Type: Trad, Grade IV
FA: Scott Lazar, Jose Perera, et al.
Page Views: 2,652 total · 13/month
Shared By: Pinklebear on Nov 10, 2001
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Seasonal Raptor Closures Details


This is one of the Black's trio of so-called "sport routes," labelled as such because there happen to be some bolts on the hard climbing. Don't be fooled -- there's plenty of spicy trad business on this line and even the world's longest telescoping stick clip probably won't get you much higher than the second belay. With three pitches rated 5.11 or harder and lots of 5.10, this route makes for a good, sustained challenge. Allow plenty of time (6-8 hours).

The route begins down and left of Apparition. To reach the start scramble up choss below the gaping Ament's Chimney, the large, ugly cleft about 100 yards below the second rappel in the Cruise Gully. Qualgeist climbs the faint arete feature out right of the chimney.

P1: (5.11) Situate yourself below the arete feature. Climb a slightly dirty crack (5.10) through black rock, then move left, climbing past two bolts on tiny crimpers. Step left across the chimney to a bolted belay stance on a ledge.

P2: (5.12b) A spectacular pitch, requiring lots of endurance. Climb the face/arete past 2-3 bolts and move right into a faint corner. Climb the corner, turn a huge roof/detached block (if this goes you're fucked!) and move up into a pegmatite groove, clipping a final bolt en route to a double-bolt belay over the lip of a huge roof.

P3: (5.10+) Climb a thin seam above the belay then neb out up the slabby face above, eventually reaching a decent belay ledge.

P4: (5.10) This pitch climbs up then moves a bit left into the gloom of Ament's chimney before tackling a brilliant, tapering black corner with perfect rock but not much gear. Move right at the top of the corner to a one-bolt belay, which can be backed up.

P5: (5.10+) More nebulous face climbing with the occasional good piece and some cryptic moves takes you up to a hidden belay alcove at the base of a splitter crack on a headwall. This headwall faces towards Ament's Chimney, not the Cruise Gully.

P6: (5.11+) Climb the splitter crack, which starts out as thin fingers before opening up into hands and what-not as it doglegs up to a good belay ledge. A long, pumpy pitch with some great crack climbing on it.

P7: (5.8) Walk left on the ledge and climb the ugly off-width. Move past this onto loose, easier ground and belay at the huge ledge/tier 100 feet below the rim. Scramble off on slabs to reach the rim proper.


Bring a standard Black Canyon rack with emphasis on pieces in the small/middle range. Bring one big (5") cam for the 5.8 off-width on the last pitch.


aaron voreis
Edina, MN
aaron voreis   Edina, MN
Amazing route! there is no need for a big cam. 1 #3 Camalot and 1 #4 Friend is more than plenty. cheers, aaron Oct 8, 2004
Matt's description is good but be a little careful around P4-5 . if you go too far into Ament's Chimney on pitch 4-5 you miss the nice .11 splitter. You do get a nice long black dihedral (.9), a nice belay on a grassy belay ledge in the chimney, and a overhanging hand and finger crack (.11), but the original line stayed out on the arete, and never really went into the chimney. However, as I have found out on several occasions, it is very easy to get sucked into the chimney as the climbing is as really good if not better than the slightly runout and nebulous climbing on the arete.

The climbing is great inside Ament's, and it joins the route again at the belay below P.7, but I have not been able to free a 15 to 20 foot RP crack. I suspect if frees at mid 12's and I wouldn't be surprised if someone already has freed it.

Also if you have made it this far you probably don't need any really big gear for the offwidth. Oct 6, 2005
Jay 1975
Jay 1975   Bonedale,CO
Pumpy sport crux! Slightly confusing where to go. Slightly dirty from being a runoff zone. I would do it again though! Oct 6, 2011
Madaleine Sorkin
Boulder, Colorado
  5.12c R
Madaleine Sorkin   Boulder, Colorado
  5.12c R
A wild, shorter day route with a unusually steep (for the Black) crux arete/roof. From mid-way up the 1st pitch (on the topo), I was able to link into the crux pitch. The 5.11 climbing of P1 seemed run-out and consequential between the final bolt and anchor. I clipped a double length to the anchor, and the rope drag was okay. The climbing is sequential, very technical, and wild as you round the arete into more open space (I hear a hold broke and recommend a rating of 12c for this section). The climb steepens around the arete and is sustained all the way until the anchor (12b?). The block in the roof, that you pull up and over mid-pitch, is somewhat detached and hollow and took a level of determination to commit myself to using.

On a hot day in September, the bottom of the route went into the shade at 2pm (and thus became climbable).
Feb 24, 2013
Drew Spaulding
Boulder, CO
Drew Spaulding   Boulder, CO
Let it be said that Jose Perera was on the 1st ascent of Qualgeist with Scott Lazar. We hung out on the rim after they spent one day on the 1st few pitches. We lent them our hand drill the next day when they finished the route.... Jose was a great guy and a super strong climber. Miss him lots...RIP. Mar 23, 2014
  5.12c R
  5.12c R
Fully agree with your descriptions on the second pitch, Madaleine – nice send! The route has bolts, but this rig ain't no sport climb. As for the top pitches, be ready for lots of wandering, heady 5.10+; the 5.11 finger crack at the end is awesome except for two bush cruxes in it. Overall, this route is all about spice. There wasn't a single pitch that seemed straightforward. This is a huge step above Trilogy, which my partner and I hiked in the rain a couple weeks ago. Oh, and once again, props to Chris Kalous for the excellent topo map. Jun 14, 2014
Boulder, CO
michalm   Boulder, CO
The first bolt on the crux pitch is missing a hanger and the stud is loose. This bolt needs to be replaced! If you are short, this makes getting to the second clip very spicy and committing. It would be easiest to replace while following the pitch. The other bolts on the route appear to be in good condition. However, at least one of the single-bolt belays is tricky to back up with anything substantial.

The crux pitch is steep, pumpy, and wild. It feels like harder 12, similar in difficulty to the Apparition crux pitch but with totally a different style. Rifle climbers might do well on this one.

Routefinding is tricky after the crux pitch. On the 4th pitch, go up the rightmost corner just left of the arete that forms the right side margin of Ament's Chimney. This corner is steep, left-leaning, and becomes smaller as it goes higher until it tapers into a seam with edges. The corner looks a bit crumbly for a few moves down low but cleans up in a few moves and climbs beautifully. Do not go up the brownish-red corner with abundant edges just left of it - you will be off route.

The last pitch is very loose and dirty. The offwidth protects reasonably well with medium-sized gear and is quite easy. Oct 23, 2017
Jay 1975
Jay 1975   Bonedale,CO
Just revisited this route after about eight years, and it seems even harder, on the upper end of 12 for sure. The roof move about halfway up the pitch is quite scary considering it is just a large chunk of block a few hundred pounds!

Best new link-up is Qualgeist into Ament's, classic! Apr 26, 2018