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Roofer Madness is the biggest route in the Black Wall area. It ascends the beautiful, north-facing buttress that can be seen from the top of the Black Wall when looking southeast. In fact, most of the route can be seen from this vantage.
The route was partly cleaned on rappel in 1990 (only the first two pitches) and both the 1st and most of the 2nd halves of the route were climbed by Greg Cameron and Clare Dunning prior to the first bottom to top ascent by Cameron and Lowe in 1991 or 1992.
The upper half of the climb, beginning with the crux pitch, can be accessed by descending down 3rd and 4th class grassy ledges from the southeast and then traversing right (5th class) immediately beneath the lower of the two huge roofs. This is a good strategy on a day in which rain is expected early. This part of the climb faces west.
The lower cracks (which face north) may have filled back up with dirt and moss since the 1990 cleaning. This is a great climb that as of 2005 is probably still awaiting a second ascent.
The recommended access is via rappel down the Black Wall and then scrambling on scree to the prominent north-facing apron that forms the beginning of the buttress. This allows you to see the route before climbing it. An alternate access is to hike north into the Chicago Lakes Valley from the overlook at Summit Lake and then hike north-northwest along the base of the cirque to the buttress.
Start in a hand and fist crack, situated in the middle of the apron that forms the bottom of the Roofer Madness buttress.You are in the right place if you see two huge roofs looming a few hundred feet above you, one directly on the prow, and a higher one just on the right side of the prow.
P1). (150 feet, 5.10). Follow the hand and fist crack up and left past a grassy depression. The crack thins to fingers and, after another 30 feet or so, a branch of the crack goes straight up for another 80 feet to a small ledge. This crack involved a fair amount of cleaning prior to and during the first ascent. This pitch can be done in two shorter pitches, with a natural belay ledge just above the branch.
P2). Follow the finger crack up and a bit left to a blackish-colored slot, which is the continuation of a prominent right-facing dihedral that begins at the base of the buttress. Ascend the slot (5.9 - 5.10), and find a belay stance (~80-foot pitch).
P3). Work up easier ground, staying on the left side of the prow, to the left side of a large roof. When nearly even with the roof, traverse straight right along a prominent, horizontal fracture system to a ledge. At this point you are on the right side of the prow and about 80 feet beneath a huge roof with a crack that branches into two after about 15 feet.
P4). Ascend the rightmost crack (hand and fingers, 5.11b, crux) to a hanging belay immediately beneath the roof. If feeling particularly strong, this pitch and the next can be done as one.
P5). This is the defining pitch of the climb. Follow the (now) wide crack up and right and through the roof (5.11a, scary) to a very exposed belay on the right side of the prow. There is one fixed pin on this pitch as well as a pin at the belay. Note that this pitch can be wet at times.
P6). Work up and a bit right past three horizontal fractures to a decent ledge below a roof (5.9? - I really can't remember).
P7). Traverse left along the ledge and then up a crack and through two roof systems (5.10?) to a prominent, horizontal fracture system laced with ledges.
P8). At this point you are just on the right side of the prow. Traverse left, crossing the prow, and then work up on easier ground to the top.
Standard rack augmented with extra large pieces (doubles on #3 and #4 Camalot, and a #4.5 Camalot and/or Big Bro).
BETA PHOTO: Roofer Madness shown in red
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