MountainProject.com Route of the Week: Texas Hold ‘Em, Black Velvet Peak
Just right of the park’s famous Epinephrine (5.9), the “Hold ‘Em to Lone Star” link may be the best long 5.11. It tackles steeper and wilder terrain, but features a similar mix of splitter cracks, varnished face holds and over 2,000 feet of north-facing terrain. The 5.11 pitches require a variety of power and subtle balance climbing, and you’ll also get to experience two of the premier 5.10 pitches in the park, one of which escapes the lower wall via an amazing and unlikely passage around and through the huge roof band splitting the wall at mid height. The upper pitches are part of the Lone Star route and offer a significantly more adventurous feel, with a bit of loose rock and runout face climbing as you reach the upper part of Black Velvet Peak. With a total of 20 pitches give or take a few, a summit topout on Black Velvet Peak, and a mere 45-minute approach familiar to anyone who has already climbed in Black Velvet Canyon, this is an overlooked and demanding classic.
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