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Darkness 'til Dawn 

YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 140'
Original:  YDS: 5.10- French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: Jeff Sherman, Hunter Smith, John Ruger, 1974
Fixed Hardware: 2 Rappel Bolts, 2 Belay Bolts [details]
Page Views: 15,094
Submitted By: Ben F on Jun 24, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (251)
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Unknown climber gettin' into it.

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  • Description 

    Had I not had to go uphill and out of site to use the bathroom before doing Vertigo last week, I would not have seen this beauty. D.t.D is just around the corner from Grandmother's Challenge in a shaded alcove. This climb stays shaded a long time. No one does the 2nd pitch and no one should want to do it.

    Basically, start on big holds and a crack on the right side of the dihedral. This climb throws it all at you. I had fist jams, hand jams, thin hands, finger locks, side pulls, jugs, a couple of crimps, stems, feet in the crack and feet on small edges (don't worry, if I forgot something, this pitch probably has it). The other really nice thing about this route is that it is fairly sustained and stays interesting. The climb is nice and steep, especially the first section, and it may even stay dry in the rain. If you can't tell by now, I enjoyed the heck out of this climb.


    The first pitch is about 140 feet long and has chain anchors. I placed a #4 Camalot near the top for added comfort. Otherwise, bring a standard rack.

    Photos of Darkness 'til Dawn Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Taking advantage of one of the no-hands rests.  Ph...
    Taking advantage of one of the no-hands rests. Ph...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Simone leading Darkness 'til Dawn.
    Simone leading Darkness 'til Dawn.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Simone leading Darkness 'til Dawn.
    Simone leading Darkness 'til Dawn.
    Rock Climbing Photo: In case you weren't sure, Clint points out the rou...
    In case you weren't sure, Clint points out the rou...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Joseffa Meir follows "Darkness 'til Dawn (5.9...
    Joseffa Meir follows "Darkness 'til Dawn (5.9...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Steve Johnson follows Darkness 'Til Dawn (2).  (c)...
    Steve Johnson follows Darkness 'Til Dawn (2). (c)...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Steve Johnson follows Darkness 'Til Dawn.  (c)2002...
    Steve Johnson follows Darkness 'Til Dawn. (c)2002...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Dave Gentry on Darkness 'til Dawn
    Dave Gentry on Darkness 'til Dawn
    Rock Climbing Photo: Mike Amato at the final wide crack just below the ...
    Mike Amato at the final wide crack just below the ...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Mike Amato working the crack in the right wall two...
    Mike Amato working the crack in the right wall two...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Mike Amato working into the crux section halfway u...
    Mike Amato working into the crux section halfway u...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Mike Amato working the crack low on the route.
    Mike Amato working the crack low on the route.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Mike Amato stemming wide at the first hard move.
    Mike Amato stemming wide at the first hard move.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Unknown climber gettin' into it. (2 of 2)
    Unknown climber gettin' into it. (2 of 2)
    Rock Climbing Photo: Darkness 'Til Dawn.  Use a 70m rope to rappel or l...
    BETA PHOTO: Darkness 'Til Dawn. Use a 70m rope to rappel or l...

    Comments on Darkness 'til Dawn Add Comment
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    Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Oct 6, 2015
    By Kristo torgersen
    Aug 1, 2001

    this is a spectacular climb, and quite long a sustained for the grade, but don't let this scare you. there are several excellent rests and the gear is incredible (many medium nuts camalots .5 to 3), just be sure to bring enough if you don't feel comfortable running it out. to get off i lowered to a height about 20' above the ground with a 60m rope, and then did some very easy downclimbing to the ground.
    By Bryson Slothower
    Jan 23, 2002

    I find this route to be pretty stout for the grade especially because it used to be called 5.9! I would caution anyone who picks this as their first 5.10 in Eldo even though the gear is very good, the crux is thin!!!...Excellent route though, and totaly overlooked. This is a good alternative to other crowded routes in the area. Top o' the li
    By Tony B
    From: Around Boulder, CO
    Jan 23, 2002
    rating: 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

    Stemming and Palm-smearing are the technique keys necessary to keep this route feeling like it's original grade of 5.9
    By Bryson Slothower
    May 21, 2002

    Ok, I must make it harder than it needs to be because last time I did this route my second (Lindsay Gill) walked up it in tennis shoes!...
    By Joe Collins
    Aug 20, 2002

    One can climb up and left on bad rock from the anchor at about 5.6R to access Green Slab Direct. Helmets and a belayer who is ready to sprint out of the way of the oncoming rockslide are a must. I seem to remember doing this in one 60m pitch from the ground. The climbing is way-jingus but it goes.
    By steve dieckhoff
    Aug 21, 2002

    There is also a DIRECT FINISH to this that gets you to the tree. It's obvious, about .10+, and was a real favorite of Derek's. Don't let that last fact dissuade you though, it's well worth doing. Double ropes let you lead it all with no drag and make for an great rap back down.
    By Dan St. John
    From: Castle Rock
    Aug 26, 2002

    Excelet Climb!!! Many short cruxes with rest in between them all. If it feel hard you are not milking all the rests. Take 2x2, 2 x 3 , 3.5, 4. It looks small from the ground but if get quite wide in places.
    By Jason Nelson
    From: SLC, UT
    Jan 3, 2003

    Keep in mind that you need two ropes to get down (unless you have a 70m rope). Summer '02 there was an accident here and I know someone that also let the end of the rope slip through the belay device and caught it with one had. Yikes!
    By Dan Russell
    Jan 6, 2003

    you CAN rap with a 60m, you just have to downclimb the first easy section. just make sure you start downclimbing BEFORE you hit the end of the rope!
    By Guy H.
    From: Fort Collins CO
    Jun 22, 2003

