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Rat's Ass 

YDS: 5.8+ French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 300'
Original:  YDS: 5.8+ French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Stan Wallace, John Ferguson, Jim McEver, Ron Cousins - 1973
Page Views: 10,802
Submitted By: saxfiend on Mar 31, 2007

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (144)
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P1 of Rats Ass, 5.8


A challenging climb with a thin crack in a stemming corner. Linking P2 and P3 is the way to go as long as you have a 60-meter rope.

P1 - Starting on low-angle slab, scramble up to a crack and continue through a right-facing corner with a fingertip-sized crack. Belay at a rounded ledge with good gear in the widening crack. 5.8, 120'
P2 - Continue up the crack on easier ground, moving up and right until the corner ends and find a good spot to belay (or continue up and right to the anchors). 5.5, 170'
P3 - Climb up and right on good friction using cracks and eyebrows for pro until you get to the new upper rap anchors for Gemini Crack. 5.5, 60'


Starts just left of Second Coming. Rap from upper Gemini ring anchors to the Sentry Box Ledge, then a second rap to the ground.


Small to medium nuts and cams. No fixed gear.

Photos of Rat's Ass Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: First Pitch Rats Ass
First Pitch Rats Ass
Rock Climbing Photo: P1 of Rats Ass, 5.8
P1 of Rats Ass, 5.8
Rock Climbing Photo: 2nd Pitch of Rats Ass
2nd Pitch of Rats Ass
Rock Climbing Photo: About half way up pitch 2 of rat's ass
About half way up pitch 2 of rat's ass
Rock Climbing Photo: At the belay getting ready to start pitch 2
At the belay getting ready to start pitch 2
Rock Climbing Photo: Pat Price coming up Rat's Ass. Circa '97.
Pat Price coming up Rat's Ass. Circa '97.

Comments on Rat's Ass Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Oct 16, 2017
By Danny Inman
From: Arvada
Apr 1, 2007

This route is a classic, tips and stemming with rests when you need em.
By saxfiend
From: Decatur, GA
Apr 1, 2007

Great route and a heady P1 lead by Danny, very thin fingertips in places. P2 is easier climbing but still a lot of fun on lead. A must do!
By Floridaputz
From: Oakland Park, Florida
May 2, 2007
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

This is one of the best 5.8's on the South Face. The first pitch is a right leaning inside corner. It appears blank from the deck. However, as said, the finger locks are sweet 120ft (5.8+). I like to climb up 30 feet and set up the belay at the bottom of the crack. Both this climb and 2nd coming have a low angle slab that pushes the belay out from the face. This creates a outward pull that can lead to a zipper of your gear. make sure you use a directional on these climbs. The 2nd pitch is long 180 Ft (5.5).
By Devin Armour
From: Asheville, NC
May 14, 2008
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Good route on a busy wall. Hit it after a rainy night but it was dry by 10. Pulling over the bulge on the second pitch was a high point.
By AWBivins
From: Savannah, GA
Oct 13, 2010

I felt like gear placements were the crux on this route. After watching my last nut placement pop out I was pretty much free soloing. Make sure you bring plenty of small gear.
By Jeff Mekolites
From: ATL GA
Jan 3, 2012
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Best done in 2 pitches. First to the obvious belay ledge. Second to the rap rings.
By Richard Vazquez
May 30, 2012
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

This is a fun route but on the second pitch be carefull because theres a lot of loose rocks.
By Jeff Gregory
From: Columbia, South Carolina
Nov 18, 2012
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

There's an old (chopped?) bolt site on the right face as you end the 5.8 section (120ft) and move into easier ground. Just FYI. It helped me solidify the "so-I-guess-I'm-setting-anchor-here" decision after running a bit slim on gear...having no experience on the route before.

This route was such a fantastic experience for me with the thin fingers.
By Tyler Phillips
Mar 23, 2014

I agree with Jeff, this can be done in 2 pitches. Head over to the new rings above Gemini. A fun climb with a great crack. Slabby- trust those feet!
By Jonathan Dull
From: Boone, NC
Apr 1, 2014

First pitch finger crack is classic! Linking the second and third pitch is the way to go. Two 60m ropes needed to reach Sentry Box Ledge.
By Mike Paugh
From: Morgantown, WV
Nov 10, 2015

Really fun first pitch. My only complaint is it seemed like all the best gear placements on the first pitch were in the best hand and finger Great route!
By Harrison Laird
From: Davis, CA
Mar 6, 2017

Excellent thin crack. I found that alloy offsets were extremely helpful on the crux pitch because they allow you to protect without blocking key jams. Doubles in the medium sized offsets could definitely be put to use.
By Nathan Stegenga
From: Spokane, WA
Apr 3, 2017
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Takes fantastic passive pro, especially offsets like Harrison mentioned. In some finger pods, a cam would be a manky placement/occupy the hold and I found nuts to fit the bill very well here - easy to place and not occupying the hold too much. Amazing line, wish it was longer! I found it worth bringing hand sized pieces for the gear belay.
By Micah McCrotty
From: Knoxville
Oct 3, 2017

Amazing route! Offset nuts were great for the crux section, and I'd suggest bringing at least one #2 for the first pitch belay (I used two) but I don't think I used anything larger.
By Stephen McKinney
From: Columbia, SC
3 days ago
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Mental crux for me was gear placement. First pitch eats up passive pro. Second pitch is stellar movement and really straightforward. What a fun route. Do it in two pitches.

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