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Spire Six
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Empire State Building T 
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Empire State Building 

YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b

Type:  Trad, 150'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b [details]
Season: Spring, Summer, Fall. Sunny most of the day.
Page Views: 112
Submitted By: Brent Larsen on Jul 1, 2014

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Empire State Building, 5.10

Description based on the wavy crack. 

A absolutely fabulous line on the south face of a massive formation located within the south westerly side of the Spire Six ridgeline.

Starts on a mostly-unprotectable slab which gives way to a sick, nearly dead vertical hand crack that can get steep within cruxy places.

A climb that would make King Kong himself proud!

The route has excellent rock quality after you move past some cruddy rock at the very beginning. After that it presents multiple physical challenges with the most dominating crux at the start of the crack. This route is not for the faint of heart or weak of mind, but it gobbles up gear, and gives ample rests when needed most.

Super-exciting and well worth the long hike and excruciating effort!


Park in the Spires parking lot and take the trail till it forks. Take the right trail and work your way to the 5-6 gully. There is no need to enter the gully itself. Empire State Building is the imposing formation just east of Amphitheater Rock.


Standard rack with cams and nuts. Long slings are recommended. Double up on BD Camalots 0.75 - 3 if you really like the idea of sewing it up.

Photos of Empire State Building Slideshow Add Photo
Empire State Building, 5.10
Empire State Building, 5.10
Nearing the summit with a sick hand crack on Empire State Building. Custer State Park. Black Hills, South Dakota.
Nearing the summit with a sick hand crack on Empir...

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By rgold
From: Poughkeepsie, NY
Aug 20, 2014

First ascent of the Wavy Crack route August 7, 1964 Mark and Beverly Powell and Bob Kamps.

In August 1967 I did an independent route on the face to the right of the Wavy Crack. My belayer didn't follow; I don't remember why now, but I think the sun was setting. Back then the Wavy Crack was 5.9 and my route seemed a bit easier, so we called it 5.8. Now that the Wavy Crack is 5.10, it is possible that my route might seem undergraded.
By Brent Larsen
From: Spearfish, SD
Aug 20, 2014

Mr. Gold,

Thanks for the information. My friends and I don't really know all that much about this formation or any routes associated with it, all we know is that the wavy crack climb is stellar. It might be 5.8 or 5.9 the higher you go up but it does have a crux move close the bottom that feels pretty hard so we assumed the grade to be around five ten.

Does your route to the right have a name? How about protection? Are there bolts or is it completely gear? It don't know how much traffic this formation sees but it is definitely on my repeat list. Any other beta about this awesome spire would be greatly appreciated.