This classic route starts on a ledge (Tennis Shoe Traverse) about 150 feet off the deck, about 200 feet to the right of the large, left-facing dihedral. Consult the guidebook for an approach pitch.
This 5-star crack to hard to miss from the road. This is a must do route if you are in the area for a few days. It starts out in a flared jagged wide crack with hand jams inside (5.10a). This leads to a good rest at the intersection of the upper two cracks. The left part of the Y-crack is easier and thinner, but more awkward. The right crack is a splitter fist crack. Get your #3 [Camalots] ready, and follow this beautiful crack for 25 feet to a good rest. Cupped hand jams can be found deep in the crack, dive in and enjoy.
There is 2 bolt belay at 100 feet. You can lower or rap with a 60m.
A few medium hexes, 1 set of cams to #3.5 [Camalot], doubles from #0.75-2, and about 4 #3 [Camalots].
Feb 20, 2008
I did this in early June '78 with a guy from Pennsylvania named Michael, who claimed he was a Green Beret deserter. (He also claimed to have been one of the first on scene to pack out Crash Dope from Tuolumne that winter. Whatever its origin, it worked very well.) Approached via Mail Chute, a long, wide 5.7 chimney. Y-Crack itself two pitches, then rapped back to ledge. I don't recall if there was much more to do--I was wiped and barely made second belay. Very smooth cracks with few useful face holds. Pretty adventurous--no one else on entire wall, hexes and stoppers only pro, didn't bring much water, no rain gear; awkward hanging belay after pitch one. Michael said we were doing the second ascent. I have no idea if that's true.
Went to Bluegrass festival. Was fourth or fifth year, I think--low key and casual. Audience of a thousand, two tops. From what I hear it's different now....
From: Santa Monica, Ca.
Jul 2, 2010
I was with the late Scotty Gilbert (of Gunnison fame) and "Madman" Geoff Conley (of Red Rocks fame) when they did an ascent of this in 1976 or '77. I was supposed to join them on the climb but it was out of my league at the time (I don't think I really ever was in that league), and so I let them have at it :-), they were both very strong climbers. I remember Conley using tape on his hands, that was the first time I had ever seen that done, and of course it was all hexes and stoppers, I'm pretty sure they took the right Y.
I'm also sure that they found a way to continue up from where the 2 bolt anchor is until they found a ledge system that allowed them to traverse right and come down the low 5th class gully.
It was a very warm summer day and they cooked on that wall, they said there were swarms of hummingbirds around their gear slings.
|By Greg Davis|
Jul 2, 2010
While working at the Telluride Mountaineering School, Budge Gierke and I climbed this route in the late spring of 1975. Budge later went on to do the largely unheralded first solo ascent of the South Face of Mt. Watkins in Yosemite and first solo ascent of the Glenwood Springs icefall, among many other impressive climbs.
|By Drew McLean|
Jun 20, 2011
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
I do not have any cool historical stories about climbing this, but I can say that I climbed it last weekend and it IS the best single pitch of climbing in the area (at the grade). Double set of Camalots up to #2. 4 #3s and 1 #4 sufficed. I left the #4 at the base of the Y but could have used up high as the cracked widens up in a few sections. I heard this had a reputation for being sandbagged at 10+. Not the case if you have large hands.... Definitely the case if you don't.
We approached via Honey Pot dihedral originally rated 5.8; however, it felt more like 9+ near the top of the pitch, and it had a very "Ophir" feel if you know what I'm sayin' :)
You can get off the route with a 70m rope. From the base of the Y, traverse climber's left about 100 ft or so. You will see a chained rappel station on a large block that is semi-detached from the main face. Make a short rappel (40') down to 2 black rappel bolts. Then one more rappel will get you to the ground. Bring 2 ropes if you do not have a 70m.
Get on this route!
|By Top Rope Hero|
From: Was Estes Park, now homeless
Jul 30, 2012
rating: 5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Out. Stand. Ing. Supercrack of the mountains. As good as the Jesus without a penis.
Probably a bit soft for a 10+ if'n, like everyone says, you've got big mitts. Taped manpaws and size 11 feets will fill that fat crack nice enough to make it cruiser. (Though I was still only too happy to have and to place two #4 Camalots.... For that matter, I'm thinkin' the crux actually comes RIGHT off the ground, first sequence of moves.)
Y-crack left is reputed to be a bit softer, but my fat hands are gonna say it's the other way 'round. Found left a lil' more technical/balance-y and more than a lil' strenuous. Less obvious feet. (Again, this speaks more to hand size than anything else.)
Either way, these lines--allowing for their tragic lack of length--rival any 10 in the Creek. Certainly either crack is of the finest in the state. Bring yer guns and bring a photographer.
Oh-yeah. And as of this writing, bats are nesting deep in the upper crack. Bat phobes and The Joker beware.
From: Santa Monica, Ca.
Aug 1, 2012
So, did ya "bring a photographer"? More pics would be good.