North Chasm View Wall, Black Planet, Second Ascent and New Variation. Over the period of March 15-25,1 left my home in Gunnison and soloed what I believe to be the second ascent of Jim Beyer’s route, Black Planet, in Black Canyon National Monument. This route was established on North Chasm View Wall, solo, in 1991. Beyer’s topo listed it as 5.11 A4d, using his unique rating system. The route was established with no bolts or rivets. Sadly, my ascent resulted in the addition of one bolt to the 12th belay. I found the 5.11 pitch to present only five feet of difficult climbing, but other pitches contained mandatory and spicy 5.10 climbing. The crux aid pitch presented a serious stretch of number 1 and 2 heads with ramp- fall potential. I am experienced with the modern A4 grade in Yosemite, and feel this route is graded fairly. No one will go up there and say it is not A4 or A4+.
I spent one day skiing my load in four miles to the north rim and descending the Cruise Gully, and the next day sat out a snow storm. The following day I began up the climb. En route I established a total of six and a half new pitches, the first an A3- variation to Beyer’s first A4 pitch. I did not wish to avoid the A4; my variation just seemed a bit more obvious to me. Five of the new pitches are completely original and three are significant variations to existing pitch- es (that’s how I came up with the six and a half figure). The total hole count for my new pitch- es is five: two rivets and three enhanced hooks. I spent eight nights on the wall, with five and a half days climbing, and three days spent in my ledge because of stormy weather.
Brent Armstrong, unaffiliated