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Knapsack Crack 

YDS: 5.4 French: 4a Ewbanks: 12 UIAA: IV ZA: 10 British: VD 3c

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 300'
Original:  YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a [details]
Page Views: 10,513
Submitted By: Scott "Scoboni" Powell on Apr 4, 2006

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Bill H on Knapsack Crack, 7/16/11.

Seasonal Raptor Closure MORE INFO >>>


Start below a lone tree on the east side of Hogsback. The first pitch ends at the tree and is very easy. From the tree the second pitch contains some 5.5 moves, but due to the low angle of the rock it doesn't feel that way. A 60 m rope gets you from the tree to the end of the second pitch. Use a 50 m and you will be belaying from the crack itself. Not that this is a bad thing as it helps to build confidence in belaying without a ledge.

The third pitch is again very easy to climb and protect. Upon reaching the top, walk off to the left to return to more climbs or to head for climbs at the Leap.


Small to large cams and chocks; good protection on every pitch. I found an old piton on the second pitch that seemed fairly secure.

Photos of Knapsack Crack Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Pierce onsights Knapsack on TR!
Pierce onsights Knapsack on TR!
Rock Climbing Photo: Knapsack Crack 5.5. Most of the first 2 pitches.
BETA PHOTO: Knapsack Crack 5.5. Most of the first 2 pitches.
Rock Climbing Photo: Quite a busy day on Knapsack. Belay at the tree th...
BETA PHOTO: Quite a busy day on Knapsack. Belay at the tree th...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up from pitch 1 from here you can see wher...
Looking up from pitch 1 from here you can see wher...
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 1 is a very easy scramble to the belay tree,...
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 1 is a very easy scramble to the belay tree,...
Rock Climbing Photo: Somewhat grainy - bottom of knapsack by a 3/4 moon...
Somewhat grainy - bottom of knapsack by a 3/4 moon...
Rock Climbing Photo: Brian Aitken topped out after a quick run up Knaps...
Brian Aitken topped out after a quick run up Knaps...
Rock Climbing Photo: Kaari Volway heading up the 3rd pitch
Kaari Volway heading up the 3rd pitch
Rock Climbing Photo: Jen McAllister - 1st multipitch-  approaching 1st ...
Jen McAllister - 1st multipitch- approaching 1st ...

Comments on Knapsack Crack Add Comment
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By caughtinside
From: Oakland CA
Jan 23, 2007

you don't need big bros to do this route...

Also, I would recommend Deception (5.6) to fledgling leaders if there is a line on knapsack (quite common on weekends.) Deception generally has fewer parties, and much more quality 5th class moves with good gear.

Pop Bottle is another good 5.6 for a beginning leader, on the East wall. PB is also nice because you can walk off after the 1st pitch.
By Evan1984
Mar 6, 2008

This is a good welcome climb to lover's leap. Big Bros are definetly unnecesary. I took a set of nuts and a light set of cams to BD#4 and was fine. There are so many places to protect, going bigger won't gain you anything.

p1. This was my GF first trad lead. It is pretty straightforward with good resting stances to place and a bomber tree to belay off of, which was good since she is less experienced at anchor building.

p2. Definetly climbing, but still not a problem.

p3. Again, mellow, but the moves are up and over a series of blocks, so it could get heady if you aren't confident at the grade.

The approach is harder than the climb.

By GMBurns
Jul 21, 2008

Did this in a team of three as a simul-climb. There's nothing to worry about on this climb, though it does get a bit more interesting near the top where the crack flares and the blocks begin. Plenty of good gear if needed.
By Joe Ludlow
From: Denver, Colorado
Jun 9, 2010

If you belay from above the tree you can do this in 2 pitches. If you belay at the tree, you can simulclimb about 20' up so the leader can reach the belay station. Likewise with a 70m rope, you can just belay from the tree and be just fine.

I took my friend on this for his first trad lead and he had a ball! The moves are juuuust dicey enough to require gear if you're uncomfortable.

Oh, and this was my first free solo! YAY!
By Josh Cameron
From: Moab, Colorado
Jul 17, 2011
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

A good beginner's route, but drab and uninspriring if you can climb harder than 5.7.
By OKClimber
From: Folsom
Aug 28, 2011

Climbed this late August 2011 - careful, there was a snake about 30' up the second pitch in a perfect crack! The party ahead of us heard a "rattle" but I cant confirm the type of snake. Spooked me though when I saw my next hand jam start to move!

All in all, this was a great route for me to take a couple new climbers out on. Fairly easy, low exposure and a great time. Highly recommend it for new climbers and leaders.
By Brendan Moriarty
From: Berkeley, CA
Jul 4, 2012
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

Unless you are an absolute novice outdoors, multi-pitching or w/ trad I think you'll find this route to be pretty boring. Do Deception instead -- it's much better.
By Phil McAllister
Nov 24, 2012
rating: 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c

This is a pretty fun climb to do by moonlight (as a pretty confident 5.7 leader) - with the route being as straightforward as it is - nicely defined crack to follow - very little concern getting off-route. takes a pretty tame 5.5 and makes it quite interesting a lot of fun. Make sure that you have a headlamp to check those gear placements in the cracks though.
By Nicole BI
From: Oakland, CA
Jul 5, 2013

Bringing the discussion back to the climb itself, this was a very friendly first trad experience for the two friends I led up it. The nice shady tree belay is super comfortable, especially when you have a party of three which takes a little longer. But if you are climbing as a fairly efficient 2-some and can afford to bypass the shade, I'd recommend continuing past the tree to the piton next to a little ledge, so that you can do the climb in 2 pitches. If you have a 60 meter rope it's a little too long to go from the tree to the summit in one pitch. As a previous commenter suggested, you could use the tree as your first belay and simul-climb the last bit if your party is comfortable doing that.

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