Black Orpheus, Black Orpheus Wall 5.10a

 
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Red Rocks, Nevada USA

  • Currently 5.0/5
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Summary of All Ratings

SuperTopo Rating:   
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  • 5
 (5.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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 (4.1)
Your Rating:     (none)
Rating Distribution
10 Total Ratings
5 star: 30%  (3)
4 star: 50%  (5)
3 star: 10%  (1)
2 star: 10%  (1)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Aug 25, 2003 - 08:08am
 
The American Safe Climbing Assn. may have replaced anchor bolts on this climb. To find out visit the ASCA Replacement Page

The ASCA is a non-profit organization dedicated to replacing unsafe anchors. To learn about helping the ASCA click here


DONATE NOW
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madmax

climber
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   Mar 19, 2004 - 12:22pm
This route really ain't that cool. It's got one pitch of 5.9 climbing, and rest is really blocky easy climbing. A long approach and not very sustained climbing makes this a mediocre climb, compared to all the other climbs in RR.
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vegastradguy

Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV
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   Mar 12, 2004 - 03:08pm
Excellent route. Thanks to ASCA for replacing all the bolts! A couple of things to note: 1) the initial dihedral can be done in two pitches, not 3. Stop right before the bulge/lieback and belay. From here, its a rope length to the next belay. 2) The traverse pitches can be done in 3 pitches, not 4. From the bolt/nut belay, head up and left to the tree. From here, its half a rope or so to the belay below the headwalls. 3) The corner after the run out 5.8 face is 5.9, not 5.8. 4) The '5.6' lieback is more like 5.7, but maybe that's just me.

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JT

Intermediate climber
Las Vegas, NV
Dec 22, 2002 - 12:47pm
 
I did this route last week and have some info that I feel would help.
First is, this is an excellent route! All of the bolts are good. We climbed the route in 6 pitchs broken down like this. Simul 1-3, This is all very solid climbing and neither the leader nor the follower are climbing above 5.5 while simuling (With 60M). Both climbers solo to the base of the huge brown Dihedral. The leader climbs a full 60M's, to a belay just above the crux- right below the "double cracks"(first pitch in dihedral). On the next pitch climb all the way to the bolted belay out on the face. The second will have to Simul about 10-15 ft. Finish with the standard exit pitch.
Now about the descent...THIS IS IMPORTANT!!!!
The descent listed as the "double rope descent" can be done EASILY with one 60M. Start with the same rappels as described and use every anchor- the first rappel is very short. The third and final rappel is exactly 30M(100ft)- it's perfect! You cannot see the final ledge/ end of the ropes, due to an overhang, But this rap does reach...we used a single 60M and it was perfect. This is very straight forward and I highly recommend it! Done this way the route took about 2 and a half hours(we were in no hurry either) and the descent about 45 minutes.
A couple of Peregrine falcons checked us out in the upper dihedrals- that was pretty cool!
josh
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Andrew

Novice climber
Las Vegas, NV
Jan 8, 2003 - 12:56am
 
I will second JT's remarks regarding the descent. A 60M rope works perfectly as described (only just).
I do feel his remarks concerning the first 3 pitches not being any harder than 5.5 are bs. The topo is more or less accurate in grading them. Enjoy.
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jt

Intermediate climber
Las Vegas, NV
Jan 12, 2003 - 06:45pm
 
You misunderstood!!
These pitchs ARE acuratly rated! What I was stating is- If you simul-climb them Neither the leader nor the follower will be climbing anything more difficult than 5.5 WHILE SIMUL-CLIMBING! You will have to climb some 5.8, just not while both climbers are moving together.
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Matt M

Trad climber
Alamo City
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   Apr 3, 2003 - 03:04pm
Just did this climb on 3-29-03. Great day and great climbing. 1st off - Rap Beta above is correct! 1 60m is PERFECT. Take all three anchors - last rap just makes it (Ends are 1 foot off the ground!)

Some stuff I thought might help... On the approach, keep looking right as you head up canyon. As soon as you round the corner from solar slab the climb comes into view. (Starts just right of obvious white rectangle of rock as pictured in the topo) We climbed up from the left hand side of the bowl on easy slabs - way better than the steep scamble on the right.

