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Mescalito
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Bed of Nails 
Black Widow Hollow 
C11H17NO3 
Cat in the Hat 
Cat in the Phat 
Centerfold 
Chasing Shadows 
Cookie Monster 
Crunchy Cat 
Dark Shadows 
Deep Space 
Edge Dressing 
Excellent Adventure 
Heart of Darkness 
Left of Disco 
Mescalito - South Face 
Negro Blanco 
Next Century, The 
OB Button 
Parental Guidance 
Pauligk Pillar 
Pauline's Pentacle 
Peyote Power 
Pine Nuts 
Rabbit's Arete 
Risky Business 
Sandstone Sandwich 
Short Circuit 
Slot Machine 
Splitting Hares 
This Ain't No Disco 
Too Many Tantrums 
Unknown (Thing 1) 
Walker Spur, The 
Wasp, The 
Welcome to Red Rocks 
When A Stranger Calls 
Y2K 

Black Widow Hollow 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI British: HVS 5a

   
Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 400'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Joe Herbst, Mark Moore, Nov 1975
Page Views: 2,607
Submitted By: Larry DeAngelo on Jan 1, 2005
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BETA PHOTO: Routes on east face of Mescalito.

Description 

This is the large dihedral on the left side of the EAst Face of Mescalito. It is to the left of Cookie Monster.

pitch 1: go up an easy chimney and belay at a small tree on the right side.

pitch 2: continue up the crack. Sustained climbing up squeeze chimneys and cracks goes past several cruxes. Ultimately a smooth chimney leads to a huge ledge on the crest of the ridge.

pitch 3: Turn right and climb a pleasant (and comparatively relaxed) crack on the crest of the ridge. From the large belay ledge at its top, scramble down and west (class 3) to rappel anchors on Cat in the Hat.


Protection 

Surprisingly, not much need for big gear; in fact most big gear will not be big enough. Fortunately there are options for a variety of gear from small to hand or fist size. Bring a bunch of this stuff.



Photos of Black Widow Hollow Slideshow Add Photo
where I had ~1.5" of clearance between my nose and the wall
where I had ~1.5" of clearance between my nose and...
The start of the interesting section on Black Widow Hollow.  If this seems relaxed to you, then Epinephrine will feel like a walk in the park.
The start of the interesting section on Black Wido...
and the helmet comes off
and the helmet comes off
Mescalito, SE face
BETA PHOTO: Mescalito, SE face
Looking up BWH from the base.
Looking up BWH from the base.
the advantage of breaking up P2, seeing your partner confront the squeeze
the advantage of breaking up P2, seeing your partn...
looking down P2 before it gets super grovely
looking down P2 before it gets super grovely
Mo staring up from our second belay. I broke up P2 and belayed on the sloping ledge just after the main chimney section, below an obvious lieback.  This worked well for rope management (and photos).
BETA PHOTO: Mo staring up from our second belay. I broke up P2...
Comments on Black Widow Hollow Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Nov 3, 2013
By Aaron S
Dec 10, 2006
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a

A very fun route. The second pitch is sustained and suprisingly varied for a squeeze chimney. Bring a decent selection of small gear.

By Jason C.
From: Las Vegas
Mar 26, 2007

we did this route this weekend, have to disagree with what was said about not needing any large gear!! we had a No. 5 & 6 cam as well as a green and yellow big bro... placed all of these pieces on the second (crux) pitch... was glad that we had them with us too!!!

I though it was a great route, exciting... a bit scary & highly phsyical! all in all... it's why you climb!

By John Wilder
From: Las Vegas, NV
Nov 10, 2008
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI E1 5a PG13

we had a single rack to 4", and it was well protected- leave the monster gear on the deck.

Also- p2 as described is more like 215' or 220'- definitely bring a 70m or break p2 into 2.

I'd agree with 5.9 on this- joe herbst 5.9, that is!

By Andrew Carson
From: Wilson, WY
Mar 4, 2009
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI E1 5a

We belayed on a nice but smallish ledge at about 140' on the second pitch. You'd never reach the huge ledge on the crest anyway, even with a 70 m rope, (I think), and the rope drag would take alot of the fun out of it. We liked our standard rack to a #4, and had added stoppers at the suggestion Handren's guide. Maybe a few extra medium and large, not a whole additional set.
Don't forget your kneepads.

