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Storm Mountain Island
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Amphitheater Overhang Left S 
Amphitheater Overhang Right 
Aqualung S 
Big in Japan S 
Bolt Route T 
Captain Jack T 
Closing the Gap Variation T 
Coco Moco T 
Edge of Time T 
Encore T 
Epic Wall T 
Flake, The T 
Generation Gap T,TR 
Goodro's Wall T 
La Creme De Shorts T,TR 
Layback Crack T 
Nice Little Crack T,TR 
Padded Cell S 
Six Appeal S 
Six Pence S 
Steve The Pirate T,S 
Storm Mountain Stupor T 
Thin Slice of Time T 
Unknown T 
Unknown 1 S 
Unknown 2 S 

Layback Crack 

YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a

Type:  Trad
Consensus:  YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a [details]
FA: unknown
Page Views: 5,362
Submitted By: Adam Broadbent on Jun 4, 2001

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Sarah rappelling the first pitch


This route is found on the East side of Storm Mountain Island (along the river across from the parking lot). The route begins at a right facing dihedral that is accessed by crossing the bridge, turning left (south), following the trail along the river past some tables, and finally up a 25' scramble to the corner (very short). The first pitch proceeds directly up the corner for 35' to bolted belay off to the left on a nice ledge. Next pitch can either follow up the deteriorating corner (a little dirty) or up the low angle face protected by sequential small crack systems. Climb at least 55' to a funky belay on ledge to the left, or continue up another 15' to a more secure belay in the bushes. Walk off the east side and then curve around north and then back into the picnic area.


Take a simple rack of medium to small cams, maybe a #2 camalot at the biggest. Full set of stoppers will be beneficial. Decent amount of slings and all that jazz.

Photos of Layback Crack Slideshow Add Photo
Dan in the obligatory butt shot.  Notice the colorful 80's era harness I found for him to use.
Dan in the obligatory butt shot. Notice the color...
4. Layback Crack (5.5) at Storm Mtn Picnic Area
BETA PHOTO: 4. Layback Crack (5.5) at Storm Mtn Picnic Area
Steve placing gear
Steve placing gear
lay back crack
BETA PHOTO: lay back crack
This climb feels different each time i climb it.  Good route
This climb feels different each time i climb it. ...
from the top of the second pitch looking down as talia pulls out a nut
from the top of the second pitch looking down as t...
Alex crushing
Alex crushing
My sexy rope.
My sexy rope.
Great climb
Great climb

Comments on Layback Crack Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated May 27, 2014
By Anonymous Coward
Aug 26, 2002

First pitch is a great lead for first timers. Takes nuts way better than cams, but that makes it more fun.
By Nathan Fisher
Jun 27, 2004
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

My first trad lead, I believe. Fun route, well worth stopping for even if it is only a 5.5.
By icsteveoh
From: salt lake city, UT
Aug 13, 2006
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

I second the notion that it takes nuts better than cams, I think I used maybe two #1's just for practice. This was my second trad lead and it does have bolted anchors which I don't think the wasatch guide book states.
By Walt Haas
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Mar 28, 2007

I believe that the anchor chains at the top are newer than the guide book.

The route description doesn't mention it, but since the upper pitch is much dirtier and less fun than the lower pitch, a more rewarding way to finish is to walk from the chains at the top of the first pitch of Layback Crack south along a wide ledge to the base of Nice Little Crack and Storm Mountain Stupor, either of which is a much more enjoyable second pitch.
By Ryan Peterson
From: North Salt Lake, Utah
Jul 14, 2007

This was my first all-gear climb, plenty of spots for gear and resting, and quite fun.
By icsteveoh
From: salt lake city, UT
May 18, 2008
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

Walts super on... Do the traverse around from the belay spot on pitch 1. Takes good gear as well if your second is scared. Set up an anchor on the solo climbing bolts/rap bolts. Then do nice little crack or storm mountain stupor.

We did this to avoid the beginning hike over to the slips. Nice alternative.

I only placed 1 nut this time around :)
By adaml
Jul 1, 2009
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

Very fun!

There are a couple of tough-to-spot bolt w/ hangers (no chains - bring some webbing and a rap ring) at the very top of the 'island' to rap down (a bit to the right of the last pitch if I recall...goes through bushes though).
By Tryhard
From: Sandy, UT
Oct 15, 2009
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

I thought this was an excellent climb, and would recommend both pitches for beginning trad climbers. The second pitch was not difficult, but still interesting and very worth the time and effort. At the start of the second pitch I tried to go right, but did not find good pro in the dihedral. I backtracked and climbed straight up from the belay for 10-15 feet before returning to the dihedral. Taking this approach has the added benefit of limiting rope drag. At the top of the second pitch, I climbed past the chains and set up a belay using the bush and a few pieces of pro. Walked off. Cams above BD #2 not needed.
By Andrew May
From: Sandy, UT
Nov 11, 2009

Fun climb. We skipped the second set of bolts and walked off the back. There is a trail that brings you down by the amphitheater.
By Michael Buchanan
Apr 26, 2010
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

Chill. I have put 5 or 6 beginner leaders on this route, and they all loved it. Chill climbing, great pro.
By spencerparkin
From: Salt Lake City
Jul 9, 2010
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

New trad leader here. This was a fun lead for me, because it was fun to push through the scare and make it to the top of the first pitch. The rest of the pitches were much easier.

I guess I need to practice placing nuts more, because I felt like the crack took cams better than nuts. I even placed a #3 camalot where it might have been better for a #4, if I had one. I only placed one nut.

It's worth mentioning that you have to be careful at the top of the first pitch to keep the rope from getting stuck in a rope squeezing crack. A directional may have been a good idea.

I really like climbing to the top of things, so I'm going to recommend doing both pitches and a final pitch to the top to do the walk-off. It just seems like more of an accomplishment that way!

Lastly, I'm rating this at 5.6, because there are so many 5.5s that I think are way easier than this climb. For example, all of the West slabs is easier than this climb, I think. Perhaps it is because the climb, for me at least, commits you to some lie-backing that must be done to pass certain sections. There are those that can probably do the whole thing as a face climb, but not me.
By lunabloomgirl
From: North East Washington
Aug 26, 2010

Really fun little route!
By oldfart
Sep 11, 2010

We found a Geo-Cash at the top of this route
By DrApnea
From: Wenatchee, WA
Jun 14, 2012

If you do P2, go through the roofs. Adds some fun, but no harder than 5.7
By tri-cameron
Sep 18, 2013

There are new anchor chains above and to the right of the first belay ledge near a small tree. They might make sense if climbing just the first pitch lay back.
By DrApnea
From: Wenatchee, WA
Mar 10, 2014

The new anchors here are unnecessary, even for a 5.5 climb. They are in the middle of pitch 2. They are next to a tree. They are next to a gear anchor potential. They are only 20 feet from the prior established belay anchors that reside at a nice ledge. Whoever put these in needs to sell their drill. Pull them and reclaim your hangers before someone else does.
By Jake Billitteri
From: Salt Lake City, Utah
May 27, 2014
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

This was my first ever trad lead. While I was initially uncomfortable, I quickly found that the mellow angle and abundance of holds on this climb was conductive to my education in placing gear. I would highly recommend this route as a first trad lead.