Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Black In Action

Matt, Bill and I managed to find a couple days that we all had off to go to the Black  Canyon.  The plan was to do a smaller route day one, then on day two do a slightly larger route. Bill and Matt had made a deal that if Bill led the A3 pitch on day 2 than Bill could bic Matt's head. Unfortunately for Bill and luckily for Matt we ended up not doing the route we had planned on day 2.
We woke up early in Durango on day one and drove up to the black.  The gulley was one of the nastiest we had seen. We made it down to the route and enjoyed a few pitches of great climbing. Then hours of getting back to the rim along a complicated ridge.  We had considered doing another route down the same gulley that same day but after the nasty gulley and complicated ridge we decided a better option was to get some Corona and chill out at the river in Montrose. 
The route we had planned on for day two ended up being in the sun for most of the day, so that was nixed.  We had noticed a cool looking pillar/tower with continuous crack systems bottom to top so we decided to give it a go on day two. We couldn't find a trace of the route in the Black Canyon guidebook or online so it was likely a first ascent but you never know with the Black Canyon.  Some Gunnison local probably free soloed it years ago.  For not having anything other than a standard climbing rack things went well. We were back at the car at about 2pm. We stopped in Ridgeway on our way home for another dip in the river.
I have to say it doesn't sound like a bad way for Bill to spend his birthday! 
"We have everything?"
Nasty gullies!
Matt doing some trail work. 
Bill starting pitch 3. Note the mono.
Matt on a tyrolean traverse on the complicated ridge back to the rim.
Matt and Bill at the base of pitch 4 of 'Black In Action'.

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