Wharton Frees Hallucinogen in A Day
Josh Wharton frees The Hallucinogen Wall (5.13+ R) in the Black Canyon of Gunnison, Colorado.
“I think there should not be a limit on the total number of bolts allowed per year,” says Wharton, “but that climbers should strive to keep bolting to a minimum, and maintain the canyon’s spirit of adventure. There is room for all styles, but my hope is that the Black will maintain a traditional flavor, new routes will approached in a thoughtful way, and that harder climbs will continue to be established.”
In 2007 Wharton established The Black Sheep (5.13), also in the Black Canyon. The Hallucinogen Wall is the last hard free route in the Black that he had his sights on, which prompts the question of what he will do there next. He believes that “new gems will emerge … I hope I find an excuse to go back soon.”
Wharton is an accomplished alpine climber with first ascents around the world. In 2002, he made the first ascent of the Flame Spire in northeastern Pakistan and climbed the much-attempted Southeast Ridge of Great Trango Tower, among the longest rock routes in the world (54 pitches and 7,400 vertical feet). Along with his incredible climbing resume, Wharton recently became a father.