Another dark start but not quite as early as the other days. We left the parking area at the loop road exit at 5:53am.
It took us 15 minutes to hike the very nice climber's trail from the loop road exit parking area to the New Oak Creek Trail system parking.
Nice morning light hitting the rocks. The entire Black Orpheus route can be seen in this photo. See next photo to see where it goes.
Foreshortened view of the eleven pitches of the route. There is some third class scrambling involved in getting to the base of the route.
OK, so maybe we did some fourth classing too. It's more fun that way.
California third class
OK, finally up at the base of the route at 7:25am. The descent is a walk off with a couple of short rappels so we left our packs down in the drainage and climbed with our approach shoes clipped on our harnesses. We passed another party on the approach on got on the route before they did.
Looking down the first pitch, a fun 5.8 corner.
Daniel led the tricky 5.8 second pitch and then I led the cruiser third pitch. This photo is looking up the rest of the route from the top of P3. From here we mostly simul-climbed for pitches 4 through 7.
Daniel seconding the simul-climbing
Daniel heading out the initial "R" face section of pitch 8. Neither of us felt it warranted the "R" notation. From here he led straight up a great crack pitch that went from fingers to thin hands to hands to a chimney with bulge move to finish. A stellar 5.9 pitch.
This is my favorite shot from the trip. Awesome light, great climbing, Daniel hanging big sack long time.
The other party behind us starting up P4.
Daniel following the fun "crux" pitch. It had one 5.9+ committing but straight-forward face move protected by two closely spaced bolts so it hardly felt like a crux. The crack climbing above that was great.
The tenth pitch follows a crack in a huge, looming corner
Great views down Oak Creek Canyon
The upper part of P10 is fabulous finger crack laybacking for 20+ feet. Made the whole route complete.
P11 started out with face climbing on dubious rock but with awesome position and then ended in this corner
Looking towards Las Vegas from the summit of the route
Close up of the Las Vegas strip
From the top of the route we headed straight uphill to pass through this cool arch en route to the descent ledges
A little spicy downclimbing
In upper painted bowl
First rappel--about 70 feet
Lower painted bowl...we'd soon locate the IBM boulder, a familiar sight
The climbers that were behind us were starting the last pitch as we got back down to the drainage to retrieve our packs
Six straight days of climbing sandstone rubs the finger tips a bit raw. Daniel demonstrates.
And back at the car at 3:30pm. A 9.5 hour day and great way to end wrap up the trip and 2009!