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Black Bluff - N. Face (Right Side)
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After the Fire T 
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Aurora Borealis T 
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Aurora Borealis 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a

   
Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 80'
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Eric Tipton, Pat Brennan 6-99
Page Views: 2,954
Submitted By: Chris Owen on Aug 14, 2011

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (36)
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BETA PHOTO: Aurora Borealis Start

Description 

Singer is justified in calling this one of the best 5.9 crack climbs in the SBs. It is a wonderful climb in a wonderful setting - nice and athletic with great moves up fine grained granite.

Work your way up the off width inside the flake, flakes and holds on the right prove most useful. The crux comes next with a hand traverse onto to a ledge on the left (very nice). Now follow the crack up over a couple of overlaps to the business. A splitter crack snakes it way up the face, but features to the left and good rest spots make this section a blast.

Finish up to the ledge in a flaring pod, which can be negotiated using face holds on either side.

Sit and ponder the expansive view while bringing up your second.

Location 

Right facing lieback flake on the right side of the north face.

Protection 

Standard rack of Friends #1 to #4. With a #5 at the start. Two bolt anchor - rappel off, 60m rope sufficient.
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Photos of Aurora Borealis Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: The start of Aurora Borealis.
BETA PHOTO: The start of Aurora Borealis.
Rock Climbing Photo: About half way up Aurora Borealis
About half way up Aurora Borealis
Rock Climbing Photo: Chris belays Scott up the splitter, photo by Manil...
Chris belays Scott up the splitter, photo by Manil...
Rock Climbing Photo: Aurora Borealis
Aurora Borealis
Rock Climbing Photo: Scott at the off width prior to the traverse, phot...
Scott at the off width prior to the traverse, phot...
Rock Climbing Photo: Scott Nomi on the starting moves, ignoring the lur...
Scott Nomi on the starting moves, ignoring the lur...
Rock Climbing Photo: Chris Owen on Aurora Borealis, photo by Manila Ang...
Chris Owen on Aurora Borealis, photo by Manila Ang...
Rock Climbing Photo: Parker in the business.
Parker in the business.
Rock Climbing Photo: Parker Fagrelius starting up.
Parker Fagrelius starting up.

Comments on Aurora Borealis Add Comment
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By C Miller
Administrator
Sep 9, 2011
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

This is a great route with lots of variety throughout it's length. You can get away without the #5 at the start by going a little higher and gettting a blue Alien (or equivalent) at the top of the initial wide crack. Save a #4 Friend (or equivalent) for the wide flare at the top.
By Chris Owen
Administrator
From: Big Bear Lake
Oct 10, 2011

Good advice Chris - I used a #4 Friend in that flare.
By Jeff Botimer
Jun 25, 2013
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Fantastic route. I found the #3 camalot to be a slightly better fit than the #4, but the #4 worked.
By matt c.
Aug 11, 2014

don't need a #5 goes fine with a #4
By Jan Tarculas
From: Riverside, Ca
Sep 27, 2015
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

I used a #4 C4 down at the bottom and just kept bumping it up before the traverse left. No bigger piece needed at top. Can easily be done with a single rack .5-4 C4 with a set of nuts
By Ancent
From: Reno, NV
May 28, 2016
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Awesome awesome climb. It has a little bit of everything: wide bottom, tenuous traverse, and solid crack to the top.
By Camron
Jul 10, 2016
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Climbed this route on 7/9/16. The off width section was fairly easy. I used a #5 and a #4. If I was a little bolder I could of gotten away with just a #4. I thought the first couple moves in the the hand crack was the hardest part. Although I probably need more work on my jamming.

Overall the climb is really good and the view at the top is pretty awesome.