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Rat Crack 

YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 50'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Keith Leaman, 1965
Page Views: 1,639
Submitted By: Adam Stackhouse on Feb 24, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (15)
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Nathan Fitzhugh belayed by Agina Sedler.

Big Rock is currently closed to climbing.



This is the obvious hand crack on the leftmost, lower section of Big Rock. While considerably short of being a classic, its steep start with relatively positive jams provide for some fleeting excitement. Kind of a bad landing if one doesn't wait to get pro in higher.


Hand size and smaller

Photos of Rat Crack Slideshow Add Photo
Nathan Fitzhugh belayed by Agina Sedler.
Nathan Fitzhugh belayed by Agina Sedler.
Rat Crack is on the far left, near the descent cor...
BETA PHOTO: Rat Crack is on the far left, near the descent cor...
Nathan Fitzhugh.
Nathan Fitzhugh.
Nathan Fitzhugh belayed by Agina Sedler.
Nathan Fitzhugh belayed by Agina Sedler.
Nathan Fitzhugh belayed by Agina Sedler.
Nathan Fitzhugh belayed by Agina Sedler.

Comments on Rat Crack Add Comment
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By Pat W
Apr 30, 2006

A bit of a sandbag here, awkward greasy jams with no feet at the start. 10b ish.
By Josh Hibbard
From: Los Angeles Area, CA
Mar 26, 2007
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

My guidebook for this area labels Rat Crack as a 5.8. The first move off the ground seemed much harder than that for me. Perhaps it is 5.8 for those over 5'7'' or with a long reach...
A fun climb once you get on it.
By Bruce Diffenbaugh
From: Cheyenne,Wyoming
Feb 20, 2008
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

This route is a 5.9 boulder problem (crux) start.
By Benjamin Chapman
From: Small Town, USA
Nov 21, 2010
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

And the debate about Rat Crack's rating goes on. Troy Mayr calls it 5.9 with **'s. The start can be problematic, but with a "ring jam" and good footwork may be 5.9? Sandbag, definitely, but not 5.10b. No mystery that the start is the crux.
By Lindsay P
Aug 31, 2011

great crack, tough start for those with small wingspans.
By Rob Selter
From: running springs Ca
Apr 6, 2012

This little thing has a nasty start! But fun once your established.
By Keith Leaman
Oct 19, 2012

Lee Harrell introduced myself and others to Big Rock ca 1965. At the time there were only about 4-5 established routes. Lee had mentioned an easy crack on the left side of the rock (unbeknownst to us, he meant the Upper Crack) so when Phil Gleason and I mistook the Rat Crack for an "easy" route on our first trip to Big Rock in '65, I free soloed up the thing with Phil soloing behind me.

Given the difficulties, I was getting apprehensive about 1/3 of the way up and, while struggling to clean large amounts of debris from the crevice, suddenly an enormous rat shot out of the crack, jumped onto my shirt, ran down my pant leg and scurried past Phil in a bewildering frenzy. Shaken a bit, we continued up and when we later told Lee about the incident I believe he said: "Oh, I haven't done that route, but I hear that's why it's called the Rat Crack!" Hilarious!
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