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Black Streak 

YDS: 5.10a/b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 19 British: E2 5b PG13

   
Type:  Trad, Alpine, 7 pitches, 800', Grade III
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10a/b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 19 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: James Garrett and Franziska Garrett, late 1980's. Bolt equipped with John Sweeley, 12-13 August 1995
Season: Summer
Page Views: 12,441
Submitted By: James Garrett on Jun 18, 2006

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Beautiful rock formations just right of the last b...

Please respect this beautiful area. Stay on established trails and do not trample any vegetation

Description 

Fun, 6-7 pitch alpine "sport" route. The first bolted route on the North Face of Devil's Castle and due to its inclusion in the Ruckman Guide, the most popular. Subsequently, it is also the cleanest and currently the one most free of loose rock.

Pitch #1: Face (~9 bolts) climb up the black water streak to a ledge and three bolt anchor. This was earlier protected by the gear friendly horizontals. 5.10a, 130'.

Pitch #2: Crux pitch goes through a roof and to the right to another ledge (where an original piton from the FA with a long sling helps protect the second). Now trend right up easy ground to bolted terrain through interesting pocketed overlaps and reach a bolt chained anchor. 5.10b, 100'.

Pitch #3: Pass two bolts and climb the left facing dihedral to the midway ledge. Be careful with the scree on the ledge. 5.8, 50'.

Pitch #4: Climb the low angle ramp passing a rap anchor at 100' and several bolts to a two bolt belay ledge. 5.4, 210'.

Pitch #5: Follow the bolts through a roof slightly to the right of the belay, then back left up hard pocketed face moves to the belay. Beware of possible loose scree at the belay. 5.9/10a, 100'.

Pitch #6: A fixed rope has been installed to protect the leader passing this unstable scree section to the beginning of the final pitch which starts 40 feet to the right on a huge ledge. 4th class, 40'. 2m to the right of this lone bolt at the end of the fixed line on the huge ledge is the beginning of the final 5.9, 5.6R pitch of Black Streak.

Pitch #7: Start in the alcove to right of the end of the fixed rope/bolt or climb directly to the first bolt. Just past the third bolt find a good #2 Camalot horizontal placement. From here, climb straight up toward the left edge of the huge dark roofs. The 4th bolt is often missed, but it is there. A faded sling (not girth hitched) left tied to the bolt long marked the spot, but was removed. Some of the pitons have been slung also for this reason to make them easier to find. The fun pocketed final moves won't feel quite so far away if you can clip this 4th bolt. 5.7R or 5.9 Direct Start,100'.

Scramble around to the right to the ridge line.

Location 

After approaching Devil's Castle from below, look for the obvious Black Water Streak to the right of the Little Apron....a popular ski descent in winter. To locate the route, refer to Brian Smoot's excellent overview photo/topo (on MP.com) of the numerous DC lines now available.
It is 7 rappels + the 40 feet traverse down climb from the bottom of the upper pitch to the rappel/belay station on top of pitch leading to the great ledge. If climbers are below or inclement weather threatens, do not rappel, but walk off to the West down a well worn trail.
The Black Streak rappels afford the easiest rappel down from all the North Face of Devil's Castle routes.

