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Routes in The Black Wall

Ant Farm, The T 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b R
Cannonball Corner T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Cary Granite T 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Coffee Achievers T 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Emerald Highway, The T 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Escape Route T 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Espresso T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Good Evans T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Harry Cary T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
High Variance T 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Old Rappel Route T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Parallel Universe T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b A4 R
Phil-a-Guster T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Rainbow Highway T 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Road Warrior T 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Rusty Dagger, The T 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a R
Seven Sins (linkup of S.O.A.S into H.V.) T 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b PG13
Sinners On Sunday T 5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a C0
Undertow T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a A4- R
Undertow (free) T 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
Unnamed Bolted Face T,S 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c A1-
Type: Trad, Alpine, Grade II
FA: Eric Winkelman and Ken Trout, mid '80s
Page Views: 22,569 total, 113/month
Shared By: Ben F on Jun 30, 2001
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route


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Description

Leave the parking lot and hike over to Spalding (adjacent peak). I believe the hike was around 40 minutes and the trail is faint. After passing some steep chimneys/gullies, start looking for a 2 bolt rap anchor at the edge of the wall (Black Wall). You need to leave draws on these bolts and retrieve them when you are done. Two 60m double rope raps are required. The first rap puts on a small ledge and the second puts you just to the left of the route.

To start the route, locate a flake system that leads to a thin crack/seam. Also, from the top of this flake system, the beautiful looking 4" crack Road Warrior appears to the right.

P1 (crux)- start up the flakey features, moving upward and slightly right, passing a fixed pin and leading into a crack. This crack narrows into a seam. I promise that somewhere before the crux, a bomber #2 Rock can be placed. Continue to a small ledge system which jogs up and to the left towards some fixed anchors. This pitch is given 11a, but may be a hair easier.

P2 (9) - step a to the right from the belay and work yourself onto what can best be described as a really large flake (crux of P2). At the top of this flake, move a few feet right to access a killer splitter system (8). Most of this is around the 3.5 Friend size. This pitch finishes in sort of a sheltered pod/alcove just above some blocky stuff and puts you at the base of a wide dihedral. Use a 4 Camalot and big stopper for a bomber belay.

P3 (8) - continue up the wide dihedral and move right at its roof. Move up and around right and into another good crack system (probably 3 - 3.5 Friends). This ends at a small ledge and roughly a steep right-facing dihedral with a roof not too far above. Carefully set an anchor as some of the rock is hollow sounding.

P4 (10/10+) - move upward to the roof in this steep section. The climbing is very unique on this pitch. It was a mixture of crack and face holds. Pass a fixed pin before the roof. At the roof, move left and around a corner to gain a small ledge with an old bolt to belay.

P5 (5.easy) - there are probably a few ways to gain the top (only about 30 or 40 vertical feet) from the end of P4. I moved left and did a bit of traversing. Move upward where it looks easy. This seemed to be the path of least resistance during a good rain. This put me near a large flat boulder about 25 ft. behind the top of the cliff where I set my belay.

Additional Comments: As we began the 2nd pitch, it started to rain and continued for the rest of the route. With the exception of the last pitch the route remained dry (or dry enough) to climb. It is steep and protected by the roof near the top. Be careful on the last pitch if it is wet - lots of traversing and not much gear. This route was awesome and no one was on it but our 2 groups of 2. At the top we saw a herd of mountain goats as a bonus.

Protection

Your rack should include anything from a #1 WC Rock/DMM Wallnut up to a #4 Camalot. [Definitely] bring 2-3 pieces of each in the 3 to 3.5 Friend sizes. There is some fixed protection on the route and at a couple of the belays, but you'll want to supplement these.

Photos

Kevin Gillest
Arvada, CO
  5.10d
Kevin Gillest   Arvada, CO
  5.10d
We climbed Good Evans today, might be a few weeks too early, but everything was good. No issues and absolutely no climbers. Temps were 40 as the sun came up, 60 on the wall in the sun.
-The rappel route was dry.
-The climbing route was dry except above the 4th pitch, there is at least 20' of snow left above the route, the Phil-a-Guster finish is buried in the snow. No way to finish straight up. Jun 13, 2014
Byron Murray
  5.10d
Byron Murray  
  5.10d
Amazing climb in a great setting with the glacier valley down below. We found the climb civilized with the following rack: Full set BD Micro Stoppers, single set Aliens, double #0.75 - #4 Camalot. (Total of 3 #3s) Qty 1 #5, Qty 1 48 inch runner, Qty 10 24" runners, no quickdraws. We did not combine any of the pitches and would not recommend it. Towards the top of the 3rd pitch is an awesome handcrack that ends on a ledge with hollow blocks above, set your belay after these blocks at the next ledge with the obvious 5.10 climbing above. Aug 19, 2013
Andy Hansen
Longmont, Colorado
  5.10d
Andy Hansen   Longmont, Colorado
  5.10d
While I do believe the crux pitch is a fantastic pitch in and of itself, beyond pitch three this route leaves much to be desired. The quality of the rock on pitch four is not ideal, and the moves are strenuously unique - which is good but does not make up for the poor stone. And pitch five... well, it's pretty much junk. Overall, it's a decent route, but if you're looking for something a bit better, try Cary Granite. Single rack from #1 C3-#4 Camalot, doubles #0.75-#3 seemed to work out pretty well. Runners are nice to have on P4 & 5. Jul 13, 2013
J. Thompson
denver, co
  5.10d
J. Thompson   denver, co
  5.10d
"One has two Mammut hangers and long chains. Don't use this one. Use the set with a Metolius hanger and a Mammut hanger, a few meters to climber's left. As of 7-10-12, this anchor had no chains or slings, but you can leave your own and retrieve them after the climb."

