BETA PHOTO: The Black Wall from the Mt Evans Tollroad. Road Wa...
The Black Wall is the premier multi-pitch alpine rock climbing venue at Mt. Evans. This is where the long, committing routes are. The reason is simple, situated at a very high altitude, between 12,000 and 13,000', the easiest way to reach the routes is to rappel in. The Black Wall offers a fine selection of multi-pitch trad routes that face east. The easiest route would appear to weigh-in at 5.10. Good Evans is the classic line on the Black Wall. Check out the Road Warrior for some sick off-width action. From the parking area at the lake, head north. Most of the routes are accessed by hiking up and over the big hill to the north of the lake. Just past the col on the other side of the hill, start looking for rappel anchors on the top of the cliff. These may be hard to find, but they are there. They are at the top of a route named the Rappel Route. What else? You will probably want to take 2 200' ropes for the rappels. Mt. Evans can through some gnarly weather your way, no matter what season it is. Be prepared to be committed on the routes on the Black Wall. Beta seems hard to find for this wall. Use Front Range Crags by Peter Hubbel - out of print unfortunately - as a reference. Additional topo information may be available on the Internet.Definitely go check out this awesome wall.
From the parking lot at the lake, head north. Hike up and over the hill in front of you. At the col on the other side of the hill, start looking for anchors on the top of the cliff. Peter Hubbel suggests that you can descend from the col at the lake and walk beneath the cliffs to access climbs.
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for The Black Wall:
This is a really fun couloir. The crux is the steep roll before everything starts to funnel down into the choke (going down). It's probably at least 15 feet wide at the choke, and once through there is a group of rocks that split the line in the middle. I took the skinny line on lookers left at the bottom. Steepness, this line clocks in at about 50*, and the roll over at the top is usually near vertical if not a overhanging cornice, you can usually sneak in....[more]Browse More Classics in CO
The second rap was sure CLOSE with two 60M's to the ledge. Careful!
By J. Thompson From: denver, co Aug 26, 2004 Gear Alert
I beefed and cleaned up the anchors on the rappel route on 8-26-04.
I replaced the old button head bolt on top with a brand new ASCA bolt(was able to use the same hole) and added camo chains. On the "half way" anchor I pulled off a bunch of old tat, pulled one of the old pins, added a bolt, and put in camo chains. The next party down might want to bring one more quicklink to connect the 2 remaining pins- I left them connected with a booty biner- sorry I was one Quicklink short!
J. Thompson- a little confused here, there are 2 sets of rap anchors from the rim- if you walk past the first (older) set, you come to newer bolts...did you replace the first set? 2nd set is faster, more direct, etc.
After 2 recon mission's up there, and with direct reference to Hubbel's guide, this site, and with info from other people. I replaced the anchors on the "rap route". Both anchors are bomber and have chains.I actually found 3(or was it 4?) sets of bolts on the summit. I replaced the ones that had been most described as the standard rappel route.
I'm alittle disappointed that it took my time and effort for people to speak up and say there was a "better way".In any case the Original standard RR is bomber and has fixed chains.
I have used both rap routes and found the one Bob installed to be more usefull. The rap is cleaner, without the potential for ropes being stuck. It also sets you at the base of the most popular routes and serves as a belay for the bolted route there. Whether there are chains there or not doesn't matter. It's no problem to leave some slings and retrieve them when you finish your route.
I just wanted to let everyone know that the Black Wall and all climbing in the Upper Chicago Lakes basin (including bouldering) is affected by a voluntary seasonal wildlife closure from May 1st - June 30th. All climbing opens to use on July 1st.
Bighorn sheep and mountain goats use the area for lambing and kidding during this time and are extremely sensitive to any contact with humans.
The voluntary closure arose from Forest Plan Standard 102, which designates that it shall “restrict new developments, including new facilities, roads, and trails, and concentrations of humans, within a one-mile sight distance of bighorn sheep lambing and mountain goat kidding areas if they would adversely impact lambing or kidding.”
Climbing is considered to be a concentration of humans and therefore falls under the closure.
The newly created trail from the Upper Chicago lake to Summit Lake has been recognized as a source of potential disturbance as well and is closed during the lambing and kidding period in order to avoid negatively impacting reproduction patterns.
