North America, United States, Colorado, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Pent Up

Publication Year: 2009.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Pent Up. Over three days in early June, Jack Jefferies, Cody Sims, and I established Pent Up (700', 5.12c) in the Chillumstone Gully on the South Rim. It starts above the Chillumstone (so don’t do the rap), on the same side as Black Jack, left of Don’t Count Your Lily Pads, and right of a giant gaping chimney that goes the entire length of the wall. The route follows cracks up a prominent stepped buttress for all but the last 100', where the buttress terminates. The first pitch is a 5th-class “scramble” over blocks and pricker bushes. Then three pitches (5.9, 5.10, 5.10) of mostly steep hand cracks lead to a spacious belay. Then it’s game on. The crux pitch face climbs along a seam through an overhanging headwall and solid pegmatite band. I would call the pitch reasonably safe, but you could take big whippers trying to find some of the holds. The next pitch (5.11) face climbs along a seam on an arête to a spacious belay ledge. The final pitch climbs an off-width roof at 5.11 (the final pitch of Don’t Count Your Lily Pads, which may not have been freed before).

From the crux pitch up we worked the route top-down, below the crux bottom-up. We put in 3/8" SS bolts, so the route shouldn’t rust away too quickly (unlike many sketchy bolts you find in the Black). We cleaned the route as well, more of a “route development” approach than a “shirt on your back adventure” approach. The route has two bolts on the crux pitch, one as an anchor for pitch 5, and another as pro on pitch 6.

Jason Nelson