Blackout (direct start)
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This is a beautiful line with some of the best rock on the wall. Its also the easiest and "safest" of the runout routes here. Not to take anything away from Blackout but you could consider this line as an "entry-level" introduction to the other four routes Bachar put up 5 years prior. Same start as Cheatstone with the in-situ log "cheat" start (12- traverse or A0 log) and the big black streak to a slight and sloping ledge. The hardest climbing is rather well protected by good bolts with 5.10 R climbing but the 5.10 first half (50 feet) of the route is in the X-zone.
One of the best pitches of its style and difficulty anywhere.
The first half of these two routes is characterized by a committing sequence and keep-it-cool face traverse and knob balancing with your first possible (mental) pro at about 25' (Dyneema-thin sling around med size knob). Once near the sloping ledge, it is possible to place a green Alien size cam in a horizontal and an offset brass above it (but its not hard here). The first bolt is above this point and just below the first of two steep bulges. Both bolts are original 1986 vintage but, and I quote Bachar, are "$8.00 bolts and are totally bomber"...The bolts are eyebolt/wedge style and do appear to be quite bomber. Either I am naive or something else but I trust John.
Awesome knob moves for 12' to the second bulge with the last bolt. Do more, steeper (and cruxy) knob pulls to cool pockets until its possible to place a yellow Alien size cam near the bottom of a crack that comes down from the top. Staying left of the dirty crack follows excellent, solid grey knobs and eventually the top and a bolted anchor. 35M rap/lower.
Thin slings, green and yellow Alien size cams sm/med offset brass piece (#3 HB), QD's for two bolts.
|Comments on Blackout (direct start)
|By Tom Painter|
Sep 30, 2007
Alex - stoked that you added this route to the Project. I always point out this route and the Bachar-Yerian as reasons why retrobolting routes is a bad idea. This was my first .11 lead back in August 1987 after getting the Sole Survivor catalog with Kurt Smith on the 1st ascent between the two bolts. The photo had me completely jacked to do it - little did I know that Kurt was between the ONLY two bolts.... Anyway, that send has stayed with me since the second I hauled my stunned ass up over the top....