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Routes in Crystal Wall Area

Arch Traverse S 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a PG13
Crystal Blue Persuasion S 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R
Crystal Chute T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13
Crystal Wall Route S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R
Family Friendly T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Friction Affliction T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13
Ice House Roof S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Ice House Roof Direct S 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Independence Wall S 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
More Affliction T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13
Red Dawn S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a X

Description

The Crystal Wall area was mainly developed in 1980 and included in a 1989 Crystal Basin guidebook by Bob Branscomb who was also the first ascensionist on many of the Crystal Wall routes. The original, rusty ¼’ bolts discouraged much use in the last few (many) decades until the area was rebolted in 2015 by Betsy and Ney Grant with assistance of hardware from the ASCA. Bob Branscomb and FA Ron Vardanega kindly allowed the addition of a first bolt to some of their climbs to minimize groundfall potential and the addition of belay stations where appropriate. A few new climbs were put up in 2015.

All old and new climbs in this area were put up from the ground up.

The walk down the dome

It is a safe, easy walk-off to walk left across the brow of the dome (and beneath the large crown) and to walk northwest down the edge of the far side to the Nap Wall area climbs. It has been pruned and is not a bush-whack. You can walk off the southeast too, but that is a bushwhack unless you know the way, and it isn't obvious. It is best to just walk off the far side.


Crystal Wall Rappel

The main Crystal Wall rappel station is the top of Crystal Chute, which consists of two chains above a depression with a good stance. From here it is steep fourth class to the very top.

To find the Crystal Wall rappel from the top walk under the crown of the dome until you are beneath a small pine tree on the top of the crown. Surprisingly, Bob’s 1989 guidebook also mentions this tree as being about 5 years old and it still looks about 5 years old. Tough life. Walk (on belay if you wish) directly down from this tree to find the chains at a good stance.

From this point you can use two 70 meter ropes and rappel straight down and slightly left to a mid-wall rappel station with chains, then all the way down in another 70 meter two-rope rappel. CAUTION: These are really 70 meter rappels! If using shorter ropes rappel way left (looking down the wall) and rappel down the route Friction Affliction in three raps on rappel chains. If you choose this alternate rap, you WILL get your rope stuck on a ledge on the second rap but it is a short easy climb up 10 feet to retrieve it.

Getting There

The Crystal Wall Area is the first area after you leave Slick Rock Slab and turn the corner. You'll see a large arch (Ice House Roof goes up the left corner).

11 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Crystal Wall Area

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13
Friction Affliction
Trad 3 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13
Crystal Chute
Trad 3 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Independence Wall
Sport 2 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R
Crystal Wall Route
Sport 2 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a X
Red Dawn
Sport 3 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Ice House Roof
Sport 3 pitches
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13
More Affliction
Trad 3 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Friction Affliction 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13 Trad 3 pitches
Crystal Chute 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13 Trad 3 pitches
Independence Wall 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport 2 pitches
Crystal Wall Route 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R Sport 2 pitches
Red Dawn 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a X Sport 3 pitches
Ice House Roof 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport 3 pitches
More Affliction 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13 Trad 3 pitches
More Classic Climbs in Crystal Wall Area »

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