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The Nose (aka Mid-Columbine Buttress)
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Alabama Crack 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 180'
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Harvey Carter? '50s?
Page Views: 1,404
Submitted By: Bosier Parsons on Apr 7, 2009

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (8)
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BETA PHOTO: The yellow line shows the Nose, with the belay abo...

Reopened after flood damage! MORE INFO >>>


This comment is from Stewart Green from the Nose page: "Around the corner to the left [of the Nose] is "Alabama Crack." There are two starts to it. Climb up and left from the slab below the Nose roof to a belay shelf below Alabama Crack or from the gully below the crack, climb up and right past a couple old fixed Harvey pitons (5.9) to the belay shelf. Jam the crack 50 feet to a [ledge] with a 2-bolt rappel anchor that Brian Shelton and I put in a year ago."

I climbed this today by climbing up to the Nose roof, clipping a blue sling fixed to a piton and wired nut underneath the roof, then traversing left under a nice flake to the large ledge on the corner of the formation and beneath the Alabama. I belayed here off a fixed piton, and a couple cams (1", 1/2") to avoid rope drag for the upper section.

There are some scary loose blocks above the 2-bolt anchor which could seriously injure your belayer or possibly damage the rope if they were dislodged. Some people might consider only climbing this to the 2-bolt anchor for this reason.

I did not see any pins protecting a left start, as mentioned by Stewart.


This is on the West Face of the Nose, right off the Mid-Columbine Trail. You can't miss it.



Standard rack to a #4 Camalot. QDs for a few pins along the way.

Photos of Alabama Crack Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: The green line is the line I took. It is super ske...
The green line is the line I took. It is super ske...
Rock Climbing Photo: The Alabama Crack splits the west face.  The Nose ...
The Alabama Crack splits the west face. The Nose ...

Comments on Alabama Crack Add Comment
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By Phil Lauffen
From: The Bubble
Jul 16, 2009

The second half of this climb is fun hand and fist jams. However, the lower roof (apparently off-route but the most direct line) is very loose and sketchy. I probably wouldn't do it again simply to gain the last 30' of climbing.
By erik rieger
From: Ridgway, CO
Jun 17, 2011

This a great route. Start on the easy arete between this and The Nose then head up to the slab under the Nose and place a 0.4 Camalot or similar for the undercling traverse (the first lower crack, use a double length runner or two to avoid drag), head left, clip a piton and pull a small roof to gain ledge with a big fixed bong, head up the awesome handcrack and tight hands roof to the chain anchors.

Watch out for rope drag, loose rock, and avoid the old piton under the upper roof, it is almost possible to remove it by hand. Doing the direct line through the lower rotten roof is loose 10+ and the right trending traverse that starts far left looks interesting, though, I haven't done it. Take some long runners and a single rack from 0.4-3 Camalot.
By Logan Berndt
From: Colorado Springs
Oct 27, 2011
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Beautiful line! Great hands/fists with excellent pro!
By Kyle Rodman
Jun 28, 2013
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

The left start from the gully is pretty weird and loose, but there are four or five pitons of decent quality to protect it. Only can really see most of them after you start heading up what looks to be the natural line. It doesn't seem to be as loose as the direct start through the blocky roof though and probably a touch easier.
By Andrew Ishimaru
From: Colorado Springs, Colorado
May 6, 2014

Did the direct start through the lower roof. Fun, minus avoiding the one very large loose feeling block. Agree with 5.10+... a condensed, V4 boulder problem followed by the 5.9ish crack.

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