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[TR] Black Canyon of the Gunnison - Kachina wings and Journey Home 6/1/2007

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Trip: Black Canyon of the Gunnison - Kachina wings and Journey Home


Date: 6/1/2007


Trip Report:

Something that can be potentially dangerous in the Black canyon is to just eye up a line, and go for it, especially with just a rope, rack and the shirt on your back.



My bro Andrew and I met in Gunnison for a little memorial day debauchery in the Black. The next day we were rapping and hiking down the cruise gully through copious amount of that shinny little plant we all love so much...poison ivy.


Thats when we saw IT. That beautiful dihedral just went on forever....unfortunatly with our googly eyes we overlooked the 100 ft. pegmatite band that ran straight through it. Pegmetite for those uninitiated is a less than solid form of rock, that makes volcanic choss seem bombproof. It is what commands the most respect in the black.


Away we went, simul climbing for around 400 feet, till the shit got steep. Andrew took off on lead rocking out a 180 ft. of sustained 10+...an amazingly good pitch of fingers hands and lyebacking. Black_Canyon-kachina_wings_and_journey_home_007.jpg


From the hanging belay I shot up about 20 feet of the same, and then the rock gradually turned to pegmatite. 100 feet later with much dry heaving, I was able to build a 6 piece hanging belay in the pegmatite. Fortuntly I had that bomber RP, or shit would have been real wild.

Andrew came up, and then embarked on the 6 inch wideness ahead( wish we had the big gear).About 30 feet up, with dubious gear between him and I he was psyching up for running the next 50 feet out through the pegmatite squeeze from hell.


Luckily our senses prevailed, and we bailed. 100 dollars worth of bailage and it was time to hike back out the cruise gully. Sonofabitch, we were 300 feet from the top, but so far away.

Turns out the route is called Kachina Wings...The name is derived from Ed Websters 80 ft. winger on one of the dihedral pitches. Kachina means either spirit or devil...I can't figure out which.

A shower at the local RV park, and we were both back in reality. A little poision ivy, but feeling ready for our next adventure...Journey Home. This time we actually checked the Guidebook...

Journey home is one of the best routes I have done anywhere. The rock is great, the climbing is sustained at 5.10 for 600 ft., and the pitches are uber long, making a 70 m rope a necessity. It has everything from fingers, to hands, to o/w and chimney's. We both managed to catch some airtime, but the gear is great, and is always fairly close by.


Can't wait for next season!!!


Gear Notes:

RP's are essential


Approach Notes:

Down the cruise Gully

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Skyclimb! You rock!


Great stuff there, thanks for putting it on the site and sharing it with us landlocked cube farmers who have been spending the last 2 weeks howling at the moon and each other. (see Infinite Bliss thread for further clarification).


Way to get after it.

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Sick... maybe I do want to climb in the black after all.


Thanks for the TR, nice to see real rock climbing in this forum.



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Nice - one place I still haven't made it to that's on my 'greatest hits' list. I did put some routes up in Glenwood Canyon back in the day so I did get some good 'hands on' with pegmatite bands. But a 100' feet of it - that is seeing god.

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nice read. thanks. it is truly a magnificant place. joe you should go there and do the Scenic Cruise, great route.


its really called PEG-MY-FRITE...

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I've pulled off the highway a couple times to check out the Black Canyon. That place is crazy and by all accounts that pegmatite is total sketch...you've gotta break up the good climbing now and then. ;)

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