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|Type: ||Trad, 2 pitches, 300 feet|
|Consensus: ||5.7 [details]|
|FA: ||FA: Rick Reese, Ted Wilson, and Milt Hokanson, 1963.FFA: Rick Reese, Jim Gaddis and Wilf Bruschke, 1963.|
|Submitted By: ||John J. Glime on Jun 19, 2003|
Grunting thru the offwidth. Actually, he cruised.
This is a pretty great route on the verge of being two stars due to a kind of lame traverse on the last pitch. However this can easily be remedied by the Crescent Crack Direct Variation plus or minus Final Link (although this increases the grade to 5.9). Overall I still give the climb three stars as the rock and moves are just so good for a relatively easy climb and it puts you in a great position to finish the climb in a much better style.
When you hit the buttress from the trail hike left until you come to a well worn dirt "platform" below an angling groove gully.
Pitch one:Climb left up the chimney in the gully through to some trees. There are some great easy crack moves here, very well protected. Probably 5.6 climbing. If you only have a 50 meter rope you may need to belay at the trees as I am not sure if it will reach the chain anchor above. (This would cause the climb to be three pitches.) A 60 meter rope will reach, so continue up past the trees to the belay anchor. There is a move of 5.7 perhaps as you pull a bulge reaching the anchor.
Pitch two:Climb the crux offwidth above the chains (5.7), kind of hard to protect. I don't want to give the answer away, but there is an easy way to climb this and a hard way. See what happens. This only lasts 10 feet or so and then you are on an angling crack moving up and right. You will come to a point where you will have the opportunity to traverse down a sloping slab to the right. BE SURE to protect the second here as you traverse down. Belay at the big ledge.
Descent:Scramble up right and then down the gully. It is a walk off.
FYI: To put this climb in perspective, the first time my partner and I roped up to climb this classic we were joined by a guy who was soloing the route at the same time. I think he lapped me about 5 times while I methodically climbed the 2/3 pitches. It was impressive, and I am sure he was doing laps before we even got there.
Standard trad rack is fine.
Some ancient history from the walls of Little Cottonwood via Rick Reese and Ted Wilson:
While working on notes for the Marriott Library climbing archive, Rick and Ted discovered the notes Ted had made in the 60's—for what was then hoped to be a guide book to the LCC granite. The book never happened, but the notes document the first ascent of "The Bulge", the route that shortly came to be known as "Crescent Crack". The first ascent was done by Rick Reese, Ted Wilson, and Milt Hokanson in May, 1963. It was 5.6, A2 because they nailed the bulge.
When Rick returned a few weeks later with Jim Gaddis and Wilf Bruschke, they did the bulge free as Rick was able to place a bong-bong deep in the crack, affording the protection needed to step out and around the bulge to the right. Rick said that this probably sounds ridiculous by today's standards, but that was long before sticky rubber, and the old Vibram soles on mountaineering boots made some of those moves a bit more scary that they are today.
When Rick climbed the crack in more recent years, he noted how nice it would have been nice to have a big Camelot that could be slid into that huge crack to the left of the bulge itself. In the old days, one had to bury oneself up to the waist to place a bong in that crack.
BETA PHOTO: Crescent Crack Buttress from the road: 1-Mexican C...
First pitch fun.
Looking back down the squeeze to the anchors at th...
little cottonwood canyon road from the tree on the...
Just exiting the offwidth section and finishing th...
Jon Behrmann leading Crescent Crack
Starting the first pitch
Rappel with Great Exposure
Love the view
myself on the first Pitch. fun start
Erik starting the off-width he did it in 5 moves.
Belay ledge just under the off-width. 3 bolt ancho...
found this floating around the internet. you can r...
