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Chicken Wing Crack

5.10a, Trad,  Avg: 2.3 from 4 votes
FA: unknown
Colorado > Denver South > Castlewood Cany… > Neanderthal Wall
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Find this route by hiking South from the Grocery Store walls until you see the large chimney (actually a huge detached block) with two offwidth routes. Chicken Wing is on the left. Although the climb is offwidth-sized, much of the route may be done using face holds and stemming to the arete on the left. Start up the route, then locate a small pocket on the inside left face (for the tricam) at about 8-10 feet. If you don't have a #5 Camalot (like me) you'll have to run it out to a good rest at about 20ft, otherwise a #5 should fit nicely in this wide section. A groundfall is probably not likely since the tricam is pretty bomber and once you reach the good ledge, the #4 Friend can be placed here. At this point, it's tempting to crawl back into the chimney and try to squeeze out the top, but it's just too thin (unless you're 10 years old or something). It's better to stay on the outside of the offwidth and face the monster like a man (or woman). Make the final committing moves up the home stretch via tough offwidth jams or liebacking. The #4 Camalot may be placed near the top of the hard moves in the crack on the right (The Squeeze) or if you happen to have TWO #5 Camalots, the second could be placed on the left.

The anchor on top may be constructed with a long (30 foot) sling by wrapping it around the long block about 15ft back from the edge. A #2 Friend may also be placed above The Squeeze in a long horizontal pocket.


A 0.5 Tricam, #4 and #5 Camalot, and a #4 Friend.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Ben Mottinger

[Hide Comment] Although this crack is definitely OW in size, most of the route can be climbed using pockets, face holds, stemming, etc. Don't leave the long pants at home though... May 23, 2001
[Hide Comment] We toproped this climb and tried to use the anchors on the face above...bad idea (the higher you go the more you will swing left). We set another anchor using the large block described and a tree to the left of the finish at the top. Bringing the long pants is the best advice though. Sep 9, 2006
Garrick Muehlnickel
[Hide Comment] A #5 will not fit in the left crack of the finish of the climb. Not even a #6 will work. If you want to use the left crack, you have to throw in a Bigbro. (Just throw a #4 in on the right.) Jul 17, 2009