Login with Facebook
 ADVANCED
Cob Rock
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Aid Crack T 
Brownies In The Basin T,S 
Corn on the Cob T,S 
Crystal Arete 
Devil's Dream T 
East Crack T 
Empor T 
Empor Scary Variant T 
Face Problem 
Face Route T,TR 
Game, The 
Goat, The T,TR 
Headless Horseman, The 
Hug, The 
Hurley Direct T 
Huston Crack T 
Indistinction T,S 
Left Huge aka The Hug Left 
Mantle Arete 
Ms. Fanny Le Pump T 
Night Vision T,S 
North Face Center T 
North Face Left T 
Northwest Corner T 
Othello T 
Right Crack T 
Sleepy Hollow 
South Crack (Unknown) T 
Thunder Road S 
Under The Boardwalk 
Unknown T 
West Cracks T 
West Dihedral T 
West Rib T 
Unsorted Routes:

Huston Crack 

YDS: 5.8+ French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

   
Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 50'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Cary Huston, c. 1955
Page Views: 7,872
Submitted By: Matt Bauman on Jan 1, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (154)
Your todo list:
Your stars:
Your rating: -none- [change]
Your ticklist: [add new tick]
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]
Aaron elbows deep in Huston Crack.

Seasonal Raptor Closure MORE INFO >>>

Description 

Huston Crack begins on the bottom left side of Cob Rock in the middle of the buttress to the left of the North Face Center start. It is an obvious wide crack that goes straight up for 50 feet.

It starts out with a few hand jams, quickly goes to fists for about 10 feet and then goes to a wide (arm-bar) crack for the remaining 35 feet (crux). The end of the crack starts to narrow to fist and hands again and then ends on a ledge....continue up steep but easy face to top of block with good cracks to set up belay/toprope.

From here you can set up a TR for the 10d finger crack (hard) just right of Huston Crack (it's called Old Aid Crack) and 11a face climb to the right of Old Aid Crack.

Protection 

Mid to large cams. The crux needs at least 1 #4 Camalot or equivalent. A second big cam (4-4.5) might make you feel better.


Photos of Huston Crack Slideshow Add Photo
If you are going to lead it, be sure to bring big ...
If you are going to lead it, be sure to bring big ...
Chris firing Huston Crack.
Chris firing Huston Crack.
BETA PHOTO
James Burns on Huston Crack.
James Burns on Huston Crack.
Karate chop here...., Do I look like I am having f...
Karate chop here...., Do I look like I am having f...
Tim leading Huston Crack with only one #4 Camalot ...
Tim leading Huston Crack with only one #4 Camalot ...
It would be great to have another #4 Friend and la...
It would be great to have another #4 Friend and la...
Huston Crack.
Huston Crack.

Comments on Huston Crack Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jul 6, 2013
By Ben Mottinger
Founding Father
Jan 1, 2001

A #4 Camalot or equivalent is almost mandatory unless you run it out through the offwidth section. If you have two, you could really sew it up.
By Warren Teissier
Sep 17, 2001

I made the mistake of assuming the crux was in the thin crack section near the bottom and foolishly decided to tackle the wide section with no pro. Needless to say things got a bit desperate when I reached the crux and my last piece was 25 feet below me (clearly in decking territory)

The crux comes about 40 feet off the ground where the wide crack narrows enough to force your leg out of the offwidth jam. As stated by Ben, to pro this correctly, 2 number 4 Camalots would be needed (unless you care to walk one of them up with you).

All this being said, this is a fun route, sustained and technical.
By Legs Magillicutty
From: Littleton
May 28, 2002

Yeah, this is a good route, fun and frustrating. From the ground the rock around the wide part of the crack looks like there might actually be some good holds but the rock was pretty polished. The leg jam was harsh. I got stuck!!!
By Dmitriy Zinchenko
Aug 12, 2002

This route makes for a great introduction to off-width cracks. It's a bit less than vertical and several hold outside and inside the crack make it a very worthwile TR.
By The Llama
Aug 18, 2003

Be careful on this climb! You need large pro for the top (i.e. BD #4). I saw a guy deck from the top yesterday as his pro zippered, then got hauled out on a litter.. Other than, that VERY cool climb..and the 10d is also way cool..
By ET
Sep 4, 2003

Ya, just to echo whats already been said. The crux on this one is high and you need a 4 or 4.5 BD size cam to protect it.

Learned this one the hard way, I grounded out when I slipped at the crux and my tapped out 3.5 pulled.
By Dane Casterson
From: Boulder
May 26, 2007

Definitely wide. It's possible to to get good fist jams through the wide section if you reach deep enough.
By Stephanovich
From: Boulder, CO
Jul 10, 2007

Fat cracks are Phat! this one is fun, bring a big cam and just walk it along as you climb, Jammin' man...
By Daniel Crescenzo
Aug 13, 2007
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Good Clean Fun!!! First your jamming hands, then fists, then sideways fists, then arms and legs. Very nice crack clinic.
By Dave Fiorucci
From: Boulder, Colorado
Nov 5, 2007
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

