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Chrysler Crack 

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

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 90'
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Randal Grandstaff, Jon Martinet, 1970s
Page Views: 15,048
Submitted By: John Hegyes on Nov 16, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (37)
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Russ using a textbook foot stack near the crux

RAIN AND WET ROCK The sandstone in Red Rocks is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. MORE INFO >>>


Chrysler Crack is a classic off-width romp located high over the Sandstone Quarry with a beautiful splitter crack in a dihedral and two featureless faces. In the first half of the climb you can choose to lieback the crack or employ off-width jamming and in the second half the crack is wide enough to chimney. Walk off left.


Approach from Sandstone Quarry as per Sandy Corridor description. Hike the Corridor a couple hundred yards until you're about 30 yards from the end of the canyon. You'll see a (mostly dead) left-leaning pine tree. Go right here to a robbers den that pinches off into a narrow slot. Break right and up to ledges, past occasional easy fifth-class moves for about 150 feet until you arrive at the base of the climb.


There is no fixed protection on this route. Bring armloads of big cams and big bros - Camalot C4 #5 and Big Bro #3 didn't cut the mustard.

Photos of Chrysler Crack Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Jason Molina on Chrysler Crack 5.9 Jan 2012  mattk...
Jason Molina on Chrysler Crack 5.9 Jan 2012 mattk...
Rock Climbing Photo: Shayne Durfee leading this huge gash, great climb!...
Shayne Durfee leading this huge gash, great climb!...
Rock Climbing Photo:  Is this a high end version of a Dodge? Shayne Dur...
Is this a high end version of a Dodge? Shayne Dur...
Rock Climbing Photo: Me in the last few feet.  Russ photo.
Me in the last few feet. Russ photo.
Rock Climbing Photo: Yeah. That rack has a few logs on it.
Yeah. That rack has a few logs on it.
Rock Climbing Photo: Russ racking up.  Note the custom 8" wide Hex...
Russ racking up. Note the custom 8" wide Hex...
Rock Climbing Photo: Chrysler Crack
BETA PHOTO: Chrysler Crack
Rock Climbing Photo: Charlotte about to downclimb the crux section of t...
BETA PHOTO: Charlotte about to downclimb the crux section of t...
Rock Climbing Photo: Aaron in a rest spot after the crux. Its easy from...
Aaron in a rest spot after the crux. Its easy from...
Rock Climbing Photo: The entire pitch of Chrysler Crack. There is a nic...
BETA PHOTO: The entire pitch of Chrysler Crack. There is a nic...

Comments on Chrysler Crack Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jan 31, 2016
By susan peplow
From: Joshua Tree
Oct 27, 2008

fun fun fun and a must-do for any WideFriday. Clean rock lets you get in and wiggle around with little penalty of abrasions. Did I say Wide? Too wide for my 8.5 shoes. Basically unusable in any sort of a heel toe/foot stack or otherwise. Mystery OW techniques used to ascend upward but that's the fun of it.

If you're planning ahead bring the widest gear you've got and consider making something 9" + perhaps a drilled log with a sling?
By Russ Walling
Oct 28, 2008

Fantastic route. Something in the 9" to 12" range would be nice, but not really needed. I would suggest not falling if at all possible.

Additional info:
By marc rosenthal
From: Canyon Lake, TX
Oct 29, 2008

Looks like it would be arm bars and knee smears, although the foot stack is pretty cool.
By smassey
From: CO
Apr 19, 2010

Takes gear from a 6 Camalot to a 5 Bro, plus a small wire or two if you want. Unless you want to wedge yourself in the crack and belay, bring a few blue and yellow metolius, maybe a .75 camalot.
By adam winslow
From: Fort Collins, CO
Nov 19, 2010
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

