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Cardiac Crack 

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

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 100'
Original:  YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: Dave Bell
Page Views: 5,577
Submitted By: Joe Keyser on Aug 18, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (23)
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Pure fun.


AREA: Want excellent crack, in a secluded area? This is a good crag...Asshole Rocks/South Platte. If you can find it, it's worth it. I put some info on the approach below that should help.

ROUTE: Cardiac Crack is on the South face of Asshole Rock proper. I believe that this is the easiest route on the crag, at stiff 5.9+. It is a possible sandbag (IMO), but, mainly really sustained, and awkward. Definitely harder than Locksmith on Sphinx Rock, and about as sustained as pitch 2 of Center Route on Cynical Pinnacle.

When you get to the south face, the route is obvious, being the longest crack, with a roof about 20 feet up. It starts out with a finger crack/corner, where you can use some chimney techniques with the feet. At the roof, instead of pulling up on jugs like it may look, you just start chimneying up through to an awkward pod. Then, you thug over this overhanging crack section onto the crux. The crux is a steep crack section with fingers through hand jams. Pretty sustained stuff! Then, about 35-40 more feet of (again sustained) fist/off-fists. Mantle easily up to the top, and belay using chockstones...

DESCENT: Walk left (climbers left) from the chockstone belay. Should be able to spot rap anchors on the far West corner. At least one of the bolts is good/newer... One, short rap. This is the same rap for most all climbs on the South Face.

GETTING THERE: From Pine Junction, head South on 126 towards Pine. Go through Pine, past it by about 2 miles or so, you get to FR #550. Book a left on 550. Go up about 1/4 mile till you see some yellow "no motor vehicles" signs. Park at the first one of these on the left. Walk down the old 4x4 trail behind the sign.

After a few minutes, the road intersects with the next one off 550. At this 3-way intersection, walk left. Keep going around the ridge until the road starts going off shaprly to the west. Right as it turns, look closely for a faint trail leading straight up the hill. Take this to the base of the NorthEast face of A-hole rock (Evidenced by 2 wicked 5.11 dihedrals). Form here, to get to the South Face, walk LEFT for a nice bushwacking session around the crag. I dont think a trail to this side of the crag exists.. The trail to the NorthEast face is pretty good, but, kinda steep, and faint. Its a dirt trail following a line of sticks that somebody sat there (btw - thanks to whoever did that!)

To get to Da Butts, and some other nice crags, just keep going down the 4x4 trail when it heads back west. These climbs should be easier to approach than A-hole rock proper...

Have fun!!!


Full rack! About a 100 foot pitch, fingers to wide crack... So, bring nuts/TCUs, but the emphasis here is on 3-4 inch pro, maybe bring a few larger cams... Compass!

Photos of Cardiac Crack Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Peter doing a fine job of it.
Peter doing a fine job of it.
Rock Climbing Photo: Proctology?
Rock Climbing Photo: A butt shot getting into the wide crack after the ...
A butt shot getting into the wide crack after the ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Having fun!
Having fun!
Rock Climbing Photo: Starting the climb.
Starting the climb.
Rock Climbing Photo: Chad staring down Cardiac Crack. Note the stuck ca...
BETA PHOTO: Chad staring down Cardiac Crack. Note the stuck ca...
Rock Climbing Photo: Gallagher using his thug like strength.
Gallagher using his thug like strength.
Rock Climbing Photo: Different perspective.
Different perspective.
Rock Climbing Photo: From afar.
From afar.
Rock Climbing Photo: Stepping up to the wide stuff.
Stepping up to the wide stuff.
Rock Climbing Photo: One of my favorite cracks in the Platte.
BETA PHOTO: One of my favorite cracks in the Platte.

Comments on Cardiac Crack Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Apr 12, 2016
By Anonymous Coward
Jul 7, 2005

Dave Bell did the first ascent. A great climb.
By Anonymous Coward
Nov 6, 2005

This crack is on Ass Hole Rock. Not Da Butts. It's really fun and guaranteed to make you sweat. Bring 2 # 4 cams to be really safe at the top or just slide one up. No bolt at top.
By Christopher Jones
From: Denver, Colorado
Mar 17, 2006
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

Bring all your big cams, you will need them. I used up all my big stuff early and had to keep sliding up my last piece. Awesome climb in a remote area. Seemed harder than 5.9+.
By Christopher Jones
From: Denver, Colorado
Jun 5, 2006
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

After climbing it for my second time I would have to say it is not harder than 5.9+. Every move is solid.
By rob bauer
From: Golden, CO
Jul 6, 2007
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

Fun climb. Definitely not harder than 5.9+ with solid moves, clean rock and good pro. Walk North to down-climb (or very short rap off 2 bolts) into the saddle then down and left back to the base.

Seemed easier than Locksmith to me, but its been a while.
By Jason Kaplan
From: Glenwood ,Co
Jul 15, 2007
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

Awsome route! I think the name is perfect. Very sustained with good rests occasionally. My heart was racing. Hell of a bushwack at the end of the approach I must say. All in all, I thought it was pretty challenging, I slipped off the start as I placed a shitty nut, didn't hit the ground but had to start over pull the nut and move on.

Starts as finger locks and side pulls then up into the OW chimmney/ pod and into the crux with hands and fists to more chimmneying and OW at the top. This was a great route for me to test my harder crack skills.

My partner didn't want to climb it due to a bum knee so I rapped, cleaned the route and ascended back up, and pulled my anchor then proceded to walk south (I think) toward the SE face where I found a chimney that opened above the OW cracks just right of Cardiac Crack. From here, I got adventerous and slung my rope over a big horn on the back side of the chimmney (which looked solid but questionable due to some cracks I saw running around the horn), and I rapped au natural pulling my ropes and leaving nothing behind. This was a solid day for me. The approach and the climb and the bullshit I had to do all took it out of me and we started to leave at about 4PM after starting around 9 AM got back around 5- 5:30.
By Allen Hill
From: FIve Points, Colorado and Pine
Jul 13, 2008

Turn right on FR 550. A left turn would certainly not work.
By Jay Eggleston
From: Denver
Mar 16, 2009
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

Excellent climb and well worth the hike. I used three #4 Camalots but only one #3. There is lots of smaller gear between the wide sections.
By Allen Hill
From: FIve Points, Colorado and Pine
Jun 26, 2009

The old aid line to the right will make a good free route. It'll go for sure and is a stellar line up some real nice stone. I had thought about it years ago but with the newer small cams I think it might even be on the verge of safe. There's an old quarter inch bolt near the top.
By Alison Conrad
Sep 25, 2009

Great route! Significantly easier than Tiger's Tooth in Lumpy which is rated the same.
By Princess Mia
From: Vail
Jun 24, 2012

Super route with great rests; hence I can't say it is sustained. I'm sure the crux is different for everyone. For me, it was the finger crack getting off the ground. The roof/ow/chimney looking thing is daunting but not hard. A BD #5 protects that move if you want to haul one up there. The rest of the route is pretty straightforward. The upper section eats gear, a few #4 may come in handy.
I agree with the 9+ rating except the start felt more like 10 for me. But maybe cause I'm really short.
By Jay Eggleston
From: Denver
May 4, 2014
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

I did this route for the second time today. The bottom probably is the crux for me. There are lots of rests, and the wide part at the top is difficult as well.
By Jonathan Stickel
From: Golden, CO
Apr 12, 2016

Do not underestimate the approach to the formation. Pete and I put up some beta on the approach on the Asshole Rock page -- apparently a different way than described on this page.

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