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Bat Crack 

YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a

Type:  Trad, Sport, 1 pitch
Original:  YDS: 5.10b/c French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII ZA: 20 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: Carrie and Bob Robertson
Page Views: 1,614
Submitted By: Sean O'Dell on May 19, 2002

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Bat Crack follows the large, obvious, guano-filled crack/chimney just behind and about 5 feet west of the California Ethics Pinnacle. Follow the trail to the Bulge Wall/Mense's Prow - the route will be obvious just after passing the CEP.

And interesting, pumpy, and potentially awkward route. Start off directly in the chimney, working up past 2 bolts to an overhung hand/fist crack. This is a good place for one o' them big cams, as it is definately a cruxy section getting to the 3rd bolt through the overhang. Swing out onto the arete forming the right edge of the chimney system and follow a few more bolts on somewhat easier ground to the anchors.

It should be noted that Fred Knapp's guidebook "Shelf Road Rock" lists this route as a 5.8. That rating is a big steaming pile of bat CRAP - this thing is every part of 10b.


Half a dozen cold shuts to anchors. You could also make use of a few fairly large cams (#3 or so).

Photos of Bat Crack Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: The crux, took a while to figure out that I needed...
The crux, took a while to figure out that I needed...
Rock Climbing Photo: Now this was were it got sketchy, climbing up the ...
Now this was were it got sketchy, climbing up the ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Peter Dillon starting up Bat Crack.  The crux roof...
Peter Dillon starting up Bat Crack. The crux roof...

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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated May 7, 2012
By Sean O'Dell
Jun 4, 2002

I am serious, and don't call me Shirley. (I sure hope you've seen 'Airplane'...) OK, here's the deal with the book I have calls Bat Crack a 5.8. Now, I can't imagine anyone climbing Period Piece or Tucker's Faith (other nearby 5.7-5.8s) and then getting on Bat Crack and honestly saying they think all those routes are the same level. Personally, I thought Bat Crack was harder than ANY of the routes on the CEP, which are 5.9s (except the ones on the north, of course). Now, the beta photo on this site has Bat Crack listed as a 10b/c. Given what I just mentioned, that rating sounded a little more plausible, so that's the one I went with. I'll admit 10c is probably a bit of a stretch, but if you ask me, there's no way in HELL it's an 8. That's one schumck's opinion. Draw your own conclusions, I guess.
By Anonymous Coward
Jun 20, 2002

FYI - The Falcon Guide for Shelf has this route listed as "Unknown - 5.10b/c" That's 2 outta 3.
By Anonymous Coward
Jun 26, 2002

I climbed this route last weekend and it was easier than the Bastille Crack. Wouldn't that make this one a 5.7? I didn't use any cams though because I don't have any.

By Sean O'Dell
Jul 27, 2002

In light of rating debate on this route, I've asked around about this route, and here's what I've found: the more crack climbing experience people have, the easier they rate it. So, numbers game aside, here's the deal - there IS an offwidth overhang at the crux, and the less comfortable you are with that, the harder it will seem - all the way up to the point where some call it a 5.7, some call it 10c. That's a big gap, which should show you just how subjective and, to some extent, meaningless ratings really are. Take the beta for what it's worth, climb it yourself, and draw your own conclusions.
By Tradkelly
Nov 7, 2002
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

If you lead it straight trad, and know how to climb cracks and OWs, it's IMHO pretty 8ish. I was dying on sport routes on CEP (yep, I suck at sport) and pointed at it, annoyed mightily, and told my partner "I'm climbing 'THAT' Anything with trad pro and not these bolts." The sport climbers all around us thought I was whacked for even carrying a rack up to the crag. I have been told, though, that if you use the face and eschew the crack (great OW holds, BTW) that it's pretty bloody hard. But then, why would someone use a crack when there's a pretty line of bolts 2 feet away? (sarcasm.)
Jan 3, 2003

In 1995, Jason helped me bolt this line; TRUST ME, IF THIS CLIMB WAS AT TURKEY ROCK... it would not make it to a 5.9 RATING!!!
Jan 3, 2003

FA: Carrie and Jason
By Jeff St. Pierre
May 5, 2003
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

Regardless of rating... this is an unaesthetic, dirty, crack full of guano, and the anchor is a bear to get to... You've finished the "best" (note the sarcasm) part of the climb and then they force you up a chimney and make you hang out of it to clip the anchor on the face. What a pain in the ol' britches, and that's from a 6'3" climber.... My personal opinion is "Don't waste your time".

Dirty, nasty, wet... there's a reason it is called Bat (sh*t) Crack.

The rest of the climb may be 5.8ish, but clipping the anchor is not easy and downright dangerous IMHO.
By Carrie
Oct 3, 2003

FA: Carrie & Bob Robertson
By Livia
From: Moose Jaw, SK
Aug 25, 2005

Ignoring absolute numbers/ratings in favor of relativism, IMHO, FWIW, this route felt harder than Period Piece and about the same as Red Dog...perhaps with a harder crux move than Red Dog.
By J P
From: Denver, CO
Mar 27, 2006
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b R

Thought this climb was more demanding than Pueblo Gringos on the CEP. I agree that getting to the anchors is sketchy as they're around the face from the top of a crack that lacks bomber holds.

Bat poop was only an issue for about the first 1/4 of the climb.

This area of the Gallery is prone to early season, early day shade making for some cold rock. If it's dark and windy, I would recommend skipping this climb.
By lbishop
From: Durango, CO
Jul 25, 2006

I hail from the Midwest, and, if this route was back in some of my old stomping grounds, it would be rated 5.7, if that! Out here, I realize that A LOT of stuff is sandbagged, but 10b/c...are you serious? I firmly believe that a route should be graded as per the average of moves on the route. That would place this at about 5.8. Enough said.
By Sauce
From: Golden, CO.
Apr 5, 2010
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

I wasn't surprised to see a little grade controversy on this route. I think it was a little burlier than the 5.8 I expected but would not put in the 5.10 range. Solid 5.9.
By Grant Gerhard
From: Denver, CO
Sep 27, 2010

Choss pile: Had a hold break in my hand directly below the 3rd or 4th bolt, placed a chalk X on the remaining crappy rock. Anchors were in very poor shape....
By Jeff Thomas
May 7, 2012
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

A fun route until the anchors. The move from the chimney to the anchors is awkward. The hand crack in the back of the chimney is pretty polished to top it off. I whipped one move from the anchors, not the cleanest fall but not too bad. Pulling the roof is the crux and would be a lot harder if you don't find the big pocket inside the crack.

I think 9 is a fair rating. It felt harder than that to me, but I haven't had the chance to climb too many cracks, so my rating may even be off.

If the anchors were just right of the crack, this route would have been much better.

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