#6 C4 is the smallest big piece, 2 #4 bros was nice, having a #3 bro too would have been even nicer, #5 bro was unnecessary but fun to play with, a couple smallish cams for the crack in the back wall near the top (difficult to place), and a small nut for a TR directional just before exiting the crack made this an exciting but safe lead. This was my first true offwidth lead, HIGHLY recommend leading this climb!
By John Wilder
From: Las Vegas, NV
Dec 16, 2010
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

an absolute classic and must do for anyone who likes the WIDE. And, for an added bonus, there's a 5.ridiculous right next to it thats a fun TR after abusing your body in the big stuff- .11ish tech to a ridiculously hard crux that is probably not even possible.
By smassey
From: CO
Mar 24, 2011

At least the drill dust has finally washed off from that. Now all the great photos of Chrysler will have a line of (well-camo'd) bolts in the frame. Well, at least thanks for the fixed line. It makes getting up there just a matter of batmanning up the line. It is desperately hard, so I guess that means something, to someone. For those of us who don't climb 5.13 slab, it just obscures the view from one of the best 5.9 cracks in RR. Cheers.
By blakeherrington
Apr 5, 2012

Has that sport route to the right even bent sent? Massive lockoffs from 1/2 pad edges that would seem to grow sandier and sloppier over time.
By Wally
From: Denver
Oct 23, 2012

This line faces north - great to do on a hot day. The gear beta here is good. No longer need to bring gear for the belay, as there are two bolts on the summit and also an anchor at the top of the route.

Great line!
By Edward Pyune
From: Las Vegas, NV
Jun 6, 2013

Did this route June 6 in 100 degree weather and it was in the shade all day. We made our own anchor to the left instead of using the bolts out to the right, as they were too far onto the ledge. My first offwidth, and it was quite an experience!
By Action in Solitude
Dec 15, 2013

Matt Kuehl on Chrysler Crack and other offwidths in Red Rock Canyon.

By Sean Stoops
From: Henderson, NV
Oct 14, 2014

Tips on approach, anchor, descent:

- If you plan to lead it, the standard approach is alright. You'll have a couple 5th class moves for about a body length, but not terrible. Or consider Tyson's approach in the link below which takes you to the summit, then rap to the base using the bolts on top.

- If you plan to top rope it, definitely consider doing the approach Tyson mentions in the link below then rapping into the base. Getting to the top via the walk off left is very sketchy and exposed. Matt mentions in the below forum about going around right from the base of the route. I briefly looked over there briefly and it didn't look possible, but maybe I missed something.

- There is a two-bolt anchor with chains and biners on top. They are about 10 feet back from the edge. Use a cordalette to extend over to the edge.

- Descending is simple. Go right from the base down a small ramp to a flat spot, then locate the rap anchor behind the bush. Rap to the bottom of the canyon.
By Justin Hernandez
From: Las Vegas, NV
Mar 30, 2015

This is a great climb that appears to be in the shade all hours of the day.

I would like to clarify some details on the approach because I'm absolutely terrible with following directions, and sharing information can only help others save time:

1) From the parking lot, hike north on the trail until you can veer right into the Sandy Corridor. Weave past trees and bushes until the corridor narrows and you're stepping on rocks past small (dried up) puddles.

2) The corridor will widen and you will meander upwards, first on a giant red slope of rock and back around trees. Your exact approach here does not matter; the corridor will cinch down into a narrow path once more.

3) As soon as you make it over this second narrow pinch, you will see the "left leaning (mostly dead) pine tree". It is HUGE and hangs nearly parallel to the ground and completely blocks your path. As soon as you see it, look to your right. There is a small path upwards underneath some trees/bushes for you to scramble up.

4) At the top of this path you'll see the entrance to the "robber's den that narrows into a pinch." Do not go inside. Instead, look to your right and climb the easy ledge. From this platform, if you walk West towards the end of this ledge, you can see the top of the Chrysler Crack in the distance (the arête on its right has a distinct profile resembling a lion's face).

5) From this platform, facing the crack (west), you do some 4th class moves over the ledge to your left. There are two bushes on this ledge; the bush to the right appears to have more positive holds.

