Type: Aid, 70 ft
FA: ??
Page Views: 396 total · 3/month
Shared By: Matthias Holladay on Nov 11, 2008
Admins: Lurker, Rick Shull, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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Obvious scary-looking crack splitting overhang.


Standard aid rack


Matthias Holladay
Shiprock, Navajolands
Matthias Holladay   Shiprock, Navajolands
I solo TR aided this route and found a crumbling "bong bong" 25 feet up. The piton was so corroded, I easily removed it by hand. This route will go free. Nov 11, 2008
How is the rock quality on this one? Good enough? Oct 6, 2014
Matthias, can you tell me which route exactly Mussel Crack is? I've been scoping all the routes the last few days and comparing them to Mark Butterworth's 1974 guide. It sounds like this may also be describing "Ocean Overhang," do you know?

Yesterday I climbed the giant overhanging dihedral with the 50' tall gaping offwidth. Is that this route??

Mar 3, 2015
Matthias Holladay
Shiprock, Navajolands
Matthias Holladay   Shiprock, Navajolands
Yes, I think it is. The 1st part of the route was easy scrambling to the overhang and crack, just as you describe. Way to go on working these routes!
[Admin.: please delete my Mussel Crack post, thanks] Mar 4, 2015
Ok, good to know. Trying to sort out these route names and histories is a pain.

The 1974 guide lists Ocean Overhang as "Rating Unknown. This route follows an aid crack directly under the overhang" That could be the giant dihedral, but the crack seemed almost too big at the top for aiding on bong bongs, plus you'd need dozens!! Ballsy fellows if that's the route.

It listed route #2 as "Name Unknown, Rating Unknown. Several hundred feet right is a difficult route. The climbing wanders left, then right, then up." I am confident that is the second line in my photo. The route has some ancient fixed gear, a piton visible 25' up and an ancient 1/4" bolt (a Leeper hanger and Rawl button head) at the top. I can't find a name on that one either. I was hoping that was Mussel Crack.

Such history, and no solid descriptions handed down. Odd... Mar 4, 2015
Matthias Holladay
Shiprock, Navajolands
Matthias Holladay   Shiprock, Navajolands
Yeah, those pioneers... they wouldn't have used those the whole way...probably a 1st piece directional.

Did you get a chance to enjoy circumnavigating the nice gaping crevice of rock on the bushwhack to/from the top of the cliff?

Tim, or was it Rich, or Petch? or Dan? and I actually rapped down this...to a dirt-little rock/big rock debris ledge with an eroding hole in the middle of it, and then thru the hole to the bottom. Jugging out was harrowing with the rope abrading the edge of hole, sending rocks ricocheting down the zig-zag chasm upon us. Mar 5, 2015
I was going to ask you about that. I've explored the tops of the caves several times now, so far I've found about 20 openings. Some of them huge gaping labyrinthines, and some of them at least 40' deep, but just the size of a manhole cover!! I'm planning on rapping into a few of them this summer when they are dryer. I've actually spotted a potential lead route in there. You hike in the large opening on the bottom right of the cliff, and climb out over car sized chockstons.

Regarding Mussel Crack, I think I figured out which route you were on. It goes up to a grass ledge at the base of the little headwall that sits on top the cliff. I tried to free the overhang but it just wasn't the day for it. I ended up aiding it and thinking it matched your description pretty well. There were two old corroded pitons on the route, both basically imploded when I touched them. Mar 7, 2015
We are going to go back to get it free as soon as possible, it seems like it would go at sustained 5.11++ I have too many routes on my plate to do right now. I'm compiling a list, descriptions and pictures of all of the current and new routes and at the moment am up to 74 quality routes at the park, and only have 9 of them left to do, but I keep finding exciting new potential and the list gets longer. Mar 13, 2015