Black Dagger, Red Rocks Route Photo

Black Dagger 5.7+

Brownstone Wall, Juniper Canyon

  • Black Dagger Sun ExposureRoute quality:
  • Black Dagger First AscentJoe Herbst, Rick Wheeler, 1977
  • Black Dagger Pitch InfoNumber of pitches: 7
  • Black Dagger Approach TimeApproach Time: 1½-2 hours
  • Black Dagger Climbing TimeClimbing Time: 3-5 hours
  • Black Dagger Descent timeDescent Time: ¾-1 hour to base
  • Black Dagger Sun ExposureSun exposure: Sunrise until mid-afternoon (corner shade)
  • About the Climb

    Black Dagger is a great day out in an amazing setting with wonderful views of the Rainbow Wall and Las Vegas. The climbing is varied and has a little bit of everything, including a short, but runout wide crack and a squeeze move through a hole. The fact that the route is located on the Brownstone Wall keeps the crowds away, but if you fill your day with other routes like Armatron (5.9) or the Nightcrawler (5.10c) the hike is definitively worth it. You can also approach the Brownstone Wall by climbing Myster Z (5.7) if you want to avoid part of the hike in.

    Black Dagger was first climbed by Joe Herbst in excellent style. For those of you who have climbed his routes before you know what that means. The climb has some spicy moves for a 5.7 and is harder than other classic Red Rocks routes at the grade. Excellent climbing.

    Black Dagger (Red Rocks) GearLoopTopo {Black Dagger (Red Rocks) GearLoopTopo

    Low Resolution GearLoopTopo Preview

    Minimum order of 3 GearLoopTopos

    The GearLoopTopo

    Our GearLoopTopo for Black Dagger contains all the information you need for the climb, starting from the Pine Creek Parking. This parking is located near the end of the scenic drive. The described approach follows the main Pine Creek Canyon trail, but a shortcut through the Fire Loop Ecology trail is also possible.

    Possible Combinations

    Although there are no direct combinations possible from Black Dagger, there are several options to fill your day. The closest option is Nightcrawler (5.10c), which has superb climbing up a steep corner. It's located about 150 yards to the right of Black Dagger, but is quite a bit harder in difficulty.

    Another option is the one of a kind Armatron (5.9), which has 2 full pitches of climbing on varnish tiles. It only has a short section of 5.9 climbing, and if you have climbed Black Dagger without any issues, you should be fine on Armatron.

    If you don't feel like hiking to the Brownstone Wall, you should climb Myster Z (5.7) to get to the Black Dagger. Myster Z starts in the wide gully just before the mouth of Juniper Canyon and ends just below the Brownstone Wall. The climbing is quite entertaining and beats walking up to the wall.

    Similar Climbs

    For great varied climbing at a similar grade and length, you should try Olive Oil (5.7), Frogland (5.8), or Purblind Pillar (5.8). Olive Oil and Frogland are very popular and and can be crowded. Purblind Pillar is a relatively new route with great climbing, and is not as popular...yet.

    Black Dagger and Juniper Canyon, Red Rocks Back to Red Rocks overview

    1. Power Failure (5.10b)
    2. Unimpeachable Groping (10b)
    3. Ginger Cracks (5.9)
    4. Crimson Chrysalis (5.8)
    5. Black Dagger (5.7+)
    6. Nightcrawler (5.10c)
    7. Armatron (5.9)
    8. Myster Z (5.7)
    9. Geronimo (5.6)
    10. Olive Oil (5.7)

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