The Gobbler, Black Velvet Canyon 5.10a
Avg time to climb route: 1 hour
Approach time: 45 minutes
Descent time: 1 hour
Number of pitches: 3
Height of route: 330'
OverviewDone the month following the first ascent of Dream of Wild Turkeys, The Gobbler is really a 3-pitch independent starting variation to that classic route. Outstanding and technical, its first pitch is different from most of the rest of the routes on the wall with thin positive edges on a slick slab and little else to use (often just edges for your feet or hands). The second pitch goes up an easy chimney/lieback, and the awesome third pitch follows thin cracks and bolts up great face climbing to join the belay after the traverse on Dream of Wild Turkeys. While some parties use the Gobbler to pass slow parties, it is an excellent end of the day outing on its own and easily rappelled.
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HistoryIn the late 1970s, ex-Gunks climber Mike Ward moved out to Las Vegas. Early on he teamed up with George and Joanne Urioste for several new routes. The first was Arrow Place, named after an old arrowhead they found near the base. In July 1980, shortly after completing Dream of Wild Turkeys, George was back at the wall in the company of Mike Ward and Bill Bradley, to add The Gobbler variation start.
Mike recalls that it was great to climb with the Uriostes. “They had a wonderful eye for lines,” he said, “and their routes are some of America’s treasures.” George went out of his way to make sure that the routes were bolted safely. Back at a time when bolts were placed by hand, while on the lead, George became known for his speed with the hammer. “He was very strong,” Mike continues, “I remember a time at a climbers’ party watching him do one-arm pull-ups while he sipped a beer with his free hand.”
Climbing in Red Rocks agreed with Mike. He stayed and climbed. In 1988 he opened Desert Rock Sports,... [full history for SuperTopo members only!]
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