Type: Trad, 150 ft
FA: FFA: Frank Sacherer and Mike Sherrick, 1964
Page Views: 23,165 total · 161/month
Shared By: Sirius on Apr 12, 2007
Admins: M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

You & This Route

201 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
Access Issue: Yosemite National Park climbing closures and conditions Details


One of the most classic pitches at its grade in all of Yosemite, Sacherer Cracker is a full value 120+ feet of stellar jamming and clean movement. Begin with a short wide section that leads to a small ledge (two bolts provide an optional belay here); step left to the splitter finger crack that widens gradually as you work your way toward the final, notorious wide section that guards the chains. Some find this section to be the route's crux, and many have used the chockstone at its beginning to bail, swearing to come back after they get more practice on the wide...


Continue up the scree trails along the SW base until you see this striking line - really can't miss it. If you reach the obvious left-facing dihedral of La Escuela, you've gone too far.


Doubles to 3". Most forego anything big for the top, as the chockstone and cam in the horizontal are bomber and the crack quickly gets wider than most cams can cover.

Two rope rappel to ground. A 60m will not make it.
George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
This is a notorious "Sacherer 5.9" that is even harder than usual. Very sustained. Jun 4, 2007
Oakland, CA
Sirius   Oakland, CA
The crux for me is the first +/- 50ft. off of the small ledge, as the crack goes from fingers to off-fingers to tight hands. When that first slammer hand jam finally goes in, I'm usually breathing hard and bleeding from at least one of my mitts, and always exhilarated.

Gets more and more classic with each repetition.

Absolutely no comparison in terms of burliness and difficulty between this and Moby Dick down the way. Sep 5, 2007
Brad G  
How is this route compared to the hallow flake pitch on the Salathe in terms of difficulty? I suck at offwidths and im planning on climbing the Salathe wall next year. Sep 21, 2007
Karsten Duncan
Sacramento, CA
Karsten Duncan   Sacramento, CA
Really Sacherer Cracker doesn't really compare to the hollow flake. The HF is much easier but then there is that protection problem. Sep 21, 2007
Darshan Ahluwalia
Petaluma, CA
Darshan Ahluwalia   Petaluma, CA
You can rap the route with one 60m, unlike what the description says.

There is a bolted belay/rap station on the ledge above the 5.7 section, at the start of the hard climbing (the first 50ft section which the fellow above refers to as the crux).

We used one 60m rope to rappel to this station from the chains at the top, which does barely make it. A second rappel from here will get you to the ground. Jan 7, 2008
S. Stember
St. Paul, MN
S. Stember   St. Paul, MN
So does an old school #5 Camalot go in at the top? I have a green one. Aug 14, 2008
As an old Yosemite climber, I can testify: this route is the ultimate sandbag. Don't worry about the upper wide section. It's the thin hands that works you. Aug 10, 2009
Tyler Williams
Flagstaff, AZ
Tyler Williams   Flagstaff, AZ
One of the best single pitches of crack climbing I have ever done. I thought it was all hard - the fingers, hands and OW. Awesome awesome route. Feb 12, 2010
Bonesaw   CA
I agree that this is the ultimate sandbag... great route. I felt the two crux sections were the off-fingers/thin hands and the OW at the top. Slinging the chockstone to protect the OW didn't seem feasible since there were many other small rocks and dirt surrounding it, making it very difficult to get a sling around it. I placed an old BD #3.5 just below the chockstone and ran it out to the chains.

