Type: Trad
FA: Robert Titley, Lois Leftwich
Page Views: 10,171 total · 68/month
Shared By: Steve Marr on Oct 12, 2006
Admins: Hank Caylor, Matt Richardson, LeeAB Brinckerhoff

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Rule changes for pets and trail closures 30 minutes after sunset Details


Despite the modest grade, Cave Crack is one of the best routes in the park. Fun climbing, great protection, and a unique location make this climb a must do. The start of Cave Crack is located above Jack Knife (see Throne Rock). While it's possible to scramble through the boulders to reach to base, climbing Jack Knife is a lot easier (and more enjoyable). From the top of Jack Knife, scramble down the back side of the summit block and scamper through a small opening under a large detached boulder. Once you stand up, you'll be in a narrow, chimney-like space with a hand crack that splits the back wall. Follow the crack for about fifty feet until you reach the top of the cave. The crack starts as a hand crack and gradually widens as you move up. At the top of the cave, step left onto the face, continue around the corner, and work up the widening crack. Above the cave, the angle eases significantly, and you can walk up the rest of the climb until you find a comfortable spot to belay. To descend, scramble down the easy slab to the anchors above Orange Peel and rap with a single rope to the base. Great climbing in the summer when the rest of E-Rock is too hot to touch.


Standard rack with cams up to a 3.5 Camalot.


Craig Childre
Lubbock, Texas
Craig Childre   Lubbock, Texas
Edited: The 'Throne Rock' version of Cave Crack should be pulled. Cave Crack is more apart of the 'Peel' thank Throne rock, though the best approach is via 'Jack Knife'. It is still pretty easy to get to it scrambling up the back side. Oct 8, 2007
Tim Stich
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Tim Stich   Colorado Springs, Colorado
The bottom of Cave Crack is a good hand/fist size. If you want to hone your jamming skills, this is one of the cleaner cracks without a lot of crystal facets to gouge your hands. Apr 18, 2008
san antonio tx
litld01   san antonio tx
good size pro #3 bd cam bottom then a #4 the rest of the way till till u reach top May 7, 2011
Adam Gurtler
Copperas Cove
Adam Gurtler   Copperas Cove
Some had warned of rope drag. I experienced none just clipping the pro all the way till the angle eases up a lot and then used a short draw. I used 1 #3 and 2 #4s, and 2 large hexcentrics(11, and 13).
Route is clean, dry and not yet as polished as the Triple Cracks. Mar 14, 2013
Travis O'Neil
Cedar Park, TX
Travis O'Neil   Cedar Park, TX
David G. and I had climbed this not too long ago and a ~90-100+ lb flake had slid down a bit above and was precariously resting on the upper sunny slab portion just waiting to kill someone. No one was under us, but just to be on the safe side instead of trundling it down, I carried it back up hill ~15' and jammed it vertically in a wide pod of the main crack. It seems jammed pretty securely now, but I wouldn't sling it as part of an anchor for instance. Jul 2, 2016
Ted Pinson
Chicago, IL
Ted Pinson   Chicago, IL
So does anyone know how tall this thing is? I vastly underestimated how tall it was and didn't realize how much longer you're climbing after exiting the cave. Granted, you're basically walking by the end, but if you use up all of your big gear in the cave like I did, you can face upwards of 40' of runout...might be worth building an anchor when you get out of the cave and splitting it into 2 pitches if you don't have doubles of fist sizes. Based on where it tops out, I'D say this thing is well over 100'. Nov 8, 2016
Regarding length, it's about 140' from the start to the big tree. I've done the route twice with a 70 and gone a good bit past the middle. Feb 3, 2017
David Liu
David Liu  
You'll be using the full range of medium to large cams (#3-#5). The #4 and #5 are really only useful if you want to avoid the runout as you exit the cave portion of the climb. Use alpine draws to avoid the rope drag when you place gear inside the crack near the upper cave.

You will use a lot of rope on this route as the anchor is near the first tree at the end of the crack partway up the dome, so if you have to bail make sure you have enough rope (or use 50m doubles). The walkoff back to the start of Jack Knife is relatively easy if you continue going up the dome and traverse to the right dome and back down. Nov 27, 2017
David Liu
David Liu  
Video of gear placements and technique of going from Jack Knife to enter (and fully climb) Cave Crack: youtube.com/watch?v=nNOXKVf…

After review, I think the full route length (in rope length) is about 45m. Jan 3, 2018
Joshua McMillan
Fayetteville, NC
Joshua McMillan   Fayetteville, NC
double ropes needed! emphasis on #3, 4, and maybe 5 camalots. We led Mystery and Imagination 5.8 all the way to the tree anchor with a 70m rope (appx. 220 ft or so) and then lowered individually into the cave for a TR climb. Apr 17, 2018