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Sphinx Rock
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L to R R to L Alpha
Black Crack 
Crunch, The 
Exit Stage Right 
Joint Venture 
Lickety Split 
Locksmith, aka Dihedral Route 
Return to Forever 
Slug AKA Summit Route 1960, The 
So Honed Yet So Stoned 
Sphinx Crack 
Talus Food Crack 

Talus Food Crack 

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

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 180'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10- French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ British: E1 5a [details]
FA: unknown
Page Views: 476
Submitted By: pete cogan on Jul 14, 2004
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Closed: Private Property - Sphinx Rock is on private property MORE INFO >>>


To the left of the "Stage Right" ramp and "Black Crack," note the beautiful right angling crack that begins about 20 feet off the ground. You may find it less beautiful once you are on it.

The first moves are protected by two bolts, and then you are in the crack. A combination of fist jams, arm jams, off width grovelling, flailing, and occasional whimpering were all effective.

After 90 feet or so, you can set anchors and watch your follower. Or, you can run it up to the tree. Finally, you could take it to the top and sling a boulder.

Double rope rap off tree or easy walk off Left.

I thought this harder than 5.9+, as well as awkward. I would not call it fun, but I would call it training. If you like funky off width-y South Platte excursions, this climb is for you.


Can protect with all cams, .75 to 4.5, with doubles in the handsize and above. Larger hexes could also be helpful. Multiple anchor possibilities (see below).

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By Shane Z
From: Colorado
Sep 19, 2004

Several years ago I gave this crazy thing a try. I made it through the crux but ran out of gear about half way through the climb(honestly!). Save bigger pieces for the remainder. A competent second is a must, because a fall would cause a pendulum and that would not be good.

By Monty
From: Golden, CO
May 10, 2006
rating: 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ E1 5a

Great route in my opinion. Onsighted this one today but it feels harder than .9+, 10a at the hardest. Definitely has an off-widthy feel towards the top but it's just an awkward, deep, hand crack. Bring gear from .75 - 3 Camalots.

By Christopher Jones
From: Denver, Colorado
May 27, 2006
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI E1 5a

I led it this morning. In my opinion, it is harder than any pitch on the Center Route on Cynical Pinnacle. I know South Platte 5.9+ is usually pretty stiff but this one tore me up. The move to the first bolt is pretty committing but secure. The next hard part is the off width higher up, I used a 4.5 Camalot.

By jay baichi
Jul 30, 2006
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- E2 5b

I did this twice hoping the second time I would do it a little smoother. Nope. It's grunty and and sweaty. Bring the #4 cam. The opening moves aren't really hard, if you're somewhat tall, if I remember. Have fun!