I thought that the crack was heinous, I got spanked tiring to go up this off width beast, my feet didn't fit in the crack, and I ended up jamming knees and arm bars, prying apart the crack up toward the top, then I ran out of big gear and had to lower and TR. But I tell you my arms feel great today, guide book calls it an 8, but I have to disagree, and would bump it to a 9... I really like most cracks (and usually breeze up them) but I guess I have to learn a better technique for these off widths, I really wanted to do a toe-heal, but I wasn’t finding the right place for that, and most of the way my hands just felt too small. I will probably do this again until I get up without much trouble.
By Mark Cushman
From: Cumming, GA
Nov 5, 2007
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

I climbed this last month on a whim after getting done Empor. I didn't have the requisite big cams and I ran it out on lead to groundfall potential at my leading ability (not good). I walked a 3.5 Camalot up with me to about 1/2 way until it was too tipped out to function, then shot for the top. Well, I didn't actually shoot for the top, more like oozed up the crack to the top, sometimes gaining 6 inches then losing 2. At the crux I was fairly pumped, overgripping (oh feck, oh feck) and I ALMOST tried to face climb to the left to an inviting bolt I could fall from. I'm glad I didn't, I probably would have peeled. The moral of the story is to bring big cams.
By Dave Fiorucci
From: Boulder, Colorado
Nov 5, 2007
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

This was also a whim climb for our group after Empor, so after flailing all over this thing I didn't go home thinking I was the king of the mountain. #2 moral is not to try this after Empor.
By Leo Paik
Administrator
From: Westminster, Colorado
Nov 5, 2007

I recall back in the early '90s Scott Parazinski, aka the vampire to John Glenn & one of the two astronauts on the recent record setting space walk, jumping onto this route on lead with my meager rack at the time with a #4 Friend as the biggest piece. =[:~o
By Buzz
From: Boulder
Jun 14, 2008

This is a classic, in part because of the great crack, but also because of the rating! If this were done today, it would be listed at 5.9. Back then, 5.10 was the hardest there was, so if you could climb it at all they gave it a 5.9, and if you did it first try it was listed at 5.8.
By Dave Pilot
From: Boulder, CO
Jul 11, 2008
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

This is the quintessential wide crack primer. You can even get a couple of chicken wings in towards the top. Resist the urge to use facial features. I left the #4 Camalot in the car since I was just planning to do Empor. Luckily I had #3.5, #3, and #2 Camalots and a Trango MaxCam about the same size as the #3.5. The #2 worked well in a horizontal crack toward the top of the wide section and protected the weird mantel move getting out of the wide crack. Enjoy!
By YDPL8S
From: Santa Monica, Ca.
Jul 11, 2008
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

First time I did it I got a big old Chouinard hex (8 or 9) stuck in there, had to rap to get it out. Gave me a big cramp in my foot.
By Shawn Mitchell
From: Broomfield
Jun 15, 2009

Sewn up? I'll tell you about sewn up! Take two #4 Camalots, and a #5! You could practically aid it. And if you accidentally kick the 5 on the way past, so it's tipped out and worthless, you'll still only be 6' or so above the top #4! Groveling in style!
By Mikelsons
From: Boulder, CO
Aug 3, 2009

I found the knee jams on this one to allow for some rest breaks. I walked a #4 Camalot up about 20 feet through the middle section of the crack. I found it rather strenuous and around the crux I tested a 3" cam by weighting it from a few feet above. Lieback the crux. After resting a moment, I tried this and cruised to the belay. This climb made a fun step up from 5.7 for me. Hard, but not unreadable, and in the solution there is great satisfaction.
By SeanKuus
From: Steamboat Springs
Aug 28, 2010
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

The new guidebook for Boulder Canyon (Wolverine Publishing) gives this a 5.9 rating, which I generally agree with. For comparison, use the OW on pitch three of Central Pillar of Frenzy in Yosemite. It's signicantly easier (same size, but lower angle) and rated 5.8. (This is relevant if you consider Yosemite's routes and their ratings a benchmark).
By John Collis
From: Seattle, WA
Jun 19, 2011
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

I attempted this route with just one #4 and quickly realized that doing so is downright dangerous through the wide section up top. I ended up lowering and TR'ing. For a safe lead, I would absolutely want at least two #4 Camalots, if not a #5 too for the top.
By NickinCO
From: colorado
Aug 29, 2011
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

My first off-width done today with 1 #4. Definitely wanted another one!!! I walked it up as far as I could which made the climbing a little harder, left it as high as I could and was still looking at a good 25'er. To do this climb safely, bring two #4s and even a #5 if you want to sew it up.
By Baumer
From: Boulder, CO
Jul 24, 2012

I brought a #6 because, well, I own one and I've only placed it once before. Found a great spot for it up high...but you can sew it up just fine without. Two #4's and a #5 will get you through the crux.
By Andy Hansen
From: Longmont, Colorado
Oct 12, 2012
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

I wish there were more cracks like this in Bocan. I didn't think the OW difficulties were all too bad... felt pretty secure with only one #4 Camalot. I guess another and maybe a #5 would be nice, but if you're solid in the OW, it'll be fine with a single #4. The crux is a surprising few moves near the top of the crack at the exit....
By Justin Brunson
From: Broomfield CO
Jun 10, 2013
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Do you guys tape up for this one?
By Andy Hansen
From: Longmont, Colorado
Jul 6, 2013
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

It's not really worth the effort of tape in my opinion. There are good hand jams low and good knees in higher, and I mostly gastoned the outside edge while sliding my legs up. I'd say pants over shorts though.