Mayo Ups the Ante on Colorado's Black Wall


10/13/14 - Will Mayo has redpointed The Ghost (M10 WI6), a traditionally protected mixed climb at over 13,000 feet on the Black Wall, near Mt. Evans. The route is his second early-season new route of the year, and his third difficult mixed climb on the same cliff in the past 13 months.

After working on the route for half a day last week, including trundling some loose blocks and placing key fixed pitons, Mayo redpointed The Ghost on October 11, belayed by Ben Collett. The crux consisted of a dagger hanging from a large roof split by an off-finger crack, followed by thin face. "Spooky but relatively safe. Instant classic!" Mayo wrote at his Facebook page. He added in a message that with preplaced pins and rehearsal of the moves, The Ghost was a "different experience than the other two routes, but still terrifying."

Earlier this month, Mayo led Shooting Star (M9 WI7), which breaches the roof line to the right of The Ghost. Last autumn, Mayo and Collett climbed Silhouette (3 pitches, M9 WI6+), a longer, more traditional—but still desperate—mixed line on the right side of the wall. (Silhouette, which is believed to have been repeated only once last season, also has come into shape this year.) All three routes were led without any bolt protection.

Rocky Mountain National Park also has come into early ice climbing shape this fall, with ascents of several rarely climbed lines, including Crazy Train and the route commonly known as "the Duncan route on Mt. Meeker," despite the certainty that Duncan Ferguson climbed several different Meeker routes when he was most active in the Park in the 1980s and early ’90s.

Date of ascent: October 11, 2014

Sources: Will Mayo, Facebook