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Black Sun  

YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b PG13

   
Type:  Trad, 6 pitches, 650', Grade III
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: Warren Egbert/Dave Wonderly 1989
Page Views: 248
Submitted By: Xavier Wasiak on Apr 1, 2013

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BETA PHOTO: Chimney on pitch 3.

Description 

Overall, this is a fun route with some good pitches. A few “probably a really bad idea to fall right now” moments in 9-10a territory keep this from being a route I wholeheartedly recommend. You want to be solid at adventure climbing and plan on topping out. Bailing after the first pitch will cost you some gear.

Pitch 1, 110' (10c) Climb a right facing corner (the left most) up to where the corner turns to the right. You’ll diagonal left across the face and three bolts and gear and finally up to the base of a shallow and thin corner. Bolted anchor.

Pitch 2, 100' (10) All the guidebooks gave this pitch a 10a. Climb straight up the thin seem (wires) to a really fun finger crack with interesting and memorable climbing. Continue up to a bolt and look up at an impressive slightly overhanging headwall with a couple of thin cracks. Take a deep breath and traverse diagonally right underneath this headwall and across the face to a thin crack leading straight up to the base of the chimney of pitch 3. Gear anchor (bigger pieces BD #3/#4).

Pitch 3, 100' (9) Up the chimney eventually making a slight jog to the right before continuing up and taking the left of two cracks. Gear anchor. The guidebooks end the pitch here saying that it ends below a roof. We found that not to be the case and there was another pitch before the roof.

Pitch 4, 90' (9) Climb straight up a finger crack with plenty of face holds to belay below a roof. Gear anchor. You could combine 3 & 4, I believe. Combined, it would be a long pitch and not 90'.

Pitch 5, 180' (10) The rock quality below the roof sucks. The roof spans a horizontal distance of at least 30’ and is of good rock. Pick the line of least resistance (or most fun) and go at it keeping in mind that your gear probably sucks. The difficulties subside quickly and you diagonal right to the big corner climbing fun huecos for as long as you can. Gear anchor at the base of a chimney.

Pitch 6, 70-80' (6) Up the chimney to an obvious exit and the top.

The first two pitches are really fun, good, with memorable movement. Rock quality on parts of 3 and 4 and the initial section of 5 make this a heady undertaking.

Location 

Black Sun is located on the right side of the Western Spaces Wall. The most notable features are the right facing corners on the right. The left most of these marks the start of the route.

Once on top, head straight back towards a wall then down the gully where you will encounter your first single rope rap off of a tree with tat and a couple of carabiners. Scramble down to a two bolt rap anchor on the right side of the gully. A single rope rap gets you down to a big sloping ledge area (probably a river when it rains) to the next bolted anchor on the left. Two double rope raps will get you down to the gully, on the far skiers left side of the Western Spaces Wall and really close to your pack.

Protection 

Full rack up to a BD#4 with doubles BD #.4 to #2 and a set of nuts, including small wires, is what we took. An extra #3 & #4 could be used on pitch 3 and 5 but not likely elsewhere. Only pitch 1 has bolted anchors. All bolts are 1989/90 and appeared to be in decent shape.


Photos of Black Sun Slideshow Add Photo
Route, from near base.
BETA PHOTO: Route, from near base.
Bearing down on crimps on pitch 1.
Bearing down on crimps on pitch 1.
Thin traverse beneath headwall and towards the top of Pitch 2.
Thin traverse beneath headwall and towards the top...
Pitch 4
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 4

Comments on Black Sun Add Comment
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By Xavier Wasiak
From: Las Vegas, NV
Apr 1, 2013

After clipping the bolt underneath the headwall on pitch 2 the natural flow seems to take you up to the steep head wall at a thin break continuing up a very thin crack with enough small openings in it to seem really attractive. I went up here first. Gear was not good and I placed a couple of tiny wires where I could. The bolt is below you about 10 feet, I think, and it is slightly overhanging with not so good feet. I gave it a go a few times never really taking a fall until the last time when I managed to get past a bouldery section to a decent hold that I was just not able to hold on to. I popped and so did one of my wires. I concluded that this was not the way to go (not 10) and traversed right to the base of the pitch 3 chimney. That line will haunt me a little because it looks so good and fun. If someone goes up and wants to take a go at it, I'd love to see your feedback. It looks like it can connect with the chimney a little higher or continue.
By BLM Red Rock
Apr 1, 2013

I agree with everything Xavier has posted about this route. Nicely written. We approached via the slot canyon and then slabs mentioned by Larry on the Western Spaces Wall page. Anyone done the Corduroy Ridge approach?