Type: Sport, 30 ft
FA: Mike Farnsworth
Page Views: 1,302 total · 17/month
Shared By: Mike Farnsworth on Dec 13, 2012
Admins: Ladd Raine, Shawn Heath, Vicki Schwantes, Jake Jones

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NEW line as of 12/13/12.

This one will require some trickery!

Climb a very easy vertical face past one bolt (watch for a loose rock or two at the start), then punch it out the 10' dead horizontal roof. The route is essentially a bolted boulder problem. A single tight hands jam seemed mandatory, but this isn't the crack posted on rockclimbing(dot)com. I haven't been able to find that line. I'm not sure about the grade, but 12d seems fair. Climb it! I doubt you'll be disappointed!


The general location is: right of Blood, Sweat, and Chalk, left of Castaways. The climb begins uphill and left from two routes of similar character (vertical with a small roof/overlap at midheight), one of which begins on a pedestal. Scramble up a small hill from these routes to reach the base under a large roof. There are two routes here. Black Magic is the left route that climbs straight out the center of the roof using a seam and 1' right facing corner.


4 Bolts to tree anchor (sling)


Mike Farnsworth
Mike Farnsworth  
Here's a video:
Black Magic on Vimeo Dec 16, 2012
Alexandria, VA
AndyJohnson   Alexandria, VA
This Franklin roof crack on rockclimbing(dot)com is also listed there as the trad route Skid Marks. Black Magic looks exciting, nice work. Jan 15, 2013
Mike Farnsworth
Mike Farnsworth  
I'll consider adding an anchor here, but think it would be obtrusive for the top moves of the climb. This is somewhat hard to explain, but once you establish on the vertical face, they would stare right at you. Also, if someone can set a TR on a tree, would it be safe to assume that they could simply reach down to clip one on the anchors four inches below the cliff top? In any case, top-roping dead horizontal roofs isn't recommended for a variety of reasons.

Also, the route is probably closer to 13a after receiving feedback from others. Mar 16, 2013
Mike Farnsworth
Mike Farnsworth  
Ok... I'll let everyone make their own judgments here, but I'd like to say a few things:

1. The bolts are all stainless and 3.5".

2. The tree is solid, near the cliff edge, and equipped with slings and rings for lowering. I've encountered tree anchors at hundreds of climbing areas. This is common practice.

3. The route is really good, requiring complex movement drawing from a number of climbing skill sets. It is not contrived. Most importantly, it is not dangerous. I enjoyed the process of climbing this route more than I can hope to describe here. I hope someone else enjoys it... Please let me know if you do. I'd be thrilled to hear about your experience. Apr 1, 2013
Does anyone know what the climb to the right of black magic is? Apr 28, 2014
Joseph DeGaetano
Fayetteville, WV but curren…
Joseph DeGaetano   Fayetteville, WV but curren…
I'm not sure if this is the route I'm thinking of, but it does seem similar to a route I climbed back in 2000. Was this bolted that long ago or am I thinking of something completely different? FWIW, I climbed just about everything onsight at the main area (not riverbend area-actually never had the chance to climb there) in a few visits back in 1999-2000. A little hazy on the dates being that it was so long ago and so early in my climbing career. I never had a guide and only knew certain names of routes from others like Dynosaurus and Roofasaurus and Barnacle Bill.

Joe Mar 2, 2015
Mike Farnsworth
Mike Farnsworth  
Hi Joe, I bolted this in 2012. There is a 12a up the hill somewhere that is similar in the sense of being a large horizontal roof. Black Magic is a pretty unique climb in my opinion, as it requires a mandatory 360 (well, I don't know... someone might figure out different beta). Definitely worth getting on if you're ever back at Franklin. I'll buy you a beer if you onsight/ flash this one! Hell, I'll buy you a beer if you simply get on it and tell me it doesn't suck! Mar 2, 2015