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The Black Wall
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Coffee Achievers 

YDS: 5.10+ French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 20 British: E3 5b

   
Type:  Trad, Alpine, 7 pitches, 700', Grade III
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10+ French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 20 British: E3 5b [details]
FA: Ken Trout and Peter Prandoni, 1988?
Page Views: 3,200
Submitted By: craigw on Aug 9, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (11)
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Rob following our 1st pitch.

Description 

This is the crack system just right of Espresso on the far right hand side of the Black Wall. Coffee Achievers merges with Espresso somewhere near the second to last pitch.

This route rarely gets climbed and can prove to be quite a challenge if you haven't been doing squats on a regular basis.

Rappel down the Black Wall via the standard rappel route which will bring you near the base of Good Evans. From here, you will still need to get to the valley floor, which is another 200-300 feet down. We downclimbed for a bit, then used a blue sling rap station to get to the bottom (200 foot rappel). From here, scramble north (right) among the huge boulders, past The Rusty Dagger, Parallel Universe, and Espresso coming to the far right side near a broken up and grassy ledge/chimney section. You will be able to see a pillar with white slings at the top. This is the first pitch (at least, it's the one we did. There are several other sets of slings further to the right--maybe variations or other climbs???)

Pitch 1 - Climb to the top of a pillar using a thin crack and face holds-belay out right. 5.9ish, 180-190 feet.

Per Greg Cameron: start on a highly-vegetated section of easy climbing. The original route went to the very top of this easy section to gain access to a left-slanting crack which is up and right of the first left-slanting crack system that you encounter. A rib of rock separates the two. If you do the crack on the left side of the rib (as a continuation of pitch 1), you will end up at the base of the overhanging 5.10+ fist crack described in the route description. Just past the overhang you merge with the actual route. If you do the crack on the right side of the rib, the description that I posted above (and Ken's original description) is relevant. The original route is much cleaner and a little easier.

Pitch 2 - Climb the overhanging fist crack out right--felt pretty hard 10+?--We belayed after the overhang.

Pitch 3 - Go up a left-angling crack system with many liebacks, 5.10.

Pitch 4 - Do more liebacking up the same crack system eventually working out right onto a small ledge, 5.10.

Pitch 5 - Climb another left-angling crack system with many liebacks (hard pitch 10+). Eventually pulling onto a large ledge with an 3 piton belay--pretty long pitch, 170-180 feet.

Pitch 6 - Climb through the soaking wet, heavily vegetated chimney, eventually stepping out left with some thin face climbing--set hanging belay. The crux pitch?? Nothing felt harder than 5.9/10-, but it is very slick and loose, 130-150 feet.

Pitch 7 - Climb the left-angling crack for 15 feet (5.8) then do a foot traverse with disappearing hands for 15-20 more feet to a wet and vegetated crack that will lead you to the top with some scrambling, 60 feet total??

The old topo we had called this a 5 pitch route. It took us 7 pitches which all were long and strenuous.

Overall, it was a fun, adventurous day, but we felt it was much harder and more committing than Good Evans. There is quite a bit of loose rock and vegetation on this route so wear your helmet and bring some gardening equipment if desired!


Protection 

Standard rack up to a #4 Camalot (2).



Photos of Coffee Achievers Slideshow Add Photo
Coffee Achievers.
BETA PHOTO: Coffee Achievers.
Coffee Achievers with approximate belay stations.
Coffee Achievers with approximate belay stations.
Ken Trout leading the 2nd pitch.  Photo by Michael Schlauch taken from Espresso.
Ken Trout leading the 2nd pitch. Photo by Michael...
Jack Fisher works up the rope stretching crux pitch. Photo by Ryan Day Thompson Photography.
Jack Fisher works up the rope stretching crux pitc...
Comments on Coffee Achievers Add Comment
Show which comments
By Ken Trout
From: Golden, CO
Jul 15, 2008

Last weekend, there were two fixed wires on Prandoni's original traverse out the summit cave. Greg's finish cuts left twelve feet below and was a lot better for the second.

