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

Type:  Trad, 6 pitches, 600', Grade III
Consensus:  YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: Leonard Coyne and Dennis Jackson?
Page Views: 2,383
Submitted By: Joe Gartner on Sep 9, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (18)
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Starting P3 - the roof of P4 looms above.

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Blackjack is the very prominent left-facing dihedral on the south rim. The feature is very striking and the climbing is pretty good too. Go down the Chillumstone Gully and head skier's left or climber's right shortly after the rappel. Third and fourth-class ledges reach the base of the route (best to scope this from the north rim first).

P1: 5.9 cracks go up and left to gain the base of the huge dihedral.

P2: Climb the dihedral at 5.8?? I can't really remember.

P3: Climb a good stretch of 5.8 offwidth that is somewhat protectable (Nick placed the #4 too early on and ran it out considerably afterwards though he did get some smaller gear).

P4: Climb up to the roof slot. Turn it on the left at easy 5.10 and head up and left to a hanging gear belay. Resist the temptation to stretch it out to the ledge higher up for there isn't really a ledge and no gear for an anchor.

P5: Climb up and left to gain vertical dirt and stretch rope to a belay of your choice.

P6: From here you follow a few hundred feet of ledges and short 5th-class sections along a ridge to reach the rim.


Standard rack up to a #4 or #4.5 Camalot.

Photos of Blackjack Slideshow Add Photo
Hanging Chad starts pitch 1.
Hanging Chad starts pitch 1.
Blackjack is the obvious, shaded corner.
Blackjack is the obvious, shaded corner.
Starting P2.
Starting P2.
Blackjack in morning light from the Scenic Cruise.
Blackjack in morning light from the Scenic Cruise.

Comments on Blackjack Add Comment
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By aaron voreis
Dec 3, 2003
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

FYI the Chilliumstone Gully is mis-marked in the BC Guidebook. It is actually the next gully to the west from the one marked. Also, don't take the grade III of this route for granted. The bushwack out at the end is brutal and a bit dangerous especially if wet. I would recommend climbing the extra pitches instead of the gully.

Cams below a 0.4 (yellow Alien) are not needed. Bring a few small/medium hexes and and extra, hand-sized piece.

By Jason Nelson
From: SLC, UT
May 25, 2004

Find the Chillunstone Gully in front of the 20mph curvy road sign in between Dragon Point and South Chasm View Overlook
By ?????
Sep 20, 2004

Chillumstone is not between Dragon Point and North Chasm View Over look. It is between Devils Overlook and North Chasm View Over Look.
By Anonymous Coward
May 16, 2005

Between Devil's Overlook and North Chasm is correct but the trail does start directly in front of the mentioned 20mph sign. The descriptions of the route are somewhat confusing because there are not any fixed or obvious belays in the middle pitches. There are many semi-hanging options and the route could be broken up in many different ways. I think the guidebook's topo is fairly good. There is currently an "X" marked death block about 40 feet above the roof slot and just below the grassy ledges and walk-off. Its not going come of if you touch it but might if you yarded on it or stood on it. This makes the ending a little harder and sketchier than it first appears.
By Armin
From: Boulder, CO
Jun 6, 2007

If you have never done this route and you attempt the extra pitches exit option in the dark, be warned you are in for a epic! Nice linkup w/ Black Shadow Arete.
By S. Stember
From: St. Paul, MN
Oct 7, 2007
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

As of October 5th 2007 there was a fixed line on the rappel which appeared to have been placed there by the NPS. After the rappel you must go left towards the ledge system. Be warned that this ledge system is sketchy and getting on top of it requires a 4th/5th class move that has death fall potential. Rope up if at all concerned.

The approach and scramble out takes as long or longer than the route so plan on atleast 6 hours. The climbing is good!
By dennis jackson
Mar 3, 2009

FA Leonard Coyne and Dennis Jackson.
By John Peterson
Sep 28, 2009

As we were about to leave the car, a passing ranger told us someone had set a rap route to the base. We wasted a lot of time looking for it but didn't see anything. If a route existed it would add a full * to the climb! Anyone know if this exists?

Here's our pitch by pitch:
  • Approach: took over two hours. We didn't belay any of the exposed spots but did place a few pieces and clip into them as we went. The move up out of the gully was the crux of this section. I conjecture that a 70m rope would get you down the Chillumstone but have no proof of this.
  • Pitch 1: Start in a chimney to the right of the huge corner. Good climbing and probably the crux. Well protected. We stopped at the end of the traverse left into the main corner. 160', 5.9
  • Pitch 2: Start with a short chimney, then up nice cracks. A small roof at the end of the pitch is the crux of the lead (5.9). Belay just past the roof. 160', 5.9.
  • Pitch 3: Continue up the corner. The size of the crack varies a lot but some parts are fairly wide. A combination of crack, chimney, and face climbing. We belayed on a small ledge about 40' below the big roof. 120', 5.8+.
  • Pitch 4: Up to the roof and then left under the roof (5.10- maybe, seemed no harder than P1). Up a short crack to a nice belay ledge on the left. 120', 5.10-.
  • Pitch 5: Up to easier ground and a big ledge. A few moves of 5.7 but mostly easier. 100', 5.7.
  • Pitch 6: Follow an easy gully to the ridge line. 80', 4th class
We were out of light and didn't continue up the ridge. The path up the gully was not particularly fun. You stay mostly level with just a few steps down until entering the bed of the gully. By headlamp it was hard to see where to go at the fork near the top - we went right (easy slab) and stepped back left at the top of the slab to avoid a steep section. About 2.5 hours from the top of the route to the car given the route finding issues, dehydration, and only having one headlamp. By daylight it is probably 1 hour.

Without the approach or gully finish this is a *** climb. But the amount of hassle on the approach and return make this a lot more serious that the BC "trade routes".

The other problem with the climb is that you're following pegmatite most of the way - not as nice as routes where it's just an occasional band.

This was very well protected for a Black Canyon climb. It takes hexes really well - that helped a lot. We didn't use much small gear but enjoyed double Camalots #0.5 to 4.

Things I learned:
  • Never wear shorts at the BC!
  • Never forget my headlamp.
  • Don't try to climb hard 5.9 with a heavy pack - we switched to hauling the pack after P1 and it was really easy to do on this route.
By rockrat_co
From: Glenwood Springs, CO
Nov 27, 2009

Hey there. I, in a failed solo attempt, bailed off this route from about 50' up the first pitch. Left a #2 Camalot. This was back in fall of 2007 I believe. Any chance someone picked it up?
By jcast
From: Durango
May 21, 2012

Did this route this past weekend and completely blew the first pitch. We started by climbing a finger crack behind a detached tower which led to some scarcely protected face climbing. I found it much harder than 5.9. The whole time I was trying to trend left but was forced to climb upward to a large ledge with some boulders on it. This is where I realized I was completely off route but also noticed it was possible to rappel down the other side of the ledge to what is probably the top of the "real" first pitch. I belayed my partner up and was able to sling one of the boulders for the rappel, which in the end worked out fine. We ended up on the route and finished a few hours later. We took the gully out. From the top of the climb, the gully took no more than 30 minutes to reach the canyon rim. Although we didn't climb the first pitch proper, I would recommend it over the crack we did climb. It was pretty runout on lichen covered rock. There was a cord wrapped around a large horn which raised suspicion on this pitch, but for some reason I blew right past it. Apparently someone else did the same thing.
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