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South and East Faces
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Dusk In Dogtown T 
El Cracko Diablo T 
Extension T 
Free Association T 
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interesting problem below, The T 
Let Me Go Wild T 
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Unsorted Routes:

El Cracko Diablo 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

   
Type:  Trad, 2 pitches
Consensus:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Rod Johnson and Pat Padden, 1973
Page Views: 14,282
Submitted By: Brad Boner on May 31, 2003

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (91)
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BETA PHOTO: A look at the climb from the Belle Fourche River V...
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Description 

See approach for TAD and Solar. This route starts to the right of TAD, and is in my opinion by far the best route of the three mentioned. Pitch one is a good lead of about 5.7 and is well suited for those getting into trad climbing on the Tower. Pitch two is longer and is very sustained 5.8 climbing. Both pitches swollow up gear and you can protect pitch 2 with as many hand-fist sized hexes and cams as you can carry. The crux will prove to be the small bulge 2/3 up on pitch 2 and the slightly narrowing crack as it tapers toward the top of the route where it ends at the Meadows. NOTE: This route can be rappelled with two ropes in two pitches, but it's recommended that you rappell in three pitches, the third being at the anchors at the ledge about 25-30 feet up from the start of the route. Rappelling in two will increase the likelyhood of having your ropes hung up on the aformentioned ledge when it is pulled.


Protection 

P1 will take medium and larger pieces, P2 has unlimited hand-fist size placements of cams and hexes



Photos of El Cracko Diablo Slideshow Add Photo
Bowling Alley Rappels
Bowling Alley Rappels
Soler, TAD, El Cracko Diablo
BETA PHOTO: Soler, TAD, El Cracko Diablo
View from the paved trail near the halfway mark.
BETA PHOTO: View from the paved trail near the halfway mark.
lucander on p. 2 of El Cracko Diablo.  Photo by Scott Reed.
lucander on p. 2 of El Cracko Diablo. Photo by Sc...
Seiler and Swanson on one of the rap stations coming off El Cracko Diablo.
Seiler and Swanson on one of the rap stations comi...
El Cracko Diablo...
BETA PHOTO: El Cracko Diablo...
Chuck near the top of P1.
Chuck near the top of P1.
Climbers at right are on second pitch of EL CRACKO.  Climber on the left is on second pitch of TAD.
Climbers at right are on second pitch of EL CRACKO...
Bottom El Cracko
Bottom El Cracko
A bomber .75 placement on El Cracko diablo...
A bomber .75 placement on El Cracko diablo...
Climbing in the cool evening.
Climbing in the cool evening.
Oooo, pretty green pillars!
Oooo, pretty green pillars!
Leading pitch two of El Cracko Diablo
Leading pitch two of El Cracko Diablo
View from base of El Cracko with Tyler about to reach the top of P1.
BETA PHOTO: View from base of El Cracko with Tyler about to re...
Jason and I on El Cracko Diablo.
Jason and I on El Cracko Diablo.
Tyler on left me on right. Memorial Day 2010
Tyler on left me on right. Memorial Day 2010
Comments on El Cracko Diablo Add Comment
Show which comments
By John Gunnels
From: Gillette, WY
Apr 8, 2006

Another Tower JEWEL. Enjoy every move...

By Sam Prentice
Sep 27, 2007
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

A good alternative to Durrance when you're looking to summit but not stand in line.

By Frank Sanders
Nov 15, 2007
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13

Of the 3 CLASSIC 5.8's on this Tower,(Bon Hamme, Extended Weissner, Patent Pending, McCarthy North 1st Pitch, etc), this one, of Pat Padden & Rod Johnson's creation, is Surely the Best !!! Going out to climb it Right Now, as a Matter of Fact !!

By Doug Hemken
Administrator
Jul 29, 2008

Goes into the shade around 3pm in summer.

I was expecting something similar to TAD, and so I was surprised at how much p2 reminded me of Soler. More fun than I expected!

By 2-wheel
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Sep 12, 2011

Warning: Like most of the Tower routs, this rating is more difficult than the ratings most climbers are used to.
The first pitch is mostly an off width and will eat size 2 through 4 C4 cams. Bring lots of slings. Climb past the first pair of bolts, but sling one bolt for a directional; this keeps the rope out of the poison ivy.
Rappel from the second pair of anchor bolts (end of the first pitch) with a single 60m back to the first bolts, or double rope to the base if you want to bring a second rope.
I can't say anything except hear-say about the rest of the climb so I'll refrain except to say that you may want to try leading 5.9 elsewhere before leading the rest of the rout.

By Brian Scoggins
From: Eugene, OR
Sep 13, 2011
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Devils Tower grades will feel pretty stiff if you aren't already proficient at crack climbing techniques of the requisite grade, and I recall El Cracko being especially unforgiving. However, I also recall Walt Bailey feeling easy for the grade, but so sustained that even the 5.8 climbing near the top was pushing the limit of what my pumped arms and especially legs were capable of. Even so, the rock at Devils Tower forms enough face holds that you can cheat from time to time, which makes the climbing feel a lot easier than an equivalently sized and inclined crack in say, Indian Creek or Vedauwoo.

Spend more time doing sustained crack routes ahead of time and you won't feel so sandbagged.

By Nate Flink
From: Minneapolis, MN
Oct 21, 2012

We were able to rappel from the summit of Devil's Tower to the meadows with a single 70 meter rope with 3 feet to spare and then walk to the top of El Cracko Diablo route and rap with a 70 meter rope in several rappels using the bomber bolted anchors.

Knot your ends.

By Wilson On The Drums
From: Woodbury, MN
Mar 15, 2013
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Great route, left hand jam in, left foot in, mantle on the right and repeat. Lots of features inside the crack on the 1st pitch to use, great hand jams on the 2nd with ample rests. Fun movement at the buldge. Note: can do 1 rap with 2 70m ropes with about 2 feet of down climbing.

By David Raines
Jul 3, 2013

Solid old-school 5.8 hand / fist crack. Lots of good pro, fun moves, excellent route.

We carried a double rack of hand and fist sized cams, plus plenty of nuts. I thought it was pretty safe with that gear.

IMHO, one of the easier ways to reach the summit, if you're solid at hand and fist cracks.