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Mark's Crack

5.8, Trad, 60 ft,  Avg: 2.2 from 21 votes
FA: Mark Hoffman, Lew Hoffman, & Bob D'Antonio
Colorado > San Luis Valley > Penitente Canyon > Penitente - Entrance…
Access Issue: Closed October 11th-14th, 2018 Details


This is a super-fun trad climb, with nice holds. It looks like a chimney, but you'll use some cool face holds as well. Get off those crappy slabs, and do this route!


This ascends the wide crack on the Whipping Post Wall.


Big cams, up to #3 Camalot will do you.

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Katrina TRs Marks Crack.
[Hide Photo] Katrina TRs Marks Crack.

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Jesse Morehouse
[Hide Comment] It is a fun 5.8. There are no anchors so you will need decent length slings to build one from other nearby anchors. May 13, 2010
[Hide Comment] #4.5 Camalot worked well as a first piece. Oct 8, 2012
Hiro Protagonist
[Hide Comment] Really fun escape from the ridiculous and sandbagged slabs and thin sport climbs which make up the rest of the canyon! And you won't even be sketched out by the start and the rating isn't sandbagged - how amazing!

I liked it a lot and found that the worst part of it was the anchor options after the climb was done.

For the crack you need #2-3 cams, hexes of those sizes kinda work too, but aren't optimal. I brought up a single rack with an extra #1-3 hex. I used the #2 hex but not the others. Used my 0.75-3. Never found anywhere to put the #4 - leave it behind and double up on the sizes below 4. I used small 0.3-0.4 cams at the top as part of an anchor, but if you opt for the bolts, you won't need those.

The gear anchor options at the top suck badly. I built the worse anchor I've ever built (kinda) after searching around for 10 minutes for better places. You can use the bolts off the to the side, but they aren't over the route and might be in use for climbers on the sport route. Sep 30, 2013
Hiro Protagonist
[Hide Comment] Not a good trad learning experience, as the crack flares in the back and the gear placements require more work than you would hope. Might be scary on lead if you climb it like a sport climber and not a crack climber (the hands are secure). Sep 30, 2013