As my climbing partner and I drive towards the invisible canyon rim, the precipitous gorge of the mysterious Black Canyon of The Gunnison seemed incongruous in the flat scrub oak and juniper high plains. We knew it was going to be hot, but we drove six hours to do one of the most coveted climbs in Colorado, and we were determined to make it happen.
"The Scenic Cruise," 5.10d ascends the North Chasm View Wall in the Black Canyon (The Black) of The Gunnison. This route is sort of an anomaly because unlike many of the climbs in The Black, which are described as adventurous with poor-quality rock, "Scenic Cruise" is characterized by exquisite rock with comparatively straight-forward climbing.
Considering we climbed the second half of the 1700 foot route under the sweltering sun, our decision to climb with two liters of water each seemed prudent. We topped-out on the canyon rim in good spirits with only minor dehydration and heat exhaustion.
My birthday on the Scenic Cruise from Craig Muderlak on Vimeo.