Heart of Darkness
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This climb is a continuation of dark shadows, chasing shadows, or edge dressing however you link it up. Heart of darkness starts above the pitch 4 traverse of dark shadows under a huge roof at a bolted anchor. climb though the roof (crux 5.11c) up crack systems on the buttress to the left of the final pitches of dark shadows and continue to the summit of mescalito.
This route im told gets less ascents in a year then prince of darkness (black velvet wall) on any given day serious ADVENTURE climb with a real deal decent grade IV with the decent!
P1-4. (340') Climb the first 2 pitches of Dark Shadows(5.7) the last 2 pitches of Dark Shadows Chasing Shadows(5.8+) or p3 of Chasing Shadows and p4 of Edge Dressing(5.10B)
P5. 150' 5.11c Move left across the huge roof (pin and a bolt) with a very bouldery move to reach a few better holds at the base of the wide cracked roof climb awkwardly through it (difficult with a pack on) continue then up the easy large crack which is crumbly and difficult to protect without larger cams bd 4,5,6 would be nice to have here. (we ran it out 80' because we only had one number 4 bd cam and nothing larger) continue up the crack to a blocky alcove looking left to see the anchor make a 25' traverse to it under what Handren calls a splitter crack
P6. 100' 5.8 Handren says climb the crack to the end then face climb up and slightly left to a ledge with an anchor. we traversed back right and up that crumbly wide crack continued up and headed left it seemed to have better pro
P7. 80' 5.9 a bulge (5.9) and steep discontinuous cracks (5.9) lead straight to a roof that extends across the the top of the wall, traverse right a bit to the further right most of two cracks in the roof build a belay under the roof. this pitch i remember being a bit heady with little bomber pro and the holds i remember breaking specifically a foot because i almost took an 80-90 foot ride.
P8. 40' 5.8 crank though the roof then up a 2" crack to a huge ledge
P9. 100' 5.7 follow the crack system up and slightly right
P10.100' 5.9 pull over a bulge and face climb up to a huge ledge with trees, cacti and other prickly things
there is a good summit photo op on the left where what seems to be the summit cairn
P11 250' Handren calls it 4th class but i thought it was hard and rotten we stayed roped up for these last 250'. we climbed some hollow pillar which was rotten and kinda sketch to the summit
located above p4 of Dark Shadows. Finishes at the summit of Mescalito. Getting down that part well we descended the mountain following cairns that lead us to a gully that lead to a series of rappels the raps looked pretty dicey but proved to be secure enough for me weighing in at 185 with my pack. a 60m rope did not reach the ground by 7-8 feet with all the elongation on one of the raps so make sure you keep an eye out for that rap. Hold an end of that rope if you want it back to. we found a thin blue piece of petzl rope and made a fixed line for the last rap most people looked to be down climbing here when u reach a lot of bushes and brush and crap bush wack on hands and knees though spiky stuff to the wash between mescalito and juniper peak. Method two for getting down i've herd is to rappel Cat In The Hat i'm unfamiliar with that route and the finish so i did not
single rack to 4" double of 1.5"-2.5" (a large bd# 5,6 i felt would have been nice for p5 as we had an 80' runout). After p6 there are no more bolted anchors. one pin and one bolt off the belay on p5 none after that.
p6 from the belay
view from belay at p7
view from belay at p7
looking up at the bulge and steep climbing on p7
the right most of two cracks in the huge roof at p...
awesome view from under the roof on p8
p8 belay looking down
from on top of p10 looking towards vegas
our decent of Mescalito was in complete darkness w...
cairn on the summit with vegas in the background
gully we rapped into, one of like 4 raps
we found a stuck piece of blue petzl rope we colle...
|Comments on Heart of Darkness
|By John Long|
Jul 20, 2011
I remember this being a pretty substantial adventure requiring some boldness to on sight. We brought no bolts or pitons on the FA and felt pretty committed up high with three of us hanging off some grim anchors at the time. Long descent. Pretty much a full day adventure - old school fun.