Type: Trad, 170 ft
FA: FRA Larry DeAngelo, Karsten Duncan - March 31, 2008
Page Views: 7,739 total · 57/month
Shared By: Karsten Duncan on Apr 3, 2008
Admins: Larry DeAngelo, Justin Johnsen

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Red Rock RAIN AND WET ROCK: The sandstone is fragile and is very easily damaged when wet. Details


In this unassuming little nook lies one of the best cracks you'll find in the park. The Black Pearl is a classic old-school style testpiece. Superb ebony rock plus a variety of interesting moves and sizes make this one of the best single pitch routes you'll find. I would give it 6 stars if I could.

There are 2 crux sections but the climbing is fairly consistent the entire way. While much of the climbing is wider, the occasional face hold or foot makes the climb more elegant and varied but still a physical endeavor.


The climb lies almost directly across the canyon from the Cloud Tower route. Approach up trails as you would to access the brownstone or rainbow wall. As you enter the canyon there is a red-dirt trail that leads out of the wash going up the center of the canyon. Continue on this trail until you pass a large fallen pine on your right. Just after this pine cut rightward off the trail. Go down a grassy slope into a wash. Cross the wash and make your way into a dark recess. The Pearl is on the lefthand side of the recess.

UPDATE: Appears a bolted anchor has appeared but still requires a double rope rappel. Thanks Dylan Reynolds for info.


1/2 set of nuts
Singles of small cams to #.75 camalot
Doubles from #1-#4 camalot
Optional #5 and #6 camalot

Natural belay anchors at top takes either a large cam or some finesse with nuts.

There is typically a long sling or rope that extends over the lip to allow for a smooth rappel over the edge. Notice comments below however that this area seems to be prone to rapid disentigration of webbing. Plan accordingly.
Larry DeAngelo
Las Vegas, NV
Larry DeAngelo   Las Vegas, NV  
I was just up here again and noticed the rappel anchor was already showing some signs of sun bleaching. It wouldn't be a bad idea for the next folks up here to reinforce the anchor. This needs about 30 feet or so of webbing or rope. If you are willing to do a little easy downclimbing, you could descend with just a single 60-meter rope.

On a down note, I noticed that somebody has been up here real recently with a saw or pruning shears. The result was unsightly, unnecessary, and illegal. May 11, 2008
5.9 ????
I found the squeeze chimney impassable today. I need to be related to Mr. Herbst to make this climb feel like 5.9 or I must be just a wimp. What a beautiful looking route. This one goes on my Revenge Tick List.
Okay got revenge today. I don't know if it was intended but was able to skip the squeeze chimney by climbing out on the face and following a set of huecos for about 25 feet or so. Stayed in the crack chimney the rest the way. I could give it 5.9 now. But you need 5. effort to get this one.
Backed up the faded rope rappel with nice new cord and a rap ring. Oct 17, 2008
What a fun climb! Tests out the climber's ability on a range of crack sizes. :) Our first time on the belay ledge (this January), we backed up the anchor with a nut I found hanging in the belay ledge's bush.

A fun continuation is to take Swine Tasting Party pitch 2 and The Minerva to the top of the buttress. Apr 24, 2014
Sean Stoops
Henderson, NV
Sean Stoops   Henderson, NV
Take up a 20ft+ piece of webbing for the rap anchor anytime you climb this. We got up there to find two very brittle cords for the anchor. You could literally break them in half by a little bit of flexing! We made a new anchor with rope, but it's very exposed and thus weathers quickly. Nov 24, 2014
Climbed this route March 22nd, 2017. There is now a two bolt rap anchor at the top on the right side of the wall. We did a double rope rap (60m) to get to the base from here. Mar 26, 2017
Hiked into this sometime back and the bushwacking was really bad. But in the way out we found a better cairned trail in (further than the black pearl alcove). Hike on the main trail way further than you'd expect, and there's a cairn amongst the tallest trees. Turn right and follow the climbers trail down to the wall. Dec 9, 2018
Keithb00ne Boone
Las Vegas, NV
Keithb00ne Boone   Las Vegas, NV
Are there any options to break this up into two pitches? Jan 29, 2019