Type: Trad, 2 pitches
FA: Carrigan & Levin
Page Views: 10,374 total · 49/month
Shared By: Anonymous Coward on Aug 28, 2001
Admins: Mike Snyder, Jake Dickerson, Taylor Spiegelberg, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Aeon Aki

You & This Route

97 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: Dirt roads reopened as of June 2014 Details


Max Factor is one of the best 5.11 finger cracks in Vedauwoo. Locate this beauty at the far end of the crag from the parking lot, just around the corner right from the Tubes. The climbing is positive with excellent finger locks until you reach a distinct crux just before the crack bulges. There are good smears for the feet on the right, and if you utilize your left toe well in the crack then relying on the shallow, technical jams at the crux won't seem so desperate. Still, it seems that one short section is a show-stopper for a lot of climbers. Above, the positive locks resume. Lower off of the (new) bolts on the underside of the big bulge (this is the top of P1 of Grand Traverse) or continue up the 5.10+ crux bulge of that route (possible in one pitch). This climb was tried many times by many climbers before Australian Kim Carrigan onsighted it, and compared it in difficulty to Fish Crack in the Valley (5.12b). It has cleaned up considerably since then; in 1980 the crack was filled with gravel, loose bits of rock, and vegetation, and felt like 5.12 to me. Today most climbers will agree it is 5.11 something-or-other, and an area classic.


Medium wired nuts work well on this climb. I would bring a good selection from wireds, TCUs to 1" cams, and singles up to 3", or something like that.


Dan St. John
Castle Rock
Dan St. John   Castle Rock
I found this rout is very very hard in my humble opinion. For people with big fingers it will be difficult. Not that I have a good reference base for grads in the hard eleven but seemed to be twelve to. Jul 2, 2002
Beautiful and burly. Jul 19, 2004
Jesse Ryan
Jesse Ryan  
Awesome line - Vedauwoo 11c - easily as hard as a 12a sport line. Jul 22, 2004
Do this route! Sep 15, 2004
Fort Collins, CO
nolteboy   Fort Collins, CO
Vedauwoo Mega Classic. Once you're through the crux, the technical difficulty drops big time - if you've got the gas to stay with it after that, you've got it. Apr 20, 2005
Brian Weinstein
Brian Weinstein  
Thanks for the history, Steve. The crux is quick, maybe 2 moves. My favorite finger crack in Vedauwoo. Jul 27, 2007
Lenore Sparks
Dolores, CO
Lenore Sparks   Dolores, CO
This is significantly easier than .11c if you have little fingers. Butt touchers beware. Sep 6, 2008
Phil Lauffen
Innsbruck, AT
Phil Lauffen   Innsbruck, AT  
Excellent climb. Easy for 11c 'voo, but maybe I just suck at anything wider than hands. Aug 22, 2011
Peter Yakovchuk
Tempe, AZ
Peter Yakovchuk   Tempe, AZ
Someone compared this route to the headwall pitch of J Crack at Lumpy. If that pitch is 11c, than Max Factor is somewhere around 11b. The hard climbing section on this one is a little longer than on J Crack crux, but the moves seem to be easier. At least finger locks are much easier. This is one of my favorite route at Vedauwoo. May 21, 2012
Nick Stayner
Wymont Kingdom
Nick Stayner   Wymont Kingdom
Don't get too focused on jamming near the top of this one. I found a nice crimpy sidepull on the right side of the crack to be very useful right before the crack steepens and eases off. Aug 31, 2012
Chris Kalman
Chris Kalman  
This is a really enjoyable pitch. So interesting to hear how hard it was back in the day. After years of cleaning, I'd say this feels like 11a/b (to stay consistent with the area). I don't say that to take away from anyone (I'm sure glad it was clean as a whistle when I got on it in 2016), only to encourage climbers breaking into the 11 grade. It takes good gear the whole way and is really fun. Oct 8, 2016
Alex Randolph
Alex Randolph  
This route is nice and shady in the summer! I think this route protects safely with a single rack from 0.2 to 2" and nuts. I placed several DMM offset nuts that were particularly bomber. Great movement, bomber pro, quick clips at the top (for lowering, not toproping on). This is an excellent climb to work your finger locks on. Recommended for the aspiring 5.11 leader. Jun 25, 2017