Type: Trad, 300 ft, 3 pitches
FA: unknown
Page Views: 32,047 total · 202/month
Shared By: Scott "Scoboni" on Apr 3, 2006
Admins: Aron Quiter, Lurker, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

You & This Route

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Start below a lone tree on the east side of Hogsback. The first pitch ends at the tree and is very easy. From the tree the second pitch contains some 5.5 moves, but due to the low angle of the rock it doesn't feel that way. A 60 m rope gets you from the tree to the end of the second pitch. Use a 50 m and you will be belaying from the crack itself. Not that this is a bad thing as it helps to build confidence in belaying without a ledge.

The third pitch is again very easy to climb and protect. Upon reaching the top, walk off to the left to return to more climbs or to head for climbs at the Leap.


Small to large cams and chocks; good protection on every pitch. I found an old piton on the second pitch that seemed fairly secure.
Oakland CA
caughtinside   Oakland CA
you don't need big bros to do this route...

Also, I would recommend Deception (5.6) to fledgling leaders if there is a line on knapsack (quite common on weekends.) Deception generally has fewer parties, and much more quality 5th class moves with good gear.

Pop Bottle is another good 5.6 for a beginning leader, on the East wall. PB is also nice because you can walk off after the 1st pitch. Jan 23, 2007
This is a good welcome climb to lover's leap. Big Bros are definetly unnecesary. I took a set of nuts and a light set of cams to BD#4 and was fine. There are so many places to protect, going bigger won't gain you anything.

p1. This was my GF first trad lead. It is pretty straightforward with good resting stances to place and a bomber tree to belay off of, which was good since she is less experienced at anchor building.

p2. Definetly climbing, but still not a problem.

p3. Again, mellow, but the moves are up and over a series of blocks, so it could get heady if you aren't confident at the grade.

The approach is harder than the climb.

Cheers Mar 6, 2008
Did this in a team of three as a simul-climb. There's nothing to worry about on this climb, though it does get a bit more interesting near the top where the crack flares and the blocks begin. Plenty of good gear if needed. Jul 21, 2008
Joe Ludlow
Seattle, WA
Joe Ludlow   Seattle, WA
If you belay from above the tree you can do this in 2 pitches. If you belay at the tree, you can simulclimb about 20' up so the leader can reach the belay station. Likewise with a 70m rope, you can just belay from the tree and be just fine.

I took my friend on this for his first trad lead and he had a ball! The moves are juuuust dicey enough to require gear if you're uncomfortable.

Oh, and this was my first free solo! YAY! Jun 9, 2010
Josh Cameron
Josh Cameron   M.O.A.B.
A good beginner's route, but drab and uninspriring if you can climb harder than 5.7. Jul 17, 2011
OKClimber   Folsom
Climbed this late August 2011 - careful, there was a snake about 30' up the second pitch in a perfect crack! The party ahead of us heard a "rattle" but I cant confirm the type of snake. Spooked me though when I saw my next hand jam start to move!

All in all, this was a great route for me to take a couple new climbers out on. Fairly easy, low exposure and a great time. Highly recommend it for new climbers and leaders. Aug 28, 2011
Brendan Moriarty
Berkeley, CA
Brendan Moriarty   Berkeley, CA
Unless you are an absolute novice outdoors, multi-pitching or w/ trad I think you'll find this route to be pretty boring. Do Deception instead -- it's much better. Jul 4, 2012
Phil McAllister  
This is a pretty fun climb to do by moonlight (as a pretty confident 5.7 leader) - with the route being as straightforward as it is - nicely defined crack to follow - very little concern getting off-route. takes a pretty tame 5.5 and makes it quite interesting a lot of fun. Make sure that you have a headlamp to check those gear placements in the cracks though. Nov 24, 2012
Nicole BI
Oakland, CA
Nicole BI   Oakland, CA
Bringing the discussion back to the climb itself, this was a very friendly first trad experience for the two friends I led up it. The nice shady tree belay is super comfortable, especially when you have a party of three which takes a little longer. But if you are climbing as a fairly efficient 2-some and can afford to bypass the shade, I'd recommend continuing past the tree to the piton next to a little ledge, so that you can do the climb in 2 pitches. If you have a 60 meter rope it's a little too long to go from the tree to the summit in one pitch. As a previous commenter suggested, you could use the tree as your first belay and simul-climb the last bit if your party is comfortable doing that. Jul 5, 2013
Nathan Z
Sacramento, CA
Nathan Z   Sacramento, CA
Conditions were perfect for my first trad lead today. Not too much ice or damp rock.

The climb itself was perfect for a first lead - the climbing is very easy, so I didn't get scared going above my pro. Endless opportunities to place cams, nuts, tricams, and build anchors. Jan 13, 2018
James Ovens
Saint Albans
James Ovens   Saint Albans
Do not get put off by some of the comments as this route is definitely worth climbing. It's a really great intro to granite and well protected throughout. The second pitch gets a little more exposed than the first pitch. Really good for taking first timers. We got to the base ay 8am and were the first group on Hogsback. Jun 11, 2018
Tucson, AZ
mikehilbert   Tucson, AZ
Strung P2 and P3 together using a 70m. From the big tree at the ledge atop P1 to the first small trip atop P3, the 70m just barely reached.

If you want a challenge, try using only static pro on this one. Jun 23, 2018
David Engel
Santa Rosa, CA
David Engel   Santa Rosa, CA
Is Knapsack Crack a good climb to do or is it so easy that everyone should just free solo it? It will depend on your level of skill and experience. This is a great climb for beginners. It's great for people to experience their first trad climb in a safe environment. To a beginner, there is lots of exposure. The first pitch has all the hand and foot hold that anyone could want. However, beginners still need to learn how to use them. There are a couple of bulges that require some technique in getting around, but are child's play to a serious climber. There are opportunities to learn about friction, laybacks, under clings and crimpers. If you are learning to lead, you can find protection nearly everywhere. I like to lead up next to a new leader and critique their protection in real time. The tree and ledge at the end of the 1st offers a good secure place for those learning about climbing. The good belay area also allows more experienced teams to pass comfortably. The 2nd pitch starts much like the first, easy... but it funnels you into a crack that you end up standing in. Good cam placements are found down in the crack, along the sides. They are hidden here, so that a beginner leader has to learn to look around for pro. To the new climber, it is interesting to have to climb out of their rut (or crack) and find some friction hold on climbers left. Then one uses hand jams, foot jams and friction to reach the belay ledge. The belay ledge at the end of the second pitch has room for 2-4 people and offers insight into what real climbing is like. The protection for the belay is found on climbers right in various cracks. It takes a little time to figure out a solid anchor. It's unfortunate that there are not two belay bolts here. Since this is such a frequently climbed route, it would greatly speed up teams on the route and make it safer for beginners. There are great opportunities for photographing the climbers on the 2nd Pitch. As for the 3rd Pitch, it looks like it might be a challenge, but usually people place one piece of pro and run it out to the top. The 3rd Pitch is easier than the easy 1st Pitch.

Perhaps the experienced climbers should go climb something that is more to their level rather than bag on this fun beginners climb. Yet, it might be a good route to free solo for those who are willing to accept the risk of failure. There are other climbs on Hogsback and the East Wall that would be good for those who want more of a challenge. Knapsack Crack is just a gem of a beginners climb. Nov 20, 2018