Cascading Crystal Kaleidoscope (CCK)
Avg: 3.7 from 371 votes
|Type:||Trad, 250 ft, 3 pitches|
|FA:||Dick Williams, Dick DuMais, 1968|
|Page Views:||39,610 total · 274/month|
|Shared By:||Ron Olsen on Feb 27, 2006|
DescriptionCCK is another Gunks ultra-classic. The exposed, exciting third pitch is one of the most memorable you'll ever do at the grade.
P1: Climb the short corner and angle up right to a left-facing corner. Climb the corner to a roof, then move left and climb a crack to the GT Ledge. Belay at a big oak tree with rap slings. 5.6 PG, 120'.
You can also climb the enjoyable first 5.8 pitch of Erect Direction, a crack system on the left wall of Updraft, to get to the GT ledge.
There are several options for the second pitch, with varying degrees of difficulty and protection.
P2, option 1: Take the Updraft corner to a belay ledge in the corner. Safe at PG and easy at < 5.5.
P2, option 2: From the oak tree rap/belay station, walk climber's right on the GT for about 20' to a pine tree. Climb past a short left-facing corner, with a thin crack to a stance at the overhang. Step right and climb past bulging rock (crux) to a stance. From here, diagonal up left to the belay ledge. This way is what Williams describes; you circumvent the crux overhang/notch of the third choice below, starting to the right and traversing left when you're above it. 5.7+ PG-R
P2, option 3: From the oak tree rap/belay station, climb straight up the rock directly behind the tree until it's obvious to traverse right under the overhang. Traverse either high or low (awkward either way) about 8' right, make a difficult mantle past a bulge, then trend left up to the belay. Protecting the second is difficult to do well here. This is the start of CCK Direct's second pitch, at 5.8+ PG-R.
Note: CCK Direct (5.9) continues straight up above the left-facing flakes and exits left out the roof.
P3, the money pitch: Make sure the belayer has a camera; this is one of the best photo-ops in the Gunks! Step down and make an exposed traverse to the right on small edges. Move up to a pin and make a big step right to a vertical flake and hand crack. Layback and jam up to a roof (crux), clip another fixed pin, and traverse right under the roof to a big ledge. 5.7+, 50'.
Descent: Walk right about 100' to a notch, and scramble down the notch to the bolted rappel route by The Last Will Be First. 3 rappels with one rope get you back down. Alternatively, head south: three rappels from bolted anchors over No Glow will get you to the ground with a single rope.
ProtectionStandard Rack. A Ball Nut can be placed near the start of the third pitch before clipping the first pin.
LocationThe CCK access trail is about a 15-min. walk from the Uberfall, and an 11-min. walk from where the East Trapps Connector Trail meets the carriage road. Look for a huge boulder (with bouldering routes and chalk) on the left. The CCK trail starts just past the boulder.
At the cliff, go right and up to get to the start of the route. Locate a huge right-facing corner; this is the route Updraft. CCK starts about 15' right of Updraft, at a small left-facing corner.