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Pinnacle Peak
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South Crack 

YDS: 5.3 French: 3+ Ewbanks: 10 UIAA: III ZA: 9 British: VD 3a

   
Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 150'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a [details]
FA: Ed George, Bill McMorris 1947
Season: Probably too hot in summer
Page Views: 4,899
Submitted By: Pete Hickman on Oct 1, 2007

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BETA PHOTO: Start of the second pitch. The unknown climber is...

Description 

First pitch: Left chimney 4th class scramble to belay bolts just below the sundeck boulder. It's easier than it might look at first sight. Second pitch: Go around a triangluar boulder and up another boulder to access a large crack. Follow wide crack to small chimney with a bolt on left face with which you can pass a sort of bulge and climb up to a large ledge/tunnell area with two belay bolts. If you stop here then this can be done in three pitches, or you can continue up the chimney area with plenty of protection placements to another ledge area, move left and up a sort of ramp to the summit. Here you will find three huge rappell anchors as well as 4 or 5 bolts and hangars.

Location 

The start is obvious at the top of the trail to the pinacle. However, Weekend Rock topo shows the line going up the right chimney on the first pitch but that looks much harder and all the other topos I had showed it going up the left side which turned out to be pretty easy.

Protection 

1 bolt besides the three sets of belay bolts. Many places for large nuts, I only had a #.75 and #1 Cam and I think I used both but probably didn't have too. A couple of slings around outcroppings on the second pitch. The first pitch (4th class) we used no protection.


Photos of South Crack Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking back on the Sundeck Boulder
Looking back on the Sundeck Boulder
Rock Climbing Photo: Start of the real south crack route from the sun d...
Start of the real south crack route from the sun d...
Rock Climbing Photo: The scramble up the first pitch of south crack.  I...
The scramble up the first pitch of south crack. I...
Rock Climbing Photo: The summit
The summit
Rock Climbing Photo: The summit
The summit
Rock Climbing Photo: The summit
The summit
Rock Climbing Photo: South Crack looking up toward the Rappel
BETA PHOTO: South Crack looking up toward the Rappel
Rock Climbing Photo: The summit, ridiculously awesomely huge rap bolts ...
The summit, ridiculously awesomely huge rap bolts ...
Rock Climbing Photo: The summit
The summit
Rock Climbing Photo: The summit
The summit
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up at final chimney, just before the summi...
BETA PHOTO: Looking up at final chimney, just before the summi...
Rock Climbing Photo: Chimney second half of second pitch.
BETA PHOTO: Chimney second half of second pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down from the top of the 2nd pitch.
BETA PHOTO: Looking down from the top of the 2nd pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: South Crack, Pinnacle Peak
South Crack, Pinnacle Peak
Rock Climbing Photo: The scramble up the first pitch of south crack.  I...
The scramble up the first pitch of south crack. I...
Rock Climbing Photo: Coming up the final chimney with a belay on the su...
Coming up the final chimney with a belay on the su...
Rock Climbing Photo: The summit, newer bolts are available but hard cor...
The summit, newer bolts are available but hard cor...
Rock Climbing Photo: Evelyn scrambling up the start of the 4th class fi...
BETA PHOTO: Evelyn scrambling up the start of the 4th class fi...
Rock Climbing Photo: View of south crack looking down from about 20 fee...
View of south crack looking down from about 20 fee...
Rock Climbing Photo: On top of the first pitch of South Crack!
On top of the first pitch of South Crack!

Comments on South Crack Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jan 25, 2016
By noburu
From: Flagstaff
Nov 3, 2007
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

I know it's not the hardest thing to grunt through, but shouldn't this line get a little more respect than 5.3? The two roofs on the second pitch are definitely strong climbing moves.
By Pete Hickman
From: Tacoma, WA
Dec 6, 2007

I think that compared to other climbs at Pinacle Peak 5.3 is fair. When I first came to PP I thought everything was much harder than rated but that was because I had never climbed on granite before.
By Debbie Vischer
From: Loveland
Feb 15, 2009
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

5.3?!?! My you know what!! Ratings are definitely sandbag'd in AZ. Tight off-width/chimney. Last chimney a bit tricky for a new climber - need solid stemming technique. Secure but strenuous. View worth the effort. Rap'd with single 60m rope (needed very last inch to make it to the bottom).
By randy baum
From: Minneapolis, MN
Jan 1, 2010

great line for top-rope soloists or free soloists. from the top, you get spectacular views (good for either type of soloist) and access to the anchors for powder puff and other climbs (good for top-rope soloists).
By Colonel Mustard
Jan 12, 2011

It's a pretty fun climb, and a great one to introduce climbers to multipitch. As Randy says, it's also a great scramble to the top.
By MacM
From: Cave Creek/Preskitt, AZ
Aug 21, 2012
rating: 5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a

I think it should be noted that a 70M WILL get you from the summit anchors(east-most top-two/biggest eyebolts) to the top of the 4th class gully anchors, down the south face. So you don't need to hassle with the mid-way rap. However, it was a bit tight with maybe 3' on each end remaining.