The long chains have been moved back to the anchor with the Metolious hanger (I replaced that bolt a few years back). This is where those chains should STAY (I put them there). When I moved them back, I did so in a way that would make it VERY hard to move them again.

Have fun!

josh Aug 27, 2012
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
  5.10d
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
  5.10d
The second anchor to the left in the above comments for the single rope raps does have chains now (as of 7/22/12), and each rap length is slight overstated. It is very comfortably made with a 70m though, no 35m raps. Jul 26, 2012
Amazing route! It definitely goes in two pitches; it's probably 120m from the starting ledge to the rim. There's a nice spot to belay above the long hand crack, before the first roof.

HOW TO RAP IN WITH A SINGLE 70m:
There are two sets of bolts atop the wall. One has two Mammut hangers and long chains. Don't use this one. Use the set with a Metolius hanger and a Mammut hanger, a few meters to climber's left. As of 7-10-12, this anchor had no chains or slings, but you can leave your own and retrieve them after the climb. (It's also smart to hang your packs here to avoid marmots.)

Rap ~32m straight down to another two-bolt station in the large RF corner below.

Rap again, skipping the station a few meters below (bolt, 2 pins), and traverse hard to rappeller's right to a two-bolt station above a nice big flake/ledge (~20m).

Rap ~32m straight down the corner below, to a three-piton station on a small grassy ledge.

Rap ~35m straight down to the big ledge system from which the route begins.

-Scott Jul 10, 2012
Phil Lauffen
The Bubble
Phil Lauffen   The Bubble
This route isn't in the same league of difficulty as Coffee Achievers. Kind of like the difference between the Barb and Pervertical, even though both are technically rated the same. Good Evans has some techy difficulties, but not the same gaspy, strenuous climbing that CA has.

Overall, great route. I had my crack climbing noob friend lead the 2nd pitch and he did fine with two 3s and a 4. There are other options for gear. Two fixed wires on the crux pitch, unfortunately. Sep 5, 2011
Hoag Hoag
Littleton, CO
  5.10d
Hoag Hoag   Littleton, CO
  5.10d
Climbed this with JFisher today. What an incredible line. One of my favorites of all time.

We linked the last two pitches to save some time. There was a fair amount of rope drag, but it was fun and unique to piece it all together.

This route is a Colorado alpine classic for sure. Aug 26, 2011
Monty
Golden, CO
 
Monty   Golden, CO  
 
Never had a problem with a single 70m. When in doubt on the raps, go climbers left. Aug 12, 2011
Dick Stone
Boulder
Dick Stone   Boulder
1 rope was a pain in the you-know-what on the rappels. Just bring a lead rope and a skinny rope and be done with it. You will save time, plus if the weather really turns sour, you can bail to the bottom a lot quicker. Aug 11, 2011
chipacles  
 
Did this last weekend (6 Aug 2011), and it was great! Difficult for me, as I barely lead 10+ on trad, and at altitude, it got me huffing a bunch!

For pro, I would recommend four #3 Camalots, one #4, and even one #5 for the third pitch in the dihedral (my partner used a tipped out #4, and had to shuffle that one piece up the whole thing...pretty sketchy). Other than that, I think we had three #2s as well. Could be we just don't have enough experience with this type of climbing, but when I led the second pitch, I really felt like I needed one more #3 to avoid running it out (note: I'm not an experienced crack climber).

Awesome climb, though, and with the shortish approach, I highly recommend it! Aug 8, 2011
tooTALLtim
Boulder, CO
 
tooTALLtim   Boulder, CO
 
Will Gordon and I replaced the nasty tat at the P1 belay with good nylon and a fat Maillon Rapide quicklink on July 4th.