    I did his climb for the first time yesterday. It is indeed a must do for the grade. Next time, I would leave the large cams on the ground. Bring two #1, #2, and #3 camolats. A single 30M rap works well, with a short low fifth class down climb.
    By Chris Weber
    From: Boulder, CO
    Oct 13, 2003

    Caution: people have been dropped when toproping the route, with tragic results. If you are going to toprope, DEFINITELY tie a knot in the end of the belayer's rope, even with a 60m.Even then, downclimbing is required, and some scrambling by the belayer.
    By Larry Earley
    From: Los Alamos, NM
    Aug 14, 2004
    rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

    Excellent route. You will use all your climbing skills. Great pro. Crux in middle is thin. This is the perfect rain climb. We took our time and climbed dry through a good rain for 45 minutes.Climber and belayer stayed dry. It wasn't windy but just a steady rain.
    By Michael Amato
    Oct 11, 2004

    Great route, a number of challenges and good pro before each. I found a #3 and a #3.5 Camalot very useful down low after the initial transition into the corner.
    By Danny
    Nov 10, 2005
    rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

    I've seen this one several times coming down the trail after doing other climbs and have always been intimidated. However, I rapped off the tree after finishing Grandmother's Challenge the other day and gave it a go. I am just getting into 10a Eldo leads and I found this one to be really fun and reasonable, albeit long. The gear is generally very secure and almost all moves are followed by good rests. Highly [recommended].
    By ?????
    Nov 11, 2005
    rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

    One of the best pitches....
    By ROC
    From: Englewood, CO
    Feb 1, 2006

    Great long pitch. Milk those rest stances. No hard moves, just tricky sequences. Onsight 2/1/06!!!
    By Mike C. Robinson
    From: Rumney, NH
    May 7, 2007
    rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

    What a climb! Great variation of moves. If only this went to the top, Couldn't get enough of this route. Wow!
    By Andy Laakmann
    Site Landlord
    From: Bend, OR
    Oct 24, 2008
    rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

    Despite the rests, I thought this route was enjoyably sustained. I brought a #3.5 and #4 Camalot and placed one towards the bottom and another at the very top, though a #2 Camalot would have worked at the top. Beyond that I had a standard rack and placed a variety of pro from small nuts to a #3 Camalot.
    By Devan Johnson
    Apr 22, 2009

    I had a harder time on this route than on the first and last pitches of the Naked Edge.
    By Phil Lauffen
    From: The Bubble
    Aug 15, 2009

    For this climb I only had 1 #3, though doubles in #2 helped. Also, this was a climb where I wished I had lugged some smaller hexes along... looked like some great placement s! Also, you get a good rest every 10 feet at the very least, so don't be intimidated by the grade. I went into this climb thinking it was a 5.9. Pretty soft for the grade, compared to other 5.10as I have done in Eldo (Born under Punches, var. to Yellow Spur, Rosy Crucifixion...).
    By W. Spaller
    May 1, 2010

    If you have 2 #4s, the bottom half will be a little more secure. Not required, but if this is at your limit, you will be happy to have them.
    By shaftoe
    Sep 7, 2011

    I agree that a few small hexes and a #4 might make you happy.
    By Ross Swanson
    From: Pinewood Springs
    Oct 17, 2011
    rating: 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

    P2 beta:

    I tried the 2nd pitch, was through the cool slot (undercling), and was at the white dagger hand hold in the corner (over halfway) when I decided to escape left since I could not see any gear on the upper right exit moves nor a rest.
    But later I noticed I totally missed a large foot hold stance on the right face slightly above my head, doh!
    By tooTALLtim
    From: Boulder, CO
    Dec 7, 2011

    Despite the looks of it, there's actually a bunch of solid gear on P2. I found a bomber brown tricam, 0.75, and 0.5 in the bizness of the roof. Now the rock you have to pull on, that's loose for sure.

    You can link P1 and P2 for an amazing pitch with a 60m; go for it! Also, the crack start on P1 is great.
    By Peteoria Holben
    Jun 11, 2012

    FOUND: Gear sling with QDs and a cam Saturday June 9, 2012. Gear has a one of a kind paint / tape job, so please give me an accurate description of it and it's yours!
    By Michael Butts
    From: Boulder, Co
    Jun 26, 2012
    rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13

    Super CLASSIC 5.10 climbing. One of the best 10s I have done anywhere. This climb just eats up gear all the way to the top. Save a #1 or #2 for the top. Fun, sustained climbing with good rests.
    By ShireSmitty
    From: Boulda
    Apr 4, 2013
    rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

    Onsight after rapping down Grandmother's Challenge and sooooo glad I did this route! It'll be on my circuit now for sure, high quality! I used a 4, 3.5, and 3 C4 down low in the wide part of the crack and all smaller stuff the rest of the way. Previous commenter gave it a PG-13 gear rating, but I disagree. There is bomber gear everywhere you look on this thing, and you could easily put a piece every 2 feet if you wanted to. Down low you can protect the exposed moves into the corner committing to the crack by putting big cams out right, as I mentioned. Throws everything at you but with no-hands stances (I found 4 of them) and endless palming and stemming. I made it the original 5.9 by climbing efficiently, I can see how 10a is fair as well. Sustained and awesome, go do it!
    By Christian Mason
    From: Westminster CO
    Jul 17, 2013
    rating: 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b

    Good rests but very sustained.
    The gear was excellent, but I felt like I had to work for some on it.
    You can TR this easily with a 70m rope.
    By climbinzs
    Oct 6, 2015

    Only do the 2nd pitch if you like climbing on and around huge, loose, death flakes. If you do, the gear is surprisingly good and the movement is cool.

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