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Acid Crack T 
Bolted Route S 
Tour de Platte T 

Acid Crack 

YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a

   
Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 100'
Original:  YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a [details]
FA: Ken Trout & Kevin
Season: West Facing
Page Views: 4,293
Submitted By: Ken Trout on Jun 29, 2009

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Climber on Acid Crack.

Description 

Rock Climbing Photo: Sheep Rock.
Sheep Rock.


Maybe this is as close to a Half Dome as we can get in the Denver area. Now that the fire damage is fading a bit, Acid Crack is again an outstanding climb for novices who like to hike in rough terrain. A rappel is normally done to descend.

Rock Climbing Photo: Mark Roth climbing.  Photo by Mountain Project con...
Mark Roth climbing.

Photo by Mountain Project contributor, Jay Eggleston.


HISTORY

Colorado Mountain Club climbers where bagging hard summits at Chair Rocks in the 1950s. I used to think Sheep Rock was probably climbed back then, because Kevin and I found a single angle piton rap at the top of the crack. Later, at the old CMC library on Alameda, I found a Trail and Timberline account of the clubs preference to climb the low angle southwest slabs and then rappel off the summit via Acid Crack.

Kevin and I didn't rappel, because we simul-soloed the crack ropeless. Kevin was a Keanu Reeves look-alike; a surfer dude from Cali who showed up ready to learn climbing in 1973. When I told him we could walk off the back, he believed me. Oops! After dropping and climbing, we came on to the realization that there was no walk down the back. So I down-soloed under Kevin with the idea that if he slipped I'd spot him off the excellent finger locks.

We didn't know that Colorado Springs climbers had been calling the area "Acid Rock". It would be no surprise to find out that Earl Wiggins or any number of guys from the Springs did this route earlier and under similar conditions.

Protection 

Finger sized stuff.
Rock Climbing Photo: Acid Crack.  Photo by Mountain Project contributor...
Acid Crack.

Photo by Mountain Project contributor, Jeremy Hakes, 2011.


Photos of Acid Crack Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: The yellow line is the approximate location of the...
BETA PHOTO: The yellow line is the approximate location of the...
Rock Climbing Photo: Acid Crack.
Acid Crack.
Rock Climbing Photo: The route with a rope and gear following it.
BETA PHOTO: The route with a rope and gear following it.
Rock Climbing Photo: Starting up.
Starting up.
Rock Climbing Photo: In the left crack, which is about to end.
In the left crack, which is about to end.
Rock Climbing Photo: Upper Acid.
BETA PHOTO: Upper Acid.

Comments on Acid Crack Add Comment
Show which comments
By slim
Administrator
Jun 30, 2009
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

This is a terrific crack at the grade (5.1, yikes, I think I called it 5.5 or so in my notes). Linking up Fractured Fairytales to Acid Crack to the summit of the Helen's Dome massif is the ultimate date climb with somebody who is just beginning to climb.
By Darren Mabe
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Jun 30, 2009
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

Your "HalfDome" comparison/description sounds like the CMC route, Ken? Maybe already posted as South Ramp!? and this
By slim
Administrator
Jun 30, 2009
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

Finger crack sounds right though. Man, what a nice little finger crack for the grade.
By Darren Mabe
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Jun 30, 2009
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

Little more description of this little gem.

Probably most insecure move is the first 8 feet starting off the ground. After that, solid jams in diagonalling splitter crack. Takes larger stoppers. A few hand sized cams work higher too. At some point, you step right and switch cracks, and follow this until you pass a quarter-inch bolt, signaling your rope is about out, the crack dies out and you belay with finger size pieces OR sneak right to a two bolt anchor of the bolted route. From this point, you can walk up the summit slab.

I think of this route as kind of a low-angled Charley Don't Surf.
By slim
Administrator
Jun 30, 2009
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

That's funny, I was going to say that if this route was steeper it would be like Charlie Don't Surf.
By Jeremy Hakes
From: Golden, Colorado
Apr 18, 2011
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

You can keep running this crack up a full rope length. It doesn't get you to the top, though. We set up an intermediate belay 190' up, then my 2nd belayed me from the rap anchors on top of the Bolted Route. Takes all sorts of gear - nuts to #2.5 cams and tri-cams. Great stuff.
By Mark Roth
From: Boulder
Jul 1, 2011
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

I would say 5.3 except for one tricky slab move after the crack ends (maybe a 5.5 move).

It's easy at the bottom until you reach the crack. Then it gets easier. When the first crack ends, step left to another. The crux comes after the 2nd crack ends. I stepped left again to a big flake then up right to the crack that leads to the summit... super fun.

We simul-climbed all the way to the top. But I think it would be easier (and safer) to belay when you run out of rope. And then either walk up unroped or do it as a 2nd pitch.
By Tombo
From: Boulder
Jun 2, 2014
rating: 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c

You'll need a 70mm to descend.
By Ken Trout
From: Golden, CO
Dec 9, 2015

I fixed the grade to 5.5. Also, several photos have been embedded in the text so that they are more prominent for phone use in remote places. Thank you all for the comments and photos posted!

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