By Greg Cameron
Jul 21, 2008

Just did Coffee Achievers again with Ken Trout on Sunday. It was the first time since the first ascent for him, and maybe since 16 years ago for me. We did it in 6 pitches. I would say the pitches go 5.9, 5.10b, 5.10b, 5.10c/d, 5.9, 5.10a. I updated my description of the shared portion of the route with Espresso in the Espresso route description. Apparently, this is a little different (better and easier) than the way Ken and Peter exited the route on the FA.

I think this is the best route (not to mention best-named route) on the Black Wall. The 2nd through 4th pitches feature superb crack climbing of great variability. There are at least 7 sections of 5.10. The short, 5th pitch (a little wet and jungle-like) is the only dog on this climb.

By David A. Turner
Jul 27, 2008
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b

Pitches 2,3, & 4 rate 3 to 4 stars for quality; they are superlative. Pitch 1 is forgettable, and the last pitch is wet ( we combined pitches 5 & 6), but interesting with positive holds and reasonable pro. If you are not put off by conditions such as this, or even seek them out for the adventure, you will enjoy this route, as did I.

By JFisher
Jul 26, 2011
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c PG13

Did this on 7/22/2011. Great Route! 1p - mostly 4th Class to the top of a small pillar, with one 5.9 move that we roped up for. 2p - left-facing, ramping dihedral went at 5.9 (Ken, I think we were one dihedral right of your FA). 3p - short. 4p - sustained 10+ climbing for 185' (couple rests). Triples on BD #2 and #3, also bring 20 extendable draws, otherwise rope drag is a BEAR! 5p - Wet Chimney. 6p - traverse left into a hand-crack and up through notch to finish.... Overall, completely different from Good Evans, Cary Granite, etc. Alpine, sustained, mixed terrain, better Sun Exposure, lots of technique req'd. Way fun! I give it a 5.11a rating for the sustained 4th pitch.

By Phil Lauffen
From: The Bubble
Sep 4, 2011

Fun route, though I wouldn't run back to do it again. Rob and I did it in 4 pitches w/ a 70m: Combine P1 and P2, P3 in the original description (I didn't encounter an overhanging hand crack...? This combo is interesting because there is a .10 section at the end of P2, right at 70m, so if you blow it you're falling on 70M of rope stretch into space...), a pitch up to the ledge under the crux, crux pitch to piton belay, then chimney to the top. The chimney isn't too bad, the worst part was the nettles, and it felt more like 5.8 IMO.

I'm interested in the alternate last pitch Ken Trout has in his topo. Anyone done this?

Perfect rack was some small stuff, then doubles from about 0.3 to 3 C4, 12 draws. We placed a 4 twice, but it was usually to just get it off the rack.

By Kurt Ross
From: Boulder, colorado
Aug 13, 2013

+1 to Phil's gear beta. Very little small stuff is necessary, and a #4 Camalot is definitely not.

Kevin and I did a bit of a variation to the route route marked on the topo, which turned out to be very high quality climbing:
At the pitch 5 roof, move right on steep & thuggy jugs to gain a stance below a left-facing, left-leaning corner. Belay here or continue. Climb the corner, which consists of a sweet, hand-sized crack to a tricky, thin section with smeary feet. This will take you to the big ledge.

By Greg Cameron
Aug 19, 2013

I just did this yet again on Saturday (probably 4th time overall) and have a piece of information that might clear things up with respect to the original poster's route description. That route description is a variation on the original route. You start Coffee Achievers on a highly-vegetated section of easy climbing. The original route went to the very top of this easy section to gain access to a left-slanting crack which is up and right of the first left-slanting crack system that you encounter. A rib of rock separates the two. If you do the crack on the left side of the rib (as a continuation of pitch 1), you will end up at the base of the overhanging 5.10+ fist crack described in the route description. Just past the overhang you merge with the actual route. If you do the crack on the right side of the rib, the description that I posted above (and Ken's original description) is relevant. The original route is much cleaner and a little easier.

By the way, the two crux sections on the 4th pitch were wet on Saturday, the first time that I have encountered this.