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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: 9,959
Submitted By: Scott "Scoboni" Powell on Apr 4, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (174)
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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: 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 ...
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,...

Comments on Knapsack Crack Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 7, 2013
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 Nukem
From: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Feb 16, 2013

Great morning solo! get up before everyone who is camping and take a solo lap and then head over to the steeper walls for the rest of the day!
By Aerili
From: Los Alamos, NM
Feb 20, 2013

^^^ Pointless spray alert.

And imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
By Kid Icarus
Feb 23, 2013

^^^ Pointless bitch alert.
By Ima Fred Knot
From: Victoria, Seychelles
Feb 25, 2013

Rock Climbing Photo: Feed me!
Feed me!
By Nukem
From: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Mar 8, 2013

its not spray wtf? im sorry if you need your big shinny rack to climb a 5.5 i really do feel bad for you, but some of us rather enjoy easy solo's, and i provided that information based on that.

i apologize for this comment, it was unnecessary, was not trying to be a jack ass
By J. Albers
From: Colorado
Mar 9, 2013

Usually I'm the one giving Aerili a hard time, but Brennen, she has a point. And yeah, maybe I do need a big rack to climb a 5.5, so what? Perhaps it would be wise not to look down on people just because they are not studly enough to solo a mindbending route like Knapsack.

Considering none of the last six comments (including mine) in any way add constructive commentary to this route page, how about we agree to delete the comments starting with the solo king comment?
By Nukem
From: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
May 1, 2013

This is a FUN solo, much better than tying in, now i admit that i was once getting elvis leg on routes similar to this, we all had to start somewhere! and yes i still do rope up and take beginers on this route, but was i being a show off jerk? no, was i trying to sound like the coolest cat on the block? no!! i was simply stating that this is a good solo to get up early for and to start the day off and get some blood flowing before you tackle some more challenging routes. Im sorry that it has offended some of you folks, my comment about the big rack was unnecessary and rude i will admit. but i was simply trying to share some of my experiences with the route, that is what this website is for.
By Ima Fred Knot
From: Victoria, Seychelles
May 2, 2013

I'm not sure how claiming a climb is a good solo is relavent beta. I imagine any climb is a good solo if you are comfortable on it (Moonlight Buttress is a great solo... for Alex Honnold). A soloist will have the experience to decide for themself.

More importantly soloing is a super personal choice/experience, so why advocate it to people you don't know? It's like saying "this stretch of road is great to drive with your seat belt off, give it a try". If I want to drive without a seat belt I will, but not because someone else recommended it, nor would I ever recommend it.

We'd love to readabout your experiences, via a Trip Report (with pics and maybe some inspirational music). -IFK

By Kid Icarus
May 2, 2013

There are plenty of endorsements of fun climbs to solo in other LL route comments. There was already one in this very comment section, you illiterate fucks!
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.
By Tyson Waldron
From: Reno, NV
Sep 3, 2013
rating: 5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a

Bringing the conversation back to the flamefest, I stumbled upon this page trying to research a first solo for myself. Pop Bottle was out cause Blitzo called it a pile. Surrealistic out cause of the moves off the second belay. Bear’s Reach first pitch had me thinking while roped. Farce seemed reasonable, but I had already climbed that. Corrugation, well, beached whale and that traverse on the third pitch without a rope, meh.

Soloing is a super personal choice, true. It's also one that nobody would make based on comments they read from the internet... And if they did, well, survival of the fittest, you know?

Someone recommending a climb as a good solo here doesn't really bother me. I'm not advocating anybody solo. It's pretty reckless.

However, if n00b leaders read multiple comments about how people enjoy soloing the route they are contemplating, doesn't that in some way provide beta to them that this route just might be tame enough for them to handle taking it on the sharp?

This climb had all the things I was looking for in a first solo: ridiculously easy (5.5 is a huge stretch), multi-pitch, excellent rock, and zero route-finding.

Ima Fred Knot, I enjoyed that your troll account mentioned Alex Honnold in it's rant about how no one should ever talk about soloing a route on MP, ever.

I vaguely remembered hearing somewhere that Honnold's first solo experience took place at the Leap. Some in-depth research on my part (one google search to be exact) led me to the interview where he doesn't just quote The Leap as his first solo, but this route:

Alpinist: "Please tell us about your first free solo."

