Black Wall at Mt Evans Update

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Grug

Trad climber
Golden, Colorado
Topic Author's Original Post - Jun 19, 2006 - 05:57pm PT
So I just got back from playing hooky today. Hiked to the top of the Black Wall to check out conditions -- they're good.

I think the Black Wall is one of Colorado's best kept secrets, with vertical, featured climbs from 4 to 8 pitches that top out at around 13,000 feet. There's no guidebook. The only topos I know of are from a 1990 (or was it 1989?) article by Ken Trout in R & I. The cover was a classic - Jeff Lowe on Road Warrior.

I remember that as soon as I saw that cover, I was on the phone with Clean Dan - "we have got to do Road Warrior!" Two weeks later, we did it - one of some 20 times or so that I have climbed there.

Every time I've climbed at the Black Wall there have been one or none other parties. Every party I saw was on Good Evans - the classic, easier route (one move of 5.11-). The other free routes from the Trout article were Road Warrior, the Rappel Route, and Coffee Achievers.

I ended up putting up 4 routes in the early '90s, Cary Granite (with Clean Dan), Espresso (with Clean Dan), Cannonball Corner (with George Lowe), and Roofer Madness (with George Lowe). at the time I remember thinking "thank god for sport climbing - these gems would have been plucked if every one was still climbing trad". I have never heard of anyone doing these routes even though they are all multi-pitch 5.11 classics.

Roto-Router. If you're up for it, how about Road Warrior this Saturday?

Here's a little taste. This is a picture of Clean Dan and I on the first ascent of Cary Granite (5.11c).
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Jun 19, 2006 - 06:05pm PT
Great Pic;
Got any more?
Couloir

Trad climber
Yosemite, CA
Jun 19, 2006 - 06:06pm PT
That's nice. What's the crack system to the right?
binky

Big Wall climber
boulder
Jun 19, 2006 - 06:07pm PT
aww man!

now you've done it. Cat's out of the bag.

Grug

Trad climber
Golden, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 19, 2006 - 06:13pm PT
The crack immediately right is Good Evans (5.11-). The next crack over is Road Warrior (5.10+).

Hey, does anybody have that cover of Jeff Lowe on Road Warrior? Scanning and posting here would be much appreciated.
Grug

Trad climber
Golden, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 19, 2006 - 06:21pm PT
Here's another of Cary Granite. There are two cruxes - getting to the incipient crack (5.11c) and then ascending the first part of the crack (5.11c).
Near the crux on on Good Evans
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Jun 19, 2006 - 10:21pm PT
Was up there with Trout some twenty odd years ago. Nice piece of rock when its dry.
I have nothing against establishing routes on rappel. Sometimes it helps one do a better job. But I think Ken should have made it clear when this tactic was used.

Is there still camping nearby?
Kevster

Trad climber
Evergreen, CO
Jun 20, 2006 - 12:52am PT
WHat is the scoop on the routes on the right side of the wall...any of those aid climbs get freed? looks like lots of potential for 12+ sickness over there.....Would love to find out more about your routes up there Grug.....
flamer

Trad climber
denver
Jun 20, 2006 - 12:59am PT
I was also up there on a little recon mission today.

I didn't hike to the top, but i did glass the wall. Looked pretty dry!I was surprised how little snow there is!!!

Grug...I'd love to do Road warrior!!! But only if I get the crux pitch(s)...Mr. i've done it 20 times!!!
Nice.

Also I'd been spying the line that is roofer madness for the last 3 years. With no guidebook, and no other info out there I'd planned to "pluck" it myself...then I saw it posted on Mountainproject....you should have seen me moping around the rest of the day!!

I have a couple of other ideas for stuff up there if you're interested???? E-mail me I've got lot's of time off and am plenty motivated right now.

josh
Grug

Trad climber
Golden, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 20, 2006 - 08:19am PT
Oops - fixed that first too-wide image...thught I'd fixed that earlier.

