Type: Trad, 4 pitches Fixed Hardware (6)
FA: Layton Kor, TJ Boggs, 1962. FFA: Jim and Dave Erickson, 1969
Page Views: 4,019 total · 18/month
Shared By: Patrick Vernon on Dec 31, 2000
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Subject to Seasonal Raptor Closures Details
Access Issue: Seasonal Closures Details


This is a nice, although spicy pitch 50' left of the bulge on the bulge portion of the [Redgarden Wall]. There are two bolts on this route, and a fixed pin, other than that there is only one place (several feet before the pin) to place protection. The crux occurs after the second bolt, and is well protected. After pulling the crux however, you must continue on [runout] 5.8 terrain from which a fall would not be good. Getting to the first bolt is also quite spicy. This is a cool one pitch route. Good warmup for Back in Black.


The Pro is as follows, two bolts, a pin, and a red metolius tcu.


A comment about the pro. AS of 8/10/01, I am pretty sure there is no pin. From the description, however, I'm not sure where the pin and TCU placements are supposed to be, before or after the bolts. This is how I found the pro- 5.6 to a green Camalot (.75) placement maybe 15 feet off the ground. Continue another 15 feet to a bolt(5.8). 10 feet to another bolt(.9+). A short, two move crux (5.10b) then about 25-30 feet of 5.8 with no pro. I used the anchors at the top of Backtalk, but I know you can climb up and left to anchors on Blackwalk, this may be where the TCU and pin are, I'm not sure. Well, I hope my comments help. Aug 11, 2001
I also did not see any fixed pins on the route. I placed the cam, clipped the two bolts, and then finished at the backtalk anchors at 80ft. From there i climbed up to where the topo showed a fixed pin and two bolts and found nothing! running it out to the original anchors (assuming they are still there) could result in a 100ft ground fall with this fixed gear missing, so be careful. Jan 30, 2002
I would recommend against "going for it" on this pitch. Better to be sure you stay in control. Gravity is the same whether 5.8 or 5.12. Feb 4, 2002
Chris Dawson
Grand Junction, CO
Chris Dawson   Grand Junction, CO
The second pitch is worth doing as well. From the bolt belay (not backtalk's) at the top of the first pitch, move up and left on huecos underneath the rotten roof break. There is a bolt after 10 or 15 ft. Pull up past the bolt and then move right underclinging past two old softiron upward driven pins (5.9). There's a nice blue alien slot a little ways past the pins. Pull around right and cruise to the top past another bolt and small roof. This pitch is runout as well, but the runouts are really easy climbing. Mar 23, 2002
Dr. Dan
Steamboat Springs, CO
Dr. Dan   Steamboat Springs, CO
I hopped on this route with out a lot of beta. I found two bolts to clip and about a 30 foot run out on 5.8-9 after the 10b-c crux. It was really very solid climbing and not sketchy. On the ramp there is the tendency to go for the lower chain ancors on Backtalk, but since the climbing is easy, go left, find 2 fixed pins in the flake or place a .75 cam and move up and left to the real anchors. Fun climb, but it tests you mental cool. May 6, 2002
I agree that the second pitch is worth doing. Be sure to put long runners on every piece of fixed pro that you clip, even doing that I had more rope drag that I would have liked. Halfway up the pitch there is a pin and a bolt below a roof. After pulling the roof you get into the real runout. A small nut can provide a little peace of mind where the runout is at its steepest. Twenty feet above that, far enough left that you might not see it, there was a slot that took some small cams which I greatly appreciated. After that the angle eases off and it's 4th class to the East Slabs descent. Nov 18, 2002
I found the crux to be considerably harder than its neighbor Backtalk... very polished and somewhat of a harsh warm-up. The two pins are still there on the upper part of the pitch... you can't see them until you are on top of them. I couldn't see them, so I hauled up a #3 camaolt on the trail line which goes in beautifully in a slot just below the pins. May 12, 2003
Craig Quincy
Louisville, CO
Craig Quincy   Louisville, CO
After the crux on pitch one there are some gear placements to be had that reduce the 5.8 runout to the ramp/ledge where the Backtalk anchors are located. I believe this must have been the site of the fixed pin because the slots look like pin scars to me. Anyways, after doing the crux moves and getting back on your feet and off your arms, there is a small horizontal crack that takes a #1 and #2 ball nut and a #00 or #0 TCU. An RP could also be placed where the TCU goes. This is up and slightly left of the last bolt, but right in front of your face if you step left and rock onto your left foot at the crux. There are also some TCU placements to be had up and left from there, but I think it's easier to do one move right and continue straight up to the ramp.

