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The Black Wall
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Ant Farm, The T 
Cannonball Corner T 
Cary Granite T 
Coffee Achievers T 
Emerald Highway, The T 
Escape Route T 
Espresso T 
Good Evans T 
Harry Cary T 
High Variance T 
Old Rappel Route T 
Parallel Universe T 
Phil-a-Guster T 
Rainbow Highway T 
Road Warrior T 
Rusty Dagger, The T 
Seven Sins (linkup of S.O.A.S into H.V.) T 
Sinners On Sunday T 
Undertow T 
Undertow (free) T 
Unnamed Bolted Face T,S 

The Rusty Dagger 

YDS: 5.12a French: 7a+ Ewbanks: 25 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 25 British: E5 6a R

Type:  Trad, Alpine, 7 pitches, 600', Grade IV
Original:  YDS: 5.12a French: 7a+ Ewbanks: 25 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 25 British: E5 6a R [details]
FA: Kirk Miller, Gerry Rock, 1988. FFA: Andy Donson, Cameron Tague, 1998
Season: Summer
Page Views: 2,498
Submitted By: Ken Trout on Jul 13, 2008

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BETA PHOTO: Topo for not quite FFA by visiting Czech climbers ...


See the topos. To really do the Black Wall directly, one climbs either Parallel Universe or Rusty Dagger. Wetness and blankness make Parallel hard to free. Plenty of nice, dry, rain-sheltered, crack on the Dagger. The line cuts through the center of the rotten, ach-forming, sector that undercuts the wall.

Some serious cleaning might create the most epic, smoker approachable, alpine trad-wall, in America. Until then read about "red crud" and other details in Andy Donson's report; American Alpine Journal, 1999, pages 240-1.

It is doubtful that anyone else will want to claim a better free ascent. Andy writes that he was past the crux, told Cameron "it's in the bag", then pulled off a block on less critical terrain, which caused him to have to aid back up to his highpoint, because he was injured from the fall.


Look for the red, left-facing, corner splitting the steepest part of the wall.


The lower part of the route is reported to go on clean gear. To be really certain about what gear to have for the 5.12 summit roof, I'd risk the short rappel/jumar in to see. There are still a couple of rusty buttonheads just below the rim. Careful!

Photos of The Rusty Dagger Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Did I mention this wall is steep?
BETA PHOTO: Did I mention this wall is steep?

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By Kurt Ross
From: Boulder, colorado
Aug 13, 2013

Best line from Andy's "Almost FFA" write-up in the AAJ:

"It was later transpired that the femur was split near the head; it would require a screw to fix it. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Cameron for letting me carry my share of the gear back to the parking lot."

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