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Black Widow Slab
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YDS: 5.11 French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- British: E4 5c

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 80'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.11 French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- British: E4 5c [details]
FA: David Goldstein, Dougald MacDonald, Jack Roberts
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 890
Submitted By: Dougald MacDonald on Oct 9, 2007
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BETA PHOTO: Despite the back-and-forth appearance of the line ...
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Start on Specter, but break right instead of left through the alcove roof about 20 feet off the ground. Step right again and climb a steep crack system. Cruxes at the first roof and at the start of the upper crack system. After the second crux, move right to find a protectable crack, then step back left and continue to the Specter anchors. Above the cruxes is lots of fun 5.9-ish climbing.

This is a continuous, complex, steep, exciting, and excellent lead that required three visits (two for Dave) and some short but bruising falls to complete. Dave got the redpoint. An onsight would be a worthy challenge.


One set of wires to about #6; Camalots to #3, with doubles from 0.5 to 2; two yellow Aliens (or equivalents). Plus: A yellow Black Diamond C3 is the perfect piece to protect the first crux, at the right side of the alcove; back it up with a slightly smaller piece. Save two hand-size pieces for the second crux. Use long slings below the roof and on the first piece in the right-hand crack system to eliminate rope drag.

Photos of SMERSH Slideshow Add Photo
Midway in the first crux sequence. Getting into a position something like this, and then moving the right foot up, are the key moves. The harder second crux starts above the red sling.
Midway in the first crux sequence. Getting into a ...
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