By John Wilder
From: Las Vegas, NV
Mar 5, 2009
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI E1 5a PG13

i reached the ledge with a 70m and about 6' to spare- probably the longest pitch i've led! i had practically no drag (although the weight of the rope was noticeable)- but then, i didnt think the pitch was that well protected, i think i ended up using all but two or three stoppers and a couple of cams out of a single rack to 4" and a set and a half of stoppers, which isnt that much considering the length of the pitch.

a great route, though- i'd highly recommend it regardless of how you break it up!

By J. Thompson
From: denver, co
Mar 11, 2009
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a

Handren comments in his exellent guidebook book that the second pitch would make a great warm up for Epinephrine....I agree.

Also A standard rack to a #4 works great.

josh

By Andrew Carson
From: Wilson, WY
Mar 13, 2009
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI E1 5a

Clearly, I stand corrected on that ' 70 m rope' comment. Go for it, I guess. For whatever it's worth, I reached my belay on the second pitch with the #4 cam still on the rack. Saving it for the hard part, perhaps.

By Steve Blevins
From: Central Coast, CA
Apr 4, 2009

As stated, highly physical. I enjoyed immensely but would not do it again. Leading 2nd pitch, quality of many of the holds at critical points suspect. I found myself trying to distribute my pull between holds to lower chance of disaster. The crux chimney really suckers you off course. Harder and less protected than E. Steve

By Pete Bresciani
Oct 13, 2010
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI E1 5a

Michelle and I did this route today. I should have read the description here instead of just the Handren guide. All I saw was "5.9" and "great warm up for Epinephrine". Epinephrine is the perfect size for tall climbers. Easy and secure. Somehow I didn't see the name "Joe Herbst" and "harder than Epinephrine!". Still a great day but for the tall person, these are VERY narrow squeeze chimneys! I think a better description would be "a good warm up for Unfinished Symphony". :-)

We also used the 70m and had no trouble making the big ledge on the ridge. The rock deteriorates a little on the last pitch (pro is still good) but you're so happy to be out of the chimneys you don't care. Cool moves and some cool hand jams on the last pitch almost made me forget about the squeeze chimneys. Very interesting route that has your attention the whole way.

Keywords: Squeeze Chimneys!

By Eugene Kwan
May 7, 2011

This route is hard. True in the grade at 5.9. The squeeze chimney is narrow enough that my helmet would get stuck if turned my head the wrong way. On the first half of the chimney pitches, there's a sling around a nasty looking chockstone. There's a few committing moves after that, but if you stay calm you'll be fine. The second half of the chimney pitches did not seem to be as hard.

By ZeHardcore
Oct 25, 2011

Climbed this last Spring and it was rad! Definately not for the faint of heart! Physically demanding, no bolted anchors (rarity at RR), and is great to climb on a windy day. 30-40+ mph and we didn't feel a thing.

A herbst 5.9 indeed.

By harihari
From: VANCOUVER
Nov 13, 2011

Super, esp P2. Rack-- singles of .3 to #4 camalot and long slings. The chimneys are hard 5.9

By rpc
Jan 30, 2012

after burlesque the day prior, there were no real squeeze chimney portions here IMHO (correction - Burlesque attempt as my petite 6'6" frame would not fit thru. the narrowest part of that chimney). great route this one!

By fossana
From: Boulder, CO
Nov 25, 2012

Used red and yellow ball nuts several times. We broke up P2 into 2 pitches, belaying at a sloping ledge just before the lieback and above the main chimney section (better photo ops and rope management IMO).

By Nate Farr
From: Las Vegas, NV
Apr 10, 2013

Climbed it today and thought it pretty honest for 5.9. I never had to climb it like a bombay, as every time it tightened down you could climb face holds on the outside. We broke the second pitch into two pitches (I recommend this) and took a single rack to #3. If you're comfortable in chimneys at 5.9 you likely won't need anything bigger then #2. If chimneys are foreign you might want bigger gear.

By Sayfe
From: Scottsdale, az
Nov 3, 2013
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI E1 5a

Second pitch is a classic. We broke it into two pitches- first part of pitch II is a classic chimney, sustained, but everything is there. Take big cams,

The second part of pitch II has an excellent combo of chimney, overhang, mantle, some face,... Excellent route.

With catherine conner


Looking up from the first pitch...
Looking up from the first pitch...