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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'
Original:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c R [details]
FA: Gordon Webster, Frank de Saussure and TM Herbert, 1965
Page Views: 14,754
Submitted By: Josh Janes on Jul 9, 2006

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"South Crack". Photo by Blitzo.

Closures for Peregrine Falcon Protection MORE INFO >>>

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
Rock Climbing Photo: Chuck following the great p2 fingers crack.
Chuck following the great p2 fingers crack.
Rock Climbing Photo: Valarie Heredia leading P2. Photo: Greg Epperson
Valarie Heredia leading P2. Photo: Greg Epperson
Rock Climbing Photo: messing around
messing around
Rock Climbing Photo: dad following the run out slab pitch... fun climbi...
dad following the run out slab pitch... fun climbi...
Rock Climbing Photo: clean granite and great weather on south crack
clean granite and great weather on south crack
Rock Climbing Photo: we did a variation breaking right at the end to so...
we did a variation breaking right at the end to so...
Rock Climbing Photo: The easy but super sweet 5.6 crack pitch... pitch ...
The easy but super sweet 5.6 crack pitch... pitch ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Routes facing the lake
BETA PHOTO: Routes facing the lake
Rock Climbing Photo: Near the top of pitch 4, the long run-out face sec...
Near the top of pitch 4, the long run-out face sec...
Rock Climbing Photo: Bernard on the nice finger crack on pitch 2
Bernard on the nice finger crack on pitch 2
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 2 of South Crack
Pitch 2 of South Crack
Rock Climbing Photo: working on removing a cam -- after that long run o...
working on removing a cam -- after that long run o...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking East (Left) Base of P1 on South Crack
BETA PHOTO: Looking East (Left) Base of P1 on South Crack
Rock Climbing Photo: I did all the 5.8 climbing on the first 2 pitches ...
I did all the 5.8 climbing on the first 2 pitches ...
Rock Climbing Photo: looing up at me as i finish the 5.7R pitch...
looing up at me as i finish the 5.7R pitch...
Rock Climbing Photo: Wife on South Crack
Wife on South Crack
Rock Climbing Photo: How that runout 5.5 looks from the dull end.
BETA PHOTO: How that runout 5.5 looks from the dull end.
Rock Climbing Photo: Descent from South Crack
Descent from South Crack
Rock Climbing Photo: Dave Cundy on South Crack in Sept 2006
Dave Cundy on South Crack in Sept 2006
Rock Climbing Photo: Base of P1 on South Crack
BETA PHOTO: Base of P1 on South Crack
Rock Climbing Photo: Dave Burda leading South Crack
Dave Burda leading South Crack

Comments on South Crack Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jun 19, 2016
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
From: Moab, Colorado
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
Administrator
Aug 26, 2014
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.
By Raddam6
Sep 2, 2014
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13

Great route. Lots of fun and secure climbing!
By Crimpanzee
From: San Francisco, California
Sep 21, 2015
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R

Nice fingers on P1&2, but remember it's still just a giant slab climb (including the never-ending 3rd/4th descent). Opted for the "Alternate Finish" to the right after P3 (i.e. looked to the 5.6/5.7R to the left and said NOPE). Still scary IMO to runout 5.5 friction, but then again my big boy pants have yet to arrive in the mail.
By Fat Dad
From: Los Angeles, CA
Nov 4, 2015
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R

Definitely warrants an R rating for all but the most competent slab climbers (and even then it's still run). Let's put it this way, I climbed Ursula (.10c, trad bolted per the usual Tuolumne standards) on Dozier Dome the day before, and was glad I did when I got to the 5.7 pitch. It's just 5.7, but since it's the Meadows you'll be much more relaxed if you're solid at the grade.
By Lynn Evenson
Dec 23, 2015

Loved this thing. Wasn't having a great trip - lead head just wasn't consistent at all - but felt great on the first two pitches. Runout friction wasn't too bad after umpteen years practice in South Platte.
By pkeds
From: Hermosa Beach, CA
Feb 20, 2016

I thought this route was pretty overrated. It was 1 good pitch of climbing. Much better in Tuolumne.
By J Sundstrom
From: San Diego, CA
5 days ago
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R

A piece of advice for those doing the 5.5 variation on P4: after going up the easy slab to a small ledge, keep going right. Continuing to go up the water streak will get you into territory much harder than 5.5 with a 35+ft runout.

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