Mountain Project Logo

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, 700 ft, 7 pitches, Grade III
FA: Ken Trout and Peter Prandoni, 1988?
Page Views: 4,130 total, 30/month
Shared By: craigw on Aug 9, 2006
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route


14 Opinions

Your To-Do List:

Add To-Do

Your Star Rating:


     Clear Rating

Your Difficulty Rating:


-none- Change

Your Ticks:

Add New Tick
    -none-

Description

This is the crack system just right of Espresso on the far right hand side of the Black Wall. Coffee Achievers merges with Espresso somewhere near the second to last pitch.

This route rarely gets climbed and can prove to be quite a challenge if you haven't been doing squats on a regular basis.

Rappel down the Black Wall via the standard rappel route which will bring you near the base of Good Evans. From here, you will still need to get to the valley floor, which is another 200-300 feet down. We downclimbed for a bit, then used a blue sling rap station to get to the bottom (200 foot rappel). From here, scramble north (right) among the huge boulders, past The Rusty Dagger, Parallel Universe, and Espresso coming to the far right side near a broken up and grassy ledge/chimney section. You will be able to see a pillar with white slings at the top. This is the first pitch (at least, it's the one we did. There are several other sets of slings further to the right--maybe variations or other climbs???)

Pitch 1 - Climb to the top of a pillar using a thin crack and face holds-belay out right. 5.9ish, 180-190 feet.

Per Greg Cameron: start on a highly-vegetated section of easy climbing. The original route went to the very top of this easy section to gain access to a left-slanting crack which is up and right of the first left-slanting crack system that you encounter. A rib of rock separates the two. If you do the crack on the left side of the rib (as a continuation of pitch 1), you will end up at the base of the overhanging 5.10+ fist crack described in the route description. Just past the overhang you merge with the actual route. If you do the crack on the right side of the rib, the description that I posted above (and Ken's original description) is relevant. The original route is much cleaner and a little easier.

Pitch 2 - Climb the overhanging fist crack out right--felt pretty hard 10+?--We belayed after the overhang.

Pitch 3 - Go up a left-angling crack system with many liebacks, 5.10.

Pitch 4 - Do more liebacking up the same crack system eventually working out right onto a small ledge, 5.10.

Pitch 5 - Climb another left-angling crack system with many liebacks (hard pitch 10+). Eventually pulling onto a large ledge with an 3 piton belay--pretty long pitch, 170-180 feet.

Pitch 6 - Climb through the soaking wet, heavily vegetated chimney, eventually stepping out left with some thin face climbing--set hanging belay. The crux pitch?? Nothing felt harder than 5.9/10-, but it is very slick and loose, 130-150 feet.

Pitch 7 - Climb the left-angling crack for 15 feet (5.8) then do a foot traverse with disappearing hands for 15-20 more feet to a wet and vegetated crack that will lead you to the top with some scrambling, 60 feet total??

The old topo we had called this a 5 pitch route. It took us 7 pitches which all were long and strenuous.

Overall, it was a fun, adventurous day, but we felt it was much harder and more committing than Good Evans. There is quite a bit of loose rock and vegetation on this route so wear your helmet and bring some gardening equipment if desired!

Protection

Standard rack up to a #4 Camalot (2).
Laurent Meillon
Golden, CO
 
Laurent Meillon   Golden, CO
 
Wonderful day with Bence on this Labor Day weekend 2017. This is a beautiful alpine route, with lots of exposure and committing, high-breathing movement. Physical moves come often but never last long, with regular rest stances. We took longer than anticipated and felt pretty tired by the end! The top chimney pitch (which feels like easier climbing in a vertical gully rather than actual chimney technique) was more damp than wet. Take lots of long slings.

Rapping D'Antonio's rap puts you within a couple 100' of leisurely walking to the start. When looking for the start, we first saw white slings at the first Espresso anchor. Keep looking further right, at the top of the right-slanting, vegetated, broken cracks & ribs that are between the right end of the main wall and the buttress to its right (stepping a little further left helps see those, as well as understand the diagrams which were all made from images taken from the south).

