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The main right-facing crack system about in the center of the Dragon Arch Buttress. Dragon Arch climbs are a bit gritty and this one is no exception. This climb starts relatively easy with a tough 5.8 move (protects with #2 Camalot perfectly), then progresses into a lengthy lie-back sequence. There were 2 additional pitons below the 5.8 crux. The belay station has shifted upwards by about 10-15 feet from the Ruckman guide, so bypass the three old pitons, and instead stop at the slung flake. The upper pitch is wide and hard to protect if you don't have the larger gear; however, this is where the climbing gets better. Wide crack on your left, bottomed seam to your right, gritty face underneath. Do you chicken-wing up, face climb, or come up with another way to climb this crack? Barring the gritty rock, this climb is good. If more people climbed it, it would vastly improve. hint hint. Cleaned up, this route would rate two stars.
Bring a standard rack, heavy on the large stuff. Cams seemed especially nice in a couple of locations, otherwise hexes, worked fine.
This is the slung-detached-block + rattly BD@POUND...
|Comments on Valentine Crack
|By Anonymous Coward|
May 24, 2005
Glad to hear the belay is moved. led the second pitch as a fledgeling 5.6 leader, and running it out above 3 straight up in ancient blades for, a hanging belay, scared the hell out of me. Thought if I blew it I was gonna factor 2, and send us to the deck. YIKES! Needless to say I buried myself in the back of this chimney and groveled to the top. Standing on the top-out chockstone I vowed to never climb it again!! Probably much better now though, I was just crazy gripped!
Nov 11, 2009
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c
With a name like "Valentine Crack" and the thought of easy access (5.8 easy!) may make Valentine Crack sound like something where you could just drink a few beers, ignore the initial looks of the thing and cruise it, closer inspection will reveal it to be scruffy, piss-sodden, and full of choss.
The first pitch turns out to be gritty laybacking, not the fun jamming you might hope for. The first belay is complete choss. There may be one fun or tricky move in the chimney, the rest is just kinda... And once you top out there is no quick exit.
My low opinion of the thing may have something to do with the state of the first belay (detached flake soggy with rat urine) causing me to scurry up the chimney without bothering to rack most of the gear from the first pitch, thus not placing much gear, only to find the top soaked with yet more rat urine. Damn! Probably the only route thus far that made me feel like vomiting after sending it- there is fun wide, and then there is Valentine Crack... Historical value- well, those guys all put up some kickass routes, this one? Hmmm.... an anti-classic.
The gear is good right above the first belay. Warm up on Dragon Arch...
|By Greg G|
From: SLC, UT
Dec 1, 2011
although this climb is dirty it shouldn't be avoided.