Highly recommend continuing up The Slack for 2 or 3 more pitches (you can link the 5.4 chimney pitch and the 5.8 double cracks ptich with a 60m)... very adventurous and super cool climbing! You don't need anything bigger than a #3 for that. Need two ropes to rap off top of The Slack. Apr 5, 2011
Oakland, CA
Sirius   Oakland, CA
To the question above re. the Hollow Flake, my .02:

-I thought the HF had harder pure climbing.
-The HF is rated 5.9, the top of SC is rated 5.8.
-The HF is 70 ft (more?), SC wide less than 2 body lengths.
-The HF is a wicked, frightening head game, the SC wide is not. Contrast pro at your feet (SC) w/ a long arc of rope hanging back to a pendulum point that feels like 20,000 leagues beneath and to the side of you...
-You'll be just fine if you fall out of the SC wide; you won't be if you fall out of the HF. Mar 12, 2013
Evan Riley
San Francisco, CA
Evan Riley   San Francisco, CA
There is no chock stone in the OW up top anymore. Bring a 5 and/or 6 for the top or be comfortable running it 15ish feet in that OW. Mar 18, 2013
Richard Dana
Eugene, OR
Richard Dana   Eugene, OR
Yeah, I was definitely hoping for that chock stone... Bring a 6 unless you want to potentially whip big. The OW felt very hard for the grade to me. Sep 15, 2013
Jan Tarculas
Riverside, Ca
Jan Tarculas   Riverside, Ca
1st try at the offwidth at top facing right, couldn't move. 2nd try I faced left and it seemed easier. Jun 7, 2014
Whenever someone debates that a climb is or is not .10a, I tell them to head on over and tick "Sacherer Cracker" and settle up. I led this long ago before cams were available, and I wrapped that chockstone with a runner, thanking God it was there and solid. When I topped out, I almost puked.
There is no harder .10a crack...anywhere, nor is there one that is so educational in the way is sloooowly opens, forcing every climber to jam through their own, unique "worst size", and it tags everyone that way.
Anyone who fancies them self a "5.10 Climber" needs to send this just to make sure...and if you want that Tough Guy send, do it with stoppers, hexes and a tube chock...KIdding! Mar 31, 2015
Michael Dom
Michael Dom  
I tried getting into that offwidth, and after about 15 minutes and 6 inches of progress I decided to cave man it. I put in a yellow c3 next to the chock and started grabbing each side of that pillar like it was a fridge and powered my way up.

Great route, get on it. Dec 13, 2015
Aaron Formella
Atascadero, CA
Aaron Formella   Atascadero, CA
Does anyone else think that this climb feels every bit as hard as Five & Dime (10d) or other 5.10+ climbs in the Valley? Harder with the wide section...it is definitely the toughest 10a I've ever done. I can't imagine climbing this route in 1964 with no climbing shoes, cams, nuts, or modern equipment. Frank Sacherer was pretty BA.

In the fall 2014 I jumped on this route with my friend Ryan C. I struggled up the 5.8 offwidth start, hung on a cam on the first fingers/lieback section, huffed and puffed up to the good rest stance before the wide hands section, almost completely ranout the wide hands section up to the chockstone because it's so fun and secure, placed a #4 below the chockstone and an offset nut between the chockstone and the wall, then took a 15 footer out of the OW above. I batmanned up to the chockstone and tried several other techniques trying to make progress up the wide crack. The inside of the crack is quite polished and it is difficult to get a good heel/toe to stick on the slick surfaces. I finally committed to stacking a couple fists, pulling up high, and wedging a secure knee in the crack. That's as far as I made it. I slipped down the crack a bit and my knee became painfully wedged in. I was stuck. 15 minutes later, after trying to free myself, I called down to my belayer and friends to call YOSAR. It was pretty humiliating and humbling. My belayer was running down to his truck to get a #6 cam in effort to help me pull myself out while my wife and friends ran down the trail to find cell phone reception in order to call search and rescue. While I was there alone, the anchor tied off below, I begged a prayer to God to help me get out of it. Soon after, I realized that part of the problem was that my right foot was also stuck, which prevented me from being able to shift my knee. I managed to get my shoe off and my foot was free. I stacked fists again above my head, pulled up hard and was able to wiggle my knee free and rest on the rope. When my wife and friends arrived they were relieved and called off the YOSAR team that was on the way. Afterward, everyone was over climbing anymore for the day and I escaped with my tail between my legs, a couple scabs on either side of my knee, and a lost offset nut and 'biner. God answers prayers, even when they are to rescue ourselves from the dumb decisions we make and situations we place ourselves in.

