moves to that point are about 5.8. Above the first bolt I put in two cams under the overlap, a 0.5/purple Camalot and a green Alien. Then I got the #2/gold Camalot in a pocket to the right of the buckets. I felt that was the best placement, and next time I would go with just that. It's runout from the second bolt to the pin, but maybe 5.9 after the first few moves. The pin holds partial body weight. I know because I was getting blown up there and figured it would be safer to gingerly weight the pin rather than risk falling onto it from above. There is a pretty good small brass just left of the pin. Maybe use a screamer. It's angled to the right. A good trick is to run the runner from the nut through the biner on the pin to use the pin as a directional. This will only work if the runner on the pin is below the biner on the nut, else the pin would be weighted first, could pull, and that's the end of the directional.
    By Joe Collins
    May 12, 2003

    I found this pitch to be much easier, though more sustained, than Blackwalk. It's quite reachy though, and my 5foot3 partner struggled mightily with some of the reaches that I found pretty casual (at 6feet tall). If you're looking for some kind of warm-up in the area, this would probably be the best choice.
    By Ivan Rezucha
    From: Fort Collins, CO
    Feb 26, 2007

    Was the pin replaced? I remember it as rusty and sticking out further. It's now gold colored, if I was seeing straight, and sticking out about an inch less than I remember. Not that that makes it good...
    By Shane Zentner
    From: Colorado
    Jul 22, 2007

    Yes, the pin sticks out half way. I climbed 'Dessert' to get the anchor, due to the fact that the first time I tried Backtalk I had to down climb after I clipped the first bolt, which was, of course, below me. Quite the spicy lead.
    By Mr. Stevens
    From: Boulder, CO
    May 4, 2014
    rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b PG13

    I thought this was a great pitch and a damn good lead, albeit spicy. I would not dissuade anyone from leading this if it's in your range - nearly all the gear is bomber, although you do have to climb fairly high above some of it. My gear, in order of placement, was a 0.5 and 0.4 Camalot right next to each other, a #5 RP about 5' below the bolt (pretty bomber actually), above the first bolt was a 0.75 Camalot and green Alien placed right next to each other, and then I backed up the pin with a blue Trango ballnut. The size up from that would probably work well too. Also, I'm pretty short and was able to clip the first bolt just fine from the left!