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Black Mamba 

YDS: 5.11c French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 24 British: E4 6a

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 60'
Original:  YDS: 5.11b/c French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 24 British: E4 6a [details]
FA: Art Mooney, 1992
Page Views: 9,969
Submitted By: Chris Duca on Jul 20, 2007

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (122)
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BETA PHOTO: Black Mamba


Don't get bitten by the venomous lure of this Orange Crush ultra-classic!

Move after move, Black Mamba requires the climber to call on a full repertoire of corner and face climbing technique. Additionally, the holds you are gunning for, save for a select few, are not so obvious, making the redpoint that more elusive.

Two cruxes are encountered: The first is at about mid-height with a couple of thin moves above your last bolt to a clipping stance. The second crux involves a high left foot, a credit card for your right hand and a hidden hold out left. And it just so happens to be while the first set of anchors are staring you right in the eyes!

Most people climb to the first set of anchors, but for more enduro testing you can move left after the first set of anchors and climb the left trending, and pumpy face for many more bolts. This extension adds similar climbing and makes the route a solid 11c.


At the bottom right end of the cliff is the prominent arete/right face of Prime Climb (another stellar and LOOOONG 11b). Black Mamba starts just to the left on top of a terrace looking feature.


For the first pitch, 6 bolts and chains. The first bolt is somewhat hidden from view.

If you plan on continuing to the top in one pitch (recommended), bring at least 14 draws.

Photos of Black Mamba Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: A Quebec'er climbing Black Mamba before driving ho...
A Quebec'er climbing Black Mamba before driving ho...
Rock Climbing Photo: Ara Finlayson shows the boys how to properly send ...
Ara Finlayson shows the boys how to properly send ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Casey cruisin' Black Mamba
Casey cruisin' Black Mamba
Rock Climbing Photo: Lucas following his spirit wolf through the upper ...
Lucas following his spirit wolf through the upper ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Julien Groppi
Julien Groppi

Comments on Black Mamba Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Aug 13, 2017
By Jay Knower
From: Campton, NH
Jul 20, 2007

I think this might be the best 5.11 at Rumney. The climbing is interesting, sustained, and the route is pretty long. All in all, an excellent route, especially if you go to the top, as the best climbing is on the upper half.
By Matt Ludwig
Sep 17, 2007

Black mamba is good but Crusher is the best 5.11!!!
By Jay Knower
From: Campton, NH
Sep 17, 2007

Matt, distance must have warped your memory. Black Mamba has got to be waaay better than The Crusher.
By Maurice Liddy
From: Plymouth, NH
Nov 27, 2007
rating: 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a

No way, The Crusher rules! And distance hasnt warped my memory either :)
Black Mamba is superb all the same.
By Jay Knower
From: Campton, NH
Nov 28, 2007

Maurice, living in Arizona must skew your perspective. Evidently it's easy to forget what Rumney's all about.

The rock on the Crusher is not nearly as good as the pristine rock on Black Mamba. Black Mamba is also more sustained...
By Matt Ludwig
Dec 17, 2007

Jay, Jay, Jay....just drink the cool aid, 2 against 1..I don't see anyone else agreeing with you.
By Jay Knower
From: Campton, NH
Dec 17, 2007

Matt, I won't drink the cool aid...I won't drink the cool aid...
By Hannah W
Jun 9, 2010

Black Mamba was in rare early summer form last friday - it was dry (both parts)! I think the recent rain might have gotten it a little wet, but it is drying out early for sure.
By M Sprague
From: New England
Sep 15, 2011

If going to the top (as you should) I suggest bringing a couple slings to use on the first belay and under the roof to eliminate drag. A few longer draws are good in spots too.
By Tyson Miller
From: Hanover, NH
Aug 23, 2012
rating: 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a

It is helpful to back clean the bolt before the first anchor, and put a long draw/sling on the first anchor to not get terrible rope drag at the top.
By Brunt Tornton
From: NH
Nov 19, 2012

is this normally dry?
By M Sprague
From: New England
Nov 19, 2012

Usually in the summer and dry parts of the fall, but this section of the cliff often drips, especially above the first anchor.
By J Meagher
Sep 22, 2013

How safe are the falls on this? I'm breaking into the 11c grade and I'm wondering if this would be a good project (endurance crimping is my style)
By Ming
Oct 14, 2013
rating: 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a

For anyone who is considering this route you have to do the "whole" route - the first part is fine but it isn't that memorable but what makes this line a super classic is the whole line all the up through the V-slot and topping out of Orange Crush. As for projecting it - since I just finish projecting it I would say it's safe as long as the 3rd bolt is clipped - right before the first crux.

I have tried harder lines at Rumney but so far in the 11s only Buried Treasure and this route bring a smile to my face every time I climb them. This is one of the best 11st at Rumney for sure!
By Eric Chabot
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Oct 15, 2014
rating: 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a

To clean after leading the whole thing, it helps to clip your rope (climber's side) into one of the midway anchor's fixed biners as a directional while being lowered. This allows you to be lowered straight down above your remaining bolts and clean them without penduluming all over the place.

Fantastic route, probably the best I have done at Rumney. Haven't done Crusher yet though so we'll see!
By Dom R
From: Estes Park, Colorado
Sep 21, 2015

Super fun tech climbing. I wouldn't say it requires a full reportoire of corner technique though, felt more like thin face with the good luck of the feature being scooped so you can get great feet and stances the whole way..
By Graham O.
Aug 13, 2016

WOW! One adventure of a climb! Definite crux, pumpy, a gazillion features, a top out (!!!), and a fantastic view (especially in Autumn). One of the best climbs I have done at Rumney, and definitely one of the best at Rumney (but I think Flyin' Hawaiian takes the cake for best 5.11 :)).
By Troy S
From: Somerville, MA
Sep 19, 2016

The second pitch is where the route climbs at 11c. The first pitch didn't feel much harder than 10c to me.
By S. Neoh
Sep 19, 2016

I think I read somewhere (perhaps Ward's Guide) that P1 is generally taken as .11a. I would agree with that or .10d.
By Zach Swanson
From: Newton, MA
Sep 20, 2016

The most recent edition of Ward's guide has pitch 1 at 11b and pitch 2 at 11c.
By Troy S
From: Somerville, MA
Oct 3, 2016

Yeah, gotta take that back. Just repeated it and P1 felt more like an 11a this time.
By Jimmy Downhillinthesnow
From: Bozeman, Montana
Aug 13, 2017

Go to the top!

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