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Black In Action 

YDS: 5.10+ French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ British: E3 5b

   
Type: Trad, 8 pitches, 800', Grade III
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10+ French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ British: E3 5b [details]
FA: BG, MP, BK
New Route: Yes
Season: Spring through Fall
Page Views: 753
Submitted By: Ben Kiessel on Jul 22, 2013
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Route with belays.

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2013 Raptor Closures MORE INFO >>>

Description 

This route is in the shade all morning and early afternoon. The top bit seems to get some sun later in the day. You will however get some sun while traversing the towers back to the notch below Cross Fissures Overlook.

Pitch 1 - Climb the obvious crack up the face of the pillar, escape left on face holds to a belay ledge, 80', 5.10-.

Pitch 2 - Follow the crack systems up using lots of face holds. Move left at about 150' to a secondary crack when the primary crack flares above an alcove. Belay at a stance at the top of the steep wall and at the base of a mossy slab section, 200', 5.10+.

Pitch 3 - "the bush-width pitch". Climb up the mossy slab then right up a corner to the highest point of the pillar that makes up the lower portion of the formation, 150', 5.7.

Pitch 4 - Climb the crack off the top of the pillar through a small roof to the top of a pillar/flake. Traverse left on face holds to a flared chimney/v-slot. Climb chimney then traverse back right to another pillar. Layback/bear hug pillar to its top move right to a short corner system, continue up and belay below overhanging off width, 5.10, 180'.

Pitch 5 - Climb past the off width on face holds on the left wall. Continue up cracks staying slightly left to a ledge below a chimney, 5.9, 200'.

Pitch 6 - Climb the chimney above to a ledge and easy ground to the summit, 5.7, 60'.

From the summit rappel or down climb 5.4 to a notch (no fixed anchor).

Pitch 7 - Climb up a chimney/corner to the lookers left then traverse around the left side of the tower to a ledge 15' above the second notch, 5.4, 110'.

Rappel or downclimb 5.5 for 70', then downclimb 4th class to the large notch below the Cross Fissures Overlook (no fixed anchor).

Pitch 8 - From the notch, climb dirty cracks up to a good two bolt anchor right of the overlook, 5.8, 250'.


Location 

Park at the Cross Fissures Overlook pullout. Walk west 100 yards further, and enter the bushy gully on the right with big pines in it also. The bushes go away after 5 minutes or so. Descend approximately 30 minutes to the route on the skiers right marked with cairns.


Protection 

Double set to #3 Camalot, one #4 Camalot, stoppers, & 60 meter rope.



Photos of Black In Action Slideshow Add Photo
Looking up at Matt on pitch 4.
Looking up at Matt on pitch 4.
Looking up at Matt on pitch 1.
Looking up at Matt on pitch 1.
Looking up at pitch 2.
Looking up at pitch 2.
Topo.
Topo.
Comments on Black In Action Add Comment
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By Bill Grasse
From: Durango, CO.
Aug 7, 2013

The story about the route:

It was my birthday, and that, naturally, is a perfect excuse to go climbing for a couple of days. Our first objective was the route Cairns. In the middle of the complex (and awesome) ridge back to the rim, we looked at this striking tower to the south. After watching the next days planed adventure roast in the sun all day, we decided to just go for it on the tower.

I remember thinking that I was glad we were using Ben's rack as we were descending the surprisingly easy gully to the tower. After all, we were going for a first ascent in The Black with no aid gear or bolt kit. Just, in the true spirit of the canyon, going for it: a rope, a rack, and the shirts on our backs... and water, bars, extra layers, and a crappy picture from the day before but you get the point. Best birthday present ever! After the three of us had not climbed much in the last couple of months, we stood on top of a first ascent in the Black Canyon... we felt like this was a testament that we were Black in Action and ready for more adventures in the fall.

By eDixon
From: Durango, Colorado
Aug 8, 2013

Nice work on the route, guys, and a great birthday present for BG indeed. Good style up a cool formation. Can't wait to try the route!

By phil broscovak
Aug 12, 2013

Big BLACK Kudos to you, guys. This looks like a fine new route. I love the "No easy way out" exit. Adds to the adventure.

By chris Kalous
Aug 17, 2013

Ha. I was planning to go climb an "FA" on that pillar, basically your line, next weekend! Had only glanced at it from the overlook across the way. Not now. Good looking route. Good work.