|1,401 page views|
Good page? (2 likes)
Ben starting pitch 2.
Here's the description, I'll give my personal comments and more beta in a comment below:
Start on The Emerald Highway.
Pitch 1: start up a shallow, left-facing corner. After about 40 feet, it ends at a ledge. Above the ledge is an arch. Follow the arch to its apex, and face climb up to a small, bushy ledge above below another arch. 80 feet, 5.10+.
Pitch 2: climb straight up off the belay aiming for a bolt, just above a bulge created by the arch. After clipping the bolt, do a couple of moves up and then traverse left to another bolt. Gain a left-facing corner and continue up this to a 2 bolt anchor on a very nice ledge to the left. Pay close attention to gear through this section, it's there and it's good. 90 feet, 5.10-.
Pitch 3: climb up and right through a lower angle and vegetated section. You are aiming for the obvious, huge corner system above. Splitter cracks will appear on the left side. Climb the crack system to a 2 bolt belay at a stance on the right. 140 feet, 5.10.
Pitch 4: continue climbing up the huge dihedral above. This is a stellar pitch, combining various jamming techniques with liebacking, stemming, and face holds. Climb out the left side of a roof and continue up to a bolt on the left. Traverse left past the bolt and gain a nice ledge system and a 2 bolt belay. 120 feet, 5.10+.
Pitch 5: traverse left on the ledge system to a hand crack around the corner. Climb the crack (if you place gear here use a double runner)and follow the weakness back right into a left facing flake/crack. Continue up this feature to its top. Use awesome chickenheads (one is a 3 foot long tufa!) to ascend the blank face above. The face is protected by 2 bolts. Traverse back left on horizontals to a clean jam crack, which is ascended to yet another awesome belay stance with 2 bolts. 100 feet, 5.10-.
Pitch 6: climb the face above the belay on more cool chickenheads. Clip 2 bolts that lead you rightward to a series of angling seams. Follow these seams back up left to a small roof with an obvious break. Surmount the roof and clip a bolt. Traverse left on really cool features to gain a thin crack. Continue up the crack to a grassy ledge. Climb left of the crack up a large flake/block. At the left side of this (it's turned into a small ledge), climb up the short arete and gain another nice ledge and 2 bolt belay. 120 feet, 5.10+ (5.11-??).
Pitch 7: face climb straight up off the belay on smaller chickenheads and horizontals. Place gear in the horizontals! Gain a stance with a small roof above it. Climb right off the stance, up a short crack and break in the roof. Gain another stance/small ledge and traverse back left. Find gear in a crack, then reach up and yard on the obvious chickenhead jugs to gain the next ledge. Traverse right to a bolt, after climbing above this bolt head back left to another bolt and a bit of cool slabby climbing below a roof. Enter a very short chimney/cave and climb out its right side. A funky move onto a ledge followed by 1 more funky move onto the summit ledges. The anchor is 2 bolts and is back quite a ways from the edge, placed high on the next(short) section off cliff. Runner your gear well! 130 feet, 5.10-.
This is located on the far right side of the Black Wall. There are several options for getting there.
#1: Hike down from the saddle and traverse the moraine to the base.
#2: Use the Black Wall rappel route(s). At the bottom of those raps, you'll need to scramble down to the base proper and traverse the base of the wall.
To descend...scramble up from the final anchor and walk off as for all Black Wall routes.
1 set of nuts.
1 black Alien/grey TCU.
Doubles set from blue Alien/purple TCU to #3 Camalot.
Optional #4 Camalot.
Splitter cracks on pitch #3.
Looking back down pitch #4.
We were hit by some thunderstorms as we topped out...
Ben getting into the crux of pitch #6.
The belay for pitch #3.
Ben getting started on pitch #4.
The upper pitches of the Rainbow Highway are in Bl...
BETA PHOTO: Looking down from P6 belay with anchor locations m...
BETA PHOTO: Route (photo taken by Matt Swartz).
|Comments on Rainbow Highway
|By J. Thompson|
From: denver, co
Jul 28, 2012
This is a great route. It mixes a wide variety of climbing styles and techniques to ascend the Black wall from its base to its summit. Not all of the routes on the wall do this.
I'd give over half of the climbing on this route 4 stars the remainder might bring the sum to 3 but its all very quality Alpine rock climbing.
The route was born from another, The Emerald Highway. Myself, Ben and Doug Haller did the FA of that route a couple of years ago and I noticed features heading up left from where we got into some much easier climbing on Emerald. Ben and I came back this spring and established what was going to be originally called The Emerald Super Highway. A crazy rainbow after we topped out on the FA changed the name(see picture).
While establishing this route we also added some bolts to Emerald to make it alittle more sane.
While you'll see some protection bolts on this climb we kept them to a minimum. Don't let the bolts fool you this is a Traditional climb.
We called the Crux on Pitch #6 5.10+...it might be 5.11-...it's well protected you decide.
I truly hope folks will enojy this route as much as we did...it really is a classic.
|By Ben Collett|
Jul 28, 2012
A third option for the approach would be to locate the top of the route and do 6 double rope raps from the bolted belays to the base. You'll have to leave the biners on the bolted belays and pick 'em up as you climb.