This route is fantastic! Jul 13, 2011
Joel Bourque
  5.10d
Joel Bourque  
  5.10d
Great route! The cracks are super splitter and the approach is cruiser. As always, be careful what you're pulling on - if the rock looks loose or hollow in certain areas, it probably is on this route. P4 roof exit is reminiscent of Lumpy Ridge's Cave Exit on The Book . . . just a bit harder. Aug 17, 2010
Chris Plesko
Westminster, CO
 
Chris Plesko   Westminster, CO
 
P2 was by far my favorite, but this route has some great jamming on it! Aug 8, 2010
Monty
Golden, CO
 
Monty   Golden, CO  
 
There is a direct finish we are calling Phil-a-Guster it goes at 10+/11- and makes a great finish to the route. Aug 14, 2009
Mike McKinnon
Golden, CO
Mike McKinnon   Golden, CO
You no longer need 2 ropes for the rap. Not sure how long it has been like this but we brought to ropes and rapped by extra set of chains on every rap. Sure if you want to rap faster you can but then you got to drag it out of there.

Great route. We linked 2nd and 3rd without a problem. You could also link 1 and 2 as well but it is more fun watching your 2nd through the crux. The 2nd pitch I thought was the hardest 8 crack I had ever done. Aug 10, 2009
J. Thompson
denver, co
  5.10d
J. Thompson   denver, co
  5.10d
Someone had added (new) belay bolts at the top off the 4th pitch.
The old button head is still there...which is weird...why wouldn't you remove it? (which is easy) and reuse the hole? (which is also easy).

I don't know anymore about it. I'm not sure they were needed though.

Anyway now you know. Aug 3, 2008
Mike Soucy
Longmont, CO
Mike Soucy   Longmont, CO
Two fixed wires welded into 1st pitch crux. They're really at the perfect height to clip-and-go. For a rack, singles in fingery sizes is adequate and doubles from #0.75 Camalot to #3 Camalot (#3.5 Friend was nice). One #4 Camalot. Single set wires. Jul 31, 2007
John Parnigoni
Golden, CO
  5.10d
John Parnigoni   Golden, CO
  5.10d
The fourth pitch isn't any harder than 9+. The pitch is a little awkward and exposed but i found it much easier than 10/10+. I did a lot of stemming nearing the roof.

I think 1st and second pitch can also be combined (w/ 70M rope) or 15 feet of simul-climbing w/ 60 m rope.

Awesome climb! goes 10d-- and at that-- no more than a move or two. Jul 30, 2007
Joe Leonhard
Denver, CO
 
Joe Leonhard   Denver, CO
 
I have mixed feelings about this route. I was expecting this climb to be a gem, and there were some great sections. However, there were also a few places where you had to climb through some crappy rock. My partner ended up pulling several good-sized blocks off the wall. Fortunately we were the only party around. I guess what I'm saying is that I'd recommend this route for convenience sake (short approach) and the scenery, but I feel there are much better quality routes around at the same grade.

By the way, combining pitches 3 and 4 created a buttload of rope drag. Aug 6, 2006
Rob Kepley
Westminster,CO
  5.10d
Rob Kepley   Westminster,CO
  5.10d
Fantastic climb in a truly beautiful area. Nice views of the Chicago Lakes at every belay. When using the standard rap station (shiny new chains), make sure you trend to your right when going down the wall. You will pretty much be following a corner system to the next anchor. Don't rap straight down the "plumbline" from the first rap station. It will deposit you on very exposed ledges with a nasty downclimb! Trend right.

As for the climbing, it was great. Almost every pitch is a gem. Jul 17, 2006
Good call on elimininating the third belay. Questionable rock in third belay. Oct 27, 2004
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
  5.10d
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
  5.10d
I think the P4 "roof pitch" is probably 10-, but will be very height-dependent. Moving left aroud the corner is a stretcher for good feet, but if you get them, it feels like 9-. Aug 7, 2004
Great climb in a truly unique setting. Half of the climb is Yosemite, while the top half is so Black Canyon (including some peg). There are several sets of anchors at the top of the wall. The best anchor to use is the 2nd one you come to at the top of the wall. Two 60m raps will get you down, but just barely... if your rope is the slightest bit shorter you'll have to improvise.From the midway rap station an interesting looking bolted climb goes up and right. Anyone know anything about it?

The pitch rating and locations of cruxes in the topo we used were somewhat different from above. Our topo had the pitches as 11-, 9+, 10-, 10+.Interestingly, the 2nd pitch is the most physical and sustained, especially for thin handed folks. On the third pitch we exited below the top of the dihedral to a very exposed move to a flake... perhaps the 5.8 way takes the dihedral to the top? Quick climb, but with the commiting approach it's probably grade III. Jul 30, 2004
Brian Hansen
West of Boulder, CO
Brian Hansen   West of Boulder, CO
I'm pretty sure the FA was by Eric Winkelman and Ken Trout, mid '80s. Jul 7, 2003
piz
piz  
Hey, the best way to save time on this route is to link the 3rd and 4th pitches. It doesn't create anymore drag than the last move on the 4th pitch. Great route overall and great views. Reminded me of climbing in the valley.

piz : ) Jul 3, 2002