Piton Ron. I guess the nearest camping would be at West Chicago Forks CG, about 20 mins away. Didn't know about how Ken did the FAs. I can tell you that the four I did were done from the bottom up, although I did rappel to inspect and do a little cleaning on Roofer Madness. Depending on your ethics, I suppose that tainted the FA, but I have to tell you, the day I rappeled RM was one of the funnest days I have ever had in the mountains.

Kevster. Coffee Achievers and Expresso, both free routes, are way right on the Black Wall - just south of the obvious gully that ends the wall to the north. I know of two aid climbs in between the Road Warrior Buttress and these free climbs, the Rusty Dagger and Parallel Universe. George Lowe and I actually tried to free Rusty Dagger. We didn't do it, not the least because I got altitude sickness that day. It's a bit dirty and may go at hard 5.11 or 5.12 would be my guess.

BTW, Coffee Achievers and Espresso, both good routes, do tend to be the wettest. There's currently a big block of snow above the chimney pitch. Pretty much every time I've done either of these routes the chimney has been wet.

Flamer. I feel your pain about missing out on those FAs. Roofer Madness is incredible. In my 30+ years of climbing, I really have not done many FAs - so I don't feel too bad. I'd do RW with you. I have done it maybe 5 times, so the leads are not important to me. I'd really like to hear somebody's account of either Roofer Madness or Cary Granite. These were put up 15 years ago now. I realize there's no guide or info about them, but they are obvious lines. Oh yeah, there is at least one project on the Roofer Madness wall, west (to the climber's right) of Roofer Madness.
Grug

Trad climber
Golden, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 20, 2006 - 08:32am PT
Roofer Madness, 5.11b. This buttress can be seen from the top of the Black Wall, looking southeast. The roof on Roofer Madness (between belay 5 and 6) is huge.
Rhodo-Router

Gym climber
Otto, NC
Jun 20, 2006 - 09:52am PT
yo-ho! That roofer thing is indeed a nice line. I just returned from a bit of high-summer recon of my own. There's no Black Wall around here. Yet. Saturday I need to be home in time for a going away party for some friends moving to Eagle:(, but we could maybe squeeze that one in. I'll see if I can scare up Mr Bevan and maybe we can make a 4-some?
landcruiserbob

Trad climber
the ville, colorado
Jun 20, 2006 - 10:17am PT
Great photos!!
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Jun 20, 2006 - 10:56am PT
Yes, a cool thread indeed.
Keep it comin'
Grug

Trad climber
Golden, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 20, 2006 - 11:03am PT
The top of the Black Wall. This flat top makes for wet conditions in the early part of the season, but not this year.
The roof system at the top of Road Warrior Buttress. The flake and crack is on the 2nd pitch of Good Evans.
flamer

Trad climber
denver
Jun 20, 2006 - 01:04pm PT
Grug, how about sunday for RW??

I think I've seen the other obvious line you were talking about on RM butt. It look pretty good, but RM was/is defiantly the gem.

I also thought about trying to free Rusty Dagger I'm planning a rap/recon/anchor replacement day....interested?

josh
landcruiserbob

Trad climber
the ville, colorado
Jun 20, 2006 - 01:18pm PT
More photo's please.rg
Grug

Trad climber
Golden, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 20, 2006 - 01:25pm PT
Flamer. Turns out Rhodo-Router and I are going to do RW on Saturday. Come along if you'd like. I'll need to be with my girls on Sunday - sorry. This'll be only my 4th day out since shoulder surgery. Let's keep in touch. I'd definitely be interested in Rusty Dagger. At some point you've got to do Roofer Madness - in fact, I'd like to do it again.
Grug

Trad climber
Golden, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 20, 2006 - 01:41pm PT
Here's the view looking east from the Black Wall.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Jun 20, 2006 - 01:41pm PT
Grug,
I don't have a problem with rapping. The only thing that taints an "ascent" is lack of candor. I've said enough.
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