Black Magic, Red Rocks Route Photo

Black Magic 5.8

Lotta Balls Wall, First Creek Canyon

  • Black Magic Sun ExposureRoute quality:
  • Black Magic First AscentJorge and Joanne Urioste, 1978
  • Black Magic Pitch InfoNumber of pitches: 4
  • Black Magic Approach TimeApproach Time: ¾-1 hour
  • Black Magic Climbing TimeClimbing Time: 2-2½ hours
  • Black Magic Descent timeDescent Time: 30-40 minutes
  • Black Magic Sun ExposureSun exposure: Some morning sun (more in summer)
  • About the Climb

    Black Magic is not as famous as its popular neighbor Lotta Balls (5.8), but the climbing is just as good. It's super fun from bottom to top and it has nice exposure. When looking at it from below, it's hard to imagine that the climbing is only 5.8, but as you climb up hidden features will appear.

    Black Magic (Red Rocks) GearLoopTopo {Black Magic (Red Rocks) GearLoopTopo

    Low Resolution GearLoopTopo Preview

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    The GearLoopTopo

    You can find the topo for Black Magic on our GearLoopTopo for Lotta Balls (5.8). In addition, this GearLoopTopo also includes the topo for Bruja's Brew (5.9).

    The GearLoopTopo contains all the information you need for the climb, starting from the First Creek Parking. This parking is located on the 159, 2.1 miles past the end of the scenic drive.

    Possible Combinations

    Most people won't do the hike just to climb Black Magic, but if you'll be climbing Lotta Balls, this route is a nice addition to fill your day. All the climbs in the area are relatively short, so you can squeeze a few in a day.

    From the second belay on Black Magic it is possible to traverse left below the roof and finish on Bruja's Brew (5.9). However, we recommend that you stay on Black Magic, which has the best finish. You can climb Bruja's Brew afterwards if you want, the first pitch is really the highlight of this route.

    There are no other direct combinations possible from Black Magic. However, the neighboring climbs provide enough options to fill your day. If you have not climbed Lotta Balls (5.8) before, don't waste your time and do it right away. It is a one of kind climb with funky features!

    Just to the left of Black Magic is Bruja's Brew (5.9), which has a very nice first pitch with great climbing, but it's a bit spicy for the grade. The second pitch is a little runout, and the last pitch has a very interesting traverse below the roof (mentioned above). A great combo is to climb the first pitch of Bruja's Brew and then join Black Magic around the first or second belay and finish that route.

    Another nice short climb located just on the other side of the bowl is Rising Moons (5.5R). Although it is an easier route, the climbing will keep your attention from start to finish because of the limited pro options. Overall, the climbing is super fun and feels very secure.

    In addition to the short multipitch routes, the walls near the bowl have many great single pitch climbs too.

    Similar Climbs

    For more great climbing on varnish check out the amazing Armatron (5.9) or the short but fun Going Nuts (5.6). Birdland (5.7+) in Pine Creek Canyon also have some nice varnish climbing.

    If you are looking for longer classics at a similar grade check out Crimson Chrysalis (5.8), Frogland (5.8), or Purblind Pillar (5.8). Crimson Chrysalis and Frogland are very popular, so plan accordingly.

    Black Magic and First Creek Canyon, Red Rocks Back to Red Rocks overview

    1. Lotta Balls (5.8)
    2. Bruja's Brew (5.9)
    3. Black Magic (5.8)

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    routes overview

    Download the Black Magic PDF file or visit the PDF Center.

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