Alternate finish. Legendary Sturgis
Sal coming up the first pitch
|Comments on Crescent Crack
|By Nathan Fisher|
May 17, 2004
After the ledge traverse on the last pitch, wander down a little further until you reach chains. From these chains, you can 2-rope rappel with 60 Meter ropes. Aim for left of a large face near the end of the rappel. You can reach the anchors above Closet Lycra. You can also gain the bottom anchors for the Ross Route.
|By Ammon Hatch|
Jan 20, 2005
If using a 60m rope and toproping the first pitch, you'll have to use the trees, and even then it's a streach to the deck (same deal with rappelling). Have a backup knot when loweing someone else, but when rapping off it can be convenient to rap off the end of the rope. Just be positive the rope is even, and stay in controll at the end. Better yet, use a 70m rope....
|By vincent pierce|
May 21, 2005
I hate myself for it but i just CAN'T get with this route! The first pitch is really fun and very good for new leaders but that OW on p-2 seems to have my number. I make it a 5.10 every time as I can't stop getting sucked into that squeeze. If you want to just do the first pitch.... there are anchors just left of the great ledge in the trees.
|By Carl Grundstrom|
Aug 2, 2005
The first pitch is fun climbing with good protection. The offwidth crux at the start of the second pitch is not rated correctly in my opinion. I'd put it closer to a 5.10 than a 5.7. It protects well with medium sized cams, but I found it very difficult to climb. So if you aren't comfortable leading past the 5.7 level, I'd recommend rapping off after the first pitch. First pitch: ***, Second pitch: zero stars.
From: Spokane, WA
Aug 2, 2005
Carl, you may have done ``the womb'' facing the wrong way. Please, for the sake of those who haven't yet climbed it, don't tell me which way you did it. But, as others have already noted here, there is a 5.7 way and there is a 5.7++ way of getting through it.
From: Spokane, WA
Aug 2, 2005
...and I would also like to add that I've always found it much much easier on lead. Try that.
From: Olympic Valley, CA
Aug 2, 2005
The second pitch, if done right is 5.7. This was one of my first gear leads, it took me a while to figure out but when I did it wasn't that hard and was actuall really fun. Carl get back up there and think outside the box.
|By David Shiembob|
From: slc, ut
Sep 9, 2005
My friend and I climbed this for the first time today. I can't say I was overly impressed with the route, at least compared to the other classics on that side of the road. The first pitch was fun, with some cool climbing. That off-width was a real pain. (There's a fixed cam in it now - that's right, a large, fixed cam). I didn't think the second pitch had that great of climbing, but the location and exposure made it neat. With so much awesome stuff around here, it really isn't on my list to repeat soon, but it was cool to do once.
Oct 3, 2005
This one goes great in one pitch with a 70meter rope. A little simu-climbing, but it's all when the leader is walking down the final ramp to the chains. What a fun little off-width it has.
|By Erik Gillis|
Dec 31, 2005
First pitch was way fun. The offwidth is 5-7 if done correctly. Of course i am really small so i cruised right up it on lead, but my dad had a little trouble following it. Great route. I took the ramp to the coffin at the end, but if you like you can continue up the crack to a 5-9.
From: salt lake city, UT
Aug 17, 2006
We only did the first pitch of this climb yesterday and it was a really nice crack climb. Gear went in well and it took nuts nicely too. A lot of rope drag would have been avoided if I would have set up a redirectional on the other side of the crack when you start heading up through the trees.
On topic of the bolted anchors there are bolts right around the tree belay spot to the left that are used for a 10c and some other routes. The chains that are up from the tree belay spot (above the tree big boulders on top of eachother) are I believe to high to hit the bottom rapping on a 60m rope.
So we set up a gear anchor in the trees made a second pitch up to the 3 bolts above the 3 boulders and then rapped down to the other set of chains and then hit the ground. Great enjoyable climb and that last 20 feet of climbing is tricky yet really fun.
Great climb for the new leader. I brough metolius 5-8 .5 camalot two small aliens .25 wired bliss full nuts and some slings for rope drag.
|By john richards|
From: salt lake city UT
Apr 21, 2008
great climb. Easy first pitch. Bolts will set up your belay before the offwidth. A number seven metolious at the top od the offwidth will keep ya plenty safe. Dont let the usual talk of a hard to protect offwidth keep ya off the route get up there and try it!