I recently came back to this route for round 2. My buddy Aaron S. floated the 5.8 OW approach pitch, handed me the sharp end, and it was my turn to slay the dragon. I liebacked up the thin crack start and almost peeled a couple times as my left foot smeared on the smooth face left of the line. One might also be able to jam this section using off-fingers jams, but the crack isn't straight in, it cuts into the wall at an angle from right to left, allowing a lieback to be used. I placed a finger sized cam and gunned it for a thin hand jam up high. I made it through the lower section using this strategy of placing gear from the occasional pod hand jam and fighting to the next one. Eventually the crack allowed for solid hand jams up to a good rest ledge. I took a breather there, and asked Aaron S. to tag me up his number 6 (4.5"-7.5" cam), #3 big bro, and Valley Giant #9 (6"-9" cam). I hung these on a shouldered sling and left all the other cams and gear I wouldn't need hanging from a cam near the ledge. I then struggled up the off-hands crack, placing and bumping a couple number 3s (wide hand sized cams) along the way, all the while fighting the giant, unwieldy cams that kept swinging in front of me on the shoulder sling. I must have been pretty tired from our attempts on the Steck Salathe and Gold Wall's Silent Line the two days before, because this section felt much harder than it had before. Approaching the chockstone and horizontal crack that mark the beginning of the real fight up the offwidth, I slapped in a #4 (fist sized cam) and clipped the couple bail slings that were already around the chockstone. I then climbed up to a stance atop the chockstone and horizontal crack for a respite before the fight. Reaching high, I placed the #6 deep into the crevice and started offwidthing right side in. I was able to effectively use the knee lock this time for a couple feet which provided a good upper body rest during the start. Fortunately, the number 6 bumped adequately until about 2/3 up the OW where it settled into a tipped-out but secure position. Gasping for breath and sweating away my friction, I planted the Giant up high in the last bit of the wide and thrashed my way up, almost within reach of the exit jug on the left. I wanted so bad to just grab the cam and make the pain go away, but decided to risk the fall and the skin as I was continually slipping back down against the hard won inches whenever I let up on my body tension or breath. Man did it feel good to finally get that jug in hand. As I mantled up to victory my left foot suddenly skated off the smooth left face, as if to say, "It's not over yet!" Thankfully, I held on, and stood up to clip the chains. Yesssss. Hardest fought 10a of my life...so far. It's 6 days later and my scraped up right shoulder, right knee, and shins are still getting the Neosporin treatment.

Thank you to Wendy, Ryan, Rudi, Kristina, Aaron, and YOSAR for putting up with my shenanigans on this one.

Needless to say, my offwidth and wide climbing experience and technique is limited, so be ready for a fight if you're not dialed on 5.9 offwidth.
It is possible to do most of the route up to the chockstone (which is outstanding) and bail safely from it below the wide section on this route. There may be slings for bailing already in place, but bring your own along with a quicklink just in case.

Sep 8, 2016
David Bruneau
St. John
David Bruneau   St. John
First valley route. Didn't seem too sandbagged, lined up well with Squamish grades on very similar thin hands cracks at the Chief base.

Double rack of cams from .4 to 4 + a #6 will sew it up. Sep 27, 2016
Fat Dad
Los Angeles, CA
Fat Dad   Los Angeles, CA
Does anyone else think that this climb feels every bit as hard as Five & Dime (10d) or other 5.10+ climbs in the Valley?

No. This is pretty standard .10. Of course, if you don't do a lot of OW, the top will feel harder. As you noted, the FAs did this with relatively primitive gear. I did it as a 16 yr. old in 1980 with one cam and just a sling around a chockstone at the base of the OW. It's just part of the Valley experience. Apr 6, 2017