Master crack climber Maria Salvesen recently went to the Canyonlands in Utah and managed to send Black Mamba (8c), one of the most iconic US cracks underneath the White Rim.
Described as a not-so-usual climb, Black Mamba starts from a dark tunnel, and it can be seen as part boulder/part trad route because of its low to-the-ground start and high top that requires a rope. The crack varies in size, ranging from finger locks to places where it requires size 9 cams to protect.
First climbed by Tom Randall and Pete Whittaker in 2019, this 50-meter climb is almost two-thirds of roof bouldering, which then turns into a 10-meter climb that takes you out on the White Rim.
Mari was helped to complete this climb by the @tradprincess herself, Mary Eden who sent the Black Mamba this November. Eden helped her with the beta and with the cleaning business because the crack is usually very dirty. Also, she contributed with massive moral support over the two weeks it took Mari to send.
Salvesen described the day of the send as magical, with a light warm-up and a relaxing atmosphere before starting the climb. She said that one of the issues encountered at this crack was conserving energy and getting rid of her “try-hard” mindset. In her final session, she said that climbing the line felt like pure joy because she embraced the flow state.
Black Mamba is, for sure, a great tick on Mari’s list. One year ago, in December 2022, she FAd Tazlov (8a+), a bouldery roof crack testpiece in Bergen, Norway. Also, last year, during a trip to the US, she sent five hard crack lines, including the onsight of Wapiti (8a) and a flash climb of the famous Belly Full of Bad Berries (8a).