This route is rather excellent and, though is quite different in style from Good Evans, it seemed about as good. If I could give it 3.5 stars, I would.
|By Guy H.|
From: Fort Collins CO
Aug 5, 2012
This is indeed a fun route with a good mix of face and crack climbing. All 7 pitches had some interesting climbing in the 5.10 range. The rock is still a little flakey in a few spots but nothing to be concerned with. The rack recommendation is right on, except we never placed any cams smaller than a blue Alien/green C3. The #4 was useful on P5, but you could do without it.
The moves on P6 might be height-dependent, so a 5.11- rating would be fair. Loved the chickenheads on the last few pitches!
|By Gregger Man|
Aug 9, 2012
Placed 5 or 6 medium-sized nuts total.
Used the 4 smallest Mastercams and 4 smallest offset Mastercams.
Used the optional #4 a few times.
Nice job, guys!
Edit to add: double rope clipping technique on last pitch. I forgot and clipped as per twins (DOH!) and regretted the drag.
|By Tomas Gaylord|
Aug 20, 2012
This route was very awesome! We were able to locate the top anchor easily and rap in the whole route, be careful not to miss the anchor in the corner on p3 on the way down, if you do it, it requires some sketchy downclimbing to the anchor. Bring some biners for anchor bolts. We linked p1 & 2 which seemed logical.
The double rack worked well, RPs definitely helped but nothing smaller than a red C3 for cams, a #4 was nice to have.
I thought this route had more like sustained 5.9 climbing with shorter cruxy sections feeling about .10b, I'm 6ft tall, so experiences may vary.
I thought it was a super fun route and would go back to do it again, there is still an adventurous feel to it, but with some more traffic it will clean up. Make sure you've been training on tuffs of grass for some sections, as it makes for some exciting moves.
Huge thanks to those involved in cleaning, putting in anchors, and putting together sweet terrain. It certainly looked better than its neighbor Emerald Highway. Also, it's nice to see you guys kept the protection bolts to a minimum.
|By doug haller|
Aug 20, 2012
Requires Double Ropes for the top 3 pitches and to descend via the rap stations.
Probably harder than 11a for short folks...I found the crux hard and am 5'7"-8" with a plus 2 reach.
Best to ascend during exceptionally dry spells.
From: Boulder, CO
Aug 21, 2012
Great route! I agree that it will be a four star route with some cleaning. But I liked some of the grunge, it added to the adventure.
I left some bomber hardware on the second and third (from the top) rappel stations. I used Maillon Rapide quick links on all the bolts, and two Omega Pacific Rings on the second station, and a steel ring and two rolled Al rings on the third station.
If the next party down wants to add some Loctite to the threads of the quick links (and maybe change out the rolled AL for something longer-lasting), that would be fantastic!
Well done, gents, on finding a gem!
|By J. Thompson|
From: denver, co
Sep 4, 2012
"Requires Double Ropes "
We climbed it with a single line (I led the last pitch in the rain) and with proper runnering had very little rope drag. Could double ropes make it so you don't have to runner as well? Sure. Are they required? No.
However. If you'd like to rappel the route, you'll need 2 ropes.
I'd prefer to do the rap route with a single and not have to deal with 2 ropes on the climb. But YMMV!
Sep 16, 2012
I got a little lost on p6. Here's what I think you are supposed to do: above the roof 30 ft off the belay, clip the bolt and traverse left 10-15 feet to the FIRST thin crack (heavily vegetated). Climb that to a grassy ledge that is between 6 and 12 inches wide. I don't think this is the "grassy ledge" described above. Continue more or less straight up to a bulge and take the path of least resistance working up and left to the "grassy ledge" described above and then presumably follow the description from there.
I made the mistake of thinking the first 6 inch ledge was the "grassy ledge," and traversed about 20 feet straight left to gain the arete- no gear, grassy footholds, no handholds, etc. I ultimately traversed back right, climbed straight up from the thin crack, and then broke right into the corner that leads to the right side of the belay ledge. It probably goes at .10 or so and isn't as bad as it looks.
If my description is wrong, please let me know and I will pull it.
|By Ben Collett|
Sep 17, 2012
303scott, you are correct about where we went. We wanted to find a way to avoid the corner that leads to the right end of the belay ledge, since it is often quite wet. It seemed like the obvious way to go, but dry rock is usually more fun than wet rock, right?
Sep 17, 2012
Thanks to the FA team for establishing the route and rappel anchors. The first and last two rappels still need some chains. I brought some quicklinks but managed to leave them in the pack at the top.
Rack: I agree with the other comments: Doubles or triples of Master cams, including some offsets is very useful. We didn't use the grey Metolius, and the #4 is not essential.
This is a nice way to climb the right side. Seemed less demanding and committing than Coffee Achievers and without the running wet chimney. An appreciation for alpine dirt climbing and grass pulling may increase your enjoyment of some sections. I would rate the crux (brief) .11a (I am 5'10"). Some good 5.10 crack climbing on the lower pitches that should get better with more travel.
Sep 18, 2012
I totally agree - lucky for us it was mostly dry. The proper route out onto the arete looks like it would give you some nice position too - have to try it next time.
Thanks to you and Josh for putting this up!