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Phil Lauffen making his way up the "10+"...
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To find the start of the route, descend the Cruise Gully. After the second rappel, continue down the gully along the base of the rock until reaching a large right facing corner, about 200 feet high, you will see the obvious off width above.
P1. Ascend the 5.9 corner, and climb the 5.7 V-shaped groove past a roof easily for a full rope length. Alternate start is to begin to the left of the corner making an unprotected 5.7 slab move to regain the line. 200' to an old pin belay on a ledge.
P2. Head straight up a wide crack past a slight bulge, passing two old pins on your right to an alcove where there is a two-pin belay with slings, 5.9 125-150'
P3. Begin off the belay passing a small chockstone and squirm up the chimney, exit on the left and ascend the off width, one old bolt on the right as you ascend, but natural gear to a two-pin belay 5.10 130'
P4. Ascend the sustained thin right-facing corner, stems and laybacks, 5.10+ for 155 feet. Both of the guidebooks we referenced mention a small traverse of pegmatite at the top to a one-bolt belay. This bolt is nothing you can count on for a belay and you are better off continuing to a small ledge above where the Scenic Cruise merges 5.8R. Or belay below the pegmatite in the crack and ascend a small pitch, 40' to the ledge above.
P5. Belay at the horn on the far right where the Scenic Cruise comes in and ascend the sustained 5.10+ overhanging corner, past a roof, and up a wide crack 5.8? and over easier ground all the way to the bivi ledge where the Gross-Logan merges with the route. 170'
P6. From the bivi ledge, ascend either the crack on the right or left, (we took the left) past a very nasty thorn bush, be ready to do battle with it, to an easy chimney heading left at its top to easy ground. Belay below the large flake. 130' Combining this pitch to above the flake can be done, but beware of rope drag.
P7. From below the large flake, trend to the left and ascend interesting ground up behind the flake some funky moves, climbing on top of it and exiting to a new two-bolt belay at the start of the Pegmatite traverse, 70'.
P8. Traverse straight right 5.7 (the guidebook mentioned fixed gear, we saw none) then up past three bolts ascending through the pegmatite, the3 third bolt has no hanger, it is 5.9R to a belay stance, 150'.
P9. Ascend the awkward bulge/crack above the belay, for a short pitch to a good ledge 5.9+ 50'(possible to combine with Pegmatite traverse).
P10. Traverse left on loose flakes to a right-facing corner with an old fixed #3 Camalot and ascend straight up the obvious feature to a belay, 5.9, 150'.
P11. There appeared to be a few variations for one more pitch of climbing, we took one straight up, on 5.7-5.8 climbing to a nice stance with one more difficult section above. A short section of 5.9 gets you off the route proper.
P12? Not really, but you are or should now be on one of the terraces and easy scrambling to get to the Nature Trail/Overlook on the rim.
Be prepared for strenuous climbing on the offwidth and the two pitches following it. Start as early as you can and you will still probably finish at or near dark. We began climbing @6:30 am and topped out at 9pm. We did a little simul-climbing on the first pitch to combine the first two (as the guide book calls it) as one and combined pitches, 6-7 8-9 and tried to for 10-11 but ran out of rope with our 60m cord. Make sure you are on top of your game; this is a strenuous long day physically and mentally. The grades are "old school"; be ready. Helmets are a personal item, but I was glad I wore mine. You will not soon forget this climb or the day.
Standard Black Canyon Rack to a 4.5 Camalot for the offwidth, and small nuts/RP's for the pitch above the offwidth.
Aaron climbing the 2nd pitch of The Cruise.
By Olaf Mitchell
From: Paia, Maui, Hi,
Mar 31, 2007
If you venture on the Cruise you will compare every climb in your portfolio to it.
It will allow you to utilize all those hard learned lessons stored in your rockcraft quiver and allow you to create others.
If you are willing to accept the level of commitment that it takes to do a climb of this caliber you will be rewarded with an amazing level of confidence that will allow you passage further along in the game.
Remember: It's Always Desperate In The Black!
I am not saying that after "The Black" everything is easy, but many ventures may seem pale in its shadow.
As a veteran of a number of routes in this magnificent gorge, I have my fondest memories of this particular sequence of pitches.
It's a clean line.
I have enjoyed this route with: Maurice,Bill, Annette, Noel, Tom, Rusty, Ken, and Buc.
By Aaron Martinuzzi
May 10, 2010
This climb is a lot of fun, and, as mentioned, is a reasonable way to pass parties on the Scenic Cruise. My partner and I headed out with that climb in mind, but ended up being the fourth party to start the route; heading up The Cruise put us in 2nd.
That said, given that we had racked for the Scenic, our biggest piece was a new #4 Camalot. I was sort of dreading the OW pitch, but it ended up protecting pretty reasonably; I placed two #2 and #3 Camalots in the meat of the OW without much difficulty and used the #4 near the end. The crack is clean and enjoyable OWing - nice chicken wings and knee locks with the occasional face hold to aid your progress.
I felt the pitch above, described here as a 10+ stemming and lie-backing corner, was undeniably the crux of the route. It's steep to start, and mostly thin with some good holds, and once the angle kicks back a bit the climbing gets even thinner. The pitch is pretty much without rests, making protection hard-earned. For what it's worth, this pitch felt touger than some 11a's I've been on. If you get through this pitch without much trouble you should have no problem with the overhanging corner pitch above - it's loaded with jugs.
From: Petaluma California
Jun 4, 2010
Finally did this after being on the Scenic cruise 3 times. The cruise is better if you don't mind a bit of OW. It is friendly OW with some holds.
I found the 10+ stemming crux about what I expected. Technical and not too strenuous.
By Rob DeZonia
Sep 2, 2011
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
I love the cruise! This was my first route in the Black and I've been obsessed ever since. The 5.10- OW isn't half as bad as I expected after climbing some of Dunn's other wide classics and is one of my favorite pitches. The corner above the OW is by far the technical crux of the route.