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Warm Black Knobs 

YDS: 5.10c French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII ZA: 20 British: E2 5b

Type:  Trad, 4 pitches, 400'
Original:  YDS: 5.10c French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII ZA: 20 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: Herb Laeger & Gary Sullivan Sept 15, 2012
Page Views: 282
Submitted By: Chris Bersbach on Sep 26, 2016

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BETA PHOTO: Warm Black Knobs: Herb Laeger at belay/rap station...


Pitch 1 (10a): This is a wonderful warm-up slab pitch for what's to come. Supplement the bolts with gear, and climb through a short slab crux to a roof with a reachy clip and a reachier mantle up onto two... warm black knobs.
Pitch 2 (7/8): A quick "getting there" pitch with easier friction & edges to a bolted anchor.
Pitch 3 (10c): The leader will have to earn every bolt on this pitch, which is steep, thin, and continuous up to another reachy roof move. The roof is followed by two more bolts of easier friction to a bolted anchor.
Pitch 4 (mungey 5th): The topo says "3rd class off" after the 3rd pitch, but unless we missed it, I'd recommend using a rope through the final ledges to the top.

Detailed topo, route beta, and area info will be in the upcoming guide to the Courtright area by Dwight Kroll.


East face of Power Dome (opposite the creek), right of Don't Go Changin' (10b) and left of Kelsey's Klimb (10c).


Minimum 8 draws for bolts, plus a light single rack from about .2 through 2".

Photos of Warm Black Knobs Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Warm Black Knobs: Herb Laeger on start of second p...
BETA PHOTO: Warm Black Knobs: Herb Laeger on start of second p...

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By Aaron Formella
From: Atascadero, CA
Sep 27, 2016
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c R

This route is awesome; if there were a, "Best Freeclimbs of Courtright," guide, this would be in it!

Detailed route description below...your onsight could arguably become a flash if you read this.

This climb is not runout by Courtright standards, however, there is at least one tenuous clip you have to make that if botched, would likely result in bouncing off a ledge.

We used cams from 0.2 BD X4 to #2 BD C4. Didn't use the #3 we brought. Only one large nut was used on the pitch 4 exit. You could get by without bringing nuts, but don't forget the two between your legs. In addition to 8 draws for the bolts, bring 2-3 extra as runners for cams.

Finding the route: from the road near the primitive campsites south of the Maxson parking/restroom areas head south toward the north end of the east side/face of Power Dome. Skirt the base heading south and you will see a large shield feature above with corners on each side. Pass the left side of this shield and look for bolt lines starting up a slab. Pass the first bolt line and the second to the south is the start of, "Warm Black Knobs."

P1: 5.10a. Start up the thin, gritty slab with crunchy edges. If you fall nearing bolt two, you will take a digger. Attentive belay here. This lower section should clean up nicely, and regardless, the feet still stick on the crunchy-flake edges. The climbing eases up on a runout section continuing up past 4 bolts to a left facing, diagonal flake. Use the flake for pro and upward progress and step over it at the top onto a short section of golden polished granite slab below the roof. Trust your feet and your cam below here and head up to a bolt at the lip of the roof. Place pro below the roof to stand up and clip the bolt at the lip, then backclean the pro, or just go for it. Pull the improbable moves over the roof using the namesake features of the route. Continue past two more bolts to belay at a 2 bolt anchor at a sloping ledge.

P2: 5.7 - 5.8 short pitch. Place an optional #1 BD C4 cam in a flaring crack above the belay and head up 5.7 - 5.8 friction past 3 bolts to a large ledge. Continue a short distance up a few steep blocky, right facing flakes, placing an optional 0.4 BD or finger sized cam, to a two bolt belay on a narrow ledge atop the blocks.

P3: 5.10c - 5.11a range. This is what you came for! Stand up high off the belay to clip the first bolt and make a few tricky moves on a nearly vertical section with thin hands, sloping feet, and a couple WBKs. Reach up to a narrow horizontal ledge, place a small cam or two (0.2-0.3 BD), and mantel the ledge. Make a committing step right onto a good slope to clip the next bolt and climb up to a large ledge. Place 1 or 2 hand sized cams (#1 to #2 BD) in the horizontal crack here and tech your way up the steep thin face on crimps and smears to a tenuous clip. If there is a clipping 'stance' here, I did not find it. If you blow this clip, you will get hurt. Breath a sigh of relief and continue up sustained thin climbing to another bolt straight above then puzzle your way left using WBKs through a short traverse (It's easy to climb too high here) and mantel onto a large one. Clip a bolt and pull an odd hand-foot match on slopers to a good stance and easier terrain to yet another ledge. There will be a two bolt anchor about 15' right that belongs to another route. Continue up a short easy section to below the roof looking for the bolt at the lip (you can use the anchor out right to protect this section then backclean). Pull the roof using WBKs and smear your way up a holdless friction slab (I think there's a bolt on the way) to a two bolt anchor. Whew! What a pitch! Savor the excellent views of the canyon and the high Sierra from your perch on Power Dome's East Face.

P4: 5.4 scrambling past horizontal exfoliation 'roofs' to the top. Some may want to stay roped here. Use long runners on any gear placed. Optional belay at summit in cracks around boulders.

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