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Daff Dome, Main Area
Routes Sorted
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Bearded Clam T 
Blown Away T 
Bombs over Tokyo (1st pitch) T 
Chvchichaschtli S 
Cooke Book T 
Crescent Arch T 
El Condor T 
Grey Ghost T 
Plagiarism T 
R.C.A. T 
R.C.A. (1st pitch) T 
West Crack T 
West of the Witch S 
Witch of the West S 
Unsorted Routes:

West Crack 

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

   
Type:  Trad, 5 pitches
Consensus:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Frank Sacherer, 7/63.
Page Views: 19,127
Submitted By: Blitzo on Sep 13, 2006

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Chuck on p3's steep sustained fingers crack! Awes...

Description 

About 100 feet left of "Crescent Arch" is a this beautiful crack that extends almost unbroken for 400 feet. The crux is about 20 feet off the ground, protected by a bolt. The route is obvious.

Protection 

Stoppers and small to medium cams.


Photos of West Crack Slideshow Add Photo
A party on pitch 3 or 4, late in the day.
A party on pitch 3 or 4, late in the day.
Pitch one.   The fun-ness!  June 2009
Pitch one. The fun-ness! June 2009
"West Crack". Photo by Blitzo.
BETA PHOTO: "West Crack". Photo by Blitzo.
Pitch 3
Pitch 3
The descent 'directly across from fairview'
The descent 'directly across from fairview'
start of first pitch
BETA PHOTO: start of first pitch
Tamara nearing the end of p1's steep diagonal fing...
Tamara nearing the end of p1's steep diagonal fing...
Nice hand crack!
Nice hand crack!
Lisa Pritchett on West Crack
Lisa Pritchett on West Crack
Keith Nannery passing the bolt on pitch 1
Keith Nannery passing the bolt on pitch 1
Nice crack on pitch 2
Nice crack on pitch 2
Pitch 4
Pitch 4
Glorious knobs render big cams all but useless on ...
BETA PHOTO: Glorious knobs render big cams all but useless on ...
West Crack, DAFF
BETA PHOTO: West Crack, DAFF
Matt Spaun on West Crack
Matt Spaun on West Crack
Jonny having a blast on P-3.  What an awesome clim...
Jonny having a blast on P-3. What an awesome clim...
Knobs on pitch 1
Knobs on pitch 1
Brad Davidson on pitch one.
Brad Davidson on pitch one.
P1 West Crack
P1 West Crack
Claire Rasmussen moving past pitch one crux at bol...
Claire Rasmussen moving past pitch one crux at bol...
Greg helpfully demonstrates the short-person beta ...
Greg helpfully demonstrates the short-person beta ...

Comments on West Crack Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 1, 2014
By Blitzo
Sep 13, 2006

One of the most popular climbs in Tuolumne, for sure!
Last time I did it, we were the only party on it. A rare occation.
By Scotty Nelson
From: Boulder
Jul 23, 2007

That's absurd. I wouldn't bring anything bigger than a #3 for this route.
By Carquinez
Dec 5, 2007

One of the few classic cracks in Tuolumne, bad thing is the approach and then to find 4 groups waiting. Sun hits it late in the day so a later start is ok. Careful on the walk off.
By EMT
May 14, 2008

So... Big cams?

I've seen guys with 2 #5's on this route! I've never brought anything over a #3 camalot. But, if you're not up for a little runout 5.6? (Very secure climbing) a big cam would give you some pro.
By Aerili
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Jul 6, 2009

The start of the second pitch is the burliest 5.8 move I've ever done! :-O
By Steve R.
From: Oakland, CA
Jul 16, 2009

Classic! cruiser 5.7 crack on P1 that just sucks up nuts. Solid roof moves that make you work. Used my #11 hex per SuperTopo suggestion.. Glad I brought my #4-used it to protect P2 during the offwidth/face stuff. Great views from the top!
By Sarah Kate
From: Seattle, WA
Jul 28, 2009

On the gear question: My partner dropped our #4.5 camalot while he was in the offwidth/chimney section of P2. He placed one #4 once and we both severely regret the size/weight of the rack that we brought.

