Type: Trad, 14 pitches, Grade IV
FA: Kor, Culp
Page Views: 3,530 total · 17/month
Shared By: Bryson Slothower on Nov 14, 2001
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

19 Opinions

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Access Issue: Seasonal Raptor Closures Details


This is a great Black Canyon adventure with route finding being the crux. As the new book suggests it is very worth while to scope the line from the balanced rock overlook. Head down the easy Long Draw gully till about 100m above the river (40 minutes). There are four established routes on a buttress to the right of a large chimney system which can be seen from the base of the route. It is likley that you will cross sections of different routes as there are many options once on the climb.

The start is tricky to be sure of but just stay right of the chimney and look for the best rock. There are some lines that look very improbable but are quite nice and have much better rock than the more obvious weaknesses. There are some spicy run outs on this buttress but the climbing stays pretty easy. Most of the route is face climbing! If wavering between going right or left once on route, I found it always better to stay to the right on steeper but cleaner rock. The route is between 11 and 14 pitches. When it looks like you are at a dead end at the end of the route sneak around the left side of a steep and blank face with a tree to a nice low angle corner/crack system. Scramble up a bushy gully to reach the rim. I encountered one or two suspect belay anchors and veered off route into some 5.9X climbing on horrible rock but the intended route genera;ly stays on solid rock and is very enjoyable.


Standard Black rack with a some RPs and extra runners.


Bryson Slothower  
Cut off again. That should say that the intended route "generaly stays on solid rock and is very enjoyable."..... Jan 30, 2002
Fun climbing with 1500 high step moves! A bit cold at night if you underestimate this route. Mar 14, 2002
Rob Dillon  
Not wanting to mislead my buddy RMc into thinking the Black was all fun & games on his first visit, I decided we should check out this interesting little route. Excellent choice, m'sieur! A full plate of BC delight: loose, wandering line; vague indications of previous (downward) passage; missiles whizzing by my head on his first 200' exploration through teetering piles of choss; and, happily, the occasional beautiful section of clean, elegant, and exposed rock. The following day's trip up Comic Relief was tedious by comparison.

Look for a beautiful brown varnished corner out by the arete on about p.4-5, ~150' after the [second] large terrace- this was probably the coolest pitch on the route.

We started up pretty far right/downhill, way past the landmark chimney, beneath a broad, obtuse corner/ gully system, which is where we encountered most of the flying choss. Don't go this way if you can help it. After we escaped this everything cleaned up and was basically groovy. Jun 10, 2005
Did this route for the second time. I came away with a less favorable reaction this time than I did last time. Possibly because I'm sure we weren't on the same line as tyhe first time I did it. My notes from the first excursion suggest staying generally right when choices need to be made. This time I let myself be pulled left on the 3rd pitch further than I think is needed and I found more dubious ground. The final section of this rte is great if you stay way right and actually turn the corner right out over the river for the final full pitch before easier ground up top. You'll know you are in the right place if you have to scramble to the top of a large flake leaning against the wall and step out over the abyss to the right to start the last pitch. 14 pitches put us on the rim. 9 1/2 hours climbing time 1 1/2 hour down the gully (no PI, yeah). Jun 25, 2009
Allen Hill
FIve Points, Colorado and Pine
Allen Hill   FIve Points, Colorado and Pine
This is a fun route. The crux is near the top and is exposed and exciting. Jan 13, 2010
Christopher Scharff  
  5.9 R
This was one of my favorite routes in the Black, and I really recommend it. The gully descent is fast and easy (down some scree but no bushwacking, poison ivy, or even any rappels). The route tops out right by the road, with no up-and-down exit pitches like some other routes. We did it in 10 long pitches, and it took about 10.5 hours. The route has it all from fun hand cracks, chimneys (2nd and 3rd pitches), some steep face climbing, and some slabs. Most of the belays are pretty roomy, too. This route definitely rates at least three or four stars for me. Jul 8, 2011
Kelsey Bohanon
Glenwood Springs, CO
Kelsey Bohanon   Glenwood Springs, CO
This was a super fun route with lots of adventure and vertical. Lots of easy climbing on jugs and really solid rock - maybe about 10% choss. Only a few hard moves on the whole route. The start was pretty easy to find I thought. It's best to scope from the Balanced Rock overlook. From there, you can see two little mounds with vegetation on top that sit up against the wall. The left option on the topo goes up the right-hand side of the left mound. You can scramble up to the base of the obvious 5.8 OW ramp if you hike a little further down the gully. We did have a little trouble on pitch 7, as shown on the topo (thanks for that, btw, very helpful). We stopped at the optional belay shown at the bottom of the 5.9 crack to have a good belay for this section. We then climbed up a really obvious, semi-right-leaning crack that we suspected was correct. It was just a few hundred feet right of the chimney system. The bottom was tricky but doable, but getting over the roof was very tough and scary. I was able to get through with a couple of easy aid moves and then back onto easy ground. It really did not seem like a 5.9 move, so we suspect that we may have been off route. We never did round the arete to the right, as a lot of beta suggests, so that might be the place to do it, but we were concerned about going too far right and ending up in the OW to 10+ corner variation that the topo shows. Either way, this is an awesome route and not all that hard to find if you take your time and look around a lot. Took us 12 hours car to car, with lots of delays at the unknown crux pitch.
9/6/15 w Ryan Gannaway Sep 7, 2015
Irish-Jane   Chamonix
Spent altogether too much time in the horrendous chimney itself, but when on route and on the face, it was nice climbing and solid enough rock.

If in doubt, don't grovel in the giant choss chimney. Seriously, trust me on this.

The right hand finish as suggested above is well-positioned but has a nasty block right at the tricky bit, because of it, I wouldn't recommend going that way.

Cool climb, nice positions, good big day out. We were 11.30hr car to car, and we are not particularly fast and max out at 5.9 usually. Sep 21, 2015
erik rieger
Ridgway, CO
erik rieger   Ridgway, CO
The new guidebook makes route finding pretty easy, and there are some quality harder pitches to cherrypick along the way. A good adventure, though with many runout sections. Sep 29, 2016