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Bell Buttress - Main Crag
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West Crack T 
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Wrinkles T 

West Crack 

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

   
Type:  Trad
Consensus:  YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: Higbee & Studer
Page Views: 4,338
Submitted By: Steve Levin on Jul 10, 2001

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Description 

Another good one for crack climbing in the summer shade, West Crack is a bit harder than it's neighbor West Face to the right, and the gear is a bit more of a struggle to get in. Climb the crack two systems right of Cosmosis, moving right at the bulge to the bolt anchors atop the first pitch of West Face. Rappel, or continue to the top of the rock.


Protection 

Double set wireds, TCUs, to 2.5" cams. 50m rope makes it down from the bolt anchors atop West Face.



Photos of West Crack Slideshow Add Photo
A compromising position.
A compromising position.
West Crack.
West Crack.
Comments on West Crack Add Comment
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By Matt Bauman
Aug 4, 2001

I toproped this after leading West face again this morning.....I have to disagree that this is harder than west face (after leading west face my buddy tr'd it, then I tr'd it, lowered while setting directional for West Crack and then TR'd it right away with my pump still going, it felt no harder than west face to me)..... it would most definitely be harder to lead due to the discontinuous crack and pumpy stances for the interspersed gear placements but I felt that on toprope they were both 9+ and that West Face was actually a little more strenuous and just as sustained (I'm more comfy face climbing than pure crack). I find it very strange that West Face is almost entirely a crack climb while West Crack is almost entirely a face climb..... both are 3 star climbs in my opinion, as is Cosmosis and I agree with Charles that the crux is the lieback move just above the chalked up flake..... still have yet to do Double jeapordy (looks crappy)... the Bell buttress marathon is my goal for one of these weekends (cept' I think I'll TR West Crack and wait until I'm solid 5.10 leader before trying to lead that one).

By Mike Sofranko
Sep 4, 2001

This is definitely a slightly more committing lead than West Face. Both climbs start at the same point, and I basically climbed the same rock for the first 10 or 15 feet or both routes. There are a couple obvious finger locks a couple feet apart that mark the point where I committed to West Crack proper. I thought this was the leading crux, as I placed TCUs in each lock and pulled through a few solid 5.9 moves to the next stance. If these TCUs fail in fall, you'll probably feel it.

If I had 2 #3 Camalots on this pitch, I would have placed both of them. But, I was able to get another piece in at the higher widish crack. I had minor route finding issues at the top of both this route and West Face, but no big deal.

By Michael Walker
From: Loveland, CO
Jul 13, 2002

Some of the best crack climbing I've ever done. The fingerlock laybacks at the crux are out of this world. Better than Cosmosis. Three stars.

By Anonymous Coward
Sep 18, 2003

I have done West Face and started up West Crack but was confused about where the route eventually merges into West Face towards the top (like the Falcon guide says). I pulled out right about 3/4 the way up the route where the roof block formation is (the thing the guy is straddling in the picture). Is this right or do you keep heading up the crack more and then cut over right? If you know and respond I would appreciate it.

By Rich Farnham
Apr 17, 2006

Rossiter's book is a bit vague on this, but I think the way most people do it is to keep going up the crack system beyond the large flake that the guy in the photo is straddling, for a few powerful moves. I agree with the folks above that find this to be the crux of the pitch. When the difficulty eases, you can angle up and right to the anchor on West Face.

In the photo there is a blocky shape on the skyline to the right of where the crack becomes a v-slot in the skyline. I angle right under this formation.

By 303scott
Jul 16, 2010

Pumpy and fun! Regarding where to traverse right, I climbed straight up until I was dead-even with the anchors to the right. This may be incorrect, judging from the comments and the photo in D'Antonio's book, but there was definitely interesting climbing all the way to the top.

By Jeff McLeod
Aug 2, 2012
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

I liked this route a lot, pretty much solid liebacking all the way up, also kind of burly moves. Much harder than West Face on lead, I would give this one a 5.10a. BTW, my friend who cleaned caused my #0.5 Camalot C4 to walk into a crack and not return. If you find it and feel like doing a good deed, holler at me. I would greatly appreciate it. Otherwise it's yours and it's certainly not a lost cause for someone with small fingers :)

By Andy Hansen
From: Longmont, Colorado
Dec 5, 2012
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

A more full-value finish would be to go to the anchors of Beethoven's Fifth. There's a pin along the way, and then cut left. No more difficult than getting to the anchors of West Face. This way you could also TR Beethoven's Fifth and fiddle gear for your future RP ascent.