Major Black Canyon Link-Up


Josh Wharton has linked two of the Black Canyon’s premier free climbs, leading every pitch of the Free Nose (VI 5.12) on North Chasm View Wall and Tague Your Time (V+ 5.12) on South Chasm View Wall in a single day. The two routes add up to around 4,000 feet and 28 pitches of climbing, with ten 5.12 pitches and numerous leads of 5.11 and 5.10, plus two descents into the depths of the Colorado canyon and a Tyrolean traverse across the raging Gunnison River.

Wharton tried the link-up on a hot day one week earlier but ran out of gas on Tague Your Time. “The heat and fatigue got to me, and I couldn’t do five feet of one of the crux pitches, despite pulling the rope a few times—a bit of a heartbreaker,” he wrote in an email.

He returned May 28 in cooler weather with his friend Jed Wareham-Morris belaying and jugging, and this time the link-up went smoothly. After about 15 hours on the go, they ended the day atop South Chasm View Wall, only 1,100 feet across the canyon from the North Rim Campground where they had started—but nearly 100 miles by car for Wharton’s girlfriend, Erinn Kelly, who drove around to pick them up.Comment on this story