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South Crack 

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

   
Type:  Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches, 600'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Gordon Webster, Frank de Saussure and TM Herbert, 1965
Page Views: 10,324
Submitted By: Josh Janes on Jul 9, 2006

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"South Crack".
Photo by Blitzo.

Description 

South Crack is a great climb that begins with several pitches of gradually steepening clean 5.8 finger cracks and then finishes with some rather run out 5.7+ slabs to the summit.

Begin at the southernmost foot of the dome, right of the Great White Book. Scramble up 4th class ledges and low angle rock towards the obvious crack/flake system until it becomes necessary to belay. Depending on your comfort level (or willingness to simul), you can eliminate a lot of belays by pushing the approach high. At the end of the cracks you'll find some wandering, unprotected slabs that lead to the summit. It may be best to head relatively straight up (easier), or to link small features (pro).


Protection 

Standard Rack



Photos of South Crack Slideshow Add Photo
Chuck following the great p2 fingers crack.
Chuck following the great p2 fingers crack.
Valarie Heredia leading P2. Photo: Greg Epperson
Valarie Heredia leading P2. Photo: Greg Epperson
messing around
messing around
dad following the run out slab pitch... fun climbing with a dash of spice...
dad following the run out slab pitch... fun climbi...
clean granite and great weather on south crack
clean granite and great weather on south crack
we did a variation breaking right at the end to some fun moderate climbing
we did a variation breaking right at the end to so...
The easy but super sweet 5.6 crack pitch... pitch 3 i think...
The easy but super sweet 5.6 crack pitch... pitch ...
Pitch 2 of South Crack
Pitch 2 of South Crack
Near the top of pitch 4, the long run-out face section!
Near the top of pitch 4, the long run-out face sec...
Bernard on the nice finger crack on pitch 2
Bernard on the nice finger crack on pitch 2
working on removing a cam -- after that long run out, it seems I really stuck this one in for good!
working on removing a cam -- after that long run o...
looing up at me as i finish the 5.7R pitch...
looing up at me as i finish the 5.7R pitch...
I did all the 5.8 climbing on the first 2 pitches in one 230 ft pitch to a nice ledge... this photo looks down at my dad as he gets to the moderate last 30ft of the crack...
I did all the 5.8 climbing on the first 2 pitches ...
Descent from South Crack
Descent from South Crack
Dave Burda leading South Crack
Dave Burda leading South Crack
Wife on South Crack
Wife on South Crack
How that runout 5.5 looks from the dull end.
BETA PHOTO: How that runout 5.5 looks from the dull end.
Dave Cundy on South Crack in Sept 2006
Dave Cundy on South Crack in Sept 2006
Routes facing the lake
BETA PHOTO: Routes facing the lake
Comments on South Crack Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Aug 26, 2014
By Carquinez
Dec 5, 2007

Been doing this climb and leading others on it for 30 years. It's one of the best in Tuolumne.

By Karl K
From: Phoenix, AZ
Aug 5, 2008
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R

Probably my favorite climb in Tuolumne...
With a 60m rope, start with a short pitch to the top of the 5.4 pillar (just before the step right). Now P2 is a single, long 5.8 finger crack pitch to the great ledge.
P3 follows the crack up and right until it peters out.
The traditional route goes up and part the left side of the roof and is 5.7 (runout). I prefer to go up and right on runout 5.5 face (see SuperTopo) and then finish on the easy (and well protected) class 5 & class 4 corner to the top. I think the right variation is much less scary (really only a 20 & 25' runout on 5.5) and makes it possible to avoid a cluster of climbers on the left.

By LeeAB
Administrator
From: ABQ, NM
Aug 18, 2008

As good as Nutcracker and just as beautiful a setting.

By Rob Davies UK
From: Cheshire, UK
May 8, 2009
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R

Brilliant. Maybe R at the top but not the scary sort. UK grade VS 4c.

By Cory
From: Boise, ID
Sep 8, 2009
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R

Awesome splitter finger crack. Went up and right after the crack ended. Pretty runout, but not that hard . . .

By snowhazed
From: Oakland, Ca
Jun 29, 2010

3 pitches with a 70m rope and a wee bit of simul climbing at the very end on the easy stuff.

By Rodger Raubach
Jul 20, 2010
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13

I'd tend more towards a PG13 than an R rating for competent leaders.

By Richard Shore
Jan 14, 2011

I think a 40'+ runout on 5.7 slab warrants an R rating. Not very hard, but I was mentally gripped. Original line goes left and up across unprotected slab when the crack ends. The right option is an easier escape variation, 5.5 or so, but also warrants an R rating.

By Josh Cameron
Nov 23, 2011
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R

Great variation. Finished with the original finish to the left. Definitely an R rating. The run-out slab climbing was mostly 5.6 with an occassional 5.7 move, but you're a long way above your last piece. Also, if someone told me the finger crack on the first pitch was 5.9, I'd have bought it.

Loved sitting in the bucket and belaying up my second after the first runout slab.

By Yosemitesam
Jun 3, 2012

Awesome climb! Breezy step across on 1st pitch. Splitter finger crack with tons of good spots to rest. Cruiser runouts, though I bet the unaccustomed will be freaked out. I thought the 5.6 runout on the last pitch was spicier than the 5.7 after the roof. Classic stuff...

By Bill Lawry
From: New Mexico
Jul 29, 2012

The non-standard start at the very base of the P1 Crack shouldn't be overlooked. It protected okay without especially small gear but that may be improved using a small ball nut or perhaps two.

By Robert Hall
5 days ago
rating: 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c

Yes, awesome, and yes, WAY run-out on the friction [5.6-5.7 R or "R/X"?], but at least there IS some friction on the friction, whereas the crack section is getting somewhat polished, although quite protectable [G / PG]. I thought the crack section was pretty solid 5.9 (but I never claim to be very solid on cracks) as it leans right.