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Chouinard's Crack (1st Half Pitch of Peking) 

YDS: 5.9- French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 16 British: HVS 4c

Type:  Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 50'
Original:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Bauman
Page Views: 4,743
Submitted By: ferrells on Dec 20, 2009

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (134)
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BETA PHOTO: Photo of crack

Seasonal Raptor Closure MORE INFO >>>


Chouinard's Crack is one of the best splitters in the Park. There's not much more to say about it -expect really fun, straightforward fingers and thin hands crack climbing with solid gear.
If you want to spoil it, finish off with the rest of Peking, but for a great outing, finish up on Moscow.


Hike across the bridge, and straight up the Misery Ridge trail. Pass the right side of Picnic Lunch Wall, and most of Red Wall, while hiking uphill. It screams to you from the trail as you come to the last section of climbing on the Red Wall.
Tell tale signs that you are in the right place are a couple of big blocks to chill on at the base, a chalked up, left leading hand traverse leading to the crack, and the obvious, clean, and inviting crack system to the right (Moscow).


Gear from fingers to hands. If you want to stitch it up, you might be able to wiggle in a blue camalot towards the top, but I bet a no. 2 (hand size) is as big as the crack will allow.

Photos of Chouinard's Crack (1st Half Pitch of Peking) Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Running out the start on Chouinard's Crack.
Running out the start on Chouinard's Crack.

Comments on Chouinard's Crack (1st Half Pitch of Peking) Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 13, 2017
By hemp22
Dec 22, 2009

This is also frequently known as the first half-pitch of Peking.
By berl
From: Seattle
Jan 7, 2010

also, peking is rated 5.8 here on MP and everywhere else.
By ferrells
Feb 21, 2010

Au contraire, Watts called this pitch 5.9 in his new guide. I don't think it particularly matters, but I changed the grade to 5.8.
By Wesley Ashwood
From: Squamish, BC
Aug 3, 2010
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Nice crack, but just a little too short.
By K Baumgartner
Aug 4, 2012
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Nice line that presents varied crack technique. Only wish it were longer. Either rap or continue on Moscow.
By Chris D
From: the couch
Sep 15, 2013


What a fun climb. The business is over after just a couple of jams off the blocks as plentiful and solid holds present themselves on the left face. Great little climb, but over too soon.
By Jacob Smith
From: Seattle, WA
May 5, 2014
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Grade on this is probably hand size dependent, those with smaller hands might have absurdly solid jams the whole way and would call it 5.8, those with larger hands (like myself) who had to use thin hands and finger stacks would call it 5.9.
I think compared with other climbs around Smith, Watts made the right call and as that is the published grade MP should reflect it.
By rohanbk
From: Seattle, WA
May 27, 2014
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

My partner blew the crux sequence and ended up falling and hitting his ankle on the ledge to the climber's left of the vertical crack section. He had to hobble out on crutches. Be very careful climbing this route because a fall can be unforgiving.
By Nate Ball
From: Portland, OR
Sep 22, 2014
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

You should be able to protect above your head at the start of the vertical section. My condolences to the injured, but there is no reason to fall to the ledge 15+ feet below with an attentive belay and intelligent gear placement.

For me, the route was a one-move wonder. A solid jam leads to endless foot options. And then it's over.
By Obi
From: Portland, OR
Sep 23, 2014
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

I agree with Nate B. - with respect to the fallen climber, this climb can be well protected and an injury causing fall is unlikely.

Solid jams and good rest stances pepper the route. Wish it were longer.
By Andrew G
From: Silver Spring, MD
Oct 16, 2014
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

If only this climb were twice as long, it would be a clear cut 4 star classic. Still good fun though.
By morgoth70
From: Bountiful, UT
Jun 17, 2015
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Rating for the first pitch only - never did the second. Excellent crack climbing, especially for Smith, sustained and harder than the 5.8 rating imho
By ska75
Sep 13, 2017
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Hello guys,

This is a great route. Beautiful crack

Here a beta video I put together.

Enjoy it!!

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