Type: Trad, 80 ft
FA: Harvey Carter & Carey Huston, 1960
Page Views: 5,913 total · 29/month
Shared By: Ernie Port on Aug 3, 2002
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Seasonal Closure - 2018 Update Details


Climb the left of two side by side cracks (the right is Comeback Crack) on the nose of the west buttress, just north of Curving Crack.


Small cams/TCUs and a few mid-size stoppers.


Ernie Port
Boulder, Colorado
Ernie Port   Boulder, Colorado
This short route offers a tricky opening sequence right off the ground. A crack inside a narrow groove widens for just a few inches which allows a tenuous two knucle deep finger lock for the left hand. The feet in the first two moves are vague and most folks use the crack for the right foot and stem/smear on the polished left face. 10' farther up a shallow, shoulder width, slightly inverted chimney must be overcome. Good pro here, but again a tricky sequence since its so tight, you can't see your feet, but a nice high right hand crack saves the day allowing you to pull through (I've seen climbers avoid this squeeze by pulling left over a lip to gain the easy ground). When this sequence is overcome, most people stop to catch their breath, I know I did. The remainder of the pitch is (5) and most parties go to the chains above curving crack to rap. Aug 10, 2002
I was still mystified by all the zippers and pockets on my new $80 climbing pants when my partner yelled "off belay, good luck..." The first few feet of Skunk Crack is slicker then a Jiffy-Lube garage floor at closing time.Being able to torque myself into the handjam above the initial fingerlock felt tough but extracting my shoulder out of the wider midsection nearly required medical attention. Nothing like an old school 5.9 to start me back sportclimbing! Sep 11, 2002
Scott, I think you should try yoga. It makes it easier to extract your shoulder from your wider midsection. Be careful out there! Sep 12, 2002
Shane Zentner
Shane Zentner   Colorado
The start of this climb is somewhat slippery. Definately solid 5.9 crux. Oct 1, 2002
Rob Davies UK
Cheshire, UK
Rob Davies UK   Cheshire, UK
Another Castle Rock sandbag? Hard to start and an awkward pig of a move higher up. May 8, 2009
D. Shaw
  5.10a PG13
D. Shaw  
  5.10a PG13
Friend Casey said, "nah, I don't want to picnic and climb at C.R. 'cause it is too greasy." I didn't know what he meant until trying this one, and now I do. Wow. Slick, like the guy said. Easier to second, as you can layback the first section with the slick feet, but if you are leading, it is tricky to layback and protect at the same time. For on-sight, 10a, I thought, but did 2nd lap following and maybe 9+ is ok for that. Definitely worth doing. And, there are now chains at the top of this, so no need to move over to top of Curving Crack for those chains. Aug 28, 2009
I left two quickdraws at the top of this route on the chains last week. If someone picks them up I would love to get them back. I forgot them because my partner fell and got hurt. Thanks, returning gear is good karma! Nov 24, 2009
Matt Swartz
Camper van on the road.
Matt Swartz   Camper van on the road.
Although this is a bit of an awkward route, I really enjoyed it. Squeezing as much of myself into the chimney worked for me. I know I didn't look very graceful though.... Mar 23, 2011
The 1976 edition of High Over Boulder (Pat Ament and Cleveland McCarty) had this route at 5.8+. Back then, we thought that was pretty much what a 5.8+ felt like. Who knew? Apr 4, 2015
Peter Lewis
Bridgton, ME
Peter Lewis   Bridgton, ME
5.8 still feels like this, Bryan F. Only a bit more so. Everything just keeps getting harder. Aug 21, 2017