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Black Orpheus - 5.10a popular

Average Rating = 4.32/5 Average Rating : 4.32 out of 5
Route sequence (left to right): 11
Route Summary | Ascent Notes (37)
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nuts, doubles: green alien thru #3 camalot (optional: 1 extra purple camalot)
Consensus Ratings
  Difficulty 5.10a
  Safety Rating G
  Exposure 4.07/5
  Rock Quality 3.93/5
  Scenery 4.53/5
  Fun Factor 4.40/5

Description:

Black Orpheus is often touted as one of the best moderate routes in Red Rocks. It's also fairly committing, since once you start the traverses, retreating without sacrificing gear, is not an option. This is easily in my top 5 routes in Red Rocks! Approach: Head up Oak Creek Canyon toward Solar Slab, then drop into the wash when you get even with Solar Slab Gully. Follow the wash up the canyon for about 1/4 mile until you see a cairn on your right on top of a boulder. Near this you will see a prominent, large, gray slabby boulder that leads to the slabs above. Some bushwacking will get you there. Head up and right on the slabs, aiming for the large white rectangle of rock on the wall above. You'll see a beautiful left facing dihedral with a large notch in it. This is Orpheus. This climb can be done in 9 pitches, not 11 as the Supertopo describes. Climb as follows: Pitch 1) Head up the corner, passing a set of bolts. Continue up to a stance below the bulge/lieback. 5.8, 180'. Pitch 2: Pull the lieback, then move up to a set of bolts. Continue up and left, then back right to a large ledge, then move up and left to a larger ledge. 5.8, 180' Pitch 3: Traverse up and left, heading up until you are on a ledge below a large slab. To your left will be a bolt. Belay here. 150', 5.6 Pitch 4: Head up and left to a tree. 180', 5.2 Pitch 5: Head up the ramp (slick!) and then up and left again to a cave below and left of a huge roof. 5.4, 150'. Pitch 6: The money pitch. Head left on some face moves, place a nut along the way, then move up and left to the bolt above. From here, go straight up the corner to a chimney. Pull through the chimney, then stem out and move onto the ledge in front of you. Belay here. 160', 5.9 Pitch 7: The crux. Climb up to the two bolts above. Pull the crux, then move onto the ledge and head up to the splitter crack. Follow this to a belay above a block. 160', 5.10a Pitch 8: Climb up the thin corner/face to a ledge above. Lieback up the headwall until the corner opens up. From here, either continue the lieback up to the ledge, or climb the face to the ledge. From here, move right to belay at 3 bolts. 5.7, 170' Pitch 9: Scary face moves out to a bolt to your right, then move right and up to two more bolts. From the second bolt, go straight up to the gap between the headwall. Head through the gap to the summit. 160', 5.5R Descent: There are two good options, one bad one. The first is the standard single line descent that goes down into the Painted Bowls. From the top, head up and left, following cairns along a shelf until you arrive at a pair of bolts. From here, make two short raps to a large ledge on the climbers left. Walk along this ledge about 100' to an old (but good) rap anchor. Make two more raps into the bowl. [Variation: If you have two lines, you can rap straight down from the first set of bolts to another set of bolts that sits just even with the ledge on the left. One more rap takes you into the bowl] Once you're in the bowl, head down and left, staying somewhat right in the bowl, to the large round boulder. From here, continue down, following the cairns to the wash below. This takes about 3 hours if you dont make any mistakes. The second option, which may be ideal if you have two lines (depending on Solar Slab crowds) is to rap Solar Slab. From the top of Orpheus, head up, then down and right until you reach the top of a wide crack in an open book. From here, walk along the top of the left side of the book to a rounded step. Step down and make a right. This takes you onto the terrace at the top of the 7th pitch of Solar Slab. Locate a dead tree and some large boulders. The chains are about 15' below these boulders. This will take you to the base of Solar Slab and shave quite a bit of time off the descent. A final descent option is the gully just East of Solar Slab. This is highly epic inducing and should only be used by those who feel that it's a necessity. It generally involves serious downclimbing and several nasty rappels to arrive at the east side of the Solar Slab terrace. From here, head west to the Solar Slab gully and descend with a single line.

Submitted by: vegastradguy on 2005-05-25
Views: 2338
Route ID: 32205

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37 Ascents Recorded

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Ratings
  Difficulty 5.9
  Safety Rating G
  Exposure
  Rock Quality
  Scenery
  Fun Factor
Onsight Onsight ascent by: coryberkebile on 2010-03-19 (View Climbing Log)

4 out of 5 stars Great route. Fast and moderate.

This was climb 1 of a link-up day to then climb Levitation 29. The route is super moderate all the way up to the "crux" which is protected by bolts. I really never felt a crux. I feel that the route is 5.9 and no harder, but one of my favorites.

Added: 2012-01-19

Ratings
  Difficulty 5.9
  Safety Rating G
  Exposure
  Rock Quality
  Scenery
  Fun Factor
Onsight Onsight ascent by: imarcus on 2011-11-04 (View Climbing Log)

4 out of 5 stars Trip Report

http://thrillseekersanonymous.com/2011/12/03/santa-aint-up-this-chimney/

Added: 2011-12-04

Ratings
  Difficulty 5.10a
  Safety Rating PG13
  Exposure
  Rock Quality
  Scenery
  Fun Factor
Onsight Onsight ascent by: jmeizis on 2011-04-18 (View Climbing Log)

4 out of 5 stars Very Fun

The first three pitches are fun and very cruiser. The middle section is a little boring and runout and then the last section is super fun except for the last pitch which is a little heady because of the rock although it protects ok. Simul-climbed most of this in 2 hours before going to do Rainbow Buttress. Really only one move that might be 10a.

Added: 2011-04-18

Ratings
  Difficulty 5.10a
  Safety Rating G
  Exposure
  Rock Quality
  Scenery
  Fun Factor
Onsight Onsight ascent by: sailskisurf on 2010-12-10 (View Climbing Log)

5 out of 5 stars 10 hrs car to car

Had good pace, simul climbed the from the 5.5 to that belay under the big roof. And didn't have any mix ups on the approach or descent. Unless you've done the descent before I'd allow a couple extra hours. Start early in the winter!

Added: 2010-12-10

Ratings
  Difficulty 5.10a
  Safety Rating R
  Exposure
  Rock Quality
  Scenery
  Fun Factor
Onsight Onsight ascent by: sherrilewis on 2009-11-20 (View Climbing Log)

5 out of 5 stars Excellent and Epic

Every pitch was enjoyable and engaging in some way, even the easier pitches in the middle as they involved some routefinding and were a refreshing pause before the excitement to come on the upper pitches. The 5.9 corner pitch before the "crux pitch" was sustained and burly compared to the crux, and the 5.6 lieback pitch was intense(easily holds a couple 5.8 moves, IMO). We took a #4 and found plenty of placements for it. Our top-out coincided with sunset AND a 55mph wind storm which made the descent scary and arduous. After nearly being swept off the Painted Bowl slabs, we ended up at the rap station atop the Plate of Fate route(near "There and Back Again") and found signficant, recent rockfall all around the anchor.(Dangerous!) The wind wreaked havoc w/our rappels and had to hike back in the next day to retrieve them by climbing Plate of Fate.

On Black Orpheus, I led: p2, 6, 7, 9, 11 as per Handren's pitch breakdown.

Added: 2009-11-21

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