Well-racked with gear that he mostly won't need, I...
When you've done the well-protected approach routes like Block Route and Dirty Crack, Crystal Lizard is a great climb to up the ante. As you approach the anchors, try not to think about the fact that you're runout maybe 60' above your last bolt.
Climb past the tree pods (on your left) up and right to a bolt about 30' up. Carefully traverse back left to small dikes above the last tree, or for extra spice, go straight up over the bolt. Continue up to a large left-facing flake; climb the flake a short distance, then surmount it and move up and right to another bolt. Runout the finish to the Rice Krispies anchors at the Tree Ledge.
Starts right of U Slot, about 10' left of Rice Krispies; look for trees growing out of pods in the rock. Two-rope rap from ring anchors.
Two bolts; placements for a small to medium cam under the big flake (extend it well). Shares anchors with Rice Krispies.
By saxfiend Administrator From: Decatur, GA Apr 4, 2007
The placement of the first bolt on Crystal Lizard is kind of strange, well right of the natural line of the climb. I can only figure it was put there to keep you from hitting the trees if you take a fall above the first clip, but it makes for some awkward moves at the start. The rest of the climb is excellent.
I agree, the first bolt is misleading. First time I climbed this route I was lured into climbing up and right along a faint seam into a left facing crack 65 feet off the deck right of Rice Crispies. Don't do this, unless you like long runouts with a definite groundfall. The seam runs out and you WILL hit the ground if you fall before getting pro in the crack. FYI someone chopped the first bolt of RC.
Climbing it a second time I went left after the bolt, a much better idea for the 5.8 leader heading to the Great Arch or No Alternative.
I climbed CL this past week and following the 5.8 terrain (crystal dikes) I only found one bolt, and one placement at the overlap...I also slung that tree down low...wouldn't have helped much, though. I may have been a bit too left also.
I think the pitch is more fun starting below or right of the bolt instead of tree hugging. The crux becomes leaving the ground. Also, if instead of breaking left for the second bolt after crossing the overlap, you follow the dyke up to a second overlap, you can place a decent hand size piece and then get another spooky move pulling over. You end up right of the anchor and have to diagonal a bit left over green rock to finish, but the angle is low.
For the full value, the direct direct start is skip the first bolt, start below the bottom of the left-facing arch that bisects CL, and run it out to the arch. Easier than Rice Krispies, but the run out worked my o-ring.
I started roughly 15' to the right of the bolt, thinking it was the line. Really good climbing, but probably 9+ unprotected up to the bolt. I don't know my slab grades well, but it fell much harder than anything else on the route. Hair-raising, but very good friction climbing on small smeary dishes and the likes. Sustained unsure moves, but definitely worthwhile if that's your thing...