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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, 600 ft, 7 pitches, Grade IV
FA: Kirk Miller, Gerry Rock, 1988. FFA: Andy Donson, Cameron Tague, 1998
Page Views: 2,523 total, 22/month
Shared By: Ken Trout on Jul 13, 2008
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

4 Opinions

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See the topos. To really do the Black Wall directly, one climbs either Parallel Universe or Rusty Dagger. Wetness and blankness make Parallel hard to free. Plenty of nice, dry, rain-sheltered, crack on the Dagger. The line cuts through the center of the rotten, ach-forming, sector that undercuts the wall.

Some serious cleaning might create the most epic, smoker approachable, alpine trad-wall, in America. Until then read about "red crud" and other details in Andy Donson's report; American Alpine Journal, 1999, pages 240-1.

It is doubtful that anyone else will want to claim a better free ascent. Andy writes that he was past the crux, told Cameron "it's in the bag", then pulled off a block on less critical terrain, which caused him to have to aid back up to his highpoint, because he was injured from the fall.


Look for the red, left-facing, corner splitting the steepest part of the wall.


The lower part of the route is reported to go on clean gear. To be really certain about what gear to have for the 5.12 summit roof, I'd risk the short rappel/jumar in to see. There are still a couple of rusty buttonheads just below the rim. Careful!


Kurt Ross
Boulder, colorado
Kurt Ross   Boulder, colorado
Best line from Andy's "Almost FFA" write-up in the AAJ:

"It was later transpired that the femur was split near the head; it would require a screw to fix it. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Cameron for letting me carry my share of the gear back to the parking lot." Aug 13, 2013