Alex: "I'm pretty sure my first solos were at Lover's Leap: Knapsack Crack (5.3) and Corrugation Corner (5.7). Knapsack is so low angle and easy that you can pretty much just walk up it. You can just walk up next to the crack if you prefer 5.6 friction. Lots of folks learn how to lead on it. I was getting my confidence up. Corrugation is more committing. It's three pitches and pretty vertical. I don't remember very well, but I'm sure I climbed it totally statically, overgripped the shit out of it. I probably was climbing terribly and was really scared."

IMO, the fact that arguably the world's greatest soloist began his regimen on this very route makes any commentary about the quality of this route as a solo, well, kind of valid.

Bringing the conversation back to the climb itself: First time leaders rejoice: I don't think I've come across a more friendly potential first trad lead. The rock quality, the plethora of bombproof protection points, and the low angle of the stone make this a climb I would have loved to start leading on.

For how easy this climb is, I actually thought the climbing was pretty fluid and interesting. As master dojo Honnold suggests, you can stay in the crack and find cool locks and jams if you want, or venture out onto the low angle face and climb some friction and face holds.

I didn't find any section that would need a #4 or bigger to be well protected, that being said, if you’ve got it, and wanna bring it, big stuff will definitely fit in multiple places, but there seemed to be other options all over the place. The climbing is very easy, so focus on those placements and Solid, Redundant, Equalized anchors with minimal or No Extension!
By Ima Fred Knot
From: Victoria, Seychelles
Sep 3, 2013

Tyson - your comment was well thought out and I can see you did your homework so I applaud your effort to provide a useful bit of your perspective. My point, and (I think others as well), is that if you can solo this climb, you can probably solo any 5.5/5.6.

I've soloed roughly 95% of all the easy climbs in Lake Tahoe. Under your rationale, should I post about what a great time I had doing them because in my mind they were all great solos? I didn't because people do it on the reg and it'd just be seen as boastful. (and yes this comment is boastful and no the irony is not lost on me - simply spraying about my amazing talents to make my point)

Lead it, follow it, solo it, whatever - but you are far better off ticking the climb and noting the style in those comments. People researching the climb can figure out if its a good solo route that way and you don't look like a noob.

BTW - go solo Tenya Peak - its low angle and you'll feel like you've actually accomplished something ;)

OT - I bet we can get this comment thread as long as the route in question.
By Ryan Nevius
From: The Range of Light
Sep 3, 2013
rating: Easy 5th 1+ 3 I 5 M 1c

Ima Fred Knot wrote:
I'm not sure how claiming a climb is a good solo is relavent beta...I bet we can get this comment thread as long as the route in question.

Going to have to agree here. The comment area isn't the place to write about a solo; it's more appropriate as a "tick". It has nothing to do with route beta or conditions. Everyone has their own opinions of what makes a safe/secure/fun/good solo. Some people onsight solo crumbly, wide, 5.12+. Some people will want a rope on 4th class. To each his/her own.
By Tyson Waldron
From: Reno, NV
Sep 7, 2013
rating: 5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a


I certainly agree the style in which you climbed a route (OS, RP, solo, etc) belong onnly in the tick section, for many reasons. Ticks are where I went shopping for solo comments originally around Lover's, but got sucked into playing devil's advocate here.

And I think we are essentially in agreement at the root of the issue, which unfortunately might limit the length in which this climbs comment string could grow towards... Although I could throw in some defamatory shit [here]...

Suggesting, as Brennen did, that we should go try this as a solo, rather than saying he simply enjoyed it as one, was the fatal flaw in his comment.

I don't see where my rationale was suggesting anybody that solos a route should tell us about it. That would drive all of us insane.

For reasons people can find valid or invalid, I just feel this route in particular had some leniency in place for solo spray, due in part to it's rating, (how many <5.4 routes [that aren't alpine] are listed in our area?) but also its interesting tidbit of climbing history.

I've looked at Tenya! Seems like an incredibly popular solo, the ticks suggest that is nearly the norm on it. The lady friend was pretty upset about my knapsack/farce excursion though, so I may be retired. (on the other hand, someone I don't know from the internet did just suggest I solo it... better gas up the truck...)

To Recap: Don't solo based on suggestions from internet people. Don't talk about soloing or onsighting in route comments, cause probably no-one cares... Except for this route, where it's all good and relevant. ;-)

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