Cloak & Dagger
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Cloak & Dagger takes an independent line right of Comic Relief and Perfect Art, but it starts on the same ledge as Comic or Escape Artist and tops out at the same location.
It's highly probably that some of these pitches have been climbed before; however, it's unclear if anyone has done this route. While talking with a few of the more seasoned veterians of the Black, it appeared that at least a few pitches were new territory. Thumbing through the binder of original topos provided no descriptions of this area right of Comic Relief. Any additional info would be welcomed.
One thing is for certain though, despite who climbed what and when... this is a hidden gem of a route, worthy of more traffic and a great alternative to Comic Relief or Escape Artist if it's a busy weekend.
P1 (5.6) - Start on the Comic/Escape ledge and traverse right around the corner to an obvious pegmatite slab/gully. Follow this rib of peg to a ledge below a chimney and a fist crack on the left.
P2 (5.9+) - Climb the fist crack and continue through the chimney to another small ledge below a nice looking, thin fingers dihedral.
P3 (5.10+) - Climb the dihedral, leading through a small bulge and continue up a 5.9/5.10 crack system to a belay beneath an obvious, crescent-shaped roof with black streaks on the wall.
P4 (5.10) - Move left under the roof on good hand jams and continue up a 5.9 crack until you can move left into a lower angle weakness. Follow this to a large ledge with a massive, right-facing corner. Beware of the rope wanting to get sucked into the corner of the roof as you climb above it. Try and place a piece out left to keep the rope out of the constriction.
P5 (5.9) Climb 5.7 face up to a steep 5.9 hand crack. Trend left through a giant flake feature and pull steep moves on a second flake above. End at a stance near 60 meters.
P6 (5.9) Continue up somewhat nondescript crack and face climbing. At about 40 meters or so, start trending left until you intersect the top of Comic/Escape's final pitch. End on the unroping ledge for these two route. Scramble up to the rap stations and complete the exact same "descent" as Comic Relief or Escape Artist.
It is also well worth it to do "The Escape" pitches back to the rim, instead of hiking out the gully. After rappelling from the top of the Comic Buttress, climb from the notch, up a slab and onto a ridge line type feature for 2 or 3 pitches (up to 5.8) to top out near the overlook trail by the campground. Awesome views of South Chasm Wall.
Use the same approach as Comic Relief and Escape Artist. Descend SOB Gully. Once you're about 2/3 of the way to the river, locate the buttress on skier's left and 4th class up to the ledge which starts both of these routes. Cloak & Dagger traverses around the corner to a pegmatite slab/gully and takes off from there.
A few small TCUs, standard double rack to #3 Camalot, (1 or 2) #4s
Note: almost all of the pitches on this route are in the 60 meter range, give or take a little. Pitch 2 is about 40m.
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 2. Hand and fist crack to the left.
Fritz enjoying the ongoing hands and fingers at th...
|Comments on Cloak & Dagger
From: Ouray, CO
May 27, 2012
Really good route. The first 2 pitches' rock quality is not great, but the 3rd pitch makes up for it with 180' of sustained fun climbing. The route does have some dirtiness to it but should clean up nicely. Great alternative to Comic Relief or Escape Artist.
|By Ryan Jennings|
May 29, 2012
Definitely an excellent alternative to Comic or Escape Artist. First pitch is the only bad pitch. We found the rest of the climb to be very enjoyable but not quite as hard as the ratings suggest. The crux pitch has several .10 sections but probably not anything .10+. All cruxes have good pro. The views of The Painted Wall from the top of the crux pitch are some on the best in the canyon. Route was amazingly clean. Good job, guys. We got to the top and wanted to go down and do it again. Topo was right on. Very fun!
|By Roger from Ouray|
Jun 3, 2012
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII E2 5b
Did this yesterday, and thought I'd add my two cents. First pitch is pretty much 4th class bushwhack. After that, the rock is fine; the next pitch has surprisingly good rock in the chimney. The crux is one of the better pitches I've done in the Black. Stellar climbing the entire LONG way. Well protected. Maybe 10c, but no desperate moves. The route can be easily done without a #4 Camalot, although you can certainly place one. Definitely don't bring two. All in all, a really good route, probably no harder than Comic Relief, but the third pitch is probably more sustained than the crux of Comic. Highly recommended.
|By Fleetwood Matt|
Jun 12, 2012
I had the opportunity today to climb this route with Ranger Philippe. I can't believe he brought a firearm! I thought C&D was better and no harder than Comic Relief. It's pretty clean (even the wide hands, fist, and chimney bits) so get on it soon before all the trundling opportunities are gone! Even in June we had 'mostly shade' til 1pm. Thanks to Vic and Jonathan for another great route for us mortals. (Just kidding about the firearm.)
|By Topher M.|
From: moab, ut
Aug 30, 2012
Sweet route! As previously posted, can be done w/o a #4 Camalot, but one was nice & you definitely don't need 2. You only need a single set of stoppers. Also, the first "pitch" is more of a 4th class approach gully. Rope drag (stuck rope) in the roof on pitch four may warrant breaking the pitch in half to reduce the epic potential.
Aug 31, 2012
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII E2 5b
Great route! Maybe as good as the other classics on CR Buttress! The crux is about as good as climbing gets in The Black.
|By erik wellborn|
From: manitou springs
Oct 20, 2012
Fun route!! The 3rd pitch is one of the best in the Black.
|By Jay Brown|
Nov 4, 2012
What is the route to the right of this one I have heard about? A Scheafer route?