6) On this next ledge there is a large platform you can get on from the left or right side. To climb the next ledge you want to get in the middle of that platform and step on obvious features and follow a crack up. From here, walk up sloping formations westward until you arrive at the base of the climb.

7) From this approach, facing the base of the climb, one can veer left and go clockwise around the crack and hike to the top of the climb. I have no beta for this but this is the direction I've seen others approach the top.

WALK OFF: Rappel from anchors right of the dihedral, or downclimb and come back the way you came.
By Will Wright
From: Phoenix
Dec 4, 2015
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Somewhat foot size dependent...nevertheless I am unsure this gets the grade elsewhere. There are some new, rowdy looking sport routes on the arete to the right...can't seem to find info about them anywhere.
By Mark P Thomas
From: Draper
Jan 31, 2016

A few notes:

(1) For the end of step 5 of Justin Hernandez's description, I think the bush is unnecessary and less secure. For those curious, here is the spot:
Rock Climbing Photo: Charlotte about to downclimb the crux section of t...
Charlotte about to downclimb the crux section of the approach to the base of Chrysler Crack. Seemed about 5.2ish. A fall would hurt but you won't bounce off the exposed ledge. There are two more easier cruxes after this for the approach. The second one is more exposed but much easier.

Otherwise, I'd say his description is excellent and spot on. No death falls, but on the first & third cruxes, you could maybe break your ankle if you fell, so be careful.

(2) #6 BD C4 is tipped out almost from the get-go. Only bring smaller gear if it is much smaller to use in fissures higher up. The #9 Valley Giant was getting sort of tippy by the time you reach the good stance just below the crux. Something bigger might be nicer for the crux? (I bailed here to play it safe for the day as this was my first OW lead since I had my toes amputated on my right foot, and heel-stumping hurt enough to really affect my climbing).

(3) When pulling the rope from the top of the climb, beware that the tree at the base is a major rope-eating pain in the butt!

(4) A triple length or longer sling is recommended for any top rope off of the bolts to avoid dragging your rope over the sandstone on top.

(5) For getting to the top anchors, we couldn't find any reasonable way from the descriptions here or Tyson's description. We did find a way up on our own, and technically I think it is easier than the approach to the base of the climb, but several parts are sandy and could have fatal fall consequences. It would be OK to climb up, but I'd much rather rappel the route and downclimb the standard approach (or take the rappel descent) rather than downclimb our approach. To get to the top anchors our way, do the following:

(a) Follow the standard approach until the canyon starts to turn hiker's left and narrow up (very shortly after leaving the flat sandy wash). The trail goes a bit up onto some ledges on the right side of the canyon here before traversing back into the stream bed.

(b) From here, leave the trail, head up and right and continue scrambling up some talus towards a large notch. This is the notch that separates the formation containing Chrysler Crack from the walkoffs to other climbs farther West.

(c) Just before the notch, traverse left to a rampy slab (cl. 3). It is exposed but easy. At the top, traverse left again into a little slot canyon.

(d) Climb up and through the slot canyon, up through through a couple of short chimneys (cl. 4-5ish, reminds me of canyoneering scrambles). Overall you are trending left. It is tight with a pack. Trailing a pack in the second chimney might be a good idea.

(e) Continue up some rampy slabs heading up and right. If they cliff out, continue up chimneys and slots to the left. If you are at the highest slab where the slot cuts through the formation and drops off, you are nearly to the top.

(f) Step across this chimney and zig-zag up the face/slab climbing as you dare to where it rolls off to lower angle terrain up to your left (cl. 4-5?). It is more exposed and difficult climbing the more direct line, but the rock is more solid. It is easier and less exposed to climb up & right and then traverse hard left, but the rock is looser and moves are less secure. A fall would be bad.

(g) From the top of this section, traverse up and right on easy slabs, and then trend left just before the high point to reach the bolted anchors.

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