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Back to Basics 

YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b

Type:  Trad, 30'
Original:  YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b [details]
FA: Unknown Pre-1983
Page Views: 2,114
Submitted By: Kyle Wills on Mar 29, 2010

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (20)
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Fun route, Get on it! Found that the right foot he...

Current San Diego County Advisories MORE INFO >>>


This "classic" wide crack/offwidth is listed as 5.6 in both the county guide and the online PDF. My thoughts differ but I am interested in what others have to say.


Most obvious offwidth crack on the Standard Deviation wall. Right of Kathy's Memorial.


You would need some WIDE stuff. Bolt Anchor at top

Photos of Back to Basics Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Kathys Memorial and Back to Basics Topo
BETA PHOTO: Kathys Memorial and Back to Basics Topo
Rock Climbing Photo: looking back down @ Back to Basics from just in fr...
BETA PHOTO: looking back down @ Back to Basics from just in fr...
Rock Climbing Photo: Back to Basics and Monkey Dance Topo
BETA PHOTO: Back to Basics and Monkey Dance Topo
Rock Climbing Photo: 31- Back to Basics 29- Kathy's Memorial
31- Back to Basics 29- Kathy's Memorial

Comments on Back to Basics Add Comment
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By Kyle Wills
From: Chicago, IL
Mar 29, 2010

THE RATING 5.6 in both big guides- and frankly either my Offwidth technique is complete and utter garbage, or its ridiculously sandbagged, or its a mistake that has persevered through multiple guides because no one climbs it. I attempted two days ago to get to the top on a top rope solo set-up and got hardcore shut down and ended up finishing and then leading Kathy's and then came back today and committed myself to finish BcktoBasics, and found the 10a Kathy's substantially easier.
By Hubbard
Mar 31, 2010

In my online guide from I have this route listed as 5.7. Having climbed it, that would be my opinion on the grade.
By Kyle Wills
From: Chicago, IL
Mar 31, 2010

By Hubbard
Mar 31, 2010

Offwidth grading consolidated in the 60's and 70's in Yosemite when offwidth cracks were often the primary routes up walls and the world's best climbers were doing them and rating them. In contrast, face climbs of those days done without sticky rubber shoes often seem over graded today. The grading system reflects the historical perspective. This offwidth grade would be consistent with offwidth grades in Yosemite or more locally at Woodson. Offwidth grades should generally be cross referenced with other offwidths rather than other types of routes. I think you will find agreement with most climbers including offwidth specialists that offwidth climbing is indeed often ridiculous.
By Kyle Wills
From: Chicago, IL
Jul 9, 2010

I can accept this.
By yosenhuttle
Mar 19, 2011

Couldn't even make it up this on TR. No doubt it goes at 5.7, but it's offwidth so be aware if you want to lead this one
By Brad W
From: San Diego
Oct 2, 2012

Damn this feels hard for the grade. Really need to work on my OW technique. Too big for footjams, too small for heel-toe. Good armbar/chickenwing practice. No cheat holds on the inside, and it's dirty as hell.

Rock Wrestling is a cruise in comparison, but it's narrower. What other OW is there at MG?
By saltlick
Dec 20, 2012

With the right combo of hand-stacking and thigh-jamming one can more easily ascend to the point where the heel-toe becomes viable. Chickenwinging definitely makes B to B feel a couple of grades harder!
By PaoloQ
From: Flagstaff, Arizona
Jun 13, 2015

Climbed this route on TR solo. 5.7 grade is accurate in my opinion. Went left side in with very secure knee jams and slippery hand/fist stacks. Short but very sweet! #5 C4 (new style) protects the lower section quite well. Good route to learn offwidth as there is a few footholds that make getting established in the crack relatively ;) easy.
By steverett
From: San Diego, CA
Mar 30, 2016
rating: 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c

I arm-barred up with my right side in the crack, felt like 5.8 to me. However my partner used some liebacks at the crux, seemed to go easier for him.

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