Taking the Driver’s Seat on the First Ascent of The Dark Passenger 5.12 R

The Dark Passenger has been with me ever since I can remember, pulling the strings, running the show. But, as it turns out, I’m not the puppet. ~Dexter

Pamela Shant Pack having successfully surmounted the “squiggles” navigates the “zigzags” that comprise the bizarre geometry of the Dark Passenger 5.12 R in Long Canyon, UT Photo © Andrew Burr 2011

Purchase the beautiful poster (above) of The Dark Passenger by renowned climbing photographer Andrew Burr HERE

Pamela and Pat waiting for the light on the Dark Passenger (5.12 R) Long Canyon, UT Photo © Andrew Burr 2011
Patrick Kingsbury avoiding serration on the disturbing first pitch of The Dark Passenger 5.12R in Long Canyon, UT Photo © Andrew Burr 2011
Pamela Shanti Pack in the Driver's Seat on the Dark Passenger 5.12, Longs Canyon, UT
Pamela Shanti Pack in the Driver’s Seat on the crux section of curving “C’s” on the second pitch of The Dark Passenger 5.12 R in Long Canyon, UT Photo © Andrew Burr 2011
Patrick Kingsbury, Dark Passenger 5.12, Longs Canyon, UT
Pat Kingsbury climbing warily past the notorious “corner to the eye” on The Dark Passenger 5.12 R in Long Canyon, UT. We drew a big “x” in chalk on that particular corner after numerous close calls.  Photo © Andrew Burr 2011
The Dark Passenger is the right-most of the two parallel crack systems on the buttress.
The Dark Passenger is the right-most of the two parallel crack systems on Deadman’s Buttress in Long Canyon, UT
TOPO: The Dark Passenger 5.12 R/X  is the line on the right.


      1. A trip this fall for sure! Hope you’re having fun in AK, did you go splashy splashy yet? I’m curious to know how many places you can invert on your boat.

  1. Hi Pamela, my name is Nico, i’m 25, and I’m an Italian climber. I’ve seen you in Reel Rock 7 Bonus video for the first time and I was amazed! Here in Europe, off-width climbing is not so famous. Thank you for that very inspiring piece!!! I have to compliment you! Great woman and great achievements! Congratulations Pam!

    After that, I searched on the web and found your website. (…really beautiful blog here).
    Coming to the point, whatching the video (that has the same footage of the youtube vid above here) i have noticed the wood structure with which you train at home (minute 1:20).
    I’m building the same frame! It has almost the same shape of your…. but I’m just wondering how you have stabilize it, how you have fixed it to the ground. In the video it is never showed 😦 and i’m trying to solve this issue…

    Hoping you would like to help my with my little work (maybe with a photo or whatever), I want to congratulate with you once more time . Take care and good luck for all your projects! Cheers

  2. Hi Pamela, my name is Nico, i’m an italian climber. I have just watched the bonus vid that came with Reel Rock 7. In this footage there is a piece about you… but you already know 🙂
    Anyway, i want to congratulate for all your succes and to thank you for being such an inspiring person.

    There is also another point… i need your help!
    I’m building the same training structure (exactly the same shape) that you use in your home. It is shown at the minute 1:20 in the video above (in this post). I’m just wondering if you can help me with this issue: how have you fixed it to the ground? How have you stabilized it?
    Thank you in advance for any tip you would like to give me.

    Take care and good luck for all your projects! Cheers!

    1. Nico, Sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to you! Thank you so much for your nice note. I would be more than happy to help you with that training structure I am using in the video. I will get the plans for it for you and send it to your email address asap! Again Nico thank you for your note and I hope you get out there on some wide cracks 🙂 ~Cheers, Pamela Shanti Pack

      1. Thank you very much for the nice answer Pam! I can’t wait to see your plans 😉 I really want to finish and start training 😉

        Unfortunately, here in Europe, there aren’t so many craks like the amazing ones you have in US, but there are a lot of beautiful classic crags! I have a curiosity about you… do you climb only “in” the offwidth or also on some classic pitch? I bet you are very strong even in “traditional” climbing for sure!
        Anyway, thanks again for the kindness. I’ll leave here my e-mail:

  3. Hi Pamela,
    Great to read your blog! We bumped into you at Pistol Whipped the day you put up the FA on the 11 and tipped out the #9. Just want to say thanks for all the great beta! Hope the send went!

    Quick question about gear. I’m getting ready to for an attempt on something I don’t really know the grade of and thought nailing down some of the body protection could help a lot. Noticed you tape the pants and always wear long sleeved shirts :-). Do you use knee and elbow pads? Wondering if you have a favorite.

    Hope to see you in the Creek this fall or next spring!


    1. Hey Mark — I remember meeting you at Pistol Whipped! Yes indeed the tipped out 9″ cam –ah my favorite. The send went quite well — thanks so much! As far as gear beta — yes I always tape my pants down to keep the pant legs from rolling up and bunching around my knees on knee locks as well as give me a bit more ankle protection. I do wear the Mueller brand neoprene “knee sleeve” and the Mueller stretch elbow “sleeves.” I buy the elbow sleeves quite large so that I can wear them more over my triceps than my elbows. Have you gotten on your mystery route?! How did it go?!

      I will be in the Creek most of October through December — it would be great to see you again so send me a note and we can meet up and climb something wide 🙂 Cheers, Pamela

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s