North America, United States, Colorado, The Rocky Mountains, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, BloodSport and Various Ascents

Publication Year: 2005.

BloodSport and various ascents. In the spring Zach Smith and I climbed a new route between Ament’s Chimney and Kachina Wings. The IV 5.12b route is a sustained line worthy of repeats and should continue to improve with traffic. We found a faded sling anchor atop the 5.9+ crack variation to pitch one, indicating that the line had been previously investigated. Although Zach and I climbed a moderate, independent finish leading up and right from the top of pitch five, on the second ascent Brian McMahon and I found a better finish by sharing Trilogy’s final 250'. On this ascent I also added a bolt to the crux pitch, eliminating ledge-fall potential. Neither the 5.9+ nor the independent finish are recommended. A topo can be found at the North Rim Ranger Station.

Also in the spring Phil Gruber and I made the second ascent, onsight in 10 hours, of the difficult new Tague Yer Time (V 5.12b/c). The climb is among the best and cleanest routes in the canyon and similar in difficulty and quality to Red Rock’s Rainbow Wall.

In early fall Phil, with Ico DeZwart of New Zealand, made the first one-day, free ascent of the notorious V+ 5.12b Black Hole on South Chasm View Wall. Phil’s climb, onsight, is only the third known ascent of this offwidth testpiece.

In October Thad Friday and I made the second enchainment of the so-called Black Canyon Trifecta. Walking in the large footsteps of Black Canyon endurance pioneers Mike Pennings and Jeff Hollenbaugh, Thad and I linked, free, the Painted Wall’s V 5.10+ Southern Arete, South Chasm View Wall’s V 5.11+ Astrodog and the North Chasm View Wall’s V 5.10+ Scenic Cruise in a 20:45 push. Both Mike and I feel that this link-up is more difficult than connecting Half Dome’s Regular Route and El Cap’s Nose in a day.

Josh Wharton, A AC

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