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 ADVANCED
Triple Cracks Sanctuary
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Becky's Crack T 
Grass Crack T 
Grass Crack Direct TR 
Middle Crack T 
Owl Crack T 
Upper Grass Crack T 
Unsorted Routes:

Middle Crack 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

   
Type:  Trad, 1 pitch
Consensus:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Robert Titly, Carl Wiseman
Page Views: 4,443
Submitted By: Steve Marr on Oct 25, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (35)
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Below the crux on Middle Crack.

Description 

As the name implies, Middle Crack is the centerpiece of the Triple Cracks and is located between Owl and Becky's Cracks. Middle Crack is an excellent climb, and a must do for any E-Rock visitor. The start is more of a flake with good lieback moves than a crack. The crux comes early - about 10-15 feet up, the crack curves up and left, leaving a small 'bulge' on the right (protects well with a #2 Camalot). There is a second, smaller 'bulge' above the crux. Continue up the crack as it goes from fists to hands and eventually to fingers. The climbing gets easier as you get higher. Belay/rap from anchors at the top (single rope rap). Great route.

Protection 

Standard rack with cams up to a #3 Camalot.


Photos of Middle Crack Slideshow Add Photo
Protecting the crux.
Protecting the crux.

Comments on Middle Crack Add Comment
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By D. Shaw
Sep 11, 2007
rating: 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c PG13

Coming from Colorado, I have to say in "Clintinesque" speak that Texas climbing is what it is. But this is a very nice pitch and like many routes at E-Rock, stout for the grade. It would be 9-, at least at many Colorado areas. You can jam the first part if you know how, rather than layback it. Watch the top part for a fall as it is run-out, and if anyone knows a good way off of this other than the long walk, post a comment.
By Jason Kurten
Sep 24, 2007

If you set the belay up from the top of this route, in the big "Crevice" as the Dome Driver's Manual calls it, then just exit out of the Crevice towards a tree (Climber's Left). Just to the climber's right of the tree is a set of Metolius rap anchors (essentially, these anchors are at the top of Grass Crack). A 60 meter rope easily reaches the ground, a 50 meter probably would as well, but I've never tried it.
By CarlFW
Nov 19, 2007
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

I would agree it is a stiff 8 or 9-. It is substantially easier after the initial bulge though weather done as a crack or layback. I found some descent nut placements higher. Convention is to traverse from any of the climbs to the grass crack bolts if you are comfortable or else you'll have to go over the top on 4th class.
By Craig Childre
From: Lubbock, Texas
Dec 5, 2007
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

IMO a solid 5.8 for Enchanted Rock. I think it is sandbagging to think it 5.9. Though, my buddy decked during his onsight attempt of this route, blowing off on the opening moves. Then last month he knocked off his first 10d, so who really knows for sure.
By KirkH
From: Austin, TX
Nov 6, 2008

This route is not stout by any means for it's rating & the crux isn't 10 to 15 feet off the ground....it's the right at the layback start. Belay from the big horn. Double bolt anchor about 40ft to left for Grass Crack TR or rap.
By marc rosenthal
From: San Antonio, TX
Nov 17, 2008

It should be noted that before the guidebook A Dome Driver's Manual was published, this climb was rated 5.7 or 5.7+. It may have gotten slicker over the years but the crux is definitely right off the ground, and this is the most committing move on the climb. But once that move is made and pro is in, the crack is right in your face and there are ample opportunities for wires or small cams.
By Keith Earley
From: Boulder, Colorado
Jun 1, 2011

The rap anchors are found about 20 feet to the left of the top of the route, near a tree. I rappelled using a single 70m rope with no problems.
By Garth Magee
Aug 6, 2012

I wonder when the FA occurred? We were leading it in late 1975, and thought is was 5.7+. So must have been earlier than that. Was always fun.
By Doug Meneke
May 10, 2013

You can walk your feet up the good crystals on the left, with hands walking up the crack, until you can reach over the lip (much easier than trying to lay it back to reach the lip). The required layback to pull over the lip is the crux...protect just under the lip to avoid decking. Great nut placements in the thin crack up top. Once you unlock the sequences, you can understand the 5.8 rating...and yes, it's slick pulling the 1st lip crux.


Rap off the Grass Crack anchors, or downclimb a 5.7 crack to the top of Smorgasbord (5.6). We would solo Smorgasbord and the crack in tennis shoes to setup a toprope. Use climbing shoes and it's solid.