Type: Trad, 600 ft (182 m), 6 pitches
FA: Perry Beckham & Scott Flavelle 1981
Page Views: 13,484 total · 65/month
Shared By: Josh Janes on Feb 10, 2007 · Updates
Admins: Mark Roberts, Mauricio Herrera Cuadra, Kate Lynn, Braden Batsford

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Description Suggest change

Cruel Shoes weaves a wandering path up the lower face of the Chief, conveniently ending at the base of the Split Pillar. An excellent route in its own right, it also provides a great, all-free way to access the Grand Wall. Expect amazing, consistent pitches of technical face climbing at the 5.10 level, good mixed pro, and immaculate rock. Enough can't be said about this awesome climb.

P1: Begin at the base of the Chief in the corner just right of Apron Strings. Ascend the corner (The Flake) via stemming and chimneying to a belay high up in the corner at a stance. 5.10b. Alternatively, climb the first pitch of Apron Strings (10b), a higher quality pitch up the face to the left of the corner to the same belay.

P2: Continue up the corner briefly before traversing right out onto the face and up a steep, bolted crux section. There is a long runout on this pitch on easy climbing. Continue on to a belay. 5.10d R.

P3: Traverse almost straight right for half a ropelength to the base of a right-facing, right-leaning corner system. The final moves around and into this corner are difficult for the grade (the key to keeping it 10b is to step down at the final bolt without being greedy and trying to clip it - once at the anchor reach back and clip it to protect your second), but the pitch is reasonably well-protected for both the leader and second. 5.10b.

P4: Ascend the sustained leaning corner to a point where one can exit out right and up to a belay at a stance. Sensibly linked into the next pitch. 5.10c.

P5: A committing move leads to a good ledge with a pin and bolt. From here continue up past a second bolt at 5.10+ (tough) and then left or from the first bolt head hard left and then up at 5.9. Both are somewhat run out in places. An excellent pitch. R.

P6: The final pitch climbs up and right via a very thin crescent-like corner. Eventually the route trends almost straight back left to the ledge at the base of the Split Pillar. This pitch is entirely bolted and well-protected. 5.10d (easier if you're tall).

Rap with two ropes or continue on.

Along with Fiddler on the Roof in Red Rocks, Nevada, Birds of Fire in Rocky Mountain National Park, and Stoner's Highway in Yosemite, Cruel Shoes rounds out a quartet of absolutely classic North American multipitch face climbs all checking in at around 5.10+.

Protection Suggest change

Light rack through a #1 Camalot (Apron Strings requires extra finger-sized gear)