Type: Trad
FA: unknown
Page Views: 5,926 total · 27/month
Shared By: Peter Franzen on Apr 24, 2001
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

142 Opinions

Your To-Do List:

Add To-Do · View List

Your Star Rating:

     Clear Rating

Your Difficulty Rating:

-none- Change

Your Ticks:

Add New Tick
Access Issue: Seasonal Closure - 2018 Update Details


This obvious crack ascends the South Face of Castle Rock just to the right of Tongo and Atlas Shrugged. Good hand jams and a few awkward moves up the large crack lead to a left-facing dihedral 20 feet off the ground. Look for the fixed pin under the roof (use a long runner to clip it to avoid nasty rope drag) and finish to the right after pulling over the roof on large holds. There are 2 bolts at the top (only 1 is shown in the Rolofson guidebook).


An assortment of medium cams (up to a #2 Camalot), and quickdraws for the anchor and a fixed pin near the top.
By the time I pulled my right wrist out of the green pigeon shit, both deeply embedded in Black Crack's horizontal fist crack, I was starting to get a little shakey. But when I had to stem a few moves off of the 5.12 Gill Crack then make a head scum, I knew this was a pretty hard 5.9. S.Kimball. Jun 23, 2002
This route only has one star, but I think it deserves a higher rating. The crux for me was pulling out of the first crack and onto the face, before pulling over to the chains. Just look out left on the slab/face, because there are some feet, and rock on over to a good stance under the pin. I'd suggest slinging the pin too, as the eyehole definitely appears cracked. Every bit as fun as Curving Crack. JGH Jul 18, 2002
This was a cool climb and my first 5.9 lead. The gear was all good although I did crap my pants a little. A #3 Camalot fits perfectly in the vertical crack a few feet above the end of Gill Crack. May 12, 2004
Cody Munger
Carson City, NV
Cody Munger   Carson City, NV
Pretty stiff for a 5.9. I found the Yellow Spur and the first pitch of Tagger to be much easier than this. Though I agree that none of the moves are harder than 5.9, it threw me off because it was overhanging, and I wore myself out trying to get on to the face from the top of Gill Crack. The pin is good. I took a whipper on it while trying to get over the little corner at the top there. May 20, 2006
Definitely a 5.9+ move in there getting from the fist crack to the left-leaning crack and slab! Different ways to do it - without giving it away straight in jamming not necessarily the best option.

Also, fixed nut between this and the pin when I did it (seems really solid), but the eye of the pin is cracked. Can protect above it with a number 1 Camalot (or even higher with a 0.75 which I had to do as I looked at the #1 on the ground). Would recommend due to the fact that if the pin cracks through and the fixed nut pulls when your rocking right on the final moves you could conceivably ground out. Nov 11, 2008
Matt Swartz
Camper van on the road.
Matt Swartz   Camper van on the road.
A good climb, my first 5.9 gear lead. The pin is partly broken, not sure how many more falls its gonna hold. I was able to get a gray alien in to protect the crux. Watch out for the sharp edge that you pull over. Once you finish the climb better to pull the rope through your gear to avoid unnecessary wear on your rope. Cleaning will be harder but, I managed to do it so you can too. Apr 29, 2009
I replaced the broken pin today. The old one had seen plenty of falls, and I wanted to get it out before the other eye cracked. There is a new angle in the same place. It's bomber, so fall away!

When I took the pin out, I did evaluate whether it could just become a placement for clean gear. Without getting into the details, it is not a viable spot for anything but a pin, so I put a pin back in.

A local climber (not me) has put a ton of work into cleaning up this area. He cleaned out all the broken glass he could get, and spread wood chips. This is a vast improvement, and makes a nice spot to hang out. Jun 2, 2010
Kat A
Boulder, CO
Kat A   Boulder, CO
Thanks to the local climber(s) who placed wood chips down and cleaned up the area. We were there this evening, and it was quite clean. This is a fun route. It helps to anticipate "old school" ratings when climbing at Castle Rock - not like many of the other BoCan ratings. May 27, 2011
Golden, Co
WadeM   Golden, Co
All I used was two #2s, 1 #3, long runner, and the anchor. Got owned on Gill Crack afterwards! Mar 30, 2012
Evan Deis  
Pretty old school 5.9+. Good gear. Jul 3, 2012
Eli Helmuth
Ciales, PR
Eli Helmuth   Ciales, PR
Sweet route in its current state. Somewhat slick like all of lower Castle Rock so make sure it's cool. Very solid RPs fit in below the pin, and you can place them from the shoulder scum or after clipping the pin if you're less of a fan of compression hardware. Just wish this route was longer at the 10a grade. Sep 1, 2013
The Blueprint Part Dank
The Blueprint Part Dank   FEMA Region VIII
All the moves on this route are 5.9 at the hardest. However I'll admit that on an onsight attempt, it feels much more like solid 5.10, simply because the beta is somewhat difficult to figure out and the steepness of the route starts the pump clock and doesn't let up until the chains. So by the time you figure out the beta, you're way pumped and the jugs up top (and they ARE jugs) feel more like sloping crimpers. Jul 7, 2014
Savannah Buik
Chicago, IL
Savannah Buik   Chicago, IL
Awkward climbing after the horizontal crack. It turns into what feels like sport climbing, and although none of the moves are difficult, it can be a little tricky on the first go. Just like any route, once you figure out the beta it's a lot easier. Apr 6, 2017
Brett Bessen
Boulder, CO
Brett Bessen   Boulder, CO
There is a now mixed 5.11 extension called "The Black Crack Matters." Fun movement with a slabby crux just above the first bolt. Two bolts and some small gear (0.3 - 0.5). Apparently, a black tricam, which I didn't have, protects the getting to the first bolt well. Jun 15, 2017