Type: Trad, 1300 ft, 10 pitches, Grade III
FA: Jimmy Dunn & partner
Page Views: 9,731 total · 56/month
Shared By: Rob Dillon on Oct 1, 2004
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

33 Opinions

Your To-Do List:

Add To-Do · View List

Your Star Rating:

     Clear Rating

Your Difficulty Rating:

-none- Change

Your Ticks:

Add New Tick
Access Issue: Seasonal Raptor Closures Details


The MSV is a recommendable tour of the South face of North Chasm View. Clean cracks and flakes on the Movable Feast--the kind of pitches one would actually climb on a cragging day-- link into the exposed upper pitches of the Stoned Oven via moderate rockaneering in gullies midway up the route.

Locating the start provided a few moments of uncertainty, although the information in the guidebook proved adequate and accurate as given. Once on route beta is sufficient; listed pitches are evidently long ones as even with a 70m cord we were unable to shave belay stances from the Movable Feast topo. As the guidebook beta is basically accurate, I won't detract from your adventure by providing unnecessary minutiae. I will add that on p.11 of the Stoned Oven we continued past the traverse move at the 1/4" bolt to belay around the corner on a spectacularly exposed ledge, which au cheval stance gives great views of the leader stepping across to a nice hand crack free of the rope drag which would have begun the pitch had we belayed from the bolt.

Thence follows the Womb Fight, a pitch that you pray your sport climber friends never catch you 'climbing', as it embodies all of the distasteful qualities for which bolt-clippers shun the rack. An awkward, graceless wriggle across a dirty ledge brings your face perilously near to ammonial slicks of ancient guano. The rope, your gear, all you've brought with you conspires to impede horizonal progress, while you struggle to clip dubious gear crammed between crusty flakes and dirt. Your partner isn't quite laughing, knowing that he must follow it with the pack. Hopefully no one across the way on the South Rim has binoculars. Although this pitch is indisputably classic, I did wonder what lay directly above, where a peg dish with a bolt appeared to lead into more a conventionally vertical escape. Anyone know about this one?

We were able to pull this off in 8 pitches, climbing at a moderate pace, with no threat of nightfall, so the Grade III tag sounds about right. The 1300' figure includes a lot of moderate terrain and traversing; vertical gain is less. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of this route, and the way it enabled us to access incredible locations with a relatively moderate standard of climbing.


Stoppers and hexes, a double set of cams to 3.5", one #4 Camalot, and many long runners sufficed for comfortable leads with a 70m rope.
aaron voreis
Edina, MN
aaron voreis   Edina, MN
This route is a must do despite a few hundred feet of junk in the middle. An excellent tour de North Chasm View... Supa! Apr 18, 2005
Kipp Schorr
Kipp Schorr  
Definitely a classic, with some peggy climbing in the middle. It takes a pitch to get the the "start" of the route described in the guidebook. Aim for the splitter right facing dihedral. On that dihedral pitch, don't climb to the top of the pillar, rather belay just past the horn halfway up, and you'll see the traverse pitch out right. Enjoy. Apr 25, 2005
eric whewell
Longmont, CO
eric whewell   Longmont, CO
Quality route with several good pitches interspersed with some junk and challenging route finding. I consider this route to be grade IV as it is much more involved and requires a longer day than other grade IV routes in the canyon. Jul 15, 2005
My partner and I thought this was an excellent route. The good pictches were not just relatively good, as RD says, they are pitches you would seek out to climb. Bonus: the lesser pitches were by the standards of "bad Black" pitches, pretty good, lacking either excessive vegetation or choss. In mid May, after leaving camp at about 0510, having good beta on the approach, starting climbing a little before 7, climbing moderately quickly but not doing anything crazy, we were climbing in the shade until the Womb Fight.

I've seen two basic sets of descriptions and ratings for this climb: the 10a version from the guide book (which is similar to a different and superior topo the ranger may be able to show you a copy of) and BD's version detailed in this thread. For my money, BD's is far more accurate; much credit to him for exposing himself to the potshots of internet snipers and calling the other route descriptions for the massive sandbags they are. I felt the hardest two pitches of MSV were at least as challenging as anything on the Scenic Cruise although SC contains more climbing and is overall more physically taxing.

