|Black Velvet Wall
This is a fun and interesting climb that is more often used as an approach pitch to Fiddler On The Roof or Dream of Wild Turkeys than it is climbed for its own merit, but I thought it was a fun route deserving of it's own attention.
To locate this route, start at the base of the shared start of 'Prince Of Darkness' & 'Dream Of Wild Turkeys'. Walk to the right 40' and look up a line of two bolts in light-colored rock.
P1: (5.9, 100') Climb up and past these two bolts, then go sharply right for some distance until below another 2 bolts, and ultimately below a hanging, white, acute dihedral/chimney, overhead. Climb up past those bolts to a good ledge at the bottom of the chimney/dihedral.
P2: (5.10a, 70') Climb up into the right-leaning corner and slot, making your way up slowly on trad gear and passing one bolt on the way to a ledge at the top. I remember placing a thin nut or two somewhere on this pitch. Belay at the ledge on a fixed anchor, or clip it and continue on P3. This is also the departing point for Fiddler on the Roof, which climbs out on the face to the right, above the huge roof now just at your right.
P3: (5.9, 60') Climb up the steep face on big holds to the fixed anchors as for the 3rd pitch of Dream of Wild Turkeys.
To descend, rap to the anchor on P2, then do a long double-rope rap to the ground from there. 60M ropes may be necessary for this descent, but I am not sure. This will prevent the rock from 'gobbling' your rope on the way down and is also one of the most exposed raps you may ever do, under the belly of Fiddler On the Roof.
A standard light rack from small to 3" + some draws for the bolts.
|By david goldstein|
Mar 11, 2004
Good variety, P2 is a nice change of pace from the typical Black Velvet slab crimping. I've done this climb twice and both times found P2's crux move desperate -- much harder than the 5.9 guidebook rating; a purple (0) Alien size piece comes in handy at this spot (just above the bolt). Also watch out for the rope getting stuck in the finger sized slot after the P2 crux -- I had to rap down from the belay to free it.
|By Max Schon|
Mar 16, 2004
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Dito on the rope getting stuck in the groove on pitch 2. I'd been warned about it, so I managed to keep it out, but it could easily get stuck. I watched a guy have to downclimb the slot to free his rope. It didn't look bad, but still not any fun.
May 30, 2004
Rope stuck on pitch 2? Check. I belayed on the ledge at the base of the 5.9 face, cutting pitch 2 in half, and lowered/downclimbed to free the rope. We continued up pitch 4 of DWT: the crack. This is a rope graveyard, many strands of aging rope in the back, and we nearly lost ours. If you want to continue, best advice is not to rap the crack. Keep going (do pitch 5 of DWT) and use the rap route well left of the crack.
|By Eric and Lucie|
From: Boulder, CO
Oct 26, 2004
Just climbed the route yesterday. We had done the first 2 pitches a few years ago and really enjoyed them: lots of variety! About the third pitch: I thought there is no way that pitch is 5.9. We've climbed extensively on this wall (POD twice, YBR twice, DOWT twice) and this pitch has one move which I think is at least as hard as anything on POD for example: around the next to last bolt (I think), all the positive crimps disappear and you have to do this really thin, slabby move... I'd say about 10b/c. I wonder if flakes may have broken off: there were several white patches in that section. Anybody knows?Great route in any case. Highly recommended.
|By Guy H.|
From: Fort Collins CO
Oct 29, 2006
I was gobbled twice on this one. I had to rap and free the rope the first time, and my partner had to ascend the rope the second time. Is there any good beta on plugging the finger crack? I was thinking a pink tricam in the crack might prevent the rope from getting stuck.
This is a fun line to finish the day. Just bring two ropes to rap from the P2 anchors.
|By David Stowe|
Nov 15, 2007
I had done plenty of climbing in Black Velvet over the past few years but never got around to getting on the Gobbler. I was very pleasanly supprised by the tremendous overall qualtiy of the the route and great variety that each pitch had to offer. I had heard/read that the first pitch was slick/polished and it looked it from the groud. In fact you really can't see much of the first pitch until you are actually on it. Really fun and interesting moves following the natural features on the pitch and there was nothing slick about it. There was some smearing, but after climbing most of the time in the Gunks, smearing on sandstone is a pleasure and there is plenty of friction. The second pitch offered completely different challenges with great gear. I agree that the crux was the move accross into the chimney. My fingers were also too big to fit into the corner crack below the bolt, so I resorted to pinching small features on the right arete/face to move up and into the chimney. The third pitch was fun vertical wall climbing. I thought this pitch was a little more interesting and of a little better quality than anything on Price of Darkness. Wound of climbing this pitch with a big smile as it was nothing like the runout commiting climbing that a few people had told me about. I agree that the top of the pitch was the crux and is in the 10b/c range.
this is a route I will definitely do again as it is superb and only takes a short time.
|By susan peplow|
From: Joshua Tree
Nov 19, 2007
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Good route to get on while waiting for the lines to clean to the left. Beware of crashing into other parties using the anchor on top of the 3rd pitch which shares with DofWT.
If you the 3rd pitch belay is occupied (extremely likely) consider clipping in a few draws and lowering down to the 2nd pitch belay using a TR scenario for your partner who can clean it when they get there. Perhaps that's a better solution than sharing the ledge with 2 or 3 other people.
1/2 can easily be linked. Crux of the route IMO is getting into the slot. Very tricky.
P3 - typical face climbing on a featured varnished face.
You can rap station to station using a single 70' rope if you prefer to not trail a line.
|By John Hegyes|
From: Las Vegas, NV
May 7, 2008
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
The third pitch is not 5.9!
|By Andy Laakmann|
From: Bend, OR
Oct 12, 2009
rating: 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Linked Gobbler into the Yellow Brick Road and then DoWT. From the ledge atop the Gobbler (top of P3 of DoWT), we did the "reverse traverse" and built an anchor where DoWT and Yellow Brick Road diverge. Anchor was one bomber bolt, bomber small nut, and some other not-so-bomber pieces. Then the two pitches up YBR and then two pitches of DoWT. It was fun and something different, and a nice option when you want to continue up and there is a party in your way on DoWT.
From: Portland, OR
Jun 5, 2010
rating: 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
The 3rd pitch felt like 5.10 to me. Maybe some holds have broken off?
|By Sherri Lewis|
From: Sequim, WA
May 4, 2012
Excellent moves and rock quality on this one. After the crux move on P2, my partner short-slung a finger-size cam off to the left(in the start of the chimney) which kept her rope from feeding into the gobbler crack as she moved upward.
Also, as you start up P3, be aware that there is an .11d route which branches off to the right after the second bolt. (My topo mistakenly had a line curving to the right for Gobbler and after a move or two in that direction it was clear I was not on a .10a.) Your bolts for Gobbler go pretty much straight up from the belay and straddle a thin crack system. The bolts for the .11d off to the right are painted a darker color than the shiny Gobbler bolts.
From the top of P3, we did a single rope rap(with a 60m) to the top of P2, then a double rope rappel took us over the roof and back to our packs. No issues with stuck ropes stuck in the chimney that way.
Oct 21, 2012
rating: 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
First two pitches are great, linked with a 70m! Its an excellent long pitch if you have the rope, I quite recommend it. Off the 2 pitch anchor did 18 Year Mcallen instead, head right up the well bolted face, good pitch with a short punchy crux.
|By Patrick Mulligan|
Sep 13, 2013
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
The moves from the crack to the slot on pitch 2 are well protected, but stout.