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Black Top 

YDS: 5.11 French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E4 5c

Type:  Sport
Original:  YDS: 5.11c French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 24 British: E4 6a [details]
FA: Malcolm Daly Fall 1997
Fixed Hardware: 4 Lead Bolts [details]
Page Views: 1,045
Submitted By: Malcolm Daly on Sep 26, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (11)
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  • Description 

    Bring four more QD's on Back & Black and keep going from the B&B anchors. Lots of people have asked for more bolts because it's consistantly harder than B&B. Tell me what you think. A 1" cam will help protect between bolts 2-3 but in classic Eldo style, it uses up a handhold. If you're really careful and really good you can rap to the ground from the anchors at the top with 2-200' ropes. You'll have to down solo the ramp you start on. Otherwise, 2 pars or walk off. --Malcolm Daly


    4 more QD for the extension. Can use a 1" cam to protect between bolt 2-3.

    Comments on Black Top Add Comment
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    By Dr. Dan
    From: Steamboat Springs, CO
    Sep 9, 2002

    I think it is one of the best sport routs in Eldo. While I was climbing it I was less than pleased with the bolt placement, but it keeps your concentration up right to the end when you reach the ramp. Its neighbor, BackTalk is even more run out, but not in the cruxiest sections. Both climbs are on good quality rock and the holds are all there.
    By Joe Collins
    May 18, 2004

    I think Dr. Dan is thinking of a different pitch since Backtalk is in a different place (Blackwalk maybe?). There are several sections on this pitch that probably warrant an 'S' rating. Getting to the first bolt requires a low-5.10ish mantle-like move and would be a bad swinging fall onto the anchor if you blow it. That bolt should probably be a couple feet lower. Beyond that, although the route is spicey, it's generally safe enough. There is nothing on the pitch as hard as the crux of Back in Black, but the climbing is sustained and insecure enough that one could unexpectedly log some big time air at a few places.
    By Brian Milhaupt
    From: Golden, CO
    May 21, 2004
    rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

    It's very difficult to see the 3rd bolt from the stance where you place the 1" cam (look left). It's also pretty tough to place the cam in the best handhold available in the middle of the crux. It seams like it would be a good idea to climb this as an extension to Back in Black as Malcolm mentions to eliminate the possible factor 2 fall gaining the first bolt. This would without a doubt make an 11+ pitch.
    By Tony B
    From: Around Boulder, CO
    Jun 5, 2004
    rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

    All of the following statements should be qualitfied with the note that I TR'd the pitch after rapping it to get down from another route. I didn't lead it. However, I was quite mindful of the placements as I came back up on TR.

    This is a very good route and in no way crowds anything else up there. It's a good additon to the wall and at least as good as Blackwalk, Backtalk, etc...

    The route is indeed bolted in charicter with the rest of the wall. There were 2 cruxes in my opinion, and bolts right at or just below each. I don't think the climb was sustained though- A thin crux down low with a bolt at my chest and a power move higher with one at my knees.

    I saw where you could place a 1" cam, but you don't need it to be safe (might help the head, but the route seems OK without it). There is a "twin" hold nearby that will do just fine if you fill this one with a cam, but I don't think a cam would be required anyway.A few further notes... just below the last bolt, I went right, which ended up in no-mans-land then traversed left to reach the last bolt. Going up and left earier looked to be easier, on the way down. Also, the flake just below and left of the anchor is "crunchy" and flexing. Be mindful of this, as you will be some distance above the prior bolt.
    By dlight
    Mar 27, 2015

    I think that this is a sensational pitch. When combined with Back in Black, it is the best and most sustained single pitch of face climbing in the Canyon, IMHO. It is all bolted, but it is not a sport climb!

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