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7.1.1 - Railroad Amphitheater
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Catenary Crack T,TR 
Cop Ripper T,TR 
Cop-Out T,TR 
Face-Off TR 
Heisenberg Cheese Danse T 
Jack The Crooked Cop T,TR 
Jack the Ripper T,TR 
Lumby Ridge T 
Old Shoes TR 
Pillar, The T,TR 
Pilloried T 
Pine Tree Dihedral T,TR 
Pine Tree Step-Across T,TR 
Railroad Offwidth (aka Birch Tree Dihedral) T,TR 
Right of the Eye T,TR 
Snedegar's Nose T,TR 
Spectacle T,TR 
Tang Shwang T,TR 
Working on the Railroad T,TR 

Catenary Crack 

YDS: 5.10a/b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 19 British: E2 5b

Type:  Trad, TR
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Unkown
Page Views: 228
Submitted By: Tom Anderson-Brown on Mar 19, 2002

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (46)
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Catenary Crack. Crux. Henning Boldt on lead. July ...


catenary (n): The curve assumed by a cord of uniform density and cross section that is perfectly flexible but not capable of being stretched and that hangs freely from two fixed points.

Catenary Crack is a terrific line up the north wall of the Railroad Amphitheater. Start out on the slightly overhanging bottom section (crux). The hard part is getting started, and this is made worse by the fact that the rock here is often wet. Once off the ground follow the crack up between the roof on your left and the staggered overhangs on your right. If you can get up this one try some 5.10's.


Standard Rack

Photos of Catenary Crack Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Dmitriy
Rock Climbing Photo: Henning Boldt leading Catenary. July '08.
Henning Boldt leading Catenary. July '08.
Rock Climbing Photo: Breathing hard! Cooling off with my tongue out.  T...
Breathing hard! Cooling off with my tongue out. T...
Rock Climbing Photo: Winter Climbing anyone????  Solo-Aiding in -20 deg...
Winter Climbing anyone???? Solo-Aiding in -20 deg...
Rock Climbing Photo: Northern wall of the Railroad Amphitheater
BETA PHOTO: Northern wall of the Railroad Amphitheater
Rock Climbing Photo: Dmitriy starts up
Dmitriy starts up
Rock Climbing Photo: Redpoint lead. 5/22/2010
Redpoint lead. 5/22/2010
Rock Climbing Photo: SteveZ contemplating the wet start of Catenary Cra...
SteveZ contemplating the wet start of Catenary Cra...
Rock Climbing Photo: View from the baso of Catenary crack (5) and The P...
BETA PHOTO: View from the baso of Catenary crack (5) and The P...
Rock Climbing Photo: Tom Anderson-Brown failing to make headway on Cate...
Tom Anderson-Brown failing to make headway on Cate...

Comments on Catenary Crack Add Comment
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By Tom Anderson-Brown
From: Madison, WI
Aug 21, 2003

I finally spanked this crack today, after 3 years of trying. Maybe it's because it was finally dry.
By Stephen Schaefgen
Aug 22, 2003

Good for you, Tom! Wanna hear a pain in the ass? A friend of mine, who I'm teaching to lead and has only been climbing since late last year did it in three tries. Doesn't that just tick you off? I'm having problems (as always) with DL 5.7's and here he is taking on 5.9's and even managed Cheetah! Little bugger!

Great job, Tom!
By Anonymous
Aug 30, 2004
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

I climbed this on Sunday. Very exhausting start and harder by many opinions that the 5.11a Cop Out next to it. Compare this to Upper D -- Catenary is much harder. Venture afield from the main East Bluff popular climbs and fear the 5.9s. Many were rated when 5.9 was the hardest rating...

By Jay Knower
From: Campton, NH
Oct 20, 2006
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

Catenary is one of the traditional sandbags in the park, along with The Pooper, Hammer Crack, and many others. No way this is 5.9.
By Alex A
Aug 7, 2007
rating: 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b

A friend of mine, she had a friend with her who never climbed before, he onsight it, in a pair of slip on deck shoes, it was his 3rd climb of the day, then he tried Cop Out, my other friend, said if does it, he's going to quit climbing, he did not get vary far,
he was a gymnast,
I think Cop Out is easier, then Catecary,

It has changed, from the 1st time I did it, a hold broke off, if was still challenging, with the hold, but easier.
By Ta-Chi Wang
Jun 6, 2009

Kasrten and I did this route yesterday. I kind of cheated in the beginning with Karsten's help, who is taller than I am and so who was able to sink a good piece (a Wide Country friend, red) into a left-side finger pocket to the attached flake as a protection for the crux. I then used the layback move, shown by Henning on his photos. That was darn difficult due to lack of footholds (and that portion of wall is virtually waxed). Took a couple falls. Then I gave up the left-facing-layback strategy and instead managed to layback left-facing in the beginning but turned right-facing in order to reach a good hand pocket on the left wall. I don't know whether that pocket is off route, but it helped me stand on the flake, and, then, viola! another perfect pocket for a #2 Camalot just behind the upper, bigger flake that cannot be seen from the ground. After that, the move became easier, and yet the protection en route still posed challenge. I don't know much of the rating at the Lake, but this route, its combined mental and physical demand and uncertainties, surely makes this 5.9 puzzling.
By John W. Knoernschild
From: Wisconsin
Jul 9, 2009
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

This route is hard. It was finally dry for us yesterday. I fell the first go and sent a few minutes later. Puzzling...I flashed Cop-out 5.11a but I fall on a 5.9.... ya, cause this no 5.9 Like Ta-Chi said, this thing is beyond polished, more like waxed...feet and hands.
By Unboundquark
Sep 14, 2009
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

This is a tough route but I managed to climb it on a few occasions. The slippery feet on the first tough move is what makes this so difficult. Damn it was hard to keep those feet on the wall! I'm not quite ready to lead was enough of a challenge on toprope.

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