On the middle easy pitches - you can scramble to the base of the dihedral after the "bolt and nut belay" on slabs to the right - that 5.0 R stuff seemed contrived.

Above the 5.8 R traverse - the corner is AMAZING! Takes .75 camalots beatufully.

5.10 move isn't bad - i didn't layback it
2nd to last pitch up the arching dihedral is old school 5.6


Check out Eagle Dance and Levi 29 on yourright on the descent - Awesome!
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clustiere

Big Wall climber
Alamo City
Apr 3, 2003 - 10:51pm
 
If you like this route you should try doing Ringtail as it is an awsome route and it links into the rainbow buttress for the last four pitches. This route is classic and well protected (all new bolts) at IV 5.10 on varnished rock this has been one of my better days of climbing at RR (having done Most of the Classics and a few lesser). It includes one pitch of 5.10 edging and one rad 5.9 stemming pitch. DO this route it is good.
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clustiere

Big Wall climber
Alamo City
Apr 3, 2003 - 10:57pm
 
Paiute Pillar is an awful rout with runouts on bad rock and holds that break off. I hated this route but if you must bring RP's and other micro stuff as gear is in useless rotting seams. NO good for the IV 5.9 rating do epi instead or even horndogger select with the new 5.10 variation III+ 5.10(not so great down low but awsome up high could do Beula Book down low to join HD @ 1 bolt belay to the left of SSGully).
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Eric Kendle

Trad climber
Phoenix
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   Sep 3, 2003 - 07:04pm
I did the route 1 year ago. Sorry know beta to give. This is just to let you know the route is totally excellent. The climbing is great and the route is highly recommended and a must do for red rocks. SuperTopos has all the beta you will need. Have fun.
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Doug Hemken

climber
Madison, WI
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   Mar 24, 2004 - 11:29am
With three great pitches at the start, and four excellent pitches at the end, this is a fun and varied climb. If you like mountaineering at all, the four middle pitches will also appeal to you, just for the great position and change of pace from the start and finish.

It is interesting to compare the three different route descriptions available for this route. The Urioste's did this climb in 15 pitches. I can understand this for a first ascent, especially back in the days of shorter ropes! But all those extra pitches eventually slow you down. Swain would have you do this route in 10 pitches. Bring a long rope, and be prepared for some less than comfortable belay stances. I think SuperTopo hits it right with 11 pitches - good use of your whole rope, but comfortable belay stances. We had trouble finding ST pitches 4-6. No matter, there are lots of variations, and I'm convinced all three guides take different routes.

I would say the difficulty of the crux move is height/wing-span dependent, and could be rated 5.9/5.10a to reflect that.

We bivyed at the top (with permission!, it's sort of "on the wall"). We hauled packs on p8 and p9. To facilitate hauling we set up an intermediate pack-hauling-station above the first bolt in p8.
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Ian

Trad climber
Boulder, CO
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   Dec 1, 2003 - 09:12am
GPS coordinates: N36 06.210 W115 29.390

Excellent route from the 8th pitch on. The climb is very soft for the grade and the supposedly 5.10a crux is a well-protected one move wonder. I found the real crux to be the descent in the darkness.
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George Bell

Trad climber
Colorado
Apr 20, 2004 - 10:22am
 
The SuperTopo rap beta for this route seems unnecessarily complicated. I've done the "double rope" descent (with slight variation) using only one 50m rope. You do the first rap as indicated (barely reaches), or (better) use an intermediate anchor to reach a big ledge (so do 2 shorter raps). Then, instead of doing the normal second rap, head west on this big ledge 100' or more to find another anchor which takes you to the base (passing over a large overhang).

Anyway I noticed in the SuperTopo an entirely different descent is described for those with only one 50m rope.
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jmartin

climber
Feb 28, 2005 - 10:08am
 
Great route, better than expected. As above, the rating seem wierd--the crux can't be any harder than 5.9+, but other sections seemed a wee bit sandbagged, leaving my partner and I saying "wait, this is red rocks..."
At the beginning of the "headwall" the traverse (.8 or .9) is not R, it's only a 15 foot runout from the belay if you don't place gear and there were several gear placement options.
Goes easily in 6 pitches if your willing to simul the middle easy section.
The rappels are cake--walk climbers left, look for the big shiny anchors, rap with one 60 down to the next set of big shiny chains( a really short rap), one more rap to the next set of big shiny bolts (which are visable from the previous set) down too the ledge follow carins down to the riverbed. If the river is flowing, as it was for us, this complicates and lengthens the descent quite a bit--it took us longer to descend than it did to climb the route! Not advisable in the dark under any condition.
Cool router, if your comfy with 5.9 your good to go. Enjoy!
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ricardo

