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Black Bluff - N. Face (Right Side)
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Aurora Borealis 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI British: HVS 5a

   
Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 80'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Eric Tipton, Pat Brennan 6-99
Page Views: 1,201
Submitted By: Chris Owen on Aug 14, 2011
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Aurora Borealis

Description 

Singer is justified in calling this one of the best 5.9 crack climbs in the SBs. It is a wonderful climb in a wonderful setting - nice and athletic with great moves up fine grained granite.

Work your way up the off width inside the flake, flakes and holds on the right prove most useful. The crux comes next with a hand traverse onto to a ledge on the left (very nice). Now follow the crack up over a couple of overlaps to the business. A splitter crack snakes it way up the face, but features to the left and good rest spots make this section a blast.

Finish up to the ledge in a flaring pod, which can be negotiated using face holds on either side.

Sit and ponder the expansive view while bringing up your second.


Location 

Right facing lieback flake on the right side of the north face.


Protection 

Standard rack of Friends #1 to #4. With a #5 at the start. Two bolt anchor - rappel off, 60m rope sufficient.
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Photos of Aurora Borealis Slideshow Add Photo
Scott at the off width prior to the traverse, photo by Manila Angileri.
Scott at the off width prior to the traverse, phot...
Parker in the business.
Parker in the business.
Parker Fagrelius starting up.
Parker Fagrelius starting up.
Chris Owen on Aurora Borealis, photo by Manila Angileri.
Chris Owen on Aurora Borealis, photo by Manila Ang...
Chris belays Scott up the splitter, photo by Manila Angileri.
Chris belays Scott up the splitter, photo by Manil...
Scott Nomi on the starting moves, ignoring the lure of the off width, photo by Manila Angileri.
Scott Nomi on the starting moves, ignoring the lur...
The start of Aurora Borealis.
BETA PHOTO: The start of Aurora Borealis.
Comments on Aurora Borealis Add Comment
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By C Miller
Administrator
Sep 9, 2011
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a

This is a great route with lots of variety throughout it's length. You can get away without the #5 at the start by going a little higher and gettting a blue Alien (or equivalent) at the top of the initial wide crack. Save a #4 Friend (or equivalent) for the wide flare at the top.

By Chris Owen
Administrator
From: La Crescenta and Big Bear Lake
Oct 10, 2011

Good advice Chris - I used a #4 Friend in that flare.

By Jeff Botimer
Jun 25, 2013
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a

Fantastic route. I found the #3 camalot to be a slightly better fit than the #4, but the #4 worked.