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Adam Brink making it look easy.
Max Factor is one of the best 5.11 finger cracks in Vedauwoo. Locate this beauty at the far end of the crag from the parking lot, just around the corner right from the Tubes. The climbing is positive with excellent finger locks until you reach a distinct crux just before the crack bulges. There are good smears for the feet on the right, and if you utilize your left toe well in the crack then relying on the shallow, technical jams at the crux won't seem so desperate. Still, it seems that one short section is a show-stopper for a lot of climbers. Above, the positive locks resume. Lower off of the (new) bolts on the underside of the big bulge (this is the top of P1 of Grand Traverse) or continue up the 5.10+ crux bulge of that route (possible in one pitch). This climb was tried many times by many climbers before Australian Kim Carrigan onsighted it, and compared it in difficulty to Fish Crack in the Valley (5.12b). It has cleaned up considerably since then; in 1980 the crack was filled with gravel, loose bits of rock, and vegetation, and felt like 5.12 to me. Today most climbers will agree it is 5.11 something-or-other, and an area classic.
Medium wired nuts work well on this climb. I would bring a good selection from wireds, TCUs to 1" cams, and singles up to 3", or something like that.
|By Dan St. John|
From: Castle Rock
Jul 2, 2002
I found this rout is very very hard in my humble opinion. For people with big fingers it will be difficult. Not that I have a good reference base for grads in the hard eleven but seemed to be twelve to.
|By Jesse Ryan|
Jul 22, 2004
Awesome line - Vedauwoo 11c - easily as hard as a 12a sport line.
Sep 15, 2004
Do this route!
Apr 20, 2005
Vedauwoo Mega Classic. Once you're through the crux, the technical difficulty drops big time - if you've got the gas to stay with it after that, you've got it.
|By Brian Weinstein|
Jul 27, 2007
Thanks for the history, Steve. The crux is quick, maybe 2 moves. My favorite finger crack in Vedauwoo.
|By lenore sparks|
From: Heidelberg, Germany
Sep 6, 2008
This is significantly easier than .11c if you have little fingers. Butt touchers beware.
|By Phil Lauffen|
Aug 22, 2011
Excellent climb. Easy for 11c 'voo, but maybe I just suck at anything wider than hands.
May 21, 2012
Someone compared this route to the headwall pitch of J Crack at Lumpy. If that pitch is 11c, than Max Factor is somewhere around 11b. The hard climbing section on this one is a little longer than on J Crack crux, but the moves seem to be easier. At least finger locks are much easier. This is one of my favorite route at Vedauwoo.
|By Nick Stayner|
From: The Magic City
Aug 31, 2012
Don't get too focused on jamming near the top of this one. I found a nice crimpy sidepull on the right side of the crack to be very useful right before the crack steepens and eases off.