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Franklin Gorge
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Black Magic 

YDS: 5.12d French: 7c Ewbanks: 28 UIAA: IX British: E6 6b

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 30'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.12d French: 7c Ewbanks: 28 UIAA: IX British: E6 6b [details]
FA: Mike Farnsworth
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 532
Submitted By: Mike Farnsworth on Dec 14, 2012
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Black Magic


NEW line as of 12/13/12.

This one will require some trickery!

Climb a very easy vertical face past one bolt (watch for a loose rock or two at the start), then punch it out the 10' dead horizontal roof. The route is essentially a bolted boulder problem. A single tight hands jam seemed mandatory, but this isn't the crack posted on rockclimbing(dot)com. I haven't been able to find that line. I'm not sure about the grade, but 12d seems fair. Climb it! I doubt you'll be disappointed!


The general location is: right of Blood, Sweat, and Chalk, left of Castaways. The climb begins uphill and left from two routes of similar character (vertical with a small roof/overlap at midheight), one of which begins on a pedestal. Scramble up a small hill from these routes to reach the base under a large roof. There are two routes here. Black Magic is the left route that climbs straight out the center of the roof using a seam and 1' right facing corner.


4 Bolts to tree anchor (sling)

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By Mike Farnsworth
Dec 16, 2012

Here's a video:
Black Magic on Vimeo

By AndyJohnson
From: Alexandria, VA
Jan 15, 2013

This Franklin roof crack on rockclimbing(dot)com is also listed there as the trad route Skid Marks. Black Magic looks exciting, nice work.

By Mike Farnsworth
Mar 16, 2013

I'll consider adding an anchor here, but think it would be obtrusive for the top moves of the climb. This is somewhat hard to explain, but once you establish on the vertical face, they would stare right at you. Also, if someone can set a TR on a tree, would it be safe to assume that they could simply reach down to clip one on the anchors four inches below the cliff top? In any case, top-roping dead horizontal roofs isn't recommended for a variety of reasons.

Also, the route is probably closer to 13a after receiving feedback from others.

By Mike Farnsworth
Apr 1, 2013

Ok... I'll let everyone make their own judgments here, but I'd like to say a few things:

1. The bolts are all stainless and 3.5".

2. The tree is solid, near the cliff edge, and equipped with slings and rings for lowering. I've encountered tree anchors at hundreds of climbing areas. This is common practice.

3. The route is really good, requiring complex movement drawing from a number of climbing skill sets. It is not contrived. Most importantly, it is not dangerous. I enjoyed the process of climbing this route more than I can hope to describe here. I hope someone else enjoys it... Please let me know if you do. I'd be thrilled to hear about your experience.