Type: Trad, 35 ft
FA: Royal Robbins
Page Views: 15,570 total · 97/month
Shared By: david baker on Jan 30, 2006
Admins: Marc Kajut, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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Access Issue: Current San Diego County Advisories Details


This perfect hand crack is the Woodson classic. The rock is a little slick but keep your feet in the crack and you will have no problem. The crux is the first half of the climb. After the first 15 feet the crack widens for perect hands.


Use #1 and 2 camalot. Some people do this as a high ball boulder problem. Crack is the same size the entire climb. There is a bolt anchor and rap rings at top of rock.
Adam Stackhouse

Adam Stackhouse    
As the story goes, in the 1960s Royal Robbins was shown this boulder, and it's striking 20ft crack. The cats that showed him the route boasted that they had already sent it, but didn't say that they did it via aid. It was that very day, that the Robbins Crack saw its first free ascent as bewildered eyes witnessed Royal's effort and so named the route. Feb 9, 2006
If you want to add a little more to the climb start as a sit start. This makes for a nice additional move or two. Jun 23, 2006
Crux is downclimbing, provided you did it without ropes... Mar 21, 2007
Brent Coe
La Mesa, CA
Brent Coe   La Mesa, CA
For me it likes .75 camalots, and definitely not #2. Jun 2, 2009
Josh Cameron
Josh Cameron   M.O.A.B.
I thought I knew how to hand jam until I tried to climb this! It'll teach ya how to jam.

I've always used two #1 C4's on this climb. You could use a smaller cam or a nut in the off-fingers at the top if you wanted to. I'd like to see how you could get a #2 to fit into this crack.

I ran into Eric Beck at the Happy's a few years back and we got to talking about Mount Woodson. He told me that Robbins never climbed this route. The guys who did the first ascent just spread the rumor to get people to climb their route. Seeing how great the route is, the rumor seemed unnecessary. Aug 29, 2011
el cajon, CA
sdrockstar81   el cajon, CA
This crack accepts all forms of credit... Just insert and slide through!!!! Oct 28, 2012
San Diego, CA
ccross   San Diego, CA
For such a classic climb, I'm surprised how inconsistent the information is. Or maybe people just repeat what they heard and sometimes get it wrong.
35ft and 20 ft were listed here, and the guidebook says 24ft.
The Mountain Project description says the crack is the same size the entire climb, yet also says the crack widens for perfect hands after 15ft up.
Then there are comments on gear from .75 to 2.
Guess it's time for me to find out for myself next outing. Dec 13, 2012
Trad Princess
Not That Into Climbing
Trad Princess   Not That Into Climbing
Josh is right, couple BD #1 C4s are perfect. I had DMM dragon cams, which are just a hair smaller (I think). I could have walked them up and down the majority of it. You could probably find an area for a .75 here and there, but #1 places with almost zero thought. Dec 4, 2013
Rich Welker
Riverside, CA
Rich Welker   Riverside, CA
It takes BD 0.75 and 2 #1. I wish it was longer! Jun 16, 2014
Riverside, CA
nathanael   Riverside, CA
Check about half way down this page for a really excellent telling of the story of how this climb got its name.

supertopo.com/climbing/thre… Mar 14, 2016
crag cat
San Diego
crag cat   San Diego
A bunch of winged rodents moved in. Bats I think. Both this climb and lie detector smell not so good. Watch out for sticking you hands in poop on lie detector. Aug 31, 2017
Josh Cameron
Josh Cameron   M.O.A.B.
That smell ain't guano- it's from all the climbers stickin' their sweaty paws in the crack! Sep 4, 2017
Another classic Woody splitter. Boulderable but then you gotta deal with getting down... And setting up a TR is pain in the butt too, so I recall leading it once or twice (just one #1 Camalot is all you really need) or bouldering it the time or two we set up the hard climb that is the other side of the same crack...

The story Adam says was what I heard too, but I'm not sure that it was as far back as the 60s or not...more likely 70s i think.

This climb kind of defines what I consider 5.10a to be (and would be V0-) Jun 3, 2018
master gumby  
Can't say you have climbed it until you down climbed it Oct 28, 2018
Crag Hag  
Be aware when climbing this at sundown/night time.... a family of bats will often fly out, surprise hit you in the face, get tangled in your hair, you'll semi panic and re-gather yourself just in time for another to fly out and nearly cause you deck. Good times. Dec 3, 2018
jt newgard
San Diego, CA
jt newgard   San Diego, CA
"After the first 15 feet the crack widens for perect hands"

"Crack is the same size the entire climb"

Come on, man!!!

This crack is too small for the average-size man hand. It is red C4 the entire way. This lends an extra bit of excitement/insecurity and pumpiness to the route (if you can get pumped in like 15 feet LOL) and makes it much more fun than a slammer hand crack. Dec 3, 2018