I could not believe how many parties were there, perhaps 8 parties spread throughout the wall, from Roofer Madness to High Variance. This was another good reason to go down D'Antonio's raps (we did 3 70 m raps, yet it is now equipped for 6 shorter raps). Sep 4, 2017
The start is about 100ft climber's left of Rainbow Highway. It's just around the big corner separating the view of Rainbow Highway. There are other visible slings on a different pillar another 50' left, but that's not the start. I couldn't see the white slings on the correct pillar at top of P1 until I was close to them. The route is very physical, and I thought much harder than Rainbow Highway. The upper chimney was mainly dry up top, but there is a lot of loose rock. Aug 15, 2016
Greg Cameron  
 
I just did this yet again on Saturday (probably 4th time overall) and have a piece of information that might clear things up with respect to the original poster's route description. That route description is a variation on the original route. You start Coffee Achievers on a highly-vegetated section of easy climbing. The original route went to the very top of this easy section to gain access to a left-slanting crack which is up and right of the first left-slanting crack system that you encounter. A rib of rock separates the two. If you do the crack on the left side of the rib (as a continuation of pitch 1), you will end up at the base of the overhanging 5.10+ fist crack described in the route description. Just past the overhang you merge with the actual route. If you do the crack on the right side of the rib, the description that I posted above (and Ken's original description) is relevant. The original route is much cleaner and a little easier.

By the way, the two crux sections on the 4th pitch were wet on Saturday, the first time that I have encountered this. Aug 19, 2013
Kurt Ross
Boulder, colorado
 
Kurt Ross   Boulder, colorado
 
+1 to Phil's gear beta. Very little small stuff is necessary, and a #4 Camalot is definitely not.

Kevin and I did a bit of a variation to the route route marked on the topo, which turned out to be very high quality climbing:
At the pitch 5 roof, move right on steep & thuggy jugs to gain a stance below a left-facing, left-leaning corner. Belay here or continue. Climb the corner, which consists of a sweet, hand-sized crack to a tricky, thin section with smeary feet. This will take you to the big ledge. Aug 13, 2013
Phil Lauffen
The Bubble
 
Phil Lauffen   The Bubble
 
Fun route, though I wouldn't run back to do it again. Rob and I did it in 4 pitches w/ a 70m: Combine P1 and P2, P3 in the original description (I didn't encounter an overhanging hand crack...? This combo is interesting because there is a .10 section at the end of P2, right at 70m, so if you blow it you're falling on 70M of rope stretch into space...), a pitch up to the ledge under the crux, crux pitch to piton belay, then chimney to the top. The chimney isn't too bad, the worst part was the nettles, and it felt more like 5.8 IMO.

I'm interested in the alternate last pitch Ken Trout has in his topo. Anyone done this?

Perfect rack was some small stuff, then doubles from about 0.3 to 3 C4, 12 draws. We placed a 4 twice, but it was usually to just get it off the rack. Sep 4, 2011
JFisher
5.11a PG13
JFisher  
5.11a PG13
Did this on 7/22/2011. Great Route! 1p - mostly 4th Class to the top of a small pillar, with one 5.9 move that we roped up for. 2p - left-facing, ramping dihedral went at 5.9 (Ken, I think we were one dihedral right of your FA). 3p - short. 4p - sustained 10+ climbing for 185' (couple rests). Triples on BD #2 and #3, also bring 20 extendable draws, otherwise rope drag is a BEAR! 5p - Wet Chimney. 6p - traverse left into a hand-crack and up through notch to finish.... Overall, completely different from Good Evans, Cary Granite, etc. Alpine, sustained, mixed terrain, better Sun Exposure, lots of technique req'd. Way fun! I give it a 5.11a rating for the sustained 4th pitch. Jul 26, 2011
David A. Turner
  5.10+
David A. Turner  
  5.10+
Pitches 2,3, & 4 rate 3 to 4 stars for quality; they are superlative. Pitch 1 is forgettable, and the last pitch is wet ( we combined pitches 5 & 6), but interesting with positive holds and reasonable pro. If you are not put off by conditions such as this, or even seek them out for the adventure, you will enjoy this route, as did I. Jul 27, 2008
Greg Cameron  
 
Just did Coffee Achievers again with Ken Trout on Sunday. It was the first time since the first ascent for him, and maybe since 16 years ago for me. We did it in 6 pitches. I would say the pitches go 5.9, 5.10b, 5.10b, 5.10c/d, 5.9, 5.10a. I updated my description of the shared portion of the route with Espresso in the Espresso route description. Apparently, this is a little different (better and easier) than the way Ken and Peter exited the route on the FA.

I think this is the best route (not to mention best-named route) on the Black Wall. The 2nd through 4th pitches feature superb crack climbing of great variability. There are at least 7 sections of 5.10. The short, 5th pitch (a little wet and jungle-like) is the only dog on this climb. Jul 21, 2008
Ken Trout
Golden, CO
Ken Trout   Golden, CO
Last weekend, there were two fixed wires on Prandoni's original traverse out the summit cave. Greg's finish cuts left twelve feet below and was a lot better for the second. Jul 15, 2008