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The Black Wall

Routes Sorted
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Ant Farm, The 
Cannonball Corner 
Cary Granite 
Coffee Achievers 
Emerald Highway, The 
Escape Route 
Espresso 
Good Evans 
Harry Cary 
High Variance 
Old Rappel Route 
Parallel Universe 
Phil-a-Guster 
Rainbow Highway 
Road Warrior 
Rusty Dagger, The 
Undertow 
Unnamed Bolted Face 
Unsorted Routes:

The Black Wall 


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Location: 39.60338, -105.65068 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: Julian Smith on Feb 20, 2002
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Black Wall in the alpenglow.

Description 

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.


Getting There 

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.


18 Total Routes


['4 Stars',3],['3 Stars',10],['2 Stars',4],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',0],['5.7',0],['5.8',1],['5.9',0],['5.10',10],['5.11',5],['5.12',2],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for The Black Wall:
Undertow   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ E1 5a A4- R     Trad, Aid, Alpine, 5 pitches, 500'   
Road Warrior   5.10 6b 20 VII- E2 5b     Trad, Alpine, 5 pitches, 400'   
Cannonball Corner   5.10c 6b 20 VII E2 5b     Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches, 500'   
The Emerald Highway   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ E3 5b     Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches, 700'   
Rainbow Highway   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ E3 5b     Trad, Alpine, 7 pitches, 800'   
Coffee Achievers   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ E3 5b     Trad, Alpine, 7 pitches, 700'   
Good Evans   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ E3 5b     Trad, Alpine, Grade II   
Phil-a-Guster   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ E3 5c     Trad, Alpine, 1 pitch, 50'   
Cary Granite   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- E4 6a     Trad, Alpine, 5 pitches, 480'   
The Rusty Dagger   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ E5 6a R     Trad, Alpine, 7 pitches, 600'   
Browse More Classics in The Black Wall

Featured Route For The Black Wall
Eric Johnson pulling the roof on P3.  Splitter, fresh granite.

Cary Granite 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- E4 6a  CO : Alpine Rock : ... : The Black Wall
This is the obvious crack system just left of Good Evans. We did this in 1990, wrote it up in the old, loose-leaf guidebook at the Bucksnort, but the guidebook was since stolen. P1) Climb the first pitch of Good Evans (5.10d).P2) From the belay stance, continue straight up the Rappel Route about 80 feet past two sections of 5.10/5.10+ lieback followed by a 5.11- undercling. Belay just left of the obvious splitter crack that begins here and extends all the way to the top...[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Photos of The Black Wall Slideshow Add Photo
The Black Wall in the left front and the Tan Buttresses in the right rear.
The Black Wall in the left front and the Tan Buttr...
The Black Wall. <br />Photo: Bob Horan Collection.
The Black Wall.
Photo: Bob Horan Collection.
The Black Wall from the Mt Evans Tollroad. Road Warrior is faintly visible
BETA PHOTO: The Black Wall from the Mt Evans Tollroad. Road Wa...
Black Wall from the start of Hard to Say
Black Wall from the start of Hard to Say
This topo is from 1989.  I left off Cannonball Corner because it was unfinished.
BETA PHOTO: This topo is from 1989. I left off Cannonball Cor...
We used 50 meter ropes back in the '80s, so I was surprised by the comments that 60 meter ropes barely make it.  I'd suggest modifying the original rappel route so it can be with one 70m rope.
BETA PHOTO: We used 50 meter ropes back in the '80s, so I was ...
June 22, 2009.  With binoculars it appeared that all the routes are very wet.
BETA PHOTO: June 22, 2009. With binoculars it appeared that a...
Rapping in the single 70m rope way into the Black Wall.
Rapping in the single 70m rope way into the Black ...
Road Warrior Buttress with the routes Cary Granite, Good Evans, and Road Warrior.
BETA PHOTO: Road Warrior Buttress with the routes Cary Granite...
Black Wall, still seeping in late July
Black Wall, still seeping in late July
After a lot of looking I was able to find my old Rock & Ice drawings, from #32. We called it the Black Wall because it felt like an alpine Black Canyon.
BETA PHOTO: After a lot of looking I was able to find my old R...
Climber in red, heading up "Good Evans" what we called P3, just below the roof crux P4.Left splitter is "Cary Granite" headed into roof, right splitter is "Road Warrior"
Climber in red, heading up "Good Evans" what we ca...
Black Wall from "The Road" in winter.
BETA PHOTO: Black Wall from "The Road" in winter.
The view outwards from The Black Wall in August 2012.
The view outwards from The Black Wall in August 20...
The Black Wall as seen from the Chicago Lakes overlook on Mt. Evans.
BETA PHOTO: The Black Wall as seen from the Chicago Lakes over...
Odds are good that you will meet a few of these guys on the hike in.
Odds are good that you will meet a few of these gu...
Comments on The Black Wall Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jul 24, 2013
By Julian Smith
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Feb 24, 2002