Gym climber
San Francisco, CA
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   Apr 4, 2005 - 03:27am
great route .. I got the lead on the traverse pitch! --

We did the gully descent .. WHAT A MISTAKE! -- from the top of the route we hiked up the slabs towards the bright red rock .. (from Swain's book). And took the 2nd gully (farthest back).

It took us 6 rappels, alot of downclimbing, some serious bushwhacking, and about 2 hours to exit the gully.

Supertopo has it right when it recommends rapping to the left of the route.

    ricardo
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Colt45

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
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   Apr 22, 2005 - 08:56pm
This is a cool route: I thought the supertopo grades were accurate except for pitch 10, which felt much harder than 5.6.

Continuing up on Chicken Lips is an awesome combo, featuring a mixture of gear- and bolt-protected climbing (the bolts are mostly 1/4"; however all the 'critical' bolts are 3/8"). Every pitch has varied and outstanding climbing. The route starts immediately after the 4th class chimney/slide in the Supertopo 'single rope rappel' description.
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vegastradguy

Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV
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   May 23, 2005 - 11:40am
George- thanks for the beta on the descent. I used this to get off of Solar Slab today with a single line and it worked great. Also, I loved the rap anchor! Too bad you cant back it up with another stopper so you could salvage that old Titon!
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rockgirl

Sport climber
Flagstaff, AZ
Dec 17, 2005 - 09:58pm
 
I can't believe people are arguing about 5.9 vs 10a! That's such a minor difference.

Anyways, thanks to everyone else who gave good beta, especially on the descent. I'm hoping to climb it later this month or early January.
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Floridaputz

Trad climber
Oakland Park Florida
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   Mar 21, 2006 - 02:40pm
I enjoyed Black Orpheus. The climbing definetly had it's moments, P8-11 for instance. P8 was narley at 5.9, but the crux, on the next pitch was short. 5.9+/5.10 ? Who knows. But it's a long and seenic route, with a cool summit. I found the decent easy even in the dark. We are good hikers though.
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malabarista

Trad climber
Portland, OR
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   May 2, 2006 - 01:24pm
On top of p1, Stay with the belay bolts on the left. The ones on the right are for another route. Easy route for the grade, but the pitch ratings are off, as noted by others, the top pitches are the best.
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Brutus of Wyde

climber
Old Climbers' Home, Oakland CA
Nov 9, 2008 - 06:00am
 
Mostly good descent beta. But the topo is definitely not up to par with most "Supertopo" route maps... particularly in the pitch ratings discussed by earlier posters.

P8 -- Entry Move past the solitary bolt into the crack is solid 5.9, and the awkward bulge exit from the Chimney is 5.8, unless you totally miss the fact that you can quite literally stem up the chimney until you grab the ledge. Both the Swain guide and the original Urioste guide agree.

P9 -- Definitely reach-dependent, and with short wing-span this move is solid 10a (by Red Rocks standards). On the topo, the loose blocks are pictured too low, and I would also add a rating of 5.7 and a "fragile" note to the 30-40 foot section of thin crack and fragile face climbing before the loose blocks belay at the base of the "5.6" corner. This is beyond the first big ledge at the end of the "splitter" crack.

P10: The original Uriost guide rated BOTH the finger crack and the layback up the corner 5.8, not 5.6. The Brock and the Handren guides call it 5.6. We felt the pitch is definitely harder than 5.6, and rating it 5.6 indicates that the guidebook authors (and others) have lost touch with the subtle differences between the "easier" grades.

At the very least, call it 5.7 as the Swain guides (RR and RR Select) do.

All in all a fantastic route, and many many thanks to Greg and others for the bolt replacement!

Brutus
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Black Orpheus Wall - Black Orpheus 5.10a - Red Rocks, Nevada USA. Click to Enlarge
Black Orpheus ascends a break in a huge overhung headwall via a cleanly fractured dihedral.
Photo: Greg Barnes
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