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Buttress of Cracks - Left Side
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Arcy Farcy T 
Bacon Bits (aka Razor Games) T 
Bluebeard T 
Bocomaru T 
Buccaneer, The T 
Captain Hook T 
Double Exposure T 
Double Exposure Direct T 
Frustration T 
Ham Sandwich T 
Hernia - Direct Finish T 
Hernia, The T 
Insomnia T 
Pass Time T 
Pirate, The T 
Swashbuckler T 
Sword of Damocles T 
Walk the Plank T 
Winter Solstice T 


YDS: 5.11b French: 6c Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E3 5c

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 100'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.11 French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E4 5c [details]
FA: Pat Callis & Larry Reynolds, June 1967, FFA: Jim Erickson & Scott Stewart, March 1972
Page Views: 11,114
Submitted By: C Miller on Jan 20, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (35)
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Todd smith SENDS!


This classic crack is found on the left end of the Buttress Of Cracks, just left of the Double Exposure arete and facing towards the Sunshine Face.

Climb 25' up Buttress Chimney, the wide crack between the Sunshine Face & Buttress Of Cracks, and then enter a flared chimney (5.9) below a striking crack. Wiggle up the chimney and then launch directly into the crux, which can be jammed straight on or liebacked depending upon your hand size or preference. Higher the crack makes a jog left via a steep hand crack (5.10d) and finishes with some easy moves to a ledge with a bolted anchors.

Rap (if slings are in place) or make an easy downclimb off the backside which leads to a notch where you can pick up a trail back to the base.


Gear to 3", bolted anchor

Photos of Insomnia Slideshow Add Photo
Darshan climbs Insomnia
Darshan climbs Insomnia
Photo by Greg Epperson
Photo by Greg Epperson
Insomnia (5.11b)
Insomnia (5.11b)
Todd Smith on Insomnia (5.11b/c), Suicide Rock.
Todd Smith on Insomnia (5.11b/c), Suicide Rock.
Todd Smith
Todd Smith
The bottom part of Insomnia
BETA PHOTO: The bottom part of Insomnia
Patagonia ad (1983) featuring Lynn Hill on Insomnia (5.11b), Suicide Rock. Photo by Rick Ridgeway.
Patagonia ad (1983) featuring Lynn Hill on Insomni...

Comments on Insomnia Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Nov 28, 2013
By Brian Smith
May 15, 2006

There are chains on top as of this posting. A 60 meter rope and 5 feet of easy downclimbing at the bottom of the buttress chimney get you down to the start.
By Scotty Nelson
From: Boulder
May 4, 2007
rating: 5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a

If you are TRing, might want to bring a cordellete to extend the anchor from the chains over the lip.
By Michael Sokoloff
From: Spokane, WA
Jan 2, 2008

I can't think of many better pitches in Socal than this one. Quite varied crackclimbing. Clean and strenuous. Hope to get back to Suicide soon.
By Bruce Diffenbaugh
From: Cheyenne,Wyoming
Jan 29, 2008
rating: 5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

This is the best pitch on this side of the valley The little sister to the vampire on the other side of the valley I led them both for the first time back in the 80's and they are musts for all visitors.For the hard man workout do them both in a day!
By Brandon R.
May 1, 2008
rating: 5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a

5.11A?!? Is that a typo or should I be suspicious of all your comments?
By Bruce Diffenbaugh
From: Cheyenne,Wyoming
May 15, 2008
rating: 5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

Ok,Its B or C or what ever you say. I have led it a lot, So maybe it is a bit easier for me.Don't know. Crack-a-go-go is 11.C and it is for sure harder than Insomnia. Chris said its 11.B So I'll go with that.Theres only a few 5.11 moves on the route.The flared chimney is 5.9+ the moves coming out of the chimney and into the layback are the hardest moves I think.The upper portion of the crack is 10.D but go ahead be suspicious.
By Brandon R.
May 19, 2008
rating: 5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a

The crux is pretty obvious, and quite awkward, at least for me. I've seen a small girl with tiny hands just straight in jam through the entire flared lie-back section, making it look much easier. As far as I'm concerned, if this is .11A, then I'd have to downgrade a whole lot of other .11A's I've done.

You post a lot of info about routes up here, so I'm just trying to suss out if your info is influenced by the "back in the day bravado" syndrome, or if you are really giving modern, accurate route beta. Maybe I'll see you up there sometime... I'd love to see someone float up this route, mainly so I can see what I'm doing wrong.
By Michael Sokoloff
From: Spokane, WA
May 21, 2008

Brandon R. Save the grade wankery for the Riverside Quarry. Insomnia is one of the classic pitches in Socal and it's harder than 5.10 and easier than 5.12. Ya think climbing grades are an exact science?
By Brandon R.
Jun 16, 2008
rating: 5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a

Thank you for your very insightful comment Michael Sokoloff, but I've never been to the Riverside Rock Quarry. Last I checked though, the whole reason for the existence of this website was to get accurate route information, so I think my comments are at least somewhat useful... unlike others here.
By Scotty Nelson
From: Boulder
Sep 3, 2008
rating: 5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a

I think 11b/c is fair. And BTW if Crack a Go-Go is the standard for 11c, then Butterballs should be 11d.
By Bruce Diffenbaugh
From: Cheyenne,Wyoming
Dec 26, 2008
rating: 5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

Old School 10D? check out this link.

By C Miller
Dec 31, 2008

Old School 10D?

Did you happen to notice they climbed the route in 2 pitches and the route briefly sported "fixed hexes"? They were a little off with The Pirate as well in thinking it would go free at only 5.11+.
By Bruce Diffenbaugh
From: Cheyenne,Wyoming
Jan 6, 2009
rating: 5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

Yeah,I notice.I just found it interesting.It's for sure harder to do in one pitch and without the fixed hex's.The first time I led it there was only one fixed hex just below the crux.
By James R. Arnold
Apr 21, 2009

A friend of a friend led Insomnia this last week. I did not get on it but I believe there are 1 or 2 fixed pieces in the crux section now.
By Jack Ziegler
From: Golden, CO
Jun 27, 2011

OMG, so good! The Best crack at Tahquitz/suicide I'd say. I think there are two cruxes. The power crux, right after the second chimney you stem up, and an endurance crux, the last off hands crack section.
By Jeff Gicklhorn
From: Reno, NV
Aug 6, 2012
rating: 5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a

Don't get sandbagged, this is the real deal! Best crack in Idyllwild!

If confident at the grade, all you need is doubles from .5-2 BD with maybe a couple of extra pieces in the 1-2" range, and maybe 8 runners. As of today, two fixed pieces at the crux.
By Hamik Mukelyan
From: Pasadena, CA
Oct 7, 2013

There is a hive of angry (Africanized?) honey bees near the base of Insomnia. My partners and I were stung several times on October 6, 2013 while racking up for Insomnia. Watch out!
By don welsh
Nov 28, 2013

definitely bees in Insomnia .... nov 27th 2013