-Mac
By NC Rock Climber
From: The Oven, AKA Phoenix
Oct 12, 2013

This climb is a blast. Fun, diverse climbing with great pro leads to an amazing summit. HOWEVER, 5.3?!?! Seriously?!?! IMHO, that is a giant sandbag. I am not going to suggest another rating, but it didn't seem like 5.3 to me.
By Anthony Miklas
From: Phoenix , Arizona
Nov 9, 2015
rating: 5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a PG13

Great route for pinnacle. Definitely is a sandbagged 5.3, but still quite easy.
By Daniel Evans
From: N Scottsdale, AZ
Nov 24, 2015
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Getting there: Take the hiker's trail from the parking lot up until you see the "Rock Climbers Access Trail" sign on the left hand side. Go left up the trail and follow it all the way to the top. Once at the top, the start of pitch 1 can be found 20-30 ft to your left.

Pitch 1: The first 15 ft. off the ground of the chimney section easily goes at 5.6 and nothing less. Requires chimney technique and is too wide for cams. Bring a big bro if you want to protect it. I recommend using the small face features to your advantage sticking more to the outside of the chimney as oppose to wedging yourself deep within. Someone of smaller size may have more success doing it this way, but for me at 5'10" 185 lbs got myself stuck and had to down climb. Once you work your way onto the small blocks wedged in between the chimney 20 ft up, there is another small chimney section that goes much easier at around 5.3-5.4. Once you gain the first ledge it is 4th class to the anchor.

Pitch 2: No need to do this in 3 pitches just run it to the top from the first bolted anchor. Step around the triangle shaped boulder gaining a wide right leaning fist crack. Place gear high here to prevent the crack in triangle shaped boulder from eating your rope (you will see what I am talking about once you are up there). Follow the fist crack to the entrance of a chimney. Fist crack is about 5.3/5.4. Once you enter the chimney below an obvious block wedged above you, clip the bolt to the climbers left and pull a burley chimney move to gain access to the chimney leading up to the hand crack. Move at the bolt is one of the cruxes and easily goes at a stiff 5.6. Work your way up the chimney on easier climbing (5.4/5.5) to the face leading to the summit. The hand crack is somewhat difficult to see at first as it is on the adjacent face to your right that parallels the thin face leading up and left. This is a fairly sustained 5.6 hand crack that requires good crack technique to include stemming out left on the face. Once you make it to the top of this section, you are home free on a short 10 ft section of easy 5.2 climbing to the summit.

Descent: We rappelled from the large eyebolts on the right (east) down to the sun deck boulder where the 1st pitch bolted anchor is. You can reach this with one 70m rope with about 8-10 ft of rope left. From here you can either down climb the gully if you are so inclined or you can rappel from the anchors at sun deck ledge to the ground (which is what we did). I do not recommend the down climb to inexperienced climbers or anyone uncomfortable with downclimbing a 5.6 chimney.

Gear: Singles of .3-.75 and doubles of #1-3 Camalots with (1) #4 Camalot. Leave the nuts at home. Anchors are all bolted.

Conclusion: This route, like everything else at Pinnacle Peak is sandbagged. It is not 5.3 or remotely close. That been said it is a fantastic climb with a variety of moves on great rock. Anchors are all solid and safe. Bring (1) 70m rope and a camera for the top.
By Anthony Miklas
From: Phoenix , Arizona
Dec 3, 2015
rating: 5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a PG13

here is a video of the climb my partner that followed me up took of us climbing south crack
By Martin Keogh
Jan 25, 2016
rating: 5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a

The first 'pitch' is more of a 4th class scramble with an awkward start between two boulders. I would suggest combining the 2nd and 3rd pitch. There are two moves on the 2nd pitch that I would rate 5.5 but other than that it's a really easy and fun climb. 5.3 is fair. Rap off the north east side of the peak down next to chug a lug to avoid climbers coming up behind you on the route. Need a 70m rope with a few feet to spare.

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