Deep Dark Crack
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BETA PHOTO: Topo. You might need to break the second pitch int...
Well, there are some pros and cons to this route.
Much of the route is pretty dirty and/or lichen-covered.
Most of the first pitch is on not-so-good rock.
The second pitch isn't very good at all.
The first pitch is challenging, exciting, and fun, with some great chimneying sections and steep face climbing.
You'll never have to wait in line for the route. Ever.
The Ruckmans say, "You'll do yourself a big favor by avoiding this route." This route isn't for everyone (or most people), but connoisseurs of the obscure will find it worthwhile.
Pitch 1: This is hard, old school 5.7 on mostly questionable rock. Start up the obvious, steep double hand cracks right of the Weed Killer area. The right crack is steeper but has better rock. Make delicate moves up the face into some enjoyable chimneying and steep stemming sections above. You'll pass by an ancient fixed angle piton before heading into another chimneying section up to a chockstone that has equally ancient webbing around it. Belay on top of the chockstone. The pitch is sustained to the end. 5.7, 115'.
Pitch 2: The climbing eases up considerably as you climb up the dirty corner. Protection is relatively sparse, but the climbing is easy. You'll climb up and over some chockstones near the top of the pitch. Rig a belay using some cracks in the side of a large, overhanging boulder, or find a tree/large bush to sling. This pitch is dirty and relatively uninteresting but hey, it gets you to the top of the wall. 5.5/5.6, 200'+. You might need to break this pitch up into 2 pitches if you have a 60m rope.
Descent: Scramble up or around until you find the standard JHCOB Wall descent trail that heads back to the parking area.
Start about 30 feet right of Weed Killer. Scramble up from where the trees are to a belay area higher up. Look for the steep double cracks.
1-2 sets of cams to #3, a few micro cams, and a set of nuts. Tons of slings. 70m rope useful.
BETA PHOTO: Deep Dark Crack starts with the steep double hand ...
From: Bellingham, WA
Jun 15, 2012
Personally I thought that First pitch was very unquie and fun.. I didn't lead it. There is some pretty loose rocks and what not on the first pitch but once you hit the first chimney I thought the rock improved greatly. The Chimneys were, for me, very memorable, full body in , climbing with shoulder blades kind of stuff. It is one I would do again. Second pitch was more or less just a way to finish the route, nothing that I will remember other then some loose rock.