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Scumbag Crack

5.6, Trad, 60 ft,  Avg: 2 from 1 vote
FA: unknown
Utah > Wasatch Range > Little Cottonwo… > Gate Buttress > Five Fingers Area
Access Issue: Gate Buttress Area Recreational Lease: Climbs on Church Buttress above vault remain closed Details

Description

Ruckman's calls this an 'unpleasant squeeze chimney'. The more recent "Ferguson to Lone Pine Peak" guide describes this as "A dirty squeeze chimney. Have fun..."

Fun I did have, but I disagree with these sentiments! The crack, while short, is sustained at wide technique and surprisingly difficult for a so-called 5.6. It has two distinct cruxes, the entry above the pine tree and then a harder one at the second tier beyond. The rock is cleaner than most other routes in the area, and it takes pro well. Just make sure to leapfrog your wide cams...

Also, I don't know if a missing hold broke off or I missed something, but the second crux felt way harder than 5.6. I would have rated it more like 5.8-5.9 (based on my experience. I led a lot of wide in Yosemite, including the NEB of Higher Cathedral Rock & Harding Route on Conness).

Not shown in any guidebooks is a short by fun second pitch continuation in order to access anchors above Fat Man's Misery and The Waltz. Continue scrambling up the corner and you will encounter a juicy arcing hand crack. While you can step left to slab halfway up, why would you do that?! Go for the awkward wide exit with the fun chickenhead face hold. This crack takes BD #2-3 pieces, and a #4 nicely protects the exit.

Location

This route climbs directly above the pine tree at the right side of Fat Man's Ledge. Belay on bushes at the top. You can use the Five Fingers Rappel to the south to descend, or continue up an additional pitch to gain anchors above Fat Man's Misery and The Waltz.

Protection

I placed a BD #2 just before the entry. After that I leapfrogged up a #6 most of the way, with an optional #5 for one narrower part. I placed a #0.75 & #3 as 'piece of mind' gear to leave behind as I leapfrogged cams.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

The awkward belay from the pine tree at the right end of Fat Man's Ledge. I think this belay is only a good idea for climbing Scumbag Crack.
[Hide Photo] The awkward belay from the pine tree at the right end of Fat Man's Ledge. I think this belay is only a good idea for climbing Scumbag Crack.
Looking down Scumbag Crack from the top. Sweet wide!
[Hide Photo] Looking down Scumbag Crack from the top. Sweet wide!
Charlotte navigating the extremely narrow main crux of the climb. You have to come out to breathe, and the key to unlock it is tricky! Leading it, I stayed in much deeper.
[Hide Photo] Charlotte navigating the extremely narrow main crux of the climb. You have to come out to breathe, and the key to unlock it is tricky! Leading it, I stayed in much deeper.
Looking up Scumbag Crack from the start.
[Hide Photo] Looking up Scumbag Crack from the start.