We have that kind of a relationship, so I wanted to take Naomi to the Black Canyon. We took the scenic drive and visited an old friend in Durango, but this did not lead to a timely arrival. I changed my mind about what to climb about a dozen times at the North Rim campground; finally we left for SOB Draw to climb Comic Relief around 3 pm.
This is Comic Relief Buttress.
It did not seem like a long pitch for the Black Canyon. Maybe the description was just inaccurate, which is par for the course in the Black. Somehow I accidentally linked the first two pitches. Naomi on her first pitch in the Black.
This put Naomi in prime position to lead the tweaky, thin gear, friction intensive crux pitch of the route.
The canyon is emotive.
Was the late afternoon start temerity or tact and poise? I was not sure as I ran up a 70 m pitch of predominantly pegmatite with sparse protection to get us past the last technical climbing before dark. That is, the last technical climbing aside from a few hundred feet with frequent low 5th moves to the top of the formation. A rappel station magically appeared in front of us and one rappel put us in a gully that was a fun nocturnal scramble to camp.
The next morning I was not motivated enough, possibly also running short on piss and vinegar, so we started much too late on our mission to get a feel for Stoned Oven. By the time we reached the vicinity it seemed like a better idea to try the Movable Stoned Voyage. Now where is it?
We did some tidal scrambling until we convinced ourselves we had a clue. This must be it.
The second pitch had a faulty description in my Falcon Guide. Ranger Viktor's (Victor?) topo and firsthand beta made sense of it all the next morning. Too late. I led a 200 ft pitch, hard squeeze chimney/offwidth to start, a stretch of hands, finishing with overhung 3-4" crack. This put us in a world of exfoliating choss with some manky bolts visible yonder.
It took two rappels to bail from the errant pitch.
Hooray for the hike up Cruise Gully in the dark!