From: Small Lake, UT
Jun 24, 2008
Fun route, a bit inconsistent with a bunch of interesting moves. P1 get progressively harder as you get closer to the anchors but the pro is good. You can walk a #4 through most of the offwidth if you feel uncomfortable, although as people have mentioned above if done correctly if feels quite secure. The rest of P2 is easy and fun until the ramp. Do yourself a favor and go for the direct variation + the final link above, the normal finish puts an abrupt end to the fun.
|By Casey Jenen|
Jul 23, 2008
First pitch is way fun and gets really good near the anchors. Second pitch is fun but not my top pick in this area but worth doing to try the OW. OW not as hard as everyone is saying just takes some time to figure the right way to do it.
From: Salt Lake City
Oct 15, 2010
So I followed pitch 2 yesterday and was completely defeated by the OW. I could only get into it enough to pull out the #4 BD cam. What I ended up doing is swing on the rope out to the chicken-head on the face to the right of it and then climb up that. With a bit of tension from the rope every now and then, I got past the OW. Once past the OW, the 2nd pitch is a no-brainer.
I was truely humbled by this OW stuff. Maybe one day.
|By Matt Brodhead|
From: Logan, UT
Apr 17, 2011
Great climb. Pitch 1 had a ton of fun jams and lots of cool stemming action. I built a belay at the trees, but if I could do it again, I'd keep climbing to the bolted anchors below the off-width.
In my opinion, awkward pitches are part of the trad experience. With that, the off-width section is fine. It's easy to protect and the beta is really obvious if you take some time and analyze the section before you commit to it.
From: Salt Lake City, Ut
May 9, 2012
Did the 5.9 finish. Well my partner led it which meant I had to lead The Final Link. The first few moves to reach the first bolt are scary. I was willing to sell my first born to reach the second and I swear the bolts are so far apart that you have to clip the third before you are safe from plummeting off the edge of the slab. Slab is best left for cooler weather.
Jun 12, 2012
Found a rope hung just below the anchors beneath the off-width crack section. It appears that someone tried to pull the rope after rappelling multiplicity, and got it hung. If you would like claim your rope please e-mail me at senordave(at)hotmail(dot)com.
|By Joseph Lascurain|
From: Salt Lake City, Utah
Jul 10, 2012
Great long first pitch to the offwidth. Okay second pitch, makes me wish I was shorter for the lower section. The traverse is odd.
|By Michael Haines|
Aug 26, 2012
Description says standard rack, but if you have them you'll get your money's worth out of double #.75 and #1 BD Camalots on the first pitch, and a #4 on the squeeze. I felt the climbing was hard 5.7 but the gear is great throughout (a piece at your waist for every hard move) which made this a great early 5.7 lead.
I'm not sure if we took the correct walk-off route, but after starting up the gully we decided to rope up and use a belay. Our route felt like fun 5.4 to get to the Coffin Crack trail. Maybe there is an easier way up, but don't feel too bad if you feel sketched and turn this into a 4-pitch climb.
|By Adam Maxwell|
Sep 13, 2012
Climbed CC with the fiance tonight finished in the dark, realized at top her raincoat get nabbed off the back off her backpack, I assume during the OW. If anyone sees it, there is beer waiting or she'll bake up something reeeeeal tasty! THX!
|By Garret Nuzzo-Jones|
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Apr 21, 2013
The offwidth at the beginning of the second pitch is terrible. It's especially bad for larger people as you can't get your body in very well. Could be forgiven if the rest of the second pitch was money, but it's boring climbing up a flaring crack to an uninteresting traverse.
It's totally mysterious why this crack is always mobbed.
|By Sam Cannon|
From: Holladay, UT
6 days ago
I give this route 4 stars IF you do the Direct Variation and the Final Link. The sheer variety of climbing is amazing, and my 2nd time up it the OW on p2 felt physical but really fun. I can understand people complaining that it's deceptively hard when expecting easy 5.7 but that doesn't mean it's bad. It's an OW, and as already mentioned several times there are ways of climbing it that will make it much harder and as Garret mentioned size probably makes a big difference. A must do w/ the 2 variations.