Sign Up  |   Log In:Login with Facebook
REI Community
Hen and Chickens
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Cackle Crack T 
Hagakure T,TR 
Rhode Island Red T 
Rooster Tail T 
Two In The Pink T 
Unknown T 
Yosemite Crack T 

Rooster Tail 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 110'
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: ?
Page Views: 2,225
Submitted By: Charles Vernon on Jan 1, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (51)
Your todo list:
Your stars:
Your rating: -none- [change]
Your ticklist: [add new tick]
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]
Reeves eyeballing the 9+ finish to Rooster Tail...

Season raptor closures MORE INFO >>>


This route is on the Hen and Chicken Rock (to quote one guidebook, when is a hen not a chicken?), which is the small, 100 foot high buttress (with pointy top) just below the SE corner of the East Owl. The approach that leaves the Gem Lake trail after about 1/4 mile leads directly to it. Rooster Tail is the prominent right-arcing hand and fist crack on the left side of the rock; near the top, follow a thin finger crack that slashes back left (crux). Walk off east.


Standard rack; bring a #3 Camalot.

Photos of Rooster Tail Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Mike finally at a comfortable spot, resting up for...
Mike finally at a comfortable spot, resting up for...
Rock Climbing Photo: Justin Dubois on top of Rooster Tail Twin owls in ...
Justin Dubois on top of Rooster Tail Twin owls in ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Working the fingers left.
Working the fingers left.

Comments on Rooster Tail Add Comment
Show which comments
By Leo Paik
From: Westminster, Colorado
Jul 24, 2005
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

The term of finger crack seems generous. It seemed to climb much more like a face climb...somewhat reminiscent of the Perfect Finger Crack of Boulder Canyon.
By Ernie Port
From: Boulder, Colorado
Jul 26, 2005
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

Agree with you Leo, the last 10' of this climb is up the face to the left of the crack, using the crack maybe twice in that span for right hand finger tip lock outs. Nice finish on good rock with very gritty texture.
By Petro
From: Golden, CO
Aug 1, 2005

A [challenging] finish is to continue the arching crack all the way up. It protects fine, and is a fun flarey offwidthy face/like finish. I'd say 9+.
By grega
Jul 31, 2006
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

Climbed this route yesterday, and it was very fun. Crack seemed to get bigger as you went (scrapes all over my left leg says so). Why does the "proper route" go left? Seems much more fluid to keep following the natural arching feature to the right (so I did). Fun and challenging finish (for me). Interesting feet, too. You'll want to stay in the crack, but really can't, because it starts to arch too much. Don't worry as there are lots of feet on the face at this point. I recommend NOT leaving the bigger gear (3 to 4 BD) in the car... Oh yeah, had the whole area to ourselves ALL day.. cheers
By Adam Paashaus
From: Greensboro, North Carolina
Mar 6, 2011

I have never finished this climb by following the crack all the way to the end, but I would recommend the "finger crack" standard finish. It, for me, was the crux and probably the most fun section of the entire climb.
By Andy Hansen
From: Longmont, Colorado
Aug 19, 2012
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

I thought entering the crack at the bottom was the burly crux and exiting the crack up high was the technical crux. Neither seemed to warrant the + rating for me, but I can see this being more difficult if you're a bit smaller... maybe 5.10a if you're small.

The Definitive
Climbing Resource

Inspiration & Motivation
to Fuel Your Run

Next Generation Mountain
Bike Trail Maps

Backcountry, Sidecountry
& Secret Stashes

Better Data. Better Tools.
Better Hikes!