Type: Trad, 350 ft, 4 pitches, Grade III
FA: Ryder Stroud, Mike Dobie, and Locky Carlier
Page Views: 43 total · 4/month
Shared By: RyderS Stroud on Dec 17, 2017
Admins: Dan Flynn, Nate Ball

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Access Issue: Chinese National Park, China borderlands laws Details

Route Description

A beautiful climb from bottom to top, Scorpion Crack is a hardman classic and will be a very ambitious project to free. The terrain on the first 3 pitches is steep, long, and sustained, featuring cool movement going in and out of giant huecos! This route needs to be freed ASAP!

P1: Start a few meters right of Toads and Uyghur Tarts beneath a big, rounded overlap capped with a stunning splitter above. Climb a finger crack to beneath the overlap. Pull a few steep, awkward moves to gain the overlap and grovel your way up to a small roof. Turn the roof to gain a skinny, right-leaning fingertips crack above. Gear here is a bit finicky. At its end, there will be a marginal stance before the crack steepens in a big, curving, slightly overhung, right-facing corner. Finger and hand jam your way to another small roof where the corner ends. A few redpoint-heartbreaker moves over the roof will yield a small ledge. Belay from here (5.11, A1; 5.12- free?, ~32 meters)

P2: Move up from the ledge into a right-facing corner. Some exposed, awkward moves off the anchor will deposit you on a small ledge beneath a right-facing corner. Finger locks will bring you to some large, sloped huecos and a sudden cut of the crack to the right (beginning of the scorpion tail). Burrow into the huecos and swing back onto the face on small holds where the crack suddenly closes out to a seam between two huecos. Some powerful, exposed moves on the bottom of a smooth hueco are required to gain a solid but cramped stance. Climb up to the base of a third hueco to place gear and belay in a semi-hanging stance just below it. (5.11-, ~15 meters)

P3: Possibly the most gear-intensive, enduro pitches at the Wudu Wall, second only to the second pitch of The Viper, this pitch will test your technique, fitness, and ability to haul lots of finger to hand-sized pieces.

Off the belay, squeeze into the third hueco. Place some marginal gear and wiggle out of the hueco out onto the very exposed face on small holds. Hard face moves will deposit you in a stance beneath a flared, left-leaning finger crack. Continue up on flared fingers and awkward, thin jams to reach a spindly tree. The crack will become discontinuous. Powerful finger locks will bring you to a small tight-hands bulge.

Surmount the bulge to gain slight less-than vertical terrain where the crack once again becomes thin. Tight finger tips and finger locks will yield another tight hands roof. Past the second roof, the crack will again narrow, but this time for a shorter stretch. Climb up to a cramped overhang and small ledge where the crack suddenly cuts right and widens. Secure, thank-god hand jams through a bulge will yield a huge, comfortable, hueco-filled ledge big enough to bask in the sun—a fitting reward for having completed such a difficult pitch. Belay here. (5.11 A1, 5.12 free?, ~40 meters)

P4: A short pitch, especially compared to pitch 3. From the anchor, climb up a big, smooth boulder formation to the left of the belay. Very awkward, strenuous beached whale moves will deposit you beneath a left leaning crack. Continue to its end by passing a small overhang, and pull onto the slab above. Follow easy ledges and vegetated, slabby ter - rain to a big tree nestled along the left wall of a gully. Belay from here. (5.10, ~17 meters)

To top our the formation, follow the gully up and to the right of the belay of P4. Some of this terrain can be sketchy, transitioning from sections of rock to a steep dirty gully. Those whole feel unsure on this terrain can belay is out as an "optional P5."

Descent: Up and over the top of the Wudu formation, following the path of least resistance. Avoid the prominent spine and pinnacle at the top and go around, seeking the lowest-angle way to the other wide. Follow the terraces on the far side down into a notch. Go right and hug the base of the cliff to get back to the climbing area.