Specific beta which annotates BD's annotations:

P2: The roof crack of the right is very good 10- climbing. The fixed sling on the flake is gone. The reach right is wingspan and fist size intensive; someone with shorter arms and smaller fists will find this move extraordinarily difficult for "5.9+". Some people break this pitch into two, belaying after about 60' at a cramped triangular stance; this is not recommended -- save your wider gear for above this point and do it as one, per BD's writeup although from the standpoint of ropedrag, you might be better off belaying at the bottom of the traverse rather than moving up the double cracks. Either way, a sensational pitch.

P3-7. With a little simulclimbing, we managed to do these five pitches as three with a 60 meter rope. The key is to break out of the P6 gully (towards the SO Ledge) fairly early. However you break this stretch up, you will want to belay after the chimney per BD's P5.

P8. A great pitch with pegmatite spice, cruxy underclinging, a long strech of solid hands and wide hands and finishing with a tricky face move and a wild belay perch. You will be glad you brought all of the recommended rack for this one. If this is 9+, Rosy Crucifixion is overrated.

P9. We did the left crack, 10+ per BD and, if I'm not mistaken, the Williams guide. Felt like 5.8 to me.

Womb Fight. Those felt misused by P2's fisty wingspan move have their revenge. The WF itself felt like low 5th (maybe even 4th) class groveling to me. Comparisons to a factory seconds version of Thank God Ledge seemed apt. I would describe BD's "right-facing corner" at the end of the pitch as a ramp.

P11. Still a hard move or two on this pitch. May 21, 2006
Dougald MacDonald  
I think this route is getting a wee bit over-hyped on this page. While it provides a fun and relatively moderate tour up an impressive wall, people might get the impression from these comments that it's nearly Scenic Cruise quality. Not so. I thought the route was good but not a genuine classic. It has two excellent pitches (the 5.10s), some average Black Canyon 5.8 and 5.9, and quite a lot of scrambling and traversing. The easier stuff certainly wasn't bad by Black standards, but it does detract from "classic" status. Still, the route is well worth doing. Allow 1.5 to 2 hours for the approach, especially if the poison ivy is thick. The scramble up to the right after leaving the main approach gully is much more than 200 feet. Keep going until you reach some big terraces and can spot the obvious right-facing corner of the second pitch, back up to your left. I thought the cruxes were mid-5.10, and the start of the second crux (the pegmatite groove on Bob's pitch 8) would be very serious if wet. You might end up waiting for dry rock. Luckily the belay ledge would make a great bivy site. May 23, 2006
Rob Dillon
Rob Dillon  
"Massive sandbag"? We figured it out OK, so I thought Robbie's beta did the job. Maybe not.

I once met Don Reid, author of the Yosemite guide. The poor guy. Immediately upon letting on that he was in fact THAT Donny Reid, he issued what was obviously a much-practiced statement: "Whatever happened, I'm sorry." Jun 8, 2006
Skyeler Congdon
his van
Skyeler Congdon   his van
The guidebook offers a 5.11 bolted variation on I believe the third pitch: DO NOT TAKE IT!! Totally, not worth it as it became a pain in the ass to get back to the proper MSV line.

Overall, I agree with Dougald that this route is hyped way too much. Definitely the least enjoyable of the 5.10s I've done in the Black. Jun 16, 2007
Rob DeZonia  
This is a great adventure climb. The start of the route has some of the highest quality rock you'll find anywhere. The traverse is of P2 is laid back. My brother is a little fella (5'7") and had no problem on it. We climbed MSV just to check out the top of Stoned Oven and had a f'ing awesome outing. Even with a long mid section across chunk, it was an outstanding mountaineer type outing. Sep 2, 2011
Noah McKelvin
Colorado Springs
Noah McKelvin   Colorado Springs
Great route. Linking the 5.10a P2 and traverse pitch into one makes sense. Rope drag could be a problem, but it's totally doable. The traverse move isn't that reach-dependent. Only need one #4.

The womb fight rules! Ha ha!

Give yourself some time on this one with the approach and all.... The crux pitch is NOT 5.9+. May 31, 2015
Badly broken ankle on the 3rd pitch, we left a 1 and 3 BD ul and some DMM offsets up there during self rescue. The Cruise gully on one leg sucks! Would love them back if someone is feeling awesome! Will hook you up.

brad@gwynnepugh.com Aug 15, 2017