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Veterans With Vertigo 

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

Type:  Trad, 8 pitches, 1200', Grade IV
Original:  YDS: 5.12- French: 7a+ Ewbanks: 25 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 25 British: E5 6a R [details]
FA: Topher and Patience Donahue and Steve Monks, 5/2001
Season: surprisingly good shade temps in summer
Page Views: 2,329
Submitted By: Jay 1975 on Jul 23, 2011

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (4)
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Following the crux.

2016 Raptor Closures MORE INFO >>>


The crux is on the 6th pitch and is one of the best face pitches I've done down there! I don't know why there isn't more spray about this route.

P1. Climb thin .9+ on face/corner at left or scramble higher up right and climb a 5.8 corner to same belay, 100'.

P2. Climb straight up 100' of .10+ "reachy" fingers and hands to left traverse at grassy ledges to wide laybacks to belay. It is almost a full 70m!

P3. Stay left up the corner system past "techy stem corner (harder version of the "red dihedral" pitch on "No Country For Old Men", stay left over short corner roof with fingers to stance at huge flake. "The Crapper Belay", 180'.

P4. Go up short, .10, facey climbing to huge "walk-off" ledge, 100'.

P5. Head up right towards an acute, 12" deep, hands corner that is about 30' long to some easy varied climbing to a bolt/1 piece belay below the obviously good, pewter colored headwall, 180'.

P6. "Money Pitch"! Crank through the bolts and pins and a couple tiny placements for about 70-80' on perfect, crimpy, face climbing, 80'.

P7. Clip a bolt and continute up and left through some .11a R moves to blocky rock just next to and right of huge peg band till you see a bolt in the peg, go left across .10 move and up to ledge on left, 150'.

P8. Climb crappier rock straight up a left-facing corner for 35', then wander up right to huge ledge. Then go up 5th class to top out, 120'.


Scramble up 200-300' about 100' left of the "Comic" buttress.


A standard rack with extra small.
There are bolts and pins on the crux with a couple tiny placements. There is 1 semi-hanging belay, all ledges at other belays.

Photos of Veterans With Vertigo Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: The last pitch.
The last pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: Crux!
Rock Climbing Photo: Following 3rd.
Following 3rd.
Rock Climbing Photo: Top of 2nd.
Top of 2nd.
Rock Climbing Photo: Updated topo.
BETA PHOTO: Updated topo.

Comments on Veterans With Vertigo Add Comment
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By seth c
Sep 14, 2011

Climbed this route back in may. While there are some real serious parts on the route it is overall one badass climb. If you are looking for some good old Black Canyon adventure climbing, this is it. And the crux pitch is certainly one of the best face climbing pitches done there.
By highaltitudeflatulentexpulsion
From: Colorado
May 28, 2013

Just a few points to clarify, because I like accuracy:

Pitch 1, as described but more like 150'. It's easy-ish and fun.

Pitch 2, I guess it's possible to do as a huge 70m pitch, but it would flat out suck (and suck and suck). Here is your better option. Climb the finger to hand crack until it ends. Make a fairly comfortable belay here. Then lead across the "grassy ledges" to the offwidth and up. The best place to stop would be about 30 feet above where the topo suggests to belay at a stance. This will only add one pitch, will reduce the absurd rope drag, and will put the belayer in a spot he can actually see the climber for the next pitch.

The offwidth layback isn't terribly hard, but I wouldn't do it without big gear again. Consider that with nothing larger than a #3, a fall would be in excess of 60' onto stuff that could hurt you or knock you out. Now consider that prior to the offwidth there is a traverse and most of the gear in it is not trustworthy. Now consider that you are in The Black, therefore you only have one rope. A fall off the offwidth would mean that you and your belayer are proper fucked. Take the big gear, and none of this matters.

A note on the "grassy ledges" for route finding. They are 1" to 5" wide and a legit rock climbing traverse. When I read "grassy ledges, I figured I'd be walking left on a big, grassy ledge. Go figure.

Pitch 3 (realistic pitch 4). As described but with a higher start than in the topo, like I mentioned in the preceding paragraphs.

Pitch 4 (realistic pitch 5). As described. Belay under the tree if it's sunny. A bit run out but easy.

Pitch 5 (realistic pitch 6). No weird description of 12 inch deep cracks or whatever. Climb the shitty flare, climb more shitty rock, and do a shitty mantle to get on to a great ledge with a couple bolts for the belay. It's just over 60m. Simul, use a long rope, or break it up. This pitch is fucking shitty.

Pitch 6, the bolted crux pitch. As described and excellent. Hopefully you do this in the shade.

Pitch 7. Described as 11a R, this is one of the best protected pitches on the route and is actually quite a bit easier than the other 11a on this route.

Pitch 8 The description calls this 120'. It's 250' of loose, blocky climbing. It goes at about 5.8. If simuling, be crazy aware of where the person below is. If breaking into 2 pitches, set the belays well to the side of the climber. I fear this pitch may kill people if this route gains popularity.

I liked it overall. I would have liked it more had it been submitted with more accurate information.
By topher donahue
May 30, 2013

Maybe we need a double star system: one for the actual climbing experience and one for each subsequent ascent's satisfaction with the previous ascent's report on mountain project.

If you belay instead of simulclimb, the last pitch(es) are not too bad.
By Jay 1975
From: Bonedale,CO
May 18, 2014


P5, I meant that it's about a shallow flare with 12" sides to it.

Update: just did it again 5/31, and I got a 0.75 , 3 and 4 cam in ow flakes....
By Mike Brumbaugh
Jun 5, 2014

Agree with Nicelegs about breaking up the traverse pitch. Rope drag is heinous and can't imagine doing it as one pitch, but I'm old, fat, and soft.

If you're on crap dihedral rock heading up to the money pitch, then you're off route. The dihedral is bullet stone.

The crux is everything it's advertised as.

The 11R pitch after crux is heady for sure, and I had two pieces of gear fall out. Buyer, beware!

Overall, it's a good route, climbs some absolutely perfect stone that rivals Yosemite, but also climbs some absolutely terrible chose even by Black standards. Have your head on a swivel. The crux is 11++++ even if you're tall. Try not to kill your belayer. Unreal job by the FA team.
By chris righter
Sep 11, 2016
rating: 5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a PG13

Great route. Much better than its ugly sister to the left (Debutante's Ball). Take the #4, but leave the #5 at home.

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