AAC Publications - http://publications.americanalpineclub.org

North America, United States, Colorado, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Hair in My Cheeseburger, Crystal Vision

Hair in My Cheeseburger, CrystalVision. In April Paul Emrick and I headed down the S.O.F.B. Gully on the South Rim of the Black Canyon to try a new route, The route, which shares the start of 2001’s Stay Puft Buttress, was done in a day with no bolts. The route was awesome until it became a total bummer. Eight pitches of fine, clean cracks, and then a wrong turn led to bushy, discontinuous choss. The route, Hair in My Cheeseburger, is rated 1,800', IV+ 5.10.

After further research an alternate finish was discovered just right of the Shining Buttress (Ingalls-Kor). In early May Paul Emrick and Brent Mitchell rapped from the rim to establish this four-pitch variation. Paul led a beautiful crystal-covered slab with just three hooks and a hand drill, establishing what would be one of the route’s cruxes. He placed three bolts.

On May 30 Paul and I returned to link Hair in My Cheeseburger’s lower eight pitches with the four new upper pitches. The second pitch, which had originally been led with no bolts, was deemed really dangerous—a 50' runout on a 5.8 slab with ground-fall potential—so we added a bolt. The runout is now only 25 feet and not as serious. The result is one of the best routes I’ve done in the Black, easily on par with the Cruise, only a little more serious. We named it CrystalVision (1,800', IV+ 5.11-).

Josh Borof