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Cro-Magnon

5.10, Trad, TR, 50 ft (15 m),  Avg: 3.7 from 69 votes
FA: Steve Arsenault
Massachusetts > Central, MA > Crow Hill & Leo… > Crow Hill > 3. Fisherman's Wall
Access Issue: Covid Guidelines Details

Description

Awesome and pumpy, this is the inviting, vertical hand crack that starts up the tallest portion of the wall but arches left to end the journey early.

The start is guarded by a steep boulder problem without pro leading to a pod with a shiny silver bolt on what looks like a chockstone about 15 feet up. There are three variations to this start, but most people opt to enter from the right on big, chalked holds. After clipping the bolt (gear can easily substitute), move up on a few slopey holds before hitting the jams. What's great about this climb is the variety of jams ranging mixing fingers, hands, fists, and even a little OW to gain a good rest, but the choice remains mostly yours as several sizes are often available depending on what suits you. If you can fight off the pump long enough, one hard move starting the leftward traverse marks the end of the difficult climbing which ends as the crack turns the corner. If, TR'ing, you can end here or finish up on Green Corner or try the arete above.

Though the climb has always been dry when I've seen it even when others are soaking, the crack and face tend to be a little dirty, so either bring a brush or find solid jams because they may slide out unexpectedly. If you can lead 5.10, you gotta get on this.

Location

This is the obvious vertical hand crack on the tallest part of the wall that varies in size and arches left about halfway up the wall. Chalked jugs in the alcove below mark the easiest sequence through the start.

Protection

1 QD which is a recommended stick clip unless you are confident on the bouldery start leading to mostly mid-sized cams and nuts possible. Because of the variety of sizes, you can really use a wide range of cams though having extra hand-sized pieces will make placing gear quicker higher up.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Dan halfway up Cro-Magnon on toprope.
[Hide Photo] Dan halfway up Cro-Magnon on toprope.
The entire crack.
[Hide Photo] The entire crack.
Kneebarring to end the boulder problem start.  Here the pumpy climbing begins with one good rest in the middle.<br>
<br>
I haven't really seen anyone else get on this, so I'm not sure if this is the normal beta, but it worked perfectly.
[Hide Photo] Kneebarring to end the boulder problem start. Here the pumpy climbing begins with one good rest in the middle. I haven't really seen anyone else get on this, so I'm not sure if this is the norm…
Tucked into the high rest before the tough finish.
[Hide Photo] Tucked into the high rest before the tough finish.
Sent Cro-Magnon!
[Hide Photo] Sent Cro-Magnon!
Sticking the kneebar on Crow Magnon.
[Hide Photo] Sticking the kneebar on Crow Magnon.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Bjorn
WNC
[Hide Comment] FA is Steve Arsenault. Jun 24, 2008
AlexT
NH
 
[Hide Comment] There is an anchor just to the left of the traverse, for those of you who are leading this beauty. You may mantel just left of the final piton if you wish, just step left after the mantel and the anchor is right below you. Sep 22, 2008
[Hide Comment] A cruddy anchor detracts from what is otherwise a beautiful route. As of 10/08 the anchor consisted of 3 or 4 pitons of questionable integrity equalized with an aging piece of webbing. I ended up climbing up Green Corner to the top and building a natural anchor.
I found other anchors in the area equally dubious (the Intertwine anchor, for example). Cro- Mag is a magnificent piece of climbing, though. A wee bit bold to the first bolt, then enjoyably pumpy climbing to a pin protected leftwards traverse that gets the heart rate up. Simply put: awesome. Oct 18, 2008
[Hide Comment] Named after the Mr. Lif song? Jun 28, 2013
B-Mkll Mackall
Bozeman, MT
[Hide Comment] Today this route taught me that I have NO idea how to climb anything bigger than a fingercrack, and yet the sport climber in me had no trouble with the start....

Would get 5.11-awesome at most other areas. Beware! Nov 2, 2013
[Hide Comment] I fully agree!
I somehow got through the start 1st try only to be thoroughly spanked by the wide stuff higher up. PUMPY. Nov 2, 2013
stephen arsenault
Wolfeboro, NH
[Hide Comment] I would strongly recommend building a natural anchor in the corner, about 10-15 feet above the large ledge. I have done this hundreds of times over the years, as you can put many bomber nuts, in the crack. The rope will hang better, over the hard start, as well. Jun 4, 2015
will ar
Vermont
 
[Hide Comment] Climbed this today. Great route! The webbing on the 3 pin anchor has been cut/worn though (quicklink is still there). If you're going to be climbing this soon, I'd recommend bringing some extra webbing with you. I didn't have any and downclimbed to the left. Mar 12, 2016
[Hide Comment] Anchored in the right-facing corner, the start to Green Corner, which took #0.5-0.75, #2-4, #13 BD nut, and probably some smaller gear I didn't have. Allowed you to stand on the good ledge at the top of the traverse to belay. Then walked over and rappelled from a sling anchor I left at the top of Diagonal on the tree. Great fist jamming, amazing New England crack climb! May 16, 2016