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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: Andrew Rothner and Josh Wharton?
Page Views: 397 total, 14/month
Shared By: j wharton on Aug 19, 2015
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

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This is a very natural linkup of the harder climbing on Sinners on a Sunday and High Variance. P3 is likely the hardest lead, but P5 is more powerful.

It's a surprisingly warm section of the wall. The upper pitches go into the shade around 1:30 in August.

We climbed this link-up on 8/19/15 after sampling portions of both routes on 8/14/15.

Approach by rappelling down SOAS/Rainbow Highway. To find these raps, scramble down to the top of the buttress at the far end of the Black Wall. A two bolt anchor with silver chains on a roomy, grassy ledge marks the top. Four straightforward, half rope raps with a 70 meter rope on two bolt anchors leads to the base of P3. From there, another half rope rap gets you to a comfortable gear belay on a grassy ledge at the base of P2.

More details can be found under SOAS and HV, but here's what we found/thought:

P1. Climb grassy 5.8 to a gear belay below the big, left-facing corner (we skipped this pitch).

P2. Climb enjoyable 5.10- up the corner which leads to a three bolt traverse to the left. Climb over and clip the second bolt. Then traverse back right a foot or two and make a few difficult downclimbing moves that revolve around a positive left hand crimp. Stay low and traverse easily over to a two bolt anchor. Reach back and clip the third bolt for the second (the second needs to unclip the 2nd bolt before committing to the downclimb, but both leader and second are essentially on toprope for crux), 30 meters, 5.12/V5-ish.

P3. This is the best pitch on the route. It has 30 meters of good climbing with a definite crux past the bolt low on the pitch, 12c-ish.

Walk and scramble 20 meters left around the corner on a big, grassy ledge to a comfortable gear belay on its far left side.

P4. Head left into the big corner to join High Variance. Bob and weave awkwardly up the corner, past some wet bits, before hand traversing right to a small ledge at the base of a hanging corner, 25 meters, 5.10+ish. Make a gear belay.

P5. Awkward scabby 5.11- up the corner above, with a few more wet bits, leads to a ledge traverse to right. Place two critical small cams, and then do a V2/3-ish boulder problem up to a bolt. Then do a hard V5-ish boulder, to gain easier runout climbing to a comfortable ledge and two bolt anchor, 25 meters, 12c-ish PG-13.

The crux is spicy with the ledge so close to tricky, powerful climbing, and the belayer out of view. It is possible to continue up a wet 5.10 hand crack to the left and traverse easily over to the two bolt anchor if the 5.12 bit proves problematic.

P6. Scabby, endurance funk up some flared cracks past a bolt leads to jugs at a horizontal break. Traverse left a few feet, and make an awkward move up into a wide crack and a near no-hands rest. Continue up the steep corner above, before a final little crux that moves right to a gear belay at a horizontal crack, and small stance, 25 meters, 512b-ish.

(I believe we belayed a bit higher than Wilder, which accounts for the easier final pitch.)

P7. Clip a bolt just up and right from the anchor, and do some fun climbing up the arete past a mix of bolts and gear. Skip the two bolt anchor just below the rim, regain the first rap station, 30 meters, 5.11b-ish.

Big thanks to Matt, Dan, Scott, Greg, and Jackie for establishing these routes. They're good fun, and you can't beat the Black Wall's approach. However, I think the rock is generally too scabby for this linkup to be considered a classic. Perhaps with a lot more traffic things will clean up significantly.


We had a double set from #00 c3 to #1 c4, a single #2 c4 and #3 c4, and a very light RP and wire rack. It seemed about right.


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