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Suffer Pony at the Disco

Early morning on September 20, Joe Forrester and I descended the SOB Gully to climb the Porcelain Arête (IV 5.10). When we arrived at the base of the PA buttress, though, we were disheartened by a lack of significant crack or corner systems. Undeterred, we roped up and began climbing. We later discovered that we had followed the first pitch of the PA before we headed right. Several mostly 5.7 and low-angle 70m pitches wandered through the occasional bush and onto the arête proper, where Joe led through a steep, sharp roof crack at 5.9. The next pitch remained directly on the arête, via tricky 5.10 face moves, before we followed a 5.9 crack around the right side of the buttress. More committing face moves (5.10R) led straight up, back to the arête. After traversing around a giant pegmatite tower, we climbed two easier pitches to the rim. In staying much closer to the arête (the Porcelain Arête climbs left of the arête), we shared only the first pitch and probably the final pitch with the PA. Our route, Suffer Pony at the Disco (IV 5.10R) is by no means a Black Canyon classic, but offers a moderately graded adventure with spectacular views. A topo is available at the North Rim Ranger Station.