By Ernie Port From: Boulder, Colorado Aug 10, 2002
This short route offers a tricky opening sequence right off the ground. A crack inside a narrow groove widens for just a few inches which allows a tenuous two knucle deep finger lock for the left hand. The feet in the first two moves are vague and most folks use the crack for the right foot and stem/smear on the polished left face. 10' farther up a shallow, shoulder width, slightly inverted chimney must be overcome. Good pro here, but again a tricky sequence since its so tight, you can't see your feet, but a nice high right hand crack saves the day allowing you to pull through (I've seen climbers avoid this squeeze by pulling left over a lip to gain the easy ground). When this sequence is overcome, most people stop to catch their breath, I know I did. The remainder of the pitch is (5) and most parties go to the chains above curving crack to rap.
I was still mystified by all the zippers and pockets on my new $80 climbing pants when my partner yelled "off belay, good luck..." The first few feet of Skunk Crack is slicker then a Jiffy-Lube garage floor at closing time.Being able to torque myself into the handjam above the initial fingerlock felt tough but extracting my shoulder out of the wider midsection nearly required medical attention. Nothing like an old school 5.9 to start me back sportclimbing!
The start of this climb is somewhat slippery. Definately solid 5.9 crux.
By Rob Davies UK From: Cheshire, UK May 8, 2009 rating: 5.10a6a18VI+E1 5a
Another Castle Rock sandbag? Hard to start and an awkward pig of a move higher up.
By D. Shaw Aug 28, 2009 rating: 5.10a6a18VI+E1 5a PG13
Friend Casey said, "nah, I don't want to picnic and climb at C.R. 'cause it is too greasy." I didn't know what he meant until trying this one, and now I do. Wow. Slick, like the guy said. Easier to second, as you can layback the first section with the slick feet, but if you are leading, it is tricky to layback and protect at the same time. For on-sight, 10a, I thought, but did 2nd lap following and maybe 9+ is ok for that. Definitely worth doing. And, there are now chains at the top of this, so no need to move over to top of Curving Crack for those chains.
I left two quickdraws at the top of this route on the chains last week. If someone picks them up I would love to get them back. I forgot them because my partner fell and got hurt. Thanks, returning gear is good karma!