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Carol's Crack

5.11a, Trad, 320 ft, 3 pitches, Grade II,  Avg: 3.9 from 43 votes
FA: B. Yoho, C. Black, C. Holtkamp, J. Baird, '78
Wyoming > Devils Tower > W Face
Access Issue: June Voluntary Climbing Closure and Seasonal Raptor Closure Details

Description

One of the finest routes we did at Devil's Tower, and it even remains open when the rest of the West Face is closed for Falcons!

Approach this route via the West Face trail and skirt the left-hand edge of the trial towards to great routes, One Way Sunset and Carol's Crack. Both of these 3* routes are near the north-most edge of the West Face.

I could tell you to look for a primarily right facing corner system that starts low angle and gets progressively steeper as you climb upward. That describes 1/2 of the climbs at the tower though. The other half are left-facing. In any case, this is the 2nd right facing system to the right of where the major broken recess is on the NW corner.

Until a picture is directly associated with this description, owning the guidebook may be necessary to find the climb.

P1: (100' 5.10a) Climb a thin hand to finger crack to fixed anchors in the corner. A set of cams protects this, with the crux being near the top. A good pitch, but not a great pitch.

P2: (160' 5.11a) Sustained. Climb a thin crack for a long way- my partner placed 20 pieces of gear on this lead. 1/2 way up there is a step out to a no-hands rest on the Arete to the left. Near the top the crack gets wider and easier. Belay at fixed anchors. This is the classic pitch!

P3: You can continue up through 5.7 corner territory (80') and then on chimneys and cracks to the top (150'). We did not do so, as we had seen a falcon near the top and did not wish to agitate it. In either case, the rock is not as good now, and the fun part is over.

Protection

A good sized rack of stoppers and TCUs. A few each of hand sized pieces are good too, but as these are for where the climbing is easier, one set of Camalots or other cams 1.5-3" should do the trick. Take a good number of draws (12+). P2 is long & sustained and it eats the rack. 2 ropes to rap off the 160+ foot second pitch. 60M are OK, and 50M might be- don't know for sure, but it looked OK for 50M.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

awwww, shit!  my groin hurts!
[Hide Photo] awwww, shit! my groin hurts!
A few folks on "Carol's Crack (11a)" as seen from "One Way Sunset." This angle shows the singularity and length of the line, on of the Tower's best pitches. Photo by Bubb, 7/01
[Hide Photo] A few folks on "Carol's Crack (11a)" as seen from "One Way Sunset." This angle shows the singularity and length of the line, on of the Tower's best pitches. Photo by Bubb, 7/01
Carols Crack
[Hide Photo] Carols Crack
Anders heading up the enduro crack. He has a few more feet until the crux.
[Hide Photo] Anders heading up the enduro crack. He has a few more feet until the crux.
Anders at the crux of the first pitch.
[Hide Photo] Anders at the crux of the first pitch.
Justin Harr on pitch one.  Photo by John Gunnels.
[Hide Photo] Justin Harr on pitch one. Photo by John Gunnels.
Tony Bubb coming up just pas thte crux on Carol's Crack(11a). Photo by Joseffa Meir, 7/2001.
[Hide Photo] Tony Bubb coming up just pas thte crux on Carol's Crack(11a). Photo by Joseffa Meir, 7/2001.
Mike on pitch 2.
[Hide Photo] Mike on pitch 2.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

[Hide Comment] I just did this climb last weekend and it has definately earned a place as one of my top 5 favorite routes. The first pitch is a great warm- up for the second crux pitch and is a great pitch in itself. Pitch 2 is a great .11a testpiece. It is very sustained with few real rests. It also has scary good finger locks almost the whole way. You will not be dissapointed with this one. A 3 star route all the way. Sep 24, 2003
John Gunnels
Gillette, WY
  5.11a
[Hide Comment] Followed Dingus McGee up this route many years ago. His precision on P2 was incredible to watch. 'Bes be in shape for this bad boy... Apr 8, 2006
Brian Weinstein
  5.11a
[Hide Comment] just as the enduro pump on P2 may reach its climax, a big jug (chockstone) appears in the crack about 8 feet below the anchors. BE AWARE, it's about to come off! i avoided it by using an edge and the crack above. i wouldn't step on it either. Jul 29, 2006
1Eric Rhicard
Tucson
 
[Hide Comment] Brian, I would suggest that you or the second clean off that loose chock as it may one day injure someone. We do this all the time. It is a nice community service. Obviously this is only to be done if no one is below you. Jul 30, 2006
Brian Weinstein
  5.11a
[Hide Comment] Eric,
Yup, there was a party below us. Hopefully the next crew up there can clean it as it definitely has the potential to cause injury.

Jul 31, 2006
Brian B Ballard
Laramie, WY
 
[Hide Comment] We tried to give that shaky block a shove with no luck. It is somewhat jammed in with vegetation. Oct 2, 2012
Joe E Lee
Minneapolis, MN
[Hide Comment] The route is the crack to the left of the yellow line in Anthony Andersen's Sep 16, 2017 photo. Eats gear between .5-1.0 inches. Loose block is still there, but can easily be avoided. Fun technical climb. May 28, 2018