Friends over things, outside over inside. Will you go out with us? #OptOutside — Join Us Outside
Sign Up  |   Log In:Login with Facebook
REI Community
Bug Spring Wall
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Aging Isn't For Wimp's S,TR 
Black Lightning S 
Black Rattler T,S 
C. Bailey S 
Droppin' In S 
Dry Toolin' the Garden S 
Flakey Bats S 
Holly The Hot Doc S,TR 
It's About the Six S 
Jamin T 
Lemmon Sanction, The S,TR 
Lost Again T 
Piston Bully T,S 
Reachin For The Sky T,S 
Rockin America T,S 
Savin my Sanity T,S 
Small Town Boy T,S 

Black Lightning 

YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a

Type:  Sport, 60'
Original:  YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: Nick Martel, Kristina Bergdahl-Martel '14
New Route: Yes
Season: Fall, Winter, Spring
Page Views: 414
Submitted By: Eric Sophiea on May 3, 2014

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (5)
Your todo list:
Your stars:
Your rating: -none- [change]
Your ticklist: [add new tick]
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]
BETA PHOTO: Photo credit: JMayhew (Sorry, I used your pic and ...


Fun challenging crimpy face climbing with plenty of rests. Two cruxes: first one pulling through the second bolt (balancy and technichal), the other from the 4th to 5th bolt. There's a runout between bolts 3 & 4 on very easy ground and you clip the 4th bolt from a huge ledge (so it's pretty tame and you could get gear if you wanted it). Above this ledge, there are two distinct lines to climb, both about at the same grade: go left of the bolts into a short crack (a hand jam is helpful) and then up to really nice holds and a good clipping stance, OR go right of the bolts on the face using crimps and a few jugs. Right is more sustained and the clipping stance isn't as comfy, but it's fun face climbing.

Edited: The FA party brought a big crowbar up and pulled on the partially detached block and couldn't move it. It's well attached on one half and solid, even though it sounds hollow. I'm not great at grading climbs, so this may be anywhere from 5.9 to 10b.

A good route that's got more challenging climbing than the other 5.9 climb I did in the area. Definitely worth getting on if you're there. Thanks for putting it up, Nick and Kristina!


Currently the furthest left climb on the East Wall (about 15 feet left of Piston Bully). Climbs the dark grey stain & short crack. Six brown painted Fixe hangers.


6 Bolts to chain anchors.

Comments on Black Lightning Add Comment
Show which comments
By Andrew Nelson
May 3, 2014
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Fun route. Getting into the second bolt is balancy, and getting through the second crux is fun!
By NickMartel
From: Tucson, Arizona
May 4, 2014

So Yes there is a runout on 5.6-5.7 terrain but you could protect it if you feel the need, and as long as you don't jump off the ledge you will be OK.
Regarding the block... the wood handle of our hammer actually snapped trying to pry it off and I had to place the bolts holding the just head of the hammer in my hand. We tried yanking on it etc... and we could not remove it with what we had that first day, we have since returned with a crowbar and it is still not going anywhere. Kristina and I also painted the hangers primer brown.

Regarding the route (from memory) huge jug-rail to balance moves on small crimps sidepull seam through 2 bolts then it ledges off for 10-15' before heading up the overhanging headwall. You can climb left of the bolts in the black crack on a good jam and a harder jam or stay in line/right of the bolts for a hero jug romp, either way the headwall is the physical crux. It's a hard route to grade because it requires a certain minimum strength and technique but if you have them then it is easy. In our journal I wrote "5.9 but probably more like 9- with more refined beta", however Kristina wrote "Solid 9". Eventually IF people ever climb here a consensus will emerge. It is as hard as it is.

Enjoy and Be Safe

The Definitive
Climbing Resource

Inspiration & Motivation
to Fuel Your Run

Next Generation Mountain
Bike Trail Maps

Backcountry, Sidecountry
& Secret Stashes

Better Data. Better Tools.
Better Hikes!