Protection 

QDs, small rack of cams to #3 Camalot


Photos of Black Streak Slideshow Add Photo
pitch 2
pitch 2
one of the upper pitches on black streak.
one of the upper pitches on black streak.
Thanks to the photographer (from the web) of looking down on the belay of Pitch #1 of Black Streak
Thanks to the photographer (from the web) of looki...
This is the little traverse from the last anchors to the summit ridge proper. Thomas is loving life.
This is the little traverse from the last anchors ...
wonderful rainbow in between the rain and hail storm.
wonderful rainbow in between the rain and hail sto...
Gettin psyched for the next ptch.
Gettin psyched for the next ptch.
Pulling over the last bulge on pitch 5.
Pulling over the last bulge on pitch 5.
Here is a good beta photo. The route follows the obvious black streak to its terminus and then continues to the top of the west summit.
BETA PHOTO: Here is a good beta photo. The route follows the o...
On last pitch, of Black Streak Enjoying the wide ledge with a great view
On last pitch, of Black Streak Enjoying the wide l...
At the base of the black streak
At the base of the black streak
The big ledge and fixed rope before the final pitch.
The big ledge and fixed rope before the final pitc...
Sweet anchor at the top of pitch 1.
Sweet anchor at the top of pitch 1.
Devils Castle from Albion Basin
Devils Castle from Albion Basin
Pitch 4, the big low-angled pitch.
Pitch 4, the big low-angled pitch.
Jules coming up the fixed line from top o ptch 5.
Jules coming up the fixed line from top o ptch 5.
Nico nears the crux on P2
Nico nears the crux on P2
View from Top of Black Streak
View from Top of Black Streak

Comments on Black Streak Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Aug 18, 2013
By tenesmus
Jun 18, 2006

This is a great time in an alpine setting. We walked around from the summit but can you rap this route and with what rope setup?
By wilcox510
Aug 19, 2007

Just did this today for the first time. A couple thoughts...As someone else said, I would not climb this route with another party above you. Way too much loose stuff. I wouldnt even rappel this route, the walkoff is very easy and scenic (bring hiking shoes). I would be afraid of all the loose rock when pulling the rope. The last pitch we did started about 40 feet LEFT, not right, of the fixed line mentioned. We continued on a bolted line for about 5 bolts worth of very cool climbing (felt about 5.10ish), then got into the easy open book to top out. Despite a fair bit of loose rock, this route has some great climbing, and is a welcome break from the heat down in the valley.
By wilcox510
Aug 24, 2007

After talking to James, it sounds like I wandered all over the Castle. Apparently I started on Black streak but then finished on Evil Eye, so my description above isnt really accurate for Black Streak. However, it sounds like the last pitch of Evil Eye may be the best top-out pitch, so you might want to consider this link up. That last pitch is rated 5.11, but 5.11 is about my limit and I lead it without too much difficulty, so give it a shot (sweet climbing on the last pitch!)
By mike pond
Sep 4, 2007

great route, great pro, great exposure, the castle is very special. a 60m rope is needed for the rap descent, and very little gear is needed. four stars.
By Spencer Weiler
From: SLC, UT
Jul 14, 2008

Climbed it 7/12/08. We got rained on by pebbles to tennis ball sized rocks for most of the time. Most of the rock is solid, but we still pulled off quite a few holds. Did not place one piece of gear, nor would I trust any possible placements anyway. Runout parts are easy. We did not rope up for pitch 4, and pitch 6 isn't even a pitch. The best part about the route is the alpine setting. Do it, bring a helmet, and don't rappell.
By icsteveoh
From: salt lake city, UT
Aug 10, 2008
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

did it 8/10/08 with helmets and rappelling and the unusual august hail. only got up to the piton on the 5th pitch before "severe weather" moved in. 60meter rope is pushing it rapping down but we didn't have a choice - bailed on a quick link. I wouldn't be so worried about rapping this route since most of the belay stations are not under the anchors and are protected enough from rock fall with the pulling of the rope. Just be smart.

A 60 meter rope can get you down but you'll be 10 feet off the ground with rope stretch on the first pitch. a 70 would be ideal. We untied the knots so we could rap off the end to a decent ledge.

Didn't place one piece of pro up to where we made it. Won't be carrying that stuff again when I go back tomorrow.

gully to the east had a rope in it and lots of rock fall - whats up with that?

