Type: Trad, 400 ft, 4 pitches
FA: Glen Randall and Charlie Fowler-1982
Page Views: 7,177 total · 63/month
Shared By: Dana Prosser on Sep 22, 2009
Admins: slim, Andrew Gram, Nathan Fisher, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq

You & This Route

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Access Issue: RAIN, WET ROCK and RAPTOR CLOSURES: The sandstone around Moab is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. Also please ask and be aware of Raptor Closures in areas such as CAT WALL and RESERVOIR WALL in Indian Creek Details


In response to the Crack epidemic, this climb does not seem to get the traffic it deserves....

Crack wars has amazing hand cracks, fist cracks, and even a little OW thrown in to keep things interesting- so, grab that fat rack and head up the hill for a little fun!

P1-Jam thin hands crack, that slowly widens to hands and fists (4 star pitch!) to ledge on left with bolted anchor-5.10+ 90 ft.

P2-Fun fist/OW climbing leads to short traverse left and small roof, 15 more feet of wide climbing will lead to nice ledge where gear belay can be had- 5.10 70 ft.

P3-Continue up the fist/OW crack towards the obvious roof that looms above. Set up belay under roof with lone bolt and fist sized gear (#3 or 3 1/2 camalots works well here). 5.9+ 70 ft

P4-Jam out the featured fist-sized roof crack, and take a deep breath because it is not quite over yet..Some loose, heady climbing straight up (with short traverse L to corner) finally leads to short squeeze chimney, and the summit. -5.11a/b (crux pitch). Stewart Green's guidebook reports a 5.9 finger crack in R facing corner to summit- we did not see this crack, but perhaps it is a little further L than where we were???

This route is an enjoyable way to top out on the Rectory, and affords an awe-inspiring view of Honeymoon chimney (and beyond). Don't become another party waiting in line to do Fine Jade, when this route is just a few more steps down the trail...


Route is found on the West face , about 80 ft. right of where the nuns meet the rectory. Look for white calcitite covered rock, with obvious crack. Climb starts on top of ledge about 20 ft above trail.


Rack: single camalots to #0.4, double #0.5-#2, triple #3, double # 3.5 and #4, single #5 and #6 Camalots, nuts, long draws, and rope. The only fixed anchor is at the top of the first pitch, so save some cams for the belays. Anchors are found to the climber's left of the last pitch, or rap Fine Jade.
Steven Lucarelli
Moab, UT
Steven Lucarelli   Moab, UT
The short finger crack on the last pitch is what gets you up to the final squeeze chimney (which is way easier to layback by the way). May 17, 2010
Did this route yesterday and really enjoyed it. Definetly deserves more traffic Aug 18, 2012
Kirsten KDog
Kirsten KDog  
This route felt haaard. 11b for me. A lot more OW (and squeeze chimney!) than I was expecting. Getting over the roof is tough for those with smaller hands and who can't really reach the foothold out and right of the roof. I basically aided the thing. Above the roof is some pretty hollow, loose rock, and heady climbing to the squeeze chimney right at the top (which I liebacked, by the way!) Interesting route.....not sure I'd do it again, but it does have some good climbing, especially on the lower pitches. Oct 23, 2012
Drew Thayer
Denver, CO
Drew Thayer   Denver, CO
Awesome route! A good adventure out.

You can do this route dbl .5- 2 camalots, 3x #3 and #4 camalots, and 1 #5 camalot. Use a #3 and #4 for anchor after the 2nd pitch, a #2 and smaller cam for after 3rd pitch. The slot on pitch 3 is definitely the crux, just get funky and press it out.

In Nov 2012 the rap anchor atop Empirical Route (L of Crack Wars) was questionable at best; there's a very solid rap anchor on the N side of the Nuns that drops you down near Holier than Thou. Nov 25, 2012
Oakridge, OR
Ball   Oakridge, OR
I inadvertently linked 2&3 and didn't really have enough pro. I'd suggest 3x 3s & 3.5s (or new school 4s) and one 4.5 (new school 5). Don't see where a six would be handy.

Lots of cheese-grating off-fists for small hands.

I squeezed the top-out, but only after removing my harness (didn't think I had an effective belay by then). Otherwise it's an overhanging chicken-wing toe-heel thing. I'm skinny as fuck so plan to do that.

Crux for me was the roof. Seemed awkward. Oct 14, 2013
Kat A
Boulder, CO
Kat A   Boulder, CO
We were comfortable with the following rack: small stoppers, 1x blue & green alien, 2x yellow alien/0.4 camalot; triples in 0.5, 0.75, 1, 2, 3, 4 camalots, 2x 3.5 camalots/4 friends, and a new #5. More than others suggested, but we placed it all (perhaps not the blue alien but it's light to carry...)

P1 - 100', Mostly thin gear up to #3 camalot. 3x #0.75 & #1 were very nice.
P2 - ca 70'. Mostly larger gear, #3-3.5 cams for belay (small, wedge-shaped stance)
P3 - ca. 80'. Larger gear, easier than P2 (large cam(s) plus single bolt belay under roof. Can dump the #5 in the belay here.)
P4 - Small-large gear (crux #3, 3.5 camalots). Stoppers, 1-2 yellow alien pieces nice for summit belay.

P1 is stellar thin-hands; P2 is hard OW; P3 is relatively moderate wider crack; P4 has the roof crux followed by adventurous desert tower climbing. Long slings useful here. Nov 3, 2015