Here is a map of the area affected by the closure:
Mt Evans (May 1st - June 30th): Seasonal voluntary closure of the Upper Chicago Basin for bighorn sheep and mountain goat lambing and kidding. The closure area affects the Black wall and any bouldering in the Upper Chicago Lake basin. The Chicago Lakes trail is also closed in the affected are to any use. Submitted By: Cameron Cross on Apr 28, 2008
If you have any further questions regarding access to the Black Wall or other Evans areas, you can send me an e-mail at email@example.com
The area that the lambing occurs is pretty obvious from the Summit Lake Col; you can easily see the mass impact of people to the animals. Probably won't matter much this year as we have a friggin' ton of snow up there now.
Ken Trout showed us his one rope rappel today. A 70 meter rope is essential, but gets you down no worries. When you are at the top of the wall looking out to the east, rap off the anchor on the right, the one with the long chains. Head down the ramp as you normally would, but stop at the first anchors you come to, about 25 meters down. The second rap goes climber's left off the ramp. After about 20 meters, it's a short rap, you will find an anchor on a small slab. (Ken told us he scrounged these anchors off of N. Table, so they look their age, but are completely trustworthy.) Head on down the steep wall looking for a "rock island" a full 35 meters down (knot the ends of the rope). There are two rock islands, you are aiming for the one on climber's right. The one on climber's left, somewhat higher up, has a one bolt anchor, and may not get you to the ledge system. The fourth and final rap takes you to the ledge system. Towards the bottom of the rap, Ken dropped his rope to climber's right of a large block, into a short chimney, was able to get onto good footholds, and then stroll over to the base of Good Evans. We went climber's left of the block, and had to downclimb a short ramp to the same place.
A quick note on the "single rope descent". The comment posted above was a little misleading. You can make it down in 3 rappels with a 70m rope. #1 Rap off the long Chains on top. Look for a 2 bolt anchor at a very good stance. This rappel is approximatly 30m. #2 Rap down the ramp directly below the anchors. Once you've moved onto the steeper section of the wall trend left...aiming for an "island" aka ledge below. This is a long rappel checking in right at 35m, knot your ends. There are 2 bomber bolts. #3 Rap off the bolts to the ledge system below. It's easy to scramble to the base of GE and RW from here.
Alternately you MIGHT be able to do the raps with a single 60m rope if you use the old rap anchor with chains in between rappels #2 and #3.
Perhaps it was a mistake on my part by making up a new crag name, Roofer Madness Wall, rather than sticking with the Black Wall. The Roofer Madness Wall is the mainly north-facing wall to the climber's left of the east-facing Black Wall and part of the same cirque. I get the feeling that most folks perusing the climbs in this area probably completely miss the reference to the Roofer Madness Wall.
There are two standard rappel descents for the Black Wall; Rappel Route and D'Antonio Rappel. Either can be used to access any route on the wall, however, the D'Antonio rap requires double 60m ropes.
Rappel Route - Use to access Cannonball Corner and anything climber's left of there; Road Warrior, Good Evans and Cary Granite. A single 60m or 70m works. 70m preferred. See photo below.
Find long chains on a block sitting right along the edge. Rap right and stay on the large ramp. Don't rap straight down. 60m rope users stop at the first anchor they come to. 70m rope users bypass the first anchor and head to the next which you can't see until your almost on top of it - good ledge on the ramp system.
Rap straight down and slightly left. Your aiming for a small ledge. Knot 60m rope as it's a stretcher.
Rap straight down. 60m rope users will have to scramble the last 30'.
Mt. Evans Black Wall rappel route.
Note, you can not see the last anchor in the photo. Submitted By: Joseph P. Crotty on Jun 24, 2012
D'Antonia Rappel - Use to access Cannonball Corner and anything climbers's right of there; Brown Dagger, Coffee Achievers etc. Double 60m required.
Locate the Rappel Route anchor and while facing east move left about 70' and find the anchor along the edge. Rap straight down aiming for a semi hanging belay on two bolts that usually has some slings and carabiners on it.
Rap to base to access the climbs farther right or stop sooner if doing Good Evans, Road Warrior, Cary Granite, etc.