Type: Trad, 450 ft, 4 pitches
FA: MM, DB '71
Page Views: 3,453 total · 33/month
Shared By: Costas on Jul 19, 2010 with updates from Charles Vernon
Admins: Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick, Greg Opland

You & This Route

13 Opinions

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Access Issue: Potentially unavailable to climbing February through July if raptors are breeding here. Details


Excellent pitch of slab climbing! Thin moves angling up and left past three bolts. Crux is well protected, but 5.9 runout above is not. Belay on small ledge with three bolt anchor.

Charles Vernon adds: This is actually a four-pitch route starting from the left end of Pine Tree ledge, out of the Black Quacker gully. Pitches 1 & 2 as shown in SQ II are fun (particularly the arching 5.9 corner), mildly spicy, and can be combined. They are not as good as Quick Death, but worth doing if you've already done that route. A light rack to a #2 friend is sufficient for these pitches. After the crux, the last pitch, which is much easier, heads straight up past a bolt to the chickenheads. Or you can head up and right to merge with the last contrived, but fun 5.8ish pitch of Black Magic Woman.


This pitch starts in the gully above Obituary Column but below the tree.


All Bolts.


The fact that this pitch was put up in blue suede boots is both mind-boggling and humbling. Beautiful slab. Aug 2, 2011
Interesting that it's been bumped up to 10d/11a. I used to love this route. A little story-telling here...

Roughly 1979. I was in the Summit Hut inquiring about a partner for the weekend. Don't recall the fellow's name, but supposedly a very strong climber, but he hadn't been climbing in a while; Jim gave me his number. Well, I called the guy and we were on. I was the young buck, the upstart, the newbie. Flash forward to Saturday.

We're on the crux pitch. I'm trying to lead this thing. Yes, must have been in my old RR's. The more experienced fellow was actually scared, and wasn't really into it. I took a fall at the crux. Cursed a little, and got back on. Took the same fall at the same place. Got back on. Hit it a third time. This time, I went flying for a 30 foot whipper. I knew he let a lot of line through. This pissed me off. I reminded him in no uncertain terms that he signed on to climb together, and I planned on getting this route.

Well, I went up one more time. I was afraid the guy would actually drop me. Fortunately, this provided the necessary impetus to clean the crux, which I did, and then brought him up.

A fabulous route that I went back to climb several times after that, with regular partners.

Never did climb with that guy again. But it was my first big whipper. Oh, Lord... youth and fearlessness. Glad to be still alive and climbing. Dec 21, 2012
Alex Kirkpatrick
  5.11- R
Alex Kirkpatrick  
  5.11- R
I disagree that the crux is well protected. I found myself doing what I thought were 11a moves 15-20 ft above the bolt. I could have been in the wrong place, could have bungled the beta, or some sand could have fallen out my you-know-where and gotten the footholds dusty. Just make sure you're a solid slab climber or have solid ankles before going for this. Once again, opinions only. Aug 19, 2013
jbak .
jbak .   tucson,az
Alex, you musta been off route a bit.

Historical note.... originally rated 5.10 in the old Rich Thompson/Hut guide. Dave Baker hand-drew a "+" in my copy. And then Steiger said 11a. Aug 20, 2013
Yeah, JS just ruined the mystique of it all with that...

But it was only 5.10 back then because they were using Blue RRs.
;-) Aug 30, 2013
Dj telle
Tucson, AZ
Dj telle   Tucson, AZ
Awesome pitch. Not as hard as Bmw imo since its less sustained. However, I was lucky to have clouds when i did VC. Aug 26, 2016
Charles Vernon
mind & body in Colorado, he…
Charles Vernon   mind & body in Colorado, he…
The anchor on top of the crux pitch is in bad shape as of 9/24/17. It consists of two rusty old 1/4 inchers, probably the originals, and one 3/8" wedge (?) bolt with SMC hanger stamped '90 that is also rusting. The nearest gear to back the anchor up is about 15 feet away and is not awesome either. Until it's replaced, might be best to continue to the chickenheads and belay there.

The lead bolts and the anchor below the crux pitch could probably stand to be replaced at some point soon as well, but didn't seem in as bad a shape as the anchor above. You can also set up a good gear belay at a stance about 20 feet below the anchor at the start of the pitch. Sep 25, 2017