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Amphitheatre Crack 

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

   
Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 125'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Nov. 2010
New Route: Yes
Season: May - Oct.
Page Views: 1,390
Submitted By: Jay Harrison on Jul 31, 2011
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Climber getting pro before launching into the crux

Description 

The crux is the first 15'. The climbing continues to be interesting, though easier, after this.
An excellent line for the 1st 70' - which is why there are now anchors at that position.
The original ascent climbed all the way to the top, through questionable rock, poor protection, and damp sections.

NOTE: A lot of ice forms over the lip of the Birthday Corner early in the season. It falls from >30m up, landing among the base of all the Amphitheatre area routes. Even after the main winter's accumulation has fallen, nightly formations continue to bombard the area. Be watchful, wear a helmet, and if big ice is looming above on that crystalline spring morning, maybe climb somewhere else.


Location 

The Amphitheatre is the set-back section of cliff, about 100 yards wide, between the Isobuttress and the Tripe Buttress. This crack lies near the center of the area, identifiable as a thin crack that sweeps right 20' up, with a couple of small rock "steps" leading up to its base.


Protection 

Full set of cams from tiny to #3 C4; small tricams, a nut or two.
There is now a 2-bolt anchor at 70'; the rock above this is crumbly and dirty, so most climbers opt to finish the pitch here. These anchors also make it easy to TR neighboring routes.



Photos of Amphitheatre Crack Slideshow Add Photo
Gabe Linncourt enroute to the anchors.
Gabe Linncourt enroute to the anchors.
Ryan H. on <em>Amphitheatre Crack</em>.
Ryan H. on Amphitheatre Crack.
Tom Lane styling the stem
Tom Lane styling the stem
Comments on Amphitheatre Crack Add Comment
Show which comments
By Nick Weinberg
From: Essex, NY
Nov 20, 2011

Stellar route! Fairly sustained. The top section reminds me of the last pitch of Sons of Yesterday in Yosemite.

By Kevin Heckeler
From: Upstate New York
Apr 16, 2012
rating: 5.9- 5c 17 VI HVS 4c

Great climb. The actual crux is down low just after the layback. The rest of the climb has a few tricky moves, and I'm sure it feels thin on lead (but very G). Overall though I didn't think it was very hard, maybe even a little on the softer side of 5.9

By Jay Harrison
May 16, 2012

Observation: when it is hot, the crux seems much more difficult. Very committing move on lead, and with that greasy-humid feel of hot days, it seems much worse.
That said, it's that one move, transitioning from layback off right to a big stem off left that shuts a lot of folks down. If you can apply a good pc of pro for that move, go for it!
There are a handful of tricky moves afterward, but none so intimidating as that 1st one, and gear is everywhere.

By Will Roth
From: Lake Placid, NY
May 17, 2012

Good route for your first 5.9 since the gear is solid and the jams are plentiful. I would agree that it is a "soft" 5.9. The crux is the first 15 or so feet then it eases off.

By kenr
Aug 7, 2012

Lots of interesting moves on good rock.
Maybe it's "soft" for the grade (in the sense that it doesn't take much finger or arm strength) if you just commit to the move (from layback right to stemming left), but to me both feet felt pretty tenuous, until I made the next little step up -- so I can understand why some people find it difficult to commit.