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Cactus Cliff
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Black Slabbeth 

YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ British: E1 5a

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 60'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI British: E1 5a [details]
FA: Pat Thompson, Rick Thompson, 2000
Page Views: 1,416
Submitted By: Kreighton Bieger on Mar 17, 2002
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Side view of me leading Black Slabbeth.


Black Slabbeth is the last route in the alcove of moderate routes that starts with a bolted 5.5 on the left, and includes Red Eclipse, Amiga, and OL' 47. Step across some junky rocks and cacti to gain the bottom of a black slab that is bolted up the middle and has a crack on each side. Nine bolts in about 60' make this an incredibly safe lead for the aspiring 5.10a leader.

Good luck finding the 10a moves. I climbed mostly in the right crack, and the route felt like 5.8-5.9. Maybe the left crack is harder, but staying out of both cracks, which are about 5' apart, seems incredibly contrived.

Still a fun, safe route for someone looking to break into 5.9/5.10 sport climbing.


9 bolts.

Photos of Black Slabbeth Slideshow Add Photo
Cactus Cliff - Right (1). <br /> <br />The Price is Right is now named Legend on the Fall. <br /> <br />La Estacion de Shelf is now named La Temperatura de Shelf.
BETA PHOTO: Cactus Cliff - Right (1).

The Price is Right is n...
Kreighton bieger on Black Slabbeth. OL' 47 is the face to the left, and Amiga is the steep, chalked line left of the arete in the photo.
Kreighton bieger on Black Slabbeth. OL' 47 is the ...
Using the crack like I did make this route easier than 10a.
Using the crack like I did make this route easier ...
Comments on Black Slabbeth Add Comment
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By Rick Thompson
From: Mount Nebbiolo, CO
Mar 22, 2002

Black Slabbeth is a route enjoyed by many. Not the highest of quality, but certainly not a choss pile either. In fact, after departing from the initial section, one finds fine-quality slab climbing with a hard patina surface. The route can be climbed in a variety of ways: there's a flake/crack on the left, and a flake/crack on the right with a narrow face between. The flakes diverge as one climbs higher on the route. Eventually the panel widens enough to abandon the flanking features. Continue up clean rock to the anchors. It is on this clean face where the 10a slab moves will be found.

Distances seem to be at issue here, but as an architect who works with dimensions day in and out I can assure you it's a lot wider than five feet. I don't doubt that one can climb either of the flakes pretty much all the way to the anchors without getting onto the face (although you'll have to reach pretty far to clip the bolts), and I suspect one would not encounter 10a climbing if they were to climb it that way. Indeed, when one lowers to the ground after clipping the anchors you'll have used approximately 60 feet of rope. Is it over-bolted or under-bolted? It seems there are many styles in which we all choose to climb. Some get a thrill out of a gonad-stimulating runout, while others might consider the same route dangerous. And that, my friends, is the beauty of our sport. Climbing is many things to many people, and I've always felt that variety IS the spice of life. If indeed you think this route is over-bolted no one is forcing you to clip all of them. By all means, if you think there are too many then clip every other one! Or every third bolt if it suits your fancy.

By Larry Shaw
Jul 17, 2004
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a

I climbed in the right crack until the final panel and it felt prety easy.

By Dean Cool
From: Boulder, CO
Oct 8, 2006

Some funky moves throughout the route. Watch your head when making your last move.

By usernameremoved
Sep 24, 2007

Good climb, but the left crack is definitely easier. Hard to reach the bolts from the left side, but cool climb nonetheless.

By Joe Mokrycki
From: Lincoln, Nebraska
Sep 29, 2008

I believe the 10a rating is for the face climb. Stay off the flakes and it is a worthy route. The crux is just before the last bolt before the anchor, forcing the leader to commit to a sequence of 10a moves with the reward being the safety of a bolt. The price of failure is a clean 15 foot fall. So, if you want the 10a rating follow the bolt line up the face.

By Steve Knapp
From: Highlands Ranch, CO
Nov 22, 2008
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a

I agree with Joe. The only 10a moves on this route are probably on the face. The crack to the right of the bolts is fun though and probably goes at 5.9 only on the toughest move. It is a worthy route though any way you do it. A couple nice finger jams in the crack.

By Dave G
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Nov 23, 2008

I totally screwed up this route on lead, bypassing one bolt on the right midway up and then missing the chains and climbing onto the ledge about 8 feet above the chains. Not a good idea as there is lots of loose crap on top. I sent a couple of rocks down toward my belayer and must have missed the 5.10 section.

By Dave Bohn aka "Old Fart"
Nov 24, 2008

This climb has a pretty contentious history from the past.

I was involved with many long series of posts that were deleted years ago by the mod's regarding this route.

Thankfully, someone has posted a few photos of the route.

Clip from the right crack, clip from the left, chase the bolt's ???

Where is the actual route ?

By boulderkeith
From: Boulder, CO
May 7, 2013
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a

Worst of sport. Contrived, narrow, requires you to ignore large, obvious, natural features. You can climb the left crack and clip the left or right to a line of bolts (long arms and draws required). You can climb the right crack and clip left. Neither is 10a. Or if you really insist, you can stay out of the obvious cracks and climb a slabby route up the middle. Dog food. Climb something else.