Mountain Project Logo

Routes in Watch Crystal

Apes of Wrath S 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Black Arete, The T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Crime & Punishment S 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Doctor Doolittle S 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
Dogs of Doom T,TR 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Double Exposure S 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Double Exposure Direct T,S 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b R
Durangutan T,S 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Evolution S 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Extra Cool T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Hidden Gem S 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
Jailhouse Monkey (on dope) T,S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Kong Route, The T,S 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Left Picto T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Martyr's Crown T,S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Picto Crack T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Power Glide S 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Primate Highway T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Push-Me-Pull-You T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Right Picto T,TR 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Simians to the Sun T,S 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Watch Crystal Crack T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
White Pages T,TR 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Yellow Pages T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Unsorted Routes:
Order Wrong? Sort Routes
Type: Trad, 200 ft, 2 pitches
FA: FFA: Steve Wunsch, 1977
Page Views: 7,189 total · 49/month
Shared By: Grant Bryans on May 2, 2006
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

54 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

Description [Edit]

Climb the same start as Simians to the Sun, avoid the belay ledge and then bust up the crack to a two bolt achor.

Protection [Edit]

Typical East Animas rack.


m-earle   USA
This is probably (in my opinion) one of the best pitches of climbing in Durango. The crack is splitter, steep, exposed, and on good rock. Mar 19, 2007
AJ Onsight
AJ Onsight   lakewood
Fingers #0.3, #0.4 BDs for crux. Fun to do passively as well; it takes stoppers incredibly well. Apr 5, 2007
Allen Hill
FIve Points, Colorado and Pine
Allen Hill   FIve Points, Colorado and Pine
I had forgotten about this route and for that matter the rock, but as I recall it's a terrific climb. There's another great climb on this rock that climbs on face holds and holes. I remember the first pitch led you to a small cave or hole in the rock for the belay. I cannot remember the name. Another great climb though. Apr 5, 2007
Ben Griffin
Durango, CO
Ben Griffin   Durango, CO
This route is freakin' sweet. Sep 26, 2007
Durango, co
eggman   Durango, co
Yesterday I drilled 27 2" diameter core samples near or on what climbers are calling the "Watchcrystal Crack" as part of a state funded guano research project. AS nitrogen and ammonia levels are determined, the area will most likely be closed for the next 11-14 weeks. Call Center for Guano Studies information line at 970-946-5727 for up to date news on this closure.


Johnson Eggman, president
Center for Guano Studies, LLC. Oct 11, 2009
Bob Dergay
Bob Dergay   Colorado
Funny stuff, Eggman!
But dood, that's the best pic of Watch Crystal you guys have got? Someone aiding it? Really? Really?? Aug 29, 2010
ozman   CO / NM
This would go strong 11 in Indian Creek. Aug 21, 2011
Aaron Miller
Santa Fe, NM
Aaron Miller   Santa Fe, NM
If you do this in two pitches (I'd recommend 1 long 110' pitch), step left at the first belay option, it's a much more comfortable ledge and then you aren't just doing a 35' crux pitch to the upper anchors. It was a little disappointing the way I did it, and I think it would climb nicer in two 55' pitches. Also, watch out for lots of little birds in the back of the crack.

Good, fun climbing. May 28, 2013
Followed John Bird up this route around 1974, we aided the crux. Bird said he had never seen someone do aid without standing in the top step of their aiders before :-)

Peter Jamieson and Bub Smith did it around the same time with Peter trying to free the crux, after a couple of rather scary falls, with Bub belaying from that little cave spot, the aid went in. This was a couple of years prior to Wunsch's freeing of the route with Peter Jamieson following/belaying him. Peter worked at Pine Needle Mountaineering and Wunsch was in town for some demo thing. Peter asked Wunsch to go climbing, since they had a little time and Wunsch was prepared to aid the crux, but (if I remember correctly) Peter told Wunsch that he thought someone had done it free (a big fat lie) and Wunsch decided to give it a shot free, and now you know the rest of the story. Jul 18, 2014
Tim Heid   AZ
Can you lower with a 70m from the anchors? I see some conflicting info on the route length in the description and some of the comments.

Thanks! Jul 21, 2014
Gary N
Durango, CO
Gary N   Durango, CO

A 70m rope will for sure work. I run laps on the Watch Crystal Crack and Apes of Wrath with my 60m rope, just barely. Keep in mind this is just to the top of the first pitch anchors, where Apes and WC meet on the nice ledge with the 3 bolted anchor. Jul 21, 2014
Recently had an email conversation with Peter Jamieson, and it seems my memory is somewhat faulty. He tells me that Wunsch was aware that the aid section of the climb hadn't been freed before, but that once he got on the upper exposed face climb above the anchors, he kept asking Peter if he wasn't trying to sandbag him into doing the FA of the face climb. Seems Mr. Wunsch didn't want to believe that we had done that scary but fairly easy (5.7??) section several times already and that it had gone free. Jul 27, 2015

More About Watch Crystal Crack