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Black Widow Slab
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YDS: 5.11a French: 6c Ewbanks: 22 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 22 British: E3 5c

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 80'
Original:  YDS: 5.10d French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 21 British: E3 5b [details]
FA: Dan Hare and Joel Schiavone, 1982
Page Views: 1,949
Submitted By: Rich Farnham on Aug 28, 2005

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (14)
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Tony Bubb in a good rest before the crux of Spectr...

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  • Description 

    This route is on the left side of the formation between the huge roof of Resonator (12d) and a dirty gully/chimney system to its left. The climb is a little dirty at the start because it doesn't see much traffic, but it gets much better at the roof.

    Climb up into the flared slot below the roof. Follow perfect hand jams out and over the roof to a rest stance above it. Climb the left-leaning, left-facing dihedral for about 40 feet until it disappears into the face. This corner involves great stems and finger locks as it pulls over two bulges. Continue up the face (easy but runout) to the new anchors, or keep going up the very-runout, lichen-covered, low angle slabs for 50 feet to the grassy ledge. From here (presumably, I haven't done it), continue for several pitches to the top of the formation and walk off.


    SR to a #3 Camalot. Doubles on medium TCUs and thin hands (red Camalot) are helpful. Despite the large alcove and roof at the bottom of the route, with careful runner placement I was able to keep the rope drag from being an issue. Once you clear the roof, there is a good blue or green alien placement about 6 feet up to the right that will keep your rope from disappearing into the hand crack at the lip of the roof and getting stuck on a cam.

    Photos of Specter Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Alan Doak finishes the crux of Spectre.
    Alan Doak finishes the crux of Spectre.

    Comments on Specter Add Comment
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    By Rich Farnham
    Aug 29, 2005

    I placed a bolted anchor about 80' up this route after talking to the first ascentionist (Dan Hare) and getting his permission and encouragement. I went and climbed this route a month or two ago (before putting in the anchor) and experienced the annoying lichen encrusted, unprotected, 5.4 bushwhack to the grassy ledge. From the grassy ledge you had to either summit the formation (i.e. several more [pitches] of 5.? bushwhacking) or do a scary 50' downclimb to the top of one of the sport climbs on the right side of the formation. The first 80' feet of this climb is fantastic, and the rest sucks! There are three other trad routes on the crag. One has a bolted rappel station at the top and the other two are obscure and dirty and don't look to have been done since Kor and Northcutt did them in '61. I recognize that these anchors are a change to an existing route. I debated putting them in. I don't agree with putting in bolts to avoid a runout that was done by the first ascentionists or more generally changing the nature of a route to eliminate the boldness that used to be required to complete a route. But I believe this is different. Anyone who can climb the 10d to get to the new anchors, could easily finish the route. This is not about avoiding a significant challenge that is an integral part of the route. I actually placed the anchors as high as feasible to force a bit of runout 5.8/5.9 face climbing before the climbing deteriorated to a dirty slab.This is a convenience anchor. It is easy to argue against convenience anchors, as many have (appropriately) in places like Eldo. But I felt that these anchors are in character with the rest of the crag, and, apparently, so did the first ascenionist. It is obvious that I am a little conflicted about this anchor, as evidenced by this lengthy explanation. I don't like the spread of Sport Park ethics into the rest of the Canyon. If there is significant and valid opposition to these anchors I will remove them myself.
    By Zach Allen
    Sep 1, 2005

    Hey man, relax. Sounds like you did a good thing. It's nice to hear that you put some thought into it before adding the anchor. Thanks.
    By Joe Huggins
    From: Grand Junction
    Aug 22, 2010

    Did this route today - anchors are good, and don't detract from the trad character of the pitch.
    By Wayne Crill
    From: an Altered State
    Sep 13, 2010
    rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

    This is a really fun trad route. It climbs much better and more difficult (I thought) that it appears it will. Two roofs take you to a still sustained and tricky overhanging dihedral, after which it eases up considerably for the last 30' to the anchors.

    Well worth pursuing.
    By Chris Archer
    Jul 23, 2012
    rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

    10+ really? Perfect hands to the lip followed by some poor thin hand flares right about the time your feet disappear. Excellent physical climbing. Thanks for the anchors Rich.
    By 1rsties4life
    From: CO
    Sep 2, 2012
    rating: 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c

    This seemed hard for 10d, and in comparison to Grandmother's Challenge in Eldo, it seemed very stiff for the grade. Great climb though, as for yesterday's efforts a very humbling experience for me.
    By Guy H.
    From: Fort Collins CO
    Sep 3, 2012
    rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

    I have to agree with Chris on this one. Felt pretty hard for 5.10d. Excellent climbing though....
    By Pinklebear
    May 18, 2013

    Old-school 10d (stout). Some hand-jam pain turning the first (bigger) roof. Good gear; good fun; good times.

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