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Dark Divine

5.12c, Trad, 50 ft,  Avg: 2 from 1 vote
FA: Jeremy Collins 12/07
Arkansas > Sam's Throne &… > Sam's Throne > E Main Bluff > Hero Maker Wall

Description

The Imp of the Perverse is a metaphor for the common tendency, particularly among children and miscreants, to do exactly the wrong thing in a given situation. The conceit is that the misbehavior is due to an imp (a small demon) leading an otherwise decent person into mischief.

My Imp told me to climb this route, and much to my partners disappointment I did so.

I had read about the Imp from an Edgar Allen Poe short story, and thought about our perverse, imp-encouraged thoughts- like the common daydreams of unbuckling your harness and leaping from a ledge, driving the wrong way on the highway, or taking the corporate job with the better paycheck, but no passion.

Stepping up to this climb felt much like that.

It begins in a musty cave, deep in the belly of the Heromaker wall. Start on a pile of rocks to keep yourself from being ankle deep in the running spring water emerging from the ground.

Stepping off the ground puts you instantly into a boulder problem stemming around the moss and lichen. Eventually you can plug in a finger size cam and your belayer can relax. A couple desperate moves lead you through the shallow dihedral as the angle steepens. Your belayers stress levels will once again heighten until you get the elusive gear in the seam above.

Rest up, chalk up, and flick the Imp from your shoulder, as now the climbing gets "fun", or something like it. Some struggling and thrashing gets you into the ceiling. The random hand hold on the sides of the crack will ensure you don't have to jam the Lynn Hill sized finger crack.

Now it's time to get physical! The ceiling is twenty feet off the deck, but as you grunt towards the exit, the ground comes up and the lip turns down. As you karate kick into the finish, you all of the sudden may feel like you are "crack bouldering". The ground is suddenly 12 feet below you!

Here the crack turns to fists, and eventually offwidth as you turn the lip. Above, the crack turns to 5.8 junk stemming around leaves and moss. Sounds fun huh? I lower off a large cam instead of climbing this, then rappel in and retrieve it from above.

Any ascent of this route is an undertaking, as you need someone to second it who won't deck, or can aid it.

Location

If approaching from the south, it is a five minute walk from your car and the first cave you encounter. If coming from the main area, walk east until you pass the route "Run Before You Walk" and Dark Divine is another 100 feet further.

Protection

The gear is the crux on this route- never easy to place, never easy to find, and maybe you will feel the imp of the perverse as I did- to just get it over with and solo the darn thing with a few pads and spotters with arms the size of a honey baked ham. Double ropes may keep you from decking. A medium sized cam at he final lip will keep your rope from getting stuck in the taper.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

beginning the exit sequence. Photo by Andy "Steenky" Chasteen
[Hide Photo] beginning the exit sequence. Photo by Andy "Steenky" Chasteen

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Bryan Gilmore
FLG, AZ
[Hide Comment] That's quite a description for a 50' route! May 26, 2008
Jer Collins
  5.12c
[Hide Comment] you're right... it's honestly more like 30 feet. May 26, 2008
skinny legs and all
Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania
[Hide Comment] The Imp told me to applaud your route contribution, particularly the in depth description! I like your writing style, Jeremy, especially the Edgar Allan Poe reference. Apr 21, 2013