Posted by: Walker Mackey | 2009/06/15

Ground Control to Major Tom

Beautyful Black Canyon

Beautyful Black Canyon

Today Ben Kiesel and I climbed a route in the Black Canyon. It was a great time. We awoke at five thirty and located the Chillum Stone Gully, which is marked by a 20 mile per hour sign. We scrambled down the Chillum Stone Gully, which is a steep drainage deeply covered in vegetation, and did one rappel. The rappel had been fixed by the park service. Once we reached the bottom of the rappel we traversed to skiers right and out to the end of a ledge. You pass the Cimeron slabs, to the base of the route Ground Control to Major Tom. We left at 6am from our vehicles and arrived at the base of the route at 7am. From the base of the route we located a spruce tree high on the cliff. This tree marks the direction of the 14 pitch route. Climb a broken system to a series of slightly right angling cracks. Search for a few bolts on some slab and face features. The route goes at 5.8 and is excellent as an introductory climb to the black canyon. Ben and I ran the route from canyon floor to the rim in two hours and fifty minutes in simo-climbing fashion. The route is a little broken and obscure to find. I find that most of the moderate routes in the Black Canyon are often really undefined lines and require some inventive climbing and route finding. It was a great day.



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