Problem Of the Week #9: “Dark Horse” (V7)

12 Apr



This week’s POW (Problem Of [the] Week) covers the short but stout “Dark Horse” (V7) on the Rock House Boulder in the Picnic Area of GHSP.

IMG_4153 Dark Horse is a medium height boulder problem covering about 5-6 moves and climbing roughly 13+ vertical feet from the start.

Dark Horse starts matched on a thin flake crimp rail at the base of the right “blade” of the Rock House Boulder (about 6 feet to the right of the “Cherokee Dihedral” problem covered in an earlier POW). The starting feet are basically nonexistent and you bicycle the lower arête of the boulder to begin.IMG_4168 The first move is fairly big, but not reachy, to a small in-cut gaston. After latching the gaston, a few bleak foot switches across small dimples allow you to gain a higher left hand edge. At this point, huck up to a monster jug ledge and compose yourself a bit before moving on.

I recommend going up to the top of the boulder and chalking holds from above, as the top crimps that are nice to use look identical to horrible ripples (blindly tossing to bad holds until you find what you are looking for can be pretty tiring/frustrating).

From the huge ledge, make a substantial stab to another nice crimp, and then gain the slot/crack/seam-jug.IMG_4169 Toss to the top of the boulder to the left, finishing with absolute ease at the dihedral’s corner (the top to the left is juggy all the way across).

With a 30 second walk from your car, camp grills for cooking out, a nice picnic table by the boulder to rest & hang out on, indoor restrooms and a playground nearby, an outdoor amphitheater where bluegrass shows can be heard, and vending machines nearby, why in the world would you NOT climb here? And the Olympus boulder and Picnic Boulder are only a short one minute walk away…

Dark Horse, as with all other problem names on this boulder (with the exception of “mountains majesty (v7) which is not in the guide, and really isn’t worth doingIMG_4170 whatsoever unless you have exhausted all other possible boulder problems… in all of GHSP), refer back to the Native Americans that used this boulder as shelter.

Be sure to stop by the Rock House Boulder while visiting GHSP. Dark Horse is one of many awesome lines to be climbed on this block, and is amongst several classic and easy to access problems in the Picnic Area.

Check out Dark Horse and over 750 other GHSP boulder problems on Mountain Project:

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