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"Practice" Crack (Trad/Boulder) in Boulder?
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By Levi Perigo
From Boulder, CO
Jul 10, 2014
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Does anyone have any recommendations for good cracks to practice technique in the Boulder area? I'm looking for crack routes I can toprope or even boulder problems with cracks I can practice on. I typically lead in the 5.7/.8 difficulty, but really just want anything that is good to practice on.


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By Malcolm Daly
From Boulder, CO
Jul 10, 2014

In Eldo:
Breezy on the Wind Tower
West Crack on the Whale's Tale


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By Alex Vidal
From Boulder, CO
Jul 10, 2014
Me on the Comensana Fonrouge, El Chalten

Star wars (might be hard to top rope), but there is atypically excellent protection the whole way.


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By Mark E Dixon
From Sprezzatura, Someday
Jul 10, 2014
At the BRC

The Boulder Rock Club has a nice easy hand crack to practice on, usually with an auto belay.


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By bmagee13
Jul 10, 2014

Two that come to mind in which you can set up a top rope are:

1) Finger Crack at Nip and Tuck, bolts are available at the top and easy hike around access.
2) Huston Crack at Cob Rock. Gear anchors available for top rope set up.

There are some climbs in the area that have some crack climb offered that offer excellent pro and are great leads. Some that come to mind are:

1) Gonzo at Cadillac Crag
2) Werk Supp at the Bastille
3) 1st Pitch of Ruper
4) 1st Pitch of Over and Out at Rincon

These are just to name a few.


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By Optimistic
From New Paltz
Jul 10, 2014

Levi Perigo wrote:
Does anyone have any recommendations for good cracks to practice technique in the Boulder area? I'm looking for crack routes I can toprope or even boulder problems with cracks I can practice on. I typically lead in the 5.7/.8 difficulty, but really just want anything that is good to practice on.


Get yourself up to Nip and Tuck, there is a stout 9 (this site calls it 10a, but I think that's a little generous) crack up there (varying sizes, fingers to hands, I think)...10 laps on that and you'll know a whole lot about crack climbing. If I remember right you need a longish sling to set it up, but it's been 10 years or more... Pretty sure that there is an easy way to get on top of Positively Fourth Street in Eldo as well, and that'd be another good option.

It's not precisely crack climbing (mostly more like face climbing in a crack) but the actual climb "Practice Crack" (called "Regular Route" on Practice Rock in this site, what I initially thought your question was about!) in Boulder Canyon has a lot to teach you as well. Kind of hard, but definitely worth figuring out. There are some other cracks there too.


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By flynn
Jul 10, 2014

If you decide to toprope the first pitch of any multi-pitch classic in Eldorado, please be quick to step aside for a party who want to climb the whole route.

There are some very good suggestions here. I'd add the two or three near Positively Fourth Street (all short, but with great rests, perfect pro and a scramble to set up a toprope).

Up Boulder Canyon, there's the Boulderado, which has fun, mostly easy cracks. Could be a great place to play pro games: you know, try to place your whole rack; try to place a piece every (arbitrarily chosen number of) few feet; etc. The bolts at the top of (almost) every one are placed to allow setting up of topropes 'from above.' But please be careful: one slip here and you'll be headed for the road fatally far below.

For your own comfort, consider taping. It's really hard to work on technique when (a) your hands hurt and (b) you're bleeding - blood is slippery and it creeps out your partners. :)

Have fun!


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By Jim6565
Jul 10, 2014

If you like slightly over hanging, partial off width, Alamo rock on Flagstaff has a short but hard route. Also Classic Finger Crack on the elephant buttresses.


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By Eric Klammer
From Boulder, CO
Jul 10, 2014
Heading up the best pitches of the route. Perfect rock at a nice relaxed angle!

Add South St. Vrain Canyon outside of Lyons to your list as well. Handcrack Arete, Infirmary Crack, etc... Don't have my guidebook around to look up more for you but I remember a couple good cracks in the Handcrack Arete area for sure. Good luck!


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By Joe Huggins
From Grand Junction
Jul 10, 2014
mmmm....tree

Washington Irving on the West Ridge is a full value 5.6 with excellent pro and a variety of sizes,double bolts at the top.


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By Sean Brady
From Boulder, Colorado
Jul 11, 2014
Ronin

+1 for the 5.9 crack at nip/tuck, definitely meets all your requirements and is pretty stiff. Same for the classic finger crack on the elephant buttress (2nd I think?). The former has a 2 bolt anchor while the latter would be a gear anchor, however it's very straightforward if I remember right.


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