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 ADVANCED
Castle Rock
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Queen is Dead, The T 
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Skunk Crack T 
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West Face, Direct Start T 

Skunk Crack 

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

   
Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 80'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: Harvey Carter & Carey Huston 1960
Page Views: 3,812
Submitted By: Ernie Port on Aug 4, 2002

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (81)
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A better view of the chimney.

Seasonal Raptor Closure MORE INFO >>>

Description 

Climb the left of two side by side cracks (the right is Comeback Crack) on the nose of the west buttress, just north of Curving Crack.

Protection 

Small cams/TCUs, and a few mid-size stoppers.


Photos of Skunk Crack Slideshow Add Photo
Eric Sigler squeezes up the chimney.
Eric Sigler squeezes up the chimney.
Skunk Crack and Comeback Crack.
BETA PHOTO: Skunk Crack and Comeback Crack.

Comments on Skunk Crack Add Comment
Show which comments
By Ernie Port
From: Boulder, Colorado
Aug 10, 2002

This short route offers a tricky opening sequence right off the ground. A crack inside a narrow groove widens for just a few inches which allows a tenuous two knucle deep finger lock for the left hand. The feet in the first two moves are vague and most folks use the crack for the right foot and stem/smear on the polished left face. 10' farther up a shallow, shoulder width, slightly inverted chimney must be overcome. Good pro here, but again a tricky sequence since its so tight, you can't see your feet, but a nice high right hand crack saves the day allowing you to pull through (I've seen climbers avoid this squeeze by pulling left over a lip to gain the easy ground). When this sequence is overcome, most people stop to catch their breath, I know I did. The remainder of the pitch is (5) and most parties go to the chains above curving crack to rap.
By S. Kimball
Sep 11, 2002

I was still mystified by all the zippers and pockets on my new $80 climbing pants when my partner yelled "off belay, good luck..." The first few feet of Skunk Crack is slicker then a Jiffy-Lube garage floor at closing time.Being able to torque myself into the handjam above the initial fingerlock felt tough but extracting my shoulder out of the wider midsection nearly required medical attention. Nothing like an old school 5.9 to start me back sportclimbing!
By Crusty
Sep 12, 2002

Scott, I think you should try yoga. It makes it easier to extract your shoulder from your wider midsection. Be careful out there!
By Shane Zentner
From: Colorado
Oct 1, 2002

The start of this climb is somewhat slippery. Definately solid 5.9 crux.
By Rob Davies UK
From: Cheshire, UK
May 8, 2009
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Another Castle Rock sandbag? Hard to start and an awkward pig of a move higher up.
By D. Shaw
Aug 28, 2009
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13

Friend Casey said, "nah, I don't want to picnic and climb at C.R. 'cause it is too greasy." I didn't know what he meant until trying this one, and now I do. Wow. Slick, like the guy said. Easier to second, as you can layback the first section with the slick feet, but if you are leading, it is tricky to layback and protect at the same time. For on-sight, 10a, I thought, but did 2nd lap following and maybe 9+ is ok for that. Definitely worth doing. And, there are now chains at the top of this, so no need to move over to top of Curving Crack for those chains.
By John Rudolph
Nov 24, 2009

I left two quickdraws at the top of this route on the chains last week. If someone picks them up I would love to get them back. I forgot them because my partner fell and got hurt. Thanks, returning gear is good karma!
By Matt Swartz
From: Nederland, CO
Mar 23, 2011

Although this is a bit of an awkward route, I really enjoyed it. Squeezing as much of myself into the chimney worked for me. I know I didn't look very graceful though....