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SOB Gully (skier's left side)
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A Modern Day Interpretation of Mig's Arete/Swallow Arete T 
Casual Route, The T 
Casually Off-Route T 
Cloak & Dagger T 
Cloaked Interpretation T 
Comic Relief T 
Debutante's Ball T 
Dragon's Tooth, The T 
Escape Artist T 
Escape, The T 
Lightning Bolt Crack T 
Perfect Art T 
Power Lounger T 
Stand Up Comic T 
Veterans With Vertigo T 
Woke Up Punk T 
Woke Up Trump T 

Cloak & Dagger 

YDS: 5.10+ French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 20 British: E3 5b

Type:  Trad, 6 pitches
Original:  YDS: 5.10+ French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 20 British: E3 5b [details]
FA: Schaffer, Zeilman, April 2012
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 4,727
Submitted By: Vic Zeilman on May 2, 2012

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Topo for the route.

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Cloak & Dagger takes an independent line right of Comic Relief and Perfect Art, but it starts on the same ledge as Comic or Escape Artist and tops out near the same location.

It's highly probably that some of these pitches have been climbed before. However, it's unclear if anyone has done this exact line. While talking with a few of the more seasoned veterians of the Black, it appears that at least a few pitches were new territory. Thumbing through the binder of original topos provided no descriptions of this area right of Comic Relief. Any additional info would be welcomed.

One thing is for certain though, despite who climbed what and when... this is a hidden gem of a route, worthy of more traffic and a great alternative to Comic Relief or Escape Artist.

P1 (5.6ish). Start on the Comic/Escape ledge and traverse right around the corner to an obvious pegmatite slab/gully. Follow this rib of peg to a ledge below a chimney and a fist crack on the left. Some parties may choose to free solo.

P2 (5.9+). Climb the fist crack and continue through the chimney to another small ledge below a nice looking, thin fingers dihedral.

P3 (5.10+). Climb the dihedral, leading through a small bulge and continue up a 5.9 crack system to a belay beneath an obvious, crescent-shaped roof with black streaks on the wall.

P4 (5.10). Move left under the roof on good hand jams and continue up a 5.9 crack until you can move left into a lower angle weakness. Follow this to a large ledge with a massive, right-facing corner. Beware of the rope wanting to get sucked into the corner of the roof as you climb above it. Try and place a piece out left to keep the rope out of the constriction.

P5 (5.9). Climb 5.7 face up to a steep 5.9 hand crack. Trend left through a giant flake feature, then pull steep moves through a second flake above (left). End at a stance near 60 meters.

P6 (5.9). Continue up somewhat nondescript crack and face climbing. At about 40 meters or so, start trending left until you intersect the top of Comic/Escape's final pitch. End on the unroping ledge for these two route. Scramble up to the rap stations and complete the exact same "descent" as Comic Relief or Escape Artist.

It is also well worth it to do "The Escape" pitches back to the rim, instead of hiking out the gully. After rappelling from the top of the Comic Buttress, climb from the notch, up a slab and onto a ridge line type feature for 2 or 3 pitches (up to 5.8) to top out near the overlook trail by the campground. You get awesome views of South Chasm Wall.


Use the same approach as Comic Relief and Escape Artist. Descend the SOB Gully. Once you're about 2/3 of the way to the river, locate the buttress on skier's left and 4th class up to the ledge which starts both of these routes. Cloak & Dagger traverses around the corner to a pegmatite slab/gully and takes off from there.


A few small TCUs, standard double rack to #3 Camalot, and (1 or 2) #4s.

Note: almost all of the pitches on this route are in the 60 meter range, give or take a little. Pitch 2 is about 40m.

Photos of Cloak & Dagger Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Jason leading up the crux dihedral.
Jason leading up the crux dihedral.
Rock Climbing Photo: Following pitch 5 cracks. Super fun.
Following pitch 5 cracks. Super fun.
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 1.
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 1.
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbers on pitch 3, 9/12/2014.
Climbers on pitch 3, 9/12/2014.
Rock Climbing Photo: Fritz enjoying the ongoing hands and fingers at th...
Fritz enjoying the ongoing hands and fingers at th...
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 3.
Pitch 3.
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 2. Hand and fist crack to the left.
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 2. Hand and fist crack to the left.

Comments on Cloak & Dagger Add Comment
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By Highlander
From: Ouray, CO
May 27, 2012

Really good route. The first 2 pitches' rock quality is not great, but the 3rd pitch makes up for it with 180' of sustained fun climbing. The route does have some dirtiness to it but should clean up nicely. Great alternative to Comic Relief or Escape Artist.
By Ryan Jennings
May 29, 2012

Definitely an excellent alternative to Comic or Escape Artist. First pitch is the only bad pitch. We found the rest of the climb to be very enjoyable but not quite as hard as the ratings suggest. The crux pitch has several .10 sections but probably not anything .10+. All cruxes have good pro. The views of The Painted Wall from the top of the crux pitch are some on the best in the canyon. Route was amazingly clean. Good job, guys. We got to the top and wanted to go down and do it again. Topo was right on. Very fun!
By Ouray Badger
Jun 3, 2012
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

Did this yesterday, and thought I'd add my two cents. First pitch is pretty much 4th class bushwhack. After that, the rock is fine; the next pitch has surprisingly good rock in the chimney. The crux is one of the better pitches I've done in the Black. Stellar climbing the entire LONG way. Well protected. Maybe 10c, but no desperate moves. The route can be easily done without a #4 Camalot, although you can certainly place one. Definitely don't bring two. All in all, a really good route, probably no harder than Comic Relief, but the third pitch is probably more sustained than the crux of Comic. Highly recommended.
By Fleetwood Matt
Jun 12, 2012

I had the opportunity today to climb this route with Ranger Philippe. I can't believe he brought a firearm! I thought C&D was better and no harder than Comic Relief. It's pretty clean (even the wide hands, fist, and chimney bits) so get on it soon before all the trundling opportunities are gone! Even in June we had 'mostly shade' til 1pm. Thanks to Vic and Jonathan for another great route for us mortals. (Just kidding about the firearm.)
By Topher M.
From: moab, ut
Aug 30, 2012

Sweet route! As previously posted, can be done w/o a #4 Camalot, but one was nice & you definitely don't need 2. You only need a single set of stoppers. Also, the first "pitch" is more of a 4th class approach gully. Rope drag (stuck rope) in the roof on pitch four may warrant breaking the pitch in half to reduce the epic potential.
By jayci
From: Flagstaff
Aug 31, 2012
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

Great route! Maybe as good as the other classics on CR Buttress! The crux is about as good as climbing gets in The Black.
By erik wellborn
From: manitou springs
Oct 20, 2012

Fun route!! The 3rd pitch is one of the best in the Black.
By Jay 1975
From: Bonedale,CO
Nov 4, 2012

What is the route to the right of this one I have heard about? A Scheafer route?
By Frank Robertson
From: Ridgway, CO
Sep 23, 2014

P1 and 2 can be linked if you start from the ledge just down and right of the start of Comic Relief (a short down-climb into the peg gully). Great route. P3 is one helluva ride: long, continuously challenging and fun, with just enough foothold. Upper 9s laughing all the way....
By Lynn S
May 22, 2016
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

Excellent route, pitch 3 is spectacular!

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