EDIT: 8-11-08: Got to the summit today and rapped back down with a 60 followed the hand line double roped rapped to the eye hooks double roped to the 3 bolt anchor doubled to the first pitch and doubled down. Hung the rope at the top of the 3rd pitch but some how it came undone. Party of 3 car to car sans shuttle on the way down took 6 hours to the summit and 3 hours back to the car.
By Moonfri
Aug 20, 2009

Amazingly clean (still wear helmets). This whole climb can be lead with just qd's no gear required=)bring a jacket it gets a little chilly when the wind picks up. Give it a whirl this climbs a blast.
By Daniel Winder
Sep 1, 2009
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Pitch 3 goes at maybe 5.5 and can easily be combined with pitch 2 to gain the top of the black steak. Pitch 4 is mostly easy 4th class until a red sling is reached. We roped here for a short pitch which put us at the bottom of pitch 5. As others have said, pitch 6 is just a scree covered ledge. Awesome route.
By Landon McBrayer
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Jul 24, 2010

The alpine setting and the length are the only redeeming qualities of this route. A few things to note:
-the bolts are much further apart than the description suggests--sometimes 40 ft or so. Protection is semi difficult to find, and usually marginal.
-Pitch 3 should be combined with P2, and there are only 2 bolts on P3 (50ft).
-P4 is about 240 ft, with 3 or so bolts and glue-in rap anchors @200.
-the "walk-off" is more like a scramble sketch-fest.
-get ready for Devil's choss, because that's all that's up there.
By Steve Downes
Jul 24, 2010

Did it yesterday. I second Doons' observation about Pitch # 4. it is 240+ feet not 100ft. If you are roped up, this makes a big difference. A full 60meter rope length gets you to the rap anchors but not the anchors at the base of Pitch # 5. Of course if you are soloing around in the rubble it doesn't matter.

Given that most agree this is not a loose route, I can't wait for the real loose ones on this crag : )
By apross
Jul 25, 2010

Downes at The Devils Castle, you feeling ok Steve?
By Steve Downes
Jul 28, 2010

Back t't roots. Except in the land of our roots you would have to go to Craig Doris or some such to get rock as quality as this.
By Tristan Higbee
From: Cambodia
Aug 3, 2010
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Awesome route. The rock was a lot better than I thought it would be. Nothing on the route felt like PG-13. There's gear or a bolt wherever you need it. The first pitch is the best. It's absolutely perfect black limestone with great holds everywhere. I thought all of the route's cruxes were about the same difficulty.

For trad gear, we brought everything from .3 to 3 Camalot and used them all except the .4. Didn't bring or need any nuts. Your mileage may vary. I combined pitch 5 with pitch 6; so instead of belaying at the top of pitch 5 and at the base of the fixed rope, I just kept going and belayed at the far right end of the fixed rope. The belay there took a blue and red Camalot in addition to the one bolt.

Pitch 4 seemed to us to be 210'... We had a 70 meter rope and had a bit left over.
By Nat Shultz
From: Salt Lake City, Utah
Aug 5, 2010

Just did this route a few days ago and I agree w/ Tristan - much more mellow than I had anticipated. We placed a .75 BD twice and that was it for trad gear. Not worth bringing in my opinion. There are bolts everywhere you need them to be. We opted to rap off and no worries there; but don't do it w/ people below. You will be knocking rocks down as you go and pull your rope. Enjoy!
By Michael Buchanan
Aug 17, 2010
rating: 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b

Love the sporty nature of the route. Not runout, parental guidance is not needed for children under 13. The crux moves are all well-protected.
By Boissal
From: Small Lake, UT
Jul 26, 2011
rating: 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

A couple things to add here:

. As somebody else mentioned earlier, link P2-3 and P5-6. Use long runners for the upper section of P2 and P3 to minimize rope drag. P6 isn't a pitch per-say. Clip the 1st bolt used to secure the fixed line short, it will keep your rope from running across the choss and send boulders on your 2nd.

. It's easy to get lost on the 5.easy choss scramble on P4. From the top of P3 head straight up aiming for the left side of a very distinctive white roof feature and you'll be fine. BSmoot has been tying short pieces or red webbing to some of the bolts of his lines on DC. It would be helpful in places...
I wandered a bit right and never found bolts/rap anchors. Ended up spotting the anchors a ways to the left, tying into a shrub and bringing up my partner to a piece so I could traverse over. A 60m rope is definitely too short for that pitch and I wouldn't feel comfortable unroping. Gear useful on this pitch to keep the rope out of shrubs/cracks but you won't miss the rack if you don't bring it.

