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At 5.6 in the guide, Elephant Crack is probably the most sandbagged route at Palisades. The gear placements on the face are small and not easy to find, and the roof traverse is strenuous with good potential for an unpleasant pendulum fall. This is an excellent route, but not a good choice for novice leaders.
Starting on a slightly slabby face, climb to a corner under the roof. Underclinging the roof, traverse right about 25' to an outside corner and escape up the rain gully to the top.
In the Fire Tower Wall section, not far right of the descent gully. Starts below an obvious large roof.
Small gear (mainly nuts) for the face section; small to medium cams for the roof traverse. Sling trees for anchors at the top.
BETA PHOTO: Looking up at Elephant Crack
Starting up the route
Starting the roof traverse
Part 1 ...
Top-roped. We tied off on a tree at th...
Top-roping from anchors.
|Comments on Elephant Crack
Oct 22, 2007
time to argue! its 5.6.
pro is straight forward--place in crack above your head before committing to traverse.
traverse is EASY. Good hands in crack and lots of positive placements for feet. Once at end of traverse there are jugs to grab.
Only caveat is you really cannot fall from traverse as you will smack the slab below if you didn't place pro far out in crack before starting to traverse. For that reason its not a good climb for beginning leader...
|By Chuck Parks|
From: Atlanta, GA
Feb 4, 2008
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V S 4b
The crux of this route favors those with a long reach (either tall, or ape-y, or both). People with a wingspan over 6 ft. will find it easier to place safe, solid protection further out the roof before committing to the crux. It will also be a bit easier to climb the crux.
I'm not saying the route is super-hard for the shorties out there, but I wouldn't be surprised if difference in reach is a factor in the 5.6 vs. 5.7+ debate.
|By David Logan|
From: Tuscaloosa, Al
Feb 15, 2012
5.6 for sure. Everyone rates it higher because they freak out about the potential pendelum.
|By Nathan Self|
Mar 7, 2012
rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b
New anchors at the top.
One of the tallest routes at Palisades.
|By Brad "Stonyman" Killough|
May 9, 2012
Such a fun lead for an intermediate climber, not for novice.
Jun 26, 2012
Elephant crack seems to be abit harder for taller folks. I had a rough time with the first move onto the roof, but after last winter my core is a lot more weak than I'd like. I'd say 5.7, but I could see it either way. NEW Rappel anchors at the top!
From: Knoxville, TN
May 19, 2013
Route now has bolts, which are easily accessible for top-roping. I would suggest that you use webbing or slings to extend the rope lower than the bolts, I did not last time, and suffered a significant amount of rope rub on the rocks near the top.