Type: Trad, Mixed, Ice, 130 ft
FA: Alex Lowe & Pat Callis 1986
Page Views: 240 total · 49/month
Shared By: jon jugenheimer on Dec 27, 2018 with improvements by Tim Gentry
Admins: grk10vq, Zach Wahrer

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Potential road closures in winter. Details


This classic Alex Lowe testpiece is a must due mixed line located high on the Black Magic Wall.  The route is visible from the parking lot so it can be easy to see conditions, if someone is on it (at least on the ice) or if you haven't climbed it yet, it's a good way to look at it everyday until you do.

Black Magic is 40 meters long, with a bolted belay above the last step of ice on the left side of the route.  Start by climbing up a left facing corner with a crack in the back, eating up as much gear as you want to plug in.  A combination of wide stemming, a few jugs for your tools and jams for your hands will bring you to the ill defined crux in no time.  Pull the well protected crux and launch into the (slightly easier) upper crack before you turn to the ice.  There is one piece of fixed cord around a chockstone, before the crack peters out, and another fixed "anchor" on a ledge up and right.  The rock is in excellent condition for Hyalite standards and quite clean from all the traffic it receives.

From the halfway anchor above the crack on a ledge is where the ice needs to be for the route to be considered "in" as you can either step off the ledge onto the ice, or you have already gained it via the hanging curtain slightly lower down. Climb anther 10-15 meters of steep ice, where it eventually mellows out, then you can regain your heart rate and then clip the chains just a few meters higher.  

Note: an 80 Meter rope will get you both up and down (if you pull most of your gear while being lowered, just leave a few directionals for your partner) otherwise bring two ropes. 


Located almost in the center of the Black Magic Wall, this climb is most easily identified as a large sheet of ice cascading down from the top of the cliff (when "in") only to stop half way to the snow slopes below on a dark and forbidding wall.  There is a large gap in the trees to view the climb from the parking lot, and a few other places along the drive in.

There is usually a packed trail leaving from the SW corner of the parking lot heading straight up to the wall, by crossing the creek, and then heading up a progressively steeper path through the deadfall and deep snow. The trail usually heads straight to Black Magic, which can't be missed as there is a large, left facing dihedral/crack system working up to the hanging sheet of ice. 


No bolts! A single rack from a green C3 to #3 C4 (optional #4 C4) plus wires and a half dozen screws will get you to the top.


jon jugenheimer
Madison, WI
  WI5 M6
jon jugenheimer   Madison, WI  
  WI5 M6
Sweet vid of Conrad back in 2011 on the line.

climbing.com/videos/conrad-… Dec 27, 2018