. P7 (the last) seemed oddly runout with 3 closely spaced bolts then nothing for about 50' of not-so-easy climbing. I thought my partner had wandered off route and missed the bolts but didn't find any when climbing straight up. Not very many gear opportunities so watch yourself there, lots of looseness.

. Walk off routes on the Castle. It's super casual and you really want to minimize the amount of time you spend exposed to rock fall. Besides the usual hail of random pebbles we witnessed a refrigerator-sized block take off from halfway up the face about 500' to the right of the route. If wasn't far from Gothic Pillar and very close to Portable Darkness. Seeing what it did to the boulders it hit after sliding down the snow patch made my stomach turn... I know rappelling of stuff that has a "tough" walkoff is all the rage these days but you're gonna look like an asshole when you get flattened by one of these murderous blocks or vaporize someone climbing below you (it happens - idiots abound and can't be reasoned with).
By SamP
Aug 28, 2011

Straight forward route finding, good climbing and, for the most part, solid rock. Wear helmets, tread lightly and have fun! A couple of things: We found that a single set of cams to #3 camalot is serious overkill. I think we had three cam placements on the whole route. red alien, butterscotch alien and a gold (#2) camalot. Also, we found it best to walk over and move the belay to directly below the last pitch, avoiding horrid rope drag and the looseness on the ledge.
By Keelan Johns
From: SLC, UT
Aug 29, 2011

I'd have to agree with others who say that bringing a single set is overkill. If you are comfortable leading .10 sport then you are probably comfortable running out 5.5. I think I placed one cam in the top 50 feet. If I were you, I would bring 2 link cams (2 and .75) if you have them (or just a 2 and a .5 camalot).

I also got a bit mixed up at the top and looking back realized we did the last pitch of Evil Eye (highly recommended) instead of the last pitch on Black Streak. Great top-out there! Dare I try and dub this mix up "black-eye"...? (Those two names were asking for it ;)

Super fun, mellow, and not too crumbly (in certain sections)!
Definitely walk off.
By Andrewprime1
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Sep 7, 2011
rating: 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b PG13

I did this last friday with my buddy Alex Quitiquit. What an awesome climb! We have been looking forward to doing this route for a while and finally got it done. Over all I feel like it was a great climb, I even had fun on the scree pitch... The last pitch was super run out, wish we would have had a number two camalot, oh well, it wasn't that bad. I just dont understand why no one put another bolt up there? I mean, if you did fall, you would deck pretty hard.

We did manage to pulled off two holds. one near the crux of pitch two, and another on the last pitch somewhere. My advice would be to bring a dome cap and at .75 and 2 size BD/ link cam. Also, it was a bit chilly, bring a jacket.
By Alex Quitiquit
From: Salt Lake City
Oct 17, 2011
rating: 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b

Serious compliments to Garrett and the chefs...

A potential Wasatch classic in terms of exposure, weekend adventure, and route aesthetics.

First 3 pitches make the climb. Link Pitch 2 and 3 together.

First pitch has about 9 bolts, second pitch has about the same (9) and the third has 2 bolts (slightly runout but on easy terrain)

Pitch 4 is a long 68m pitch and gives reason enough to bring the 70m cord instead of the 60m. Aim for the left side of the large white roof on the headwall above and you'll run into the anchors. If you only has a 60m, you'll stumble upon a set of pin anchors at about mid-pitch to belay to the anchors. Wouldn't recommend un-roping for this pitch because of exposure.

Pitch 5 is solid and technical. 5 bolts maybe.

Pitch 6 is more or less a small scramble along a fixed line (I think this is the line used by skiers who attempt the traverse along this ledge in the winter) You'll see the bolt line for pitch 7.

