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North America, United States, Colorado, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, The Blacksmiths

The Blacksmiths. The steep wall between Cheap Shot and Dry Hard has been the scene of aborted aid attempts due to loose rock and massive roofs. In fall 2005 and spring 2006, Jared Ogden and I tried to find a free variation, but were unable to force the line. In May we ended up climbing the first five pitches of the Earl Wiggins sketch-fest Dry Hard, and then traversed left above the roofs into a steep, airy position halfway up the wall. From there we did six new pitches on gently overhanging, high-quality rock to the rim. Four of the new pitches are 5.12, and it is the steepest bit of rock we’ve yet found while free climbing in the Canyon. The Blacksmiths (1,600', 5.12).

Topher Donahue, AAC