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Routes in Bell Buttress - Main Crag

Arms Bazaar T 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a R
Beethoven's Fifth T 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b PG13
Bell Air T,S 5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Bell Buster S 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Cosmosis T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Daedulus Direct T 5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a PG13
Double Jeopardy T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Epiphany T 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a R
Epiphany Direct T 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b R
Freak on a Leash S 5.13- 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E7 6c
Front Line T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c PG13
Frontier T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c R
Gates of Eden T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Grand Inquisitor T 5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a R
Headwall T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Hound Dog S 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Joe Pontiac T 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Little Man in the Boat T 5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a R
North Face T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Pitts, The T 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Purpose, The T,S 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b
Route That Dan Missed, The T,TR 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b X
Saved by the Bell T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Spoiled Moose, The T 5.13- 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E7 6c R
Spoils, The T 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Three Minute Hero T 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c R
Tiempos de Ceguera (Times of Blindness) S 5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c
Tiers T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Unknown T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Unknown Crack T 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Verve S 5.13c 8a+ 30 X- 31 E7 7a
West Crack T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
West Face T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Wrinkles T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
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Type: Trad
FA: Higbee & Studer
Page Views: 6,344 total · 30/month
Shared By: slevin on Jul 9, 2001
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

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Access Issue: Seasonal Closure - 2018 Update Details


Another good one for crack climbing in the summer shade, West Crack is a bit harder than its neighbor West Face to the right, and the gear is a bit more of a struggle to get in. Climb the crack two systems right of Cosmosis, moving right at the bulge to the bolt anchors atop the first pitch of West Face.

Rappel, or continue to the top of the rock.


Double set wireds, TCUs, to 2.5" cams. 50m rope makes it down from the bolt anchors atop West Face.


I toproped this after leading West face again this morning.....I have to disagree that this is harder than west face (after leading west face my buddy tr'd it, then I tr'd it, lowered while setting directional for West Crack and then TR'd it right away with my pump still going, it felt no harder than west face to me)..... it would most definitely be harder to lead due to the discontinuous crack and pumpy stances for the interspersed gear placements but I felt that on toprope they were both 9+ and that West Face was actually a little more strenuous and just as sustained (I'm more comfy face climbing than pure crack). I find it very strange that West Face is almost entirely a crack climb while West Crack is almost entirely a face climb..... both are 3 star climbs in my opinion, as is Cosmosis and I agree with Charles that the crux is the lieback move just above the chalked up flake..... still have yet to do Double jeapordy (looks crappy)... the Bell buttress marathon is my goal for one of these weekends (cept' I think I'll TR West Crack and wait until I'm solid 5.10 leader before trying to lead that one). Aug 4, 2001
This is definitely a slightly more committing lead than West Face. Both climbs start at the same point, and I basically climbed the same rock for the first 10 or 15 feet or both routes. There are a couple obvious finger locks a couple feet apart that mark the point where I committed to West Crack proper. I thought this was the leading crux, as I placed TCUs in each lock and pulled through a few solid 5.9 moves to the next stance. If these TCUs fail in fall, you'll probably feel it.

If I had 2 #3 Camalots on this pitch, I would have placed both of them. But, I was able to get another piece in at the higher widish crack. I had minor route finding issues at the top of both this route and West Face, but no big deal. Sep 4, 2001
Michael Walker
Loveland, CO
Michael Walker   Loveland, CO
Some of the best crack climbing I've ever done. The fingerlock laybacks at the crux are out of this world. Better than Cosmosis. Three stars. Jul 13, 2002
I have done West Face and started up West Crack but was confused about where the route eventually merges into West Face towards the top (like the Falcon guide says). I pulled out right about 3/4 the way up the route where the roof block formation is (the thing the guy is straddling in the picture). Is this right or do you keep heading up the crack more and then cut over right? If you know and respond I would appreciate it. Sep 18, 2003
Rossiter's book is a bit vague on this, but I think the way most people do it is to keep going up the crack system beyond the large flake that the guy in the photo is straddling, for a few powerful moves. I agree with the folks above that find this to be the crux of the pitch. When the difficulty eases, you can angle up and right to the anchor on West Face.

In the photo there is a blocky shape on the skyline to the right of where the crack becomes a v-slot in the skyline. I angle right under this formation. Apr 17, 2006
Pumpy and fun! Regarding where to traverse right, I climbed straight up until I was dead-even with the anchors to the right. This may be incorrect, judging from the comments and the photo in D'Antonio's book, but there was definitely interesting climbing all the way to the top. Jul 16, 2010
Jeff McLeod
Jeff McLeod  
I liked this route a lot, pretty much solid liebacking all the way up, also kind of burly moves. Much harder than West Face on lead, I would give this one a 5.10a. BTW, my friend who cleaned caused my #0.5 Camalot C4 to walk into a crack and not return. If you find it and feel like doing a good deed, holler at me. I would greatly appreciate it. Otherwise it's yours and it's certainly not a lost cause for someone with small fingers :) Aug 2, 2012
Andy Hansen
Longmont, CO
Andy Hansen   Longmont, CO
A more full-value finish would be to go to the anchors of Beethoven's Fifth. There's a pin along the way, and then cut left. No more difficult than getting to the anchors of West Face. This way you could also TR Beethoven's Fifth and fiddle gear for your future RP ascent. Dec 5, 2012
Vince Nett
Glastonbury, CT
Vince Nett   Glastonbury, CT
Hadn't lead on gear in about 6 months...this thing is HEADY! I'm not a super strong crack climber but am okay, very solid 12 leader. Climbed this first then almost onsighted Freak on a Leash 12d/13- and this crack was way scarier, haha. I guess that's the difference between crack climbing on gear though and face climbing on bolts. Excellent route overall and will definitely go back for the redpoint. Apr 15, 2018

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