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A Question of Balance S 
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Calculus Crack 

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

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches
Original:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Fred Beckey, D. Beckstead, 1966
Season: summer
Page Views: 15,653
Submitted By: sibylle on Jul 21, 2009

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (166)
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BETA PHOTO: Todd on Pitch 3 of Calculus Crack. You know it's s...


From Baseline Ledge, head left to a bolted belay beneath cracks.
Pitch 1. Climb up crack and step left to belay.
P. 2. follow the crack and groove.
3. climb up and right on easy terrain.


This climb starts on Baseline Ledge on the north Buttress of the Apron.


Gear belays, nuts and cams, runners for the climbing to Baseline Ledge.

Photos of Calculus Crack Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down Pitch 3 of Calculus Crack.
BETA PHOTO: Looking down Pitch 3 of Calculus Crack.
Rock Climbing Photo: Look at that awesome splitter
Look at that awesome splitter
Rock Climbing Photo: Super fun and easy pitch
Super fun and easy pitch
Rock Climbing Photo: Todd at the 5.8 crux on Pitch 2 of Calculus Crack/...
BETA PHOTO: Todd at the 5.8 crux on Pitch 2 of Calculus Crack/...
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 1 of Calculus Crack / St. Vitus' Dance.
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 1 of Calculus Crack / St. Vitus' Dance.
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up the 5.8 finger crack on Pitch 4 of Calc...
BETA PHOTO: Looking up the 5.8 finger crack on Pitch 4 of Calc...
Rock Climbing Photo: Calculus Crack.  Patty Black in the thick of it.  ...
Calculus Crack. Patty Black in the thick of it. ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 2 of Calculus Crack
Pitch 2 of Calculus Crack
Rock Climbing Photo: Tristan folowing pitch 1 of Calculus Crack.
Tristan folowing pitch 1 of Calculus Crack.
Rock Climbing Photo: Tristan following pitch 2 of Calculus Crack
Tristan following pitch 2 of Calculus Crack

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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jul 14, 2017
By Dan Petty
From: Wheat Ridge, CO
Oct 1, 2011
rating: 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c

Very well protected.
By Mark Roberts
From: Vancouver, BC
Aug 5, 2012
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Really fun climbing. Don't know where the PG13 rating could possibly be warranted. Even the upper, 5.0 slab had a handcrack option.

I pitched this out as follows (after getting to Baseline Ledge, which is one or two pitches of 5.7 scramble but fun).

P1: Romped up the parallel cracks (5.6), then step left to a finger-sized crack for gear belay.

P2: Climbed the finger crack to some other harder moves as the crack slowly widens to thin-hands. (5.8, then easier again.) Angle kicks back and there's a great place for a thin-hand to hand gear belay on a low-angle ramp on a left-facing corner. Good place to stay in the shade.

P3: Easy climbing again, rings to hands to a bolted belay off right. (5.7, but mostly easy.)

P4: 5.0 walk with a fun hand crack to the trees.

Tried to link the last two pitches with a 70m but came up short and downclimbed the crack. Kevin McClane pitched this out in 3 pitches in his guide, is it possible to go straight from the finger-crack to the bolted anchor with or without a 70m?
Aug 12, 2012

From P 3 belay (little ledge) through the awesome fingers/hands long moderate section you can stretch a 60m to a nice comfy ledge, but save a #1 & 2 C4 for the belay.

Got lost on 2nd jungleering pitch but just keept going up and to the left.
By Bryan Hall
From: Portland, Oregon
Aug 16, 2012

Well protected, not PG13. If you notice bad wind in the parking lot you will be in for an adventure on this route. After climbing a very windy 190 feet of 5.6 wide crack you step left into an amazing finger crack that is truly on the edge of the apron. The wind RIPS through this section of the climb pulling helmets off, chalk bags sideways, the rope, and of course you. That being said, it's quite the windy adventure if you get it on a day like that!
By Matt Hoffmann
From: Squamish
Oct 12, 2012
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Mega classic for the grade. Solid jams the whole way and fun fun fun.
By Elizabeth Leddy
Jul 1, 2013
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

I'm also -1 on saying this is PG13. very well protected.

This route was great for a post rain day. Minus the first 2 pitches, the rest dry quickly. The second pitch was very wet the day after a rain and there was definitely some cussing happening but it was fine. Just wear long pants to wipe your feet off on. You know you are at the start of the route because you are literally climbing the first pitch through trees and dirt. There is a fixed line to the right.

You can string this together with Elaines crack (5.10a) and then memorial crack (5.9) for 8 pitches of wooohoo! that tops out at the top of the buttress. 5 rappels (not 4 like the book says) to get off or hike off. The 2nd rappel is a rope stretcher so don't forget to tie knots. The rappels go near the base of the climb so you can leave your pack.
By Mark Roberts
From: Vancouver, BC
May 22, 2016
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

This can make a very fast route to the top of the Apron with a few linked pitches and a healthy number of slings:

P1: (From the ground) Link the root-pulling jungle pitches to the bolted anchors on the left below Calculus proper. Place as little as possible and extend everything with runners. Rope stretcher - advise your belayer to stand as high as possible on the pedestal when running low on rope. (5.8 ~70m)

P2: Romp up through easy climbing and build a gear belay just below the finger crack (5.6 ~40m)

P3: Link the next 2 pitches through the finger crack (stiff 5.8) to easier and wider climbing. Keep going past the gear belay spot and duck right after 55m along the easy slab towards the bolted anchor. Extend everything after the finger cracks. (5.8 ~68m)

P4: Easy padding and jamming to the trees (Low 5th ~45m)

I found doubles to #3 was fine for linking what I've listed as pitch 3.
By Serge Smirnov
Aug 7, 2016

Could easily use 3-4 each of 0.5 and 0.75 camalots (especially if forced by traffic to belay at suboptimal locations)
By Andrew Mayer
From: Driggs, ID
Aug 16, 2016
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Great route! Highly recommend linking the 5.8 finger crack with the easier pitch above all the way to the bolts out right on the slab. Easily done with a 70m rope and double rack and makes for a long money pitch.

Walkoff beta (if not continuing up the buttress) - from the trees, scramble up & left via a fixed line to gain a prominent right-angling 4th class gully system. scramble up this (passing memorial ledge on your left) to its terminus. follow the well traveled path to the right till it peters out above some slab. complete an exposed traverse trending slightly down with a jug rail for your hands and a short section of thin feet (those squeamish about exposure may want rock shoes on for this). a short remaining traverse/downclimb will put you on broadway ledge immediately above the top of Diedre. continue south along the trail/gully system to reach the nice trail in the trees that will eventually deposit you on the Apron Connector trail south of the Apron parking lot.

Approx. 90min - 2 hrs depending on your pace. enjoy!
By Michael Nill
From: Seattle, WA
Sep 12, 2016
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

The gear belay below the finger crack takes nuts really well, no need for triples. Doubles of 0.4-0.5 were nice for the finger crack with the belay, nuts worked fine too. The PG13 rating is lies.

I strongly recommend the rappel descent, super fast with 4 raps. We climbed with a 70, I think a 60 could make it easily with a little rope stretch, read the book.
By John Wilder
From: Las Vegas, NV
Jul 14, 2017
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

IMHO, there's no reason not to use the Direct start to this route as it is the start of the crack system that forms Calculus crack and is the logical start to the route. It's also way more fun than the Vitus start.

With a 70m line, you can make the bolts at the top of 2 from the ground, which is nice.

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