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Black Canyon's Hardest Offwidth Climbed


by Unknown

July 03, 2001

Camp4 - Climbing News Archive

Over two days in late May, Andy Donson and Jonny Copp of Boulder, Colorado, completed a new route on the 1,700-foot South Chasm View Wall of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. Their line was painfully obvious and had snared both the imagination and the bail gear of veteran Black Canyon free climbers since the 1970s.

Located in plain view directly across the canyon from the North Rim Campground, The Black Hole (V+ 5.12) begins in an overhanging alcove 200 feet to the right of the well-known Astrodog. An opening pitch of 5.11 slime-climbing up a seep led the team past the relics of many retreats and onto unclimbed terrain: two beautiful pitches of clean, dry and unrelenting offwidth. The wideness continued through a large roof, with spectacular inverted slot moves producing the Black's hardest offwidth pitch to date.

Above was a 200-foot S-shaped groove and a memorable go-for-it tips crack that climazed in a 5.12 lieback through a flare. The team used no bolts or pins.

News Courtesy of Rock and Ice.

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