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The Black Wall
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Road Warrior 

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

Type:  Trad, Alpine, 5 pitches, 400', Grade III
Original:  YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: Jeff Lowe and Dan Hare, 1984
Page Views: 19,628
Submitted By: Brian Milhaupt on Jul 4, 2003

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (18)
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Road Warrior is the obvious crack up the center of...


This is a long offwidth route that will leave you gasping for air at 13,000+ feet of elevation. Much of the crack system is completely featureless on the outside with laybacking the positive edges the only possible respite from direct offwidthing. Road Warrior ascends the left side of the Black Wall and shares three pitches with Good Evans. Rappel from the first set of bolt anchors you come across when you reach the Black Wall. After the second double rope rappel (might need new webbing), scramble downhill until you are standing in front of the wide, splitter crack.

Pitch 1: We climbed the left-facing flake and crack system to its top, 5.7 100'.

Pitch 2: Step left to the crack using a narrow foot ledge. Climb the wide crack for over 100' to a belay ledge with a good bolt, fixed nut, and ring piton you probably don't want to tie into. It is not a bad idea to have a large piece left for this belay, 5.10 110'.

Pitch 3: Do more offwidthing through steeper but more featured rock. The wide stuff ends and some seams and ledges lead up to a nice stance, 5.10 140'.

Pitch 4: This is the same as Good Evans. Climb up into the right-facing corner below the large roof past a couple pins and traverse out the left side of the overhang to an old bolt on a ledge. 5.10 50'.

Pitch 5: Continue on easy ground to the top.


Single rack of cams and nuts through #3 Camalot. A set of Big Bros with double #2 and triple #3. A #6 Friend or equivalent size is helpful.

Photos of Road Warrior Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Pin at the top of the second pitch; I'd say it cou...
Pin at the top of the second pitch; I'd say it cou...
Rock Climbing Photo: Top of the first pitch.
Top of the first pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: Second pitch 40' below the pegmatite band....
Second pitch 40' below the pegmatite band....
Rock Climbing Photo: Approaching the goodness.
Approaching the goodness.
Rock Climbing Photo: Tony on crux pitch.
Tony on crux pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: Henry putting the moves on the telephone pole-size...
Henry putting the moves on the telephone pole-size...
Rock Climbing Photo: Tony with the rack.
Tony with the rack.
Rock Climbing Photo: Friday, July 13, 2012 Eric and Laura
Friday, July 13, 2012 Eric and Laura
Rock Climbing Photo: Tom leading P1 proper on  busy day. Breathing like...
Tom leading P1 proper on busy day. Breathing like...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up the second pitch: More of the same with...
Looking up the second pitch: More of the same with...
Rock Climbing Photo: Inspiring lead by a young lady named Laura....
Inspiring lead by a young lady named Laura....

Comments on Road Warrior Add Comment
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By perry
Oct 2, 2003

This is a spectacular splitter crack on an amazing, steep alpine wall. I would rate this closer to 5.10+ for its sustained nature.
By Steve Annecone
From: boulder
Aug 5, 2004
rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

An outstanding splitter crack in a beautiful setting, this has got to be one of the best offwidths in the state! The gear beta above is good, but we brought two #5 Camalots and one #6 Friend instead of the Big Bros, and that worked well. Although the hardest moves may have only been 10b or 10c, it is brutally sustained 5.10 OW for over 200 feet, which in my mind warrants a 10d rating. Have fun, and be prepared for lots of gasping for air and a full-body workout!
By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Aug 7, 2004
rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

Good climb- on the P2 & P3 (the OW pitches) the rock is pretty friable on both sides of the crack. Lots of flakes and crystals were buzzing by the belay for both of us. If you pop and hang on second, and/or decide to rest, you might as well brush this up a bit. I think it detracts from the climb a little.

I always think of OW being #4-#5 Camalot size, Sheesh- this one is like #5 [old-style Camalot] and up. The rock is featured well inside the crack though, enough so that you can almost always get some decent feet. There are enough convolutions to get tons of no-hands rests on both pitches, but moving up is still hard. This route's sustained nature gives it a grade close to that of the Diving Board in Eldo, so yeah, 10d sounds good.

