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Carol's Crack 

YDS: 5.11a French: 6c Ewbanks: 22 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 22 British: E3 5c

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 320', Grade II
Original:  YDS: 5.11a French: 6c Ewbanks: 22 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 22 British: E3 5c [details]
FA: B. Yoho, C. Black, C. Holtkamp, J. Baird, '78
Page Views: 11,741
Submitted By: Tony B on Jul 7, 2001

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awwww, shit! my groin hurts!

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One of the finest routes we did at Devil's Tower, and it even remains open when the rest of the West Face is closed for Falcons!

Approach this route via the West Face trail and skirt the left-hand edge of the trial towards to great routes, One Way Sunset and Carol's Crack. Both of these 3* routes are near the north-most edge of the West Face.

I could tell you to look for a primarily right facing corner system that starts low angle and gets progressively steeper as you climb upward. That describes 1/2 of the climbs at the tower though. The other half are left-facing. In any case, this is the 2nd right facing system to the right of where the major broken recess is on the NW corner.

Until a picture is directly associated with this description, owning the guidebook may be necessary to find the climb.

P1: (100' 5.10a) Climb a thin hand to finger crack to fixed anchors in the corner. A set of cams protects this, with the crux being near the top. A good pitch, but not a great pitch.

P2: (160' 5.11a) Sustained. Climb a thin crack for a long way- my partner placed 20 pieces of gear on this lead. 1/2 way up there is a step out to a no-hands rest on the Arete to the left. Near the top the crack gets wider and easier. Belay at fixed anchors. This is the classic pitch!

P3: You can continue up through 5.7 corner territory (80') and then on chimneys and cracks to the top (150'). We did not do so, as we had seen a falcon near the top and did not wish to agitate it. In either case, the rock is not as good now, and the fun part is over.


A good sized rack of stoppers and TCUs. A few each of hand sized pieces are good too, but as these are for where the climbing is easier, one set of Camalots or other cams 1.5-3" should do the trick. Take a good number of draws (12+). P2 is long & sustained and it eats the rack. 2 ropes to rap off the 160+ foot second pitch. 60M are OK, and 50M might be- don't know for sure, but it looked OK for 50M.

Photos of Carol's Crack Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: A few folks on "Carol's Crack (11a)" as ...
A few folks on "Carol's Crack (11a)" as ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Anders heading up the enduro crack. He has a few m...
Anders heading up the enduro crack. He has a few m...
Rock Climbing Photo: Anders at the crux of the first pitch.
Anders at the crux of the first pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: Carols Crack
BETA PHOTO: Carols Crack
Rock Climbing Photo: Justin Harr on pitch one.  Photo by John Gunnels.
Justin Harr on pitch one. Photo by John Gunnels.
Rock Climbing Photo: Tony Bubb coming up just pas thte crux on Carol's ...
Tony Bubb coming up just pas thte crux on Carol's ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Mike on pitch 2.
Mike on pitch 2.

Comments on Carol's Crack Add Comment
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By Andy Johnson
Sep 24, 2003

I just did this climb last weekend and it has definately earned a place as one of my top 5 favorite routes. The first pitch is a great warm- up for the second crux pitch and is a great pitch in itself. Pitch 2 is a great .11a testpiece. It is very sustained with few real rests. It also has scary good finger locks almost the whole way. You will not be dissapointed with this one. A 3 star route all the way.
By John Gunnels
From: Gillette, WY
Apr 8, 2006
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

Followed Dingus McGee up this route many years ago. His precision on P2 was incredible to watch. 'Bes be in shape for this bad boy...
By Brian Weinstein
Jul 29, 2006
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

just as the enduro pump on P2 may reach its climax, a big jug (chockstone) appears in the crack about 8 feet below the anchors. BE AWARE, it's about to come off! i avoided it by using an edge and the crack above. i wouldn't step on it either.
By 1Eric Rhicard
Jul 30, 2006

Brian, I would suggest that you or the second clean off that loose chock as it may one day injure someone. We do this all the time. It is a nice community service. Obviously this is only to be done if no one is below you.
By Brian Weinstein
Jul 31, 2006
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

Yup, there was a party below us. Hopefully the next crew up there can clean it as it definitely has the potential to cause injury.

By Brian B Ballard
From: Laramie, WY
Oct 2, 2012

We tried to give that shaky block a shove with no luck. It is somewhat jammed in with vegetation.

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