The Black Orpheus Climber's Log

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nscherneck - Feb 12, 2014 5:43 pm Date Climbed: Feb 10, 2014

Fun route

Nice long adventure. With Megan Parish. ~9hrs C2C, ~5hrs base to summit. Led 1/2, 4th class, 5.10 pitch, final slab pitch. Next time I'd prefer to unrope for pitches 4-7 to save some time.


jacobsmith - Dec 30, 2012 12:06 am Date Climbed: Dec 29, 2012

Intense Climb  Sucess!

Second climb at Red Rock, felt it was intense, but mis-rated. The crux for us was on the second pitch, it seems possible that a hold or two has broken off because both myself and Ryan, who led it, thought it was harder than the supposed 10a crux (which was nothing much, two finger jams, some desperate smearing, and a dyno up to the ledge). We soloed through the middle section so i don't really know how to refer to the upper pitches; i led the the third one, 5.6, and found it to be much harder than the 5.8 and 5.7 pitches i led below.
the real epic began once we returned to the wash, where i managed to lose an altimeter, a climbing shoe, and my glasses in the ridiculous brush (well worse than any bushwhack in Washington), although i found the climbing shoe after extensive searching by headlamp. If any of those items are found, as well as the black glove Ryan dropped on route, i would be very appreciative to have them back.
Overall a good route, but the ratings need to be updated, i would say 5.8, 10a, 5.7, 4th and low 5th depending on variation, 5.9, 5.9, 5.8, 5.6

utclimber - May 10, 2010 11:41 pm

Good Route  Sucess!

I climbed this route in February or March of 2006. My shoelace blew out during the first few pitches, and the rest of the climb I had no jamming/edging abilities with one foot, which made it interesting.


atavist - Jan 12, 2010 2:14 am Date Climbed: Jan 9, 2010

Overbolted?  Sucess!

Climbed with Oliver. We got a fairly early start and didn´t see anyone on Solar Slab as we went past so I was surprised to hear voices above as we neared the Black Arch. There was even another party of 3 above the first party of 2. I think it was nine when we actually started climbing and the canyon was feeling good with sun already warming up the top pitches. We simuled pitches 4-7 and 10-11 and topped out at quarter past 2. We were fortunate to pass the party of 3 just before the bottom of pitch 8 which is basically the last opportunity since 8-10 don´t offer many options. We mated ropes with the party above us for the quick descent and got to town in time to watch the Bengals make an early exit from the playoffs.

I put the crux move on pitch 8 at 10a, but at 5.6 #10 is a wake-up pitch and the pumpiest section of the day.

Dow Williams

Dow Williams - Nov 1, 2009 12:02 pm Date Climbed: Oct 31, 2009

starting to do...  Sucess!

quite a few repeats and I suppose this will be one of those as so many folks from out of town are told this is a route to do. Partner in from Portland who had never climbed at RR, so let him pick the route. I have to admit it grew on me more the 2nd time around. I would attribute that mostly to knowing ahead of time that I would rather solo pitches 4-7. As long as one is not dragging the rope on these pitches, makes for a better experience. 8hrs car to car this go and I stand by my eariler assesment of this being a 5.9 route, not 5.10a. That move everyone talks above has a 100% toe ledge out left. Stand up, do a bomber finger lock and then mantle on huge jug above. What I speculate is that many take away that finger lock with a piece of gear trying to sew the move up. Incredible day, have no idea where the Solar Slab tourists were, but few folks in Oak Creek for such a great Oct Sat.


bfrench - Apr 30, 2009 9:58 pm

Black Orpheus  Sucess!

Great climb.


fossana - Apr 19, 2009 11:28 am Date Climbed: Apr 18, 2009

black orpheus  Sucess!

Climbed with Jascha on a sunny spring Saturday with the winds keeping temperatures in check. Only one other party on the route; everyone else was headed for Levitation 29. The crux is like Panty Raid (Calico Hills), only much much shorter and with bolts. The 5.8 cracks are mostly surrounded by featured faces. IMHO, the 5.6 lieback sections above felt more committing. Not a ton of good nut placements, and I got by with one set of cams (forgot to bring a second set of smaller ones as recommended). Fun route with great views of Oak Creek Canyon.


TRP - Dec 7, 2008 1:16 pm

Black Orpheus  Sucess!

It is a classic, but don't climb on a hot day.

brutus of wyde

brutus of wyde - Nov 8, 2008 1:00 am Date Climbed: Nov 5, 2008

Hella climb!  Sucess!

GREAT Route. Nurse Ratchet and I have been eying this one for years.

Hanging belay on the Crux Bolts, Dow??? No wonder you thought it was easier than 10a!

We thought the crux was full-on 10a (No hanging belay, and we don't have long reach.)

Even with a very early start, we didn't reach the "IBM" boulder until twilight. Had to break out a rope again as we wound our way down the second and third class slab descent, in the dark.

Of course, right now the Loop Road closes at 5pm and headlamps are needed at 5:30 pm, so I guess between being geriatric tortoises and short days, the fact that we didn't bivy can be considered a huge win! (grin). Glad we got that Late Exit permit.

Went up yesterday into Lower Painted Bowl to retrieve our stuck rope, so got a lot of good pics of the upper part of the 2-rope Painted Bowl descent. Hope to put up descent info for this before the end of the year.

Thanks to Radek, Chief and Dow for the inspiring words!

Brutus, heading to the meds cabinet for some "Vitamin I"

Dow Williams

Dow Williams - Dec 13, 2008 11:28 pm

Re: Hella climb!

lol, no we did the move, just did not think it was RR 5.10a. I can barely recall, but I think we could reach at least one of the bolts from our station...I believe that is a typo, we set up a hanging belay to the right of those two bolts, not on them. We were in between pitches, we just went a little long on the previous pitch I believe. Saw your summit log signature atop Windy Peak just last week. I did Jubilant as well. Fun winter route. Cheers.

tb00957 - May 13, 2008 3:04 pm Date Climbed: Apr 12, 2008

black orpheus  Sucess!

great route.

Dow Williams

Dow Williams - Oct 18, 2007 12:10 pm Date Climbed: Oct 17, 2007

Black Orpheus  Sucess!

Climbed it yesterday, agree with everything Radek said in his photo attachments....first three pitches were alright, nothing spectacular, pitch 2 was the best....pitch 3 not so much....if competent, you can put the ropes away for pitches 4-7...would go a lot faster....the Falcon Guide and Supertopo are quite conflicting on this section...but all the ground is easy...most of it is exposed.....than as Radek alluded, those last pitches were fantastic...definitely worth the trip up there...we actually set up a hanging belay on those two bolts used to help on the crux move on the pitch above that spectacular corner pitch....that is not a 5.10a move....a lot easier than it looks actually....another nice pitch though...and again, like Radek said finger crack pitch above those 5.9 pitches is probably more like a 5.7 than 5.6...beautiful position pitch...the descent is fast and furious....I don't get the alpine IV rating on this route considering the easy descent (only two double rope raps with am easy walkoff)....all alpine ratings in the desert are a grade or two higher than what we would rate them in the Canadian Rockies....10 hrs car to car I think...first time partners climbing together, but we moved fairly fast....I can see how folks get benighted as the days get shorter....but you do not have to park in the park (which closes at 6:pm), so you can get a very early start with headlamps from the old campground on the main road outside the park, you could take off, say 2 hours before the sun comes up....Thanks for the inspiration Radek (recent photos)...cheers

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