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The Oak (AKA Oak Tree Direct) 

YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a PG13

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 90'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: Unknown
Page Views: 458
Submitted By: saxfiend on Dec 19, 2010

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (4)
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Bad TR pic showing this area of the cliff.


Stiff for the grade and with sometimes unintuitive protection, The Oak is not a 5.9 to take lightly.

Starting at an oak tree, do some delicate (and unprotected) face climbing for 10-12' to a ledge. Continue up the face above to a bulge. Puzzle in some pro and finesse your way through the bulge, then cruise to the top.


The left-most route on the Graham's Crack wall.


Small to medium gear (active and passive). Bolted anchors.

Comments on The Oak (AKA Oak Tree Direct) Add Comment
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By bernard
From: birmingham, al
Dec 22, 2010

i've always known this one as Oak Tree (oddly, it ends at a well established pine tree). At the upper third of the route there are three separate finish possibilities. The route is most typically toproped due to the thin nature of the protection opportunities on this upper section.

Someone has fouled the beautiful top-out moves by placing fixed anchors.

Part of the Steele 'classic' series, you might say
By sammy raviv
Dec 23, 2010

This route has always been called Oak Tree Direct and rated 5.8+.
By bernard
From: birmingham, al
Jan 5, 2011

i'd say that the difficulty range of the three separate finish options ranges from 5.8+ through 5.10. Some pleasing holds and movement
By highneed
Jun 3, 2012
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

I thought this climbed better than Graham's crack. The protection in the upper face is excellent slings and tri-cams (beautiful pink one and weird blue one) but can be very strenuous to place. There is no way a 5.8 leader should jump on this.
By sammy raviv
Jun 10, 2013

Oak Tree update...Anchors have been installed directly above route finish. The oak tree for which the routes namesake had died and will need to be cut down. Sad day indeed!!
From: The Briar Patch
Jun 10, 2013
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

New anchors are for the 'middle way', 5.9/5.10- direct finish. Fire straight up an S shaped crack 15' left of the 5.8 flake finish. Small tricams and finger sized TCUs are good through the headwall. The new anchors take the sting out of a previously scratchy top out.
By Lyle Dean
Nov 30, 2014

Did this route in about 1975 or 76 with Kip Simmons. I called it Oak Tree Direct to describe where it started and that became the name. I was back in Alabama in 2012 and did the route and was pretty bummed out with the position of the anchors off line to the right. We rated everything 5.8 because we did not think we could climb harder than that. The route felt like solid 5.9 with modern climbing gear. All we had were hexes and straight sided stoppers.
By sammy raviv
Dec 4, 2014

Anchors have been added directly above finish so no need to use ones way right. Unfortunately the "Oak Tree" has passed away and is in danger of crashing down. May need to be chopped down.
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