I recommend: LOTS of nuts because, oh my gosh, the stunning granite takes it like nothing on earth. Fabulous passive pro. Bring doubles of camalots .5-2, a 3 and maybe a #4 if you like to be super-comfortable, but I wouldn't bother with big gear if I climbed it again.
By daniel c
From: San Francisco, CA
Sep 28, 2009
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Agree with others - std rack to #3. If you're in a hurry, stretch P2 into the finger crack section (go ~30 feet above two bolt anchor to left and set hanging belay) and finish in two more pitches (four total, 60m rope). While waiting, have fun watching climbers take on the roof at the start of P2. The desperate worm/squeeze chimney maneuver through the slot of the roof is precious
By ccmski
From: Prescott, AZ
Oct 17, 2009
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

I dust off my #11 hex for this route. Ability will dictate whether it is worth bringing the #4 BD- note that the climbing is on the face next to the large crack- not in it unless you like shredded skin and clothes. Finger crack on p3 is incredible.
By C-Tuttle
Sep 29, 2010

A great route! One of the first routes I climbed in the Meadows and have been back to it several times with friends who want to get a feel for the areas moderate climbing.
By Dave Alden
From: San Diego, CA
Feb 28, 2011
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13

First 2 pitches make the route a must do in Tuolumne.
By Brian
From: North Kingstown, RI
Nov 11, 2011
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Found the first pitch to be easy for the grade (5.9) and the second pitch hard for the grade (5.8). Love this climb.
By Weston L
From: Summerlin, NV
Jun 4, 2012
rating: 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c

Very fun climb. Heard all of the hype about the roof being 'burly' and whatnot...if you have decent footwork, it is very easy and straight forward. 5.7 move, with an adorable squirm to reach relative security. The 5.7 finger crack is incredible and the position of the face climbing next to the wide crack is absolutely spectacular. Hang out for a second there and take in your location because it is simply incredible.
By Yosemitesam
Jun 5, 2012

I dont recall having to use any squirm move on the roof. In fact, despite its intimidating appearance it goes quite easily. I was surprised b/c of all the hype. Everything about this route is fun, including the short free hanging rappel. F@#king rad!
By randy88fj62
Jun 18, 2012

Completed West Crack on 6-16-12. I recommend climbing this route in the morning or the late afternoon. The midday sun hits hard on this wall and will make you sweat. The first two pitches are the hardest and the rest is cruising from there.
First pitch takes gear up to a BD #2. Doubles in the lower to midsize range are nice but the first pitch eats up nuts too (I placed three.)
Second pitch pulls over the crux roof protected by an angle piton and gains the wide crack. Stay out of the crack and climb the knobs to the belay. Those pushing their grade and not comfortable with 5.9 can walk a BD #5 and #6 up the entire second pitch until they have to traverse the 8 feet to the left to gain the bolted belay.
Third pitch is cruiser 5.6 knobby finger crack. A 70m rope allows you to set your natural anchor higher which in turn allows the next pitch to top out. Shorter ropes (i.e. 60m or less) will have to complete this section in three pitches.
Follow carins to the back of the dome where you can descend via two bolted rap anchors. Single 50m rope gets you to the ground. If you leave packs at the base of the climb, hang them from a tree as marmots frequent the area.
By Nick_Cov
From: Truckee, CA
Jun 19, 2012
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Fun roof. Don't need big cams on the 5.6 section. If you want pro you can stick cams in deep. First 5.9 move isn't too bad. Can rap to ground from top bolts with 2 ropes easily. P3 finger crack is fun and secure. 5.9 move has good feet and is well protected.
By Phil Esra
Jul 23, 2012

Ridiculously crowded, and attracts slow parties. Plan accordingly.

Blown Away includes the first 1.5 pitches of this climb--pretty much all the good stuff. Blown away adds a fun traverse and a great steep arete/corner. It's a much better climb. Same start, same crowds, unfortunately.
By Colin Schour
From: Big Bear Lake, CA
Sep 28, 2012

So. Good. Can be chilly/windy in the morning...
By Angie C
From: Sacramento, Ca
Jun 16, 2013

Loved the route. The roof is a little tricky for a follower if your belayer gives you a tight belay (you feel as though your being pulled off the climb a little).

The third pitch - the 5.8/5.7 finger/hand crack is incredible and makes the climb well worth it - even if there's a crowd/wait. If you enjoy crack climbing, you will love the third pitch.

If you skip the third pitch to do Blown Away, I feel sorry for you (unless you prefer traversing to crack climbing).

The descent was absolutely easy and pleasant. two, single-rope rappels, then an easy walk off the descent gully with well marked trail. You can find the bolted rappel station by the tree nearest to fairview dome.
By Sarah Wolfe
From: Durham, NC
Jul 13, 2013

Can someone do a quick pitch by pitch difficulty rating for this? Would love a 4-pitch version and a 6-pitch version. Thanks!
By J. Albers
From: Colorado
Jul 13, 2013
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Sarah,

West Crack is really best done in 5 pitches unless you want to either simul-climb or deal with terrible rope drag (doing it in more pitches is physically feasible, but is probably not a good idea because it will take more time and the route is uber popular, i.e. it would be inconsiderate to do it that way).