Pitch 7 starts with three closely spaced bolts followed by a lengthy runout on 5.7 climbing. Apparently there is a bolt somewhere along this stretch but I failed to find it. Could have placed a #2 BD somewhere. But not too bad as a run-out. About 5 or 6 bolts

Rack: 11 QD's and maybe a few cams #1,#2 BD. Or a #2 Link. A jacket. A DOME PROTECTOR... don't forget it.

Walk off. It's super mellow and quite scenic.

We went car to car in about 4 hrs. Spent a lot of time on the summit enjoying the view. Enjoy!
By Buddy
Jul 5, 2012

Climbed Black Streak on the 4th of July. Very little snow remaining at the base of the climb. Linked pitches 2-3 and 5-6 together, as suggested in previous comments, using 70m rope. For pitch 7, followed the 3 bolts up the direct start, used a #1 Camalot mid-way through ~35 foot run-out, then followed 4 more bolts, trending to the left, to the summit. Walked off. Beautiful day to be in the mountains.
By Jamotron
From: Salt Lake City, Utah
Jul 28, 2012

this climb is rad. favorite 1/2 day climb in the wasatch under my belt so far. 4-5 hours car to car, great rock - devil's choss is up there - just don't grab it. Bring a 70m, yellow C3,.3/.5/.75/#1/#2 or something of that sort, doobie or 2, summit beers, HELLMET and take the walk off to the west follow the ridge until you reach grassy patch just past a bunch of brown shale. nice lil trail leads u right back down to civi.
By Greg G
From: SLC, UT
Aug 2, 2012
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13

easy to link this climb with sugarloaf, and baldy. a bonus would be to stash a car at snowbird then take the tram down for beers...maybe i'll do that next time.
By BJB
From: Austin, TX
Aug 16, 2012

Near the start of Black Streak there is a mysterious looking rope dangling in a crack to the left. Wondering what it was for, I approached it and was scared away by a massive shower of fist sized rocks that fell without warning from the top of the mountain. Stay away from the dangling rope!

This climb reminded me a lot of Squawstruck in Rock Canyon: 5 great pitches, two lousy scramble pitches; lots of loose rock; massive exposure; long sport climb in a spectacular setting.

We only placed two cams on the whole thing and braved pretty serious runouts as a result. If you're a sport climber, you're going to think the bolts are too far apart. If you're a trad climber you probably won't even bother to bring supplemental gear.

We could not see an easy way to walk off from the top, so anyone who can offer more details on that will save the next team from the horrifying rappel/rock shower that awaits them.
By Alex Quitiquit
From: Salt Lake City
Aug 26, 2012
rating: 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b

Climbed again in team of 3, threesome simul climbed the 4th pitch and ran together the 2 and 3, car to car in about 2hrs 45mins... Trundled a block off the last pitch near the top.

Brandon, the walk off can be seen if you look west from atop the small boulder/spire that awaits after the final pitch. Head west along the ridge line before heading south down the slope for a bit before continue west along very distinguished trail. So much better than the potential death that awaits those who rap... why not walk off? It's so mellow it hurts.
By Jen Vaisman
From: San Francisco, CA
Jul 22, 2013

Loose rock loose rock!!!
This was an interesting climb. Longish approach through the loose talus field. The climb is interesting... Pretty consistent and true to the rating.
Just beware of tons of loose Rock. Be mindful if rapping off of anyone below you. I swear, you just look at this limestone and it breaks off.

The views are incredible. I found the P1 to be the trickiest with a spicy roof move.

FYI: bring a 70 to rap. If you have two, even better... You can link pitches on the rap!
By matt steward
Aug 18, 2013

I'm not picking on the poster but when someone starts their post by saying "loose rock loose rock!!!" and then finishes by suggesting double rope raps are the way to descend??? Ever had rock fall hit a rope while rapping? Certainly one way to get the chop. Not to mention a party below you on the most popular route on the castle? The approach is short. The walk off is easy.

As many have said, rapping this route from the top is not a good idea.

Anyway, my 2 cents, have fun!