Black is Brown
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BETA PHOTO: Chopper on Black is Brown.
This climb is at the left end of the Church Bowl.
A 5.7 lieback leads to 5.8 hands. After a scary step right, continue up to a ledge.
Rappel 80' or down-climb 4th class to the left.
Pro to 2".
5.8 goes right at this point. .10ish wacky pin sca...
|Comments on Black is Brown
From: Sacramento, CA
Jun 15, 2007
"Black is Brown" is ~145' to the rap tree and requires 2 ropes to rap (or about 30' of grungy down-climbing if rapping the plumb line). The "80' to ground" indicated on page 118 in the Supertopo guidebook is incorrect.
|By Joe Dawson|
Oct 23, 2007
~145 foot rap is correct. Bring two ropes.
|By Steve R.|
From: Oakland, CA
Mar 30, 2009
Cool climb! Thought the finger crack section felt more like a 5.9 than the 5.8 SuperTopo rates it, even for the Valley. Glad to see others here agree.
I'll third the two-rope rap comment. The 4th class descent off left is quick and easy.
Apr 18, 2009
this climb is a total sandbag. I would considerate a hard 5.9 compared to other valley 5.9's
|By S. Stember|
From: St. Paul, MN
May 22, 2009
Whoa, thanks guys. The other posts on this page have successfully salvaged my dignity as a climber. 5.8 MA!! The 5.10a (revelations I think?) to the right about 20ft. felt easier than is piece of work. And yeah, definitely bring two ropes or scramble off to the left. This may be the biggest yosemite sandbag I've ever experienced!
|By Jamie Givens|
Sep 3, 2009
totally agree, this climb was really sandbagged...If its 5.8 its the most Ive ever worked for an 8! Great climb though.
|By Floyd Hayes|
Aug 2, 2010
The ST topo is confusing. I used a large cam (Camalot #4) to protect the crux move on the "steep 5.8 hands," which seemed much harder than 5.8. My son and I both thought it was at least 5.10a, compared with other 5.10s we recently climbed in the valley. A third companion was unable to do it but instead climbed the lower angle crack a few feet to the right, which she said was much easier--and presumably the 5.8 version (I don't know how well it protects). Higher up at the "big step right" there appeared to be several options; what seemed easiest to me was a mixture of 5.8 face and crack climbing out to the far right and returning left to the main crack near the top. Use long slings to avoid rope drag (or the optional belay below the "big step right") and beware of some loose flakes that likely would not hold a fall. You'll need 2 ropes to rappel unless you travers class 4 to the left.
From: Clearfield, UT
Sep 7, 2010
I did this one two different ways, one way is 5.8, the other was more like 5.10. For the 5.8 version, after the big step right, continue up and right following some seams and 5.8 friction until you meet up with the crack again for the last 15 feet or so. This way is somewhat runout, but I was able to get a small nut in just before the 5.8 friction. For the 5.10 version, after the big step right, immediately step back left into the crack and follow it to the top. As has been said, bring a second rope for the rap.
From: Portlandia, OR
Oct 11, 2010
Most sandbagged .8 in the Valley.
|By Mark P Thomas|
Feb 7, 2011
rating: 5.8 PG13
I agree with kennoyce's comment. Going further right the terrain stays more mild, but pro is sparse and many of the moves are on slab or seams with lots of loose grit to make things slippery.
The route might actually be a lot nicer staying in the crack and doing the .10a variation.
Also note that the area above the route is extremely loose - worse than the Five Open Books Area. We knocked a rock off at the rappel and it landed near the base of Uncle Fanny & Church Bowl Lieback.
|By Rodger Raubach|
Mar 13, 2011
I believe this is best done in 2 short leads to keep from knocking rocks down on the belayer. First 50 feet is the meat of this route and I rate it 5.9 minus. The next 90 or so feet are easier but still at the 5.8 level. Protects well. The ledge at the top is covered with loose debris, so be careful.
|By Rodger Raubach|
Mar 14, 2011
Point of Information: I checked my old green Roper guidebook, and it was listed as a 5.9 there.
|By Eric T.|
From: St. Augustine, Florida
Apr 30, 2011
Just did this route last week. It was still pretty wet and mossy and definitely felt more like a 9 than an 8 to me!
|By Ryan Justen|
From: St. Paul, MN
May 18, 2011
much closer to 5.9 than 5.8. I found out you need to 2 ropes the hard way... when my belayer told me he was out of rope while I was still a ways off the ground...
There appeared to be 2 options about half way up: direct steep fingers/hands or a right slabby sidepull (easier) option. Both end in the same place before the top. Which is the correct way?
From: Reno, NV
Oct 11, 2011
I absolutely agree with the above comments. If you are looking for a 5.8 warm-up, look elsewhere. It should be called 8 is 9.
From: San Jose
Oct 11, 2011
Did not expect to find this route so good! Harder than it rated.
With 80 m you can rap to the ground. Be careful and make party below you aware that you are rapping- a lot of loose rocks on top of the climb
From: Salt Lake City, UT
May 8, 2012
One of the more sandbagged and terrifying routes I have done. They say you don't need a #3, but I sure wished I had one at the mid-point of the climb.
I wouldn't really recommend this route. But for the record, we rapped off with a single 70 m all the way to the ground.
From: San Francisco
Jun 4, 2012
Its a 9+ and trail a second rope to rap
|By Mr Snrub|
Jun 15, 2012
I'm so glad to see everyone calling this sandbagged. Did this a few years ago expecting it to be a cool down, found it quite hard and dirty. No way this is 5.8 even by Yosemite standards.
From: Camp 4 or something
Feb 5, 2013
Has anyone gone straight up above the fixed pin where the 5.8 goes right? The rock is kinda bad and thin so it's difficult to protect. Did this route on aid last weekend just to have a look at that section.
Also took a few of the smaller loose rocks and brought them down safely. Still got those couple choppers up there! :-)
|By Cimbing Ivy|
From: Sierra northside
Feb 27, 2013
it's an awkward, off-balancy, sandy slabby broken seam-to-crack "face climb" that i nonetheless enjoyed very much. "8 is 9" would be a great nickname for it indeed :)
for the record, we rapped with a single 70m to climber right and it reaches all the way to the ground with 1.5 feet to spare.
From: Oakland, CA
Apr 23, 2013
Climbed this a couple of weeks ago. Had no guidebook and didn't know what it was, so just went straight up following the crack.
Thought it was 5.9+, fun, dirty and a bit flakey above the pin anchor. Never stepped right, must have been tunnel visioning on the crack. Crux was moving through a brief, steep section where the crack vanishes and you have to stem for glory.
Super, super loose up top on the ending ledge.