I may have been incorrect about additional information being available on the Internet. It appears that Rock and Ice issue number 63 has some information and some good topos on the Black Wall.

By Brian Milhaupt
From: Golden, CO
Jul 6, 2003

I had heard this area described as yosemite quality granite. I wrote this off until I laid eyes on the vertical splitter crack systems. As of the 4th of July, the entire wall is dry.

By Brian Milhaupt
From: Golden, CO
Jul 9, 2003

I found no article or topo in R&I #63.

By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
Jul 9, 2003

Try R&I #32 or Climbing #105. I just looked this up on the online climbing mag index at:

www.ldeo.columbia.edu/~paulf/index.form.html

By Brian Milhaupt
From: Golden, CO
Jul 10, 2003

Thanks George, I had the Climbing article, but couldn't find the R&I.

By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Aug 7, 2004

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!

By Anonymous Coward
Aug 27, 2004

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.

By J. Thompson
From: denver, co
Aug 31, 2004

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.

By Rob Dillon
Sep 4, 2004

We rapped the D'Antonio route, which was very clean and direct. Watch your ends at the bottom!

With all respect to J. Thompson's efforts, I have a suggestion:

The next person up there-- bring some pliers and move the chains to the D'A anchors. This would give us the clean raps and the nice new gear on the same route.

By J. Thompson
From: denver, co
Sep 5, 2004

Have you tried rapping the "Rap route"?

If the chains are moved I will most likely remove them.

By Brian Milhaupt
From: Golden, CO
Sep 6, 2004

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.

By Cameron Cross
May 21, 2008

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.
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.


If you have any further questions regarding access to the Black Wall or other Evans areas, you can send me an e-mail at horsetoothhang@yahoo.com

Cheers,
Cameron
Northern Colorado Climbers Coalition

By Peter Beal
From: Boulder Colorado
May 22, 2008

Thanks, Cameron. Can you clarify which bouldering areas on Evans are affected? Is it all of them?

By Chip Phillips
From: Broomfield, CO
May 22, 2008

Obviously the Black Wall itself, and bouldering-wise Areas C & D. I'm pretty sure all downvalley bouldering is fine.

By Buff Johnson
May 22, 2008

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.

By Cameron Cross
Jun 4, 2008

Hi Peter,

I apologize for not responding quicker. The affected bouldering is Area D and anything near the Black Wall. Area C is outside of the closure area. All the lower areas are unaffected.

Mark is right though...there is so much snow this year that bouldering up there is pretty much shot anyway.

Cheers,
Cameron

By David A. Turner
Jul 27, 2008

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.

By J. Thompson
From: denver, co
Aug 3, 2008

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.

By Greg Cameron
Aug 5, 2009

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.

By Ken Trout
From: Golden, CO
Jun 5, 2011

Black Wall, June 3rd, 2011.
Black Wall, June 3rd, 2011.

By kevin murphy
From: Lafayette, Colorado
Aug 25, 2011

So if using the rap anchors with chains RR, will (2) 60 meter ropes work. Will (2) 60s work for the Bob D. raps?

By Kevin Stricker
From: Evergreen, CO
Aug 26, 2011

Two 60s will get you down in 2 raps off Bob's anchors and the rap route. One might get you down on the rap route (70m definitely works) as there are several extra bolted anchors in the vicinity.

By Joseph P. Crotty
From: Broomfield, CO
Jun 24, 2012

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. <br /> <br />Note, you can not see the last anchor in the photo.
Mt. Evans Black Wall rappel route.

Note, you can not see the last anchor in the photo.


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.

By L Stern
From: Golden, CO
Jul 24, 2013

Standard Black Wall rap station as seen from the rim.
Standard Black Wall rap station as seen from the rim.