Pitch summary:
1) Face climb up, clip a bolt, and do a rising traverse to the right (crux) to gain the right trending crack. Follow this crack until a secondary, somewhat slick crux section (5.7) is reached right before a two bolt anchor.
2) Climb up and right off of the belay and surmount the thrutchy, but fun and well-protected roof to gain the wide crack above. Follow the wide crack upwards (though you will really just be face climbing on knobs outside the crack). If there is nobody around, you can step left to the bolted belay that is the first pitch belay for Blown Away (maybe 10-15 feet to the left of the crack system you are climbing...go to the second set of good bolts, not the first set of 1/4 bolts on the left!!!); otherwise continue upwards for a bit more until you reach a stance to the right of the crack (the crack should have narrowed down to take smaller finger to hand sized gear at this point). I sometimes use the Blown Away bolted anchor simply because the bolts allow you to expedite the belay changeover time, but don't do it if there are others wanting that belay (5.7/5.8 for the roof).
3) Pretty obvious here: climb the stunning and ridiculously fun 5.8 finger and hand crack upwards until you reach a nice pod to belay from. You will know you reached it because the crack you have been climbing ends and you will need to switch to another crack on your right to continue upwards.
4) Climb the right crack upwards over easy ground to a huge ledge system.
5) Climb straight up over easy ground with no pro (5.4 ish maybe) or traverse up and left on a 4th/easy 5th class ledge system to the summit. Either sling the huge boulder (perhaps sketchy?) or walk back a ways on the summit to find some cracks to build a belay.
By Jordan Collins
From: South Lake Tahoe
Aug 6, 2014

We did this pretty easily in 3 pitches. (With a 60M.) No cams bigger than a #3 . From bottom of route Pitches Include.
P1. Climb the quick crux face section 1 bolt. Climb up meandering cracks with awesome feet and no trivial moves super fun straight forward 5.8 pitch besides that move at the ground. Belay directly below the roof on two bolts. Or. Pull the roof and belay above. (may need an extra #3 for this option.) Their is a single bong right below the roof. And a piton in the roof if you choose to lead through this in the first pitch. 5.9
P2 Their is no reason to belay anywhere near the blown away anchors you can go a WAYS higher. (unless your trying to make an exta pitch outta the climb. Either pull the roof, or your already on top of the roof. Move up through a really mellow wide wide section, Protects well. You basically can climb the outside of the crack on this pitch on amazing 5.7 knobs and place pro in the crack. Then you can stretch the rope a little and make a belay right below the awesome finger crack. 5.8
P3 Climb the finger crack. Eats all the gear you want. Finger sizes up to #2 Once you get higher and a crack to the right appears high up we traversed the 5 feet or so into this crack and finished at a really nice little belay ledge/seat. Belay from here.

I cant quite see why you would not put the rope on your back right here its 4th class from here to the top. We went up and a little left to where you see a Tiny little tree in a crack. tree is maybe 2 feet tall and 20 feet from the summit.

Descent. We were headed back to do crescent arch next and were told their was a two rappel descent on bolts by a block and tree. (which was true) and was also kinda a fun second rap over a roof. however it took DAYS to get back to the base. Our recommended descent was on the Southeast nose of the wall, facing the road. Mellow 4th class slab descent takes you basically right down 500 feet to the right of crescent arch. Its a little exposed like tiny bit exposed at one point but saves easily 20 minutes from first said option.
This climb was Perty fun.
By Robert Hall
Administrator
Aug 26, 2014
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

The opening moves seemed "easy" for 5.9 face (and certainly from a "Yosemite" rating perspective, at least from my limited experience there), but the last move in the sequence is done in the "crater" zone. Personally, I thought the "squirm" through the last part of the roof a pretty awkward move.
If you like the face climbing next to the crack on P2, then you'll LOVE Fresno Dome (a bit south of the Park) climbs like "Whiskey Jack". No cracks, but same kind of flakes and knobs.
By Ian Kesterson
From: Oakland, CA
Sep 1, 2014

Really enjoyed this climb. A great intro climb to the meadows. There was quite a wait, especially on a Saturday mid morning, but in that time we made some new friends and scoped out Crescent Arch for next time. I didn't use anything too small, or above a #3 and the small stuff gobbled up nuts. Have fun.