1) The first pitch belay is over right of the OW crack- you have to leave a good fist-sized splitter (3-4") to get to it, and you have to traverse an unprotected face to get back to it. I am certain that a 70M would make the link-up of P1 & P2 possible, and a 60M would be close. It would also give a better line, add more interesting climbing, and remove one of the routes flaws (climbing through or around the plants to the anchor). This doesn't require additional rack, as you'll be using smaller grear to point of merging anyway.
2) The second pitch is probably the crux. The cam beta given above is pretty good, but a few big bros wouldn't hurt if you don't like leapfrogging and depending on single pieces while doing it. We survived.
3) The 3rd pitch will be the mental crux, odds are. The #6 Friend was pretty tipped out and there were sections where it would not go, requiring me to pull it and climb with no gear for 20-30 feet below me, and that being a so-so stopper in pegmatite or a tipped out #5 Camalot. If I did it again, I'd take the big bros for this pitch. Big gear or big balls. Or maybe take just 1 #5 Camalot and two #6 Friends... 2 tipped out pcs are better than one? Or at least you can leave one in down lower and keep going with pro below.
4) The 3rd pitch can be extended up beyond it's intended finish on the ledge to a semi-hanging belay in the corner up and left, about 10M extra with an additional 5.10 crux hand traversing above the roof- a purple Camalot, a few medium and large nuts and the bin are bomber when put together here... the advantage being you can now finish the climb in [one] more pitch... just use long runners under the roof (5.9-) and head up and over. We did this with double ropes, but heck, you need 2 ropes to rap in, so I presume you've got them.
By mike schlauch
Aug 11, 2004
rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

This is an awesome line - a must do if you're into off-widths. Harder than Crack of Fear and the Maelstrom mainly because of the altitude and length. The crux pitch does take some good smaller gear (small to medium nuts & small aliens) at the pegmatite roof, but then gets runout unless you have more than one #6 - which will usually be tipped out.

The second set of rap anchors along the rim seemed like the way to go - two 60m raps put you on a large ledge from which you can combine p1 & 2 in about 50m to the semi-hanging belay.
By Anonymous Coward
Sep 12, 2005

Some[one] named [Lew] from Golden just added new bolts to this route just so he could retrieve a cam... [Eds. This has been edited and moved off the beta page due to the subsequent rebuttal]
By Anonymous Coward
Sep 14, 2005

First off, the way I spell my name is Lew....and if you want to do the route and find those new bolts that I put in go right ahead....as far as I know there are no new ones on the route, and I would know if I put them in....granted the pin at the top of the second pitch should be [yanked] out and replaced, but who am I to say as a wanker....also you have no idea why the cam was left in the first place or the rescue that followed it.....maybe one day when you are a big man and able to do [more than] follow 5.7, you can lead, I'll be more [than] happy to follow and we [can] look for those bolts together.....have a good day fellow wankers.
By Rob Dillon
Jun 5, 2007

My partner went from feeling slow on the approach, to 'hey, why don't you let me carry the rope', to stopping midway through the first pitch, to dizzy and near-hurling on the second, to prussiking the third, finally staggering to the top and exclaiming. 'oh, flat ground!' at the top.

You want to be in good shape for altitude on this one.
By Wayne Crill
From: an Altered State
Mar 12, 2009
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b

Phenomenal! I'll never forget gazing up at this crack from the snowfield at the bottom after a rapid descent from the rim, summer '98, Clean Dan was there preparing to rap in for the line. I didn't know a thing about the routes but knew I'd be back for this *splitter*. Did a few other routes on the wall a few times before I sac'd up for The Warrior. I really didn't think it could be too bad since the granite is so rough and the crack edges are not smooth (not *splitter*). And I was pretty acclimitized at the time. I was surprised, super sustained, it felt hella burly. I also thought it harder than Crack of Fear, and I didn't think it was altitude, although that had to have an effect. Agreed!! A must do for the offwidth fetishists.
By Monty
From: Golden, CO
Jul 30, 2011
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b

Awesome route!
Rack beta: single set from #0.3-5; three #6s; 2-3 #3 Bigbros; 1 #4 Bigbro.

Seems like a lot, but it was very nice to have all of the extra big stuff. Also the 2nd pitch offwidth is very tipped out 6s....

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