I also like to put in some gear before the first bolt and supplement the pins on the way to the upper anchor with a few more gear placements. In short, I usually bring a rack and find some interesting gear placements along the way. With or without the extra gear, this is an exciting and fantastic route. Rossiter gave it "Top Ten" status in his old Boulder Climbs South Book, although there were eleven climbs with "Top Ten" status in that book. I guess Eldo is just that good. Sep 12, 2003
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
  5.10c R
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
  5.10c R
Well worth doing all 3 pitches (2 if you run long, or 4 if you break them up small). The climbing past the first belay is like a harder verson of the Bulge and is a great warm up for something like Shades Of Grey. Best to do P1 to the second bolted belay (the one at 110') and then go all of the way to the top of the slabs in ~58 more meters. Sep 14, 2003
Mike Munger
Boulder, Colorado
Mike Munger   Boulder, Colorado
Gear; There is a placement for a 0 or 00 TCU that is bomber at the stance above the crux (second bolt). You can also get a purple camalot in a crack 15 feet above this, at which point it is easy to move right to easier ground or left and then up to the double pins below the anchor.Variation; It is also possible to traverse straight left from the second bolt on some slopers to bypass the original crux. This has the advantage of keeping the bolt high when you are doing the hard moves. The moves are different but I don't think they are any easier. Nov 17, 2004
Matt (or anyone else), what was the accident on Blackwalk you're referring to? What happened? Jul 31, 2005
This is solid 10c (d?) (albeit short) with 8+S. . . solid. NOT a climb to be tried when it's HOT out - very greasy shit when hot. Sounds like the accident victim was climbing during the heat. I'm not too sure if I'd even give this route a single star, but what the hell. . . voila! Sep 15, 2005
Bill Wright
  5.10c R
Bill Wright  
  5.10c R
I've led this route many times and it is always hard and exciting for me. I think the crux is solid 10c and tricky. The climbing above is very heady and I think it is 5.9 with huge fall potential. This is a serious pitch. About five feet after finishing the crux, you can get a black Alien off to the left. This is a bit of a blind placement, but it felt very solid. This is difficult to find and I don't usually find it. Jan 27, 2006
David Champion
Centennial, CO
David Champion   Centennial, CO
Blackwalk is, bar none, the scariest pitch I have ever led. I totally agree with Bill Wright's and Joe Collins' comments, both here and on Backtalk: Blackwalk has a harder crux, and harbors the potential for a 70+ footer if you fall before reaching the anchors. Backtalk is more sustained, yes, and it is run-out, but it is what I would call "normal" scary. Blackwalk is "weird" scary. It's got a weird, greasy, awkward crux, followed by 50 feet of greasy slopers without pro. It took all I had mentally to keep it together on this pitch. Apr 29, 2009
Noah McKelvin
Colorado Springs
  5.10c X
Noah McKelvin   Colorado Springs
  5.10c X
Is it just me or does that runout feel X? A coffin will be waiting for you if you blow the last runout moves. You're hitting the starting ledge. The crux felt like solid 5.10c for me. It is really devious as to which holds to use and which way to go. Greasy as well.

The runout moves aren't to bad, in the 5.8/9 range. Don't blow it though, this route is serious. There is a #3 placement below the pin at the top. It's nice to put that in after the runout. That and the 0.5 C4 at the bottom is all I placed. Oct 19, 2011
nate post
  5.10b/c X
nate post   Silverthorne
  5.10b/c X
Doing a route that long with 2 quickdraws is just dumb, and for that, it deserves a classic status in my book. I don't know if I was more nervous climbing it or belaying my partner up it. I wouldn't want to see someone fall on this. I really enjoyed it and haven't been that happy or motivated to not fall in awhile. I will have to come back someday and do the rest of the pitches. Jun 1, 2015
Chris N
Loveland, Co
Chris N   Loveland, Co
Like Erickson said in his 1980 guidebook, the prospect of "Darkness at Noon": I was sandbagged into leading this in the spring of 1981 (I was out of shape), because my partner flew off the crux twice. He just couldn't figure out the moves. I managed to find a crappy, small RP placement to the right of the crux then went for it. Once I passed the crux, I couldn't move for 15-20 minutes, I was scared shitless. This is the climb where I learned how swallow my heart and suck up my asshole back up at the same time. What was cool, there was a crowd of climbers gathered to watch and all were encouraging me on.
Yes, Dave, if not my scariest pitch, one of them. Aug 9, 2015