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Clay sending Darkest Hour
Darkest Hour is the jet black, vertical to slightly overhanging seam in between Counter Curse on the left and Dark Arts on the right. I had left it alone for years fearing It might be too close to Dark Arts to make for truly independent climbing. I was wrong... After closer examination it turns out that the majority of the holds and sequences are on the left hand side of the seam, and once established on the line the climbing is quite isolated and exposed. This is face climbing with gear, and this pitch would be a good primer for other techy face pitches at the Waterfall like No Utopia, Full Steam Ahead, and Lochs Of Dread.
Start by climbing the first 35' of Dark Arts passing an assortment of gear options and one bolt to a very conspicuous right facing concave scoop. Start moving left on big holds to access the seam. You will go a little ways before the first good gear pod (medium wire or #.4). Moving up don't miss the #1 Camalot pod at the large flat jug, and make sure you have a #.75 Camalot for the last, and crux piece off gear. A short, "all or nothing" run for the Thank God jugs at the anchor might make or break your day, though there is nothing but wide open air all around you...
In between Counter Curse and Dark Arts. Shares first 35' of Dark Arts.
A full single set from #.3 through #1 Camalot, and bulking up on the #.5- #1 range. Small/medium wires, couple runners.
On the onsight attempt of Darkest Hour.
BETA PHOTO: Darkest Hour photo topo.
Jun 8, 2013
rating: 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Absolutely incredible finish! Never knew trad climbing would be like that!
By Tim H.
From: Scottsdale, AZ
Jun 17, 2013
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
I agree with Ryan, super fun climbing. Quite cruxy, separated with good rests to quell the pump. At the top it steepens and is a fantastic sequence of moves.
For the onsight Id say maybe 2x purple-yellow master cams, and singles from .3-1 C4. I even placed a bomber red ball nut for kicks below the flat jug. A green C3 a few feet above the .75 slot helped mentally and caught a few good lobs I took when gunning for the chains. The gear is pretty sequencey, so JJs advice above on what to use and when is spot on.
By JJ Schlick
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Jun 17, 2013
That's good beta on the higher crux piece. Missed that one!