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Second Buttress
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Avalon Rising T,S,TR 
Chimney T,TR 
Classic Finger Crack T 
Elephantiasis T,TR 
Pine Tree Route T,TR 
Tough Situation T 

Classic Finger Crack 

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

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: unknown
Page Views: 4,975
Submitted By: Lorin Seeks on Jan 1, 2001

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BETA PHOTO: Second Elephant Buttress 1. Tough Situation (5.9+...

Seasonal Closure MORE INFO >>>


This is a stunning, finger crack running up the main top face of the 2nd buttress. Scramble up class 4 rocks, starting at the water pipe, and belay from the top of the gully. Rise up and right, then move up the face and out.


Stoppers, small cams.

Photos of Classic Finger Crack Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: The Second Elephant Buttress.  The easiest approac...
BETA PHOTO: The Second Elephant Buttress. The easiest approac...
Rock Climbing Photo: Photo shows my belayer. I tied off the boulder and...
Photo shows my belayer. I tied off the boulder and...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down the route just before the summit.
Looking down the route just before the summit.
Rock Climbing Photo: Showing Classic Finger Crack from the trail.
Showing Classic Finger Crack from the trail.

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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Oct 30, 2016
By Anonymous Coward
Oct 13, 2001

Actually, this crack can also be aided on lead AND Top Rope at C1. The anchor at the top can be a double length sling around a horn. Less than vertical slope and easy placements make this an awesome introductory aid climb. I'd recommend doubling up on stoppers 11-13, TCUs (not FCUs) .5 or .75, and maybe a #3 Camalot along w/slings for tiny horns. Be careful though, the top chockstone is hollow as shit so don't spend too much time on it. And finally NO PINS!!
By Michael Walker
From: Loveland, CO
Jul 8, 2002

A good way to access this climb without the spooky class 4 is to climb any one of the fine routes leaving the waterpipe (Monster Women P1 roof to Mojo Rising P2 corner?) that puts you on top of the buttresses. Scramble 'round back and set up an anchor on top of the Second Butrress and rap down to the belay shelf (no cheating!).

On a side note, I was thinking as I scaled the immaculate face how in another era (ours) and in another place (sport park) this route would have been bolted to save time fishing stoppers into the small crack at the crux. Leading this clean is an honor and a bolt would certainly detract from the experience. (This tirade is not intended to give the impression that this climb is difficult to protect with gear, on the contrary, and my point) Now that I'm spouting my opinions, I think other climbs I have not done that I could experience on gear (and let me make that distinction clear: runnouts are ok if they fall comfortably below the climb's crux pitch, but boy do I love bolts on rock like the Monestary) would fulfill me more. Just a note to anyone with first assenssionist's fever and a bolt gun.
By Anonymous Coward
Jul 24, 2002

There is nothing "Spooky" about the approach as it can be done barefoot and in the dark going up and down.
By Michael Walker
From: Loveland, CO
Jul 24, 2002

And the Naked Edge can be climbed with nothing but a chalk bag. Knock yourself out, kiddo. But that's really not the point. It just seems more pleasant to rappel than scrambling up with hands-and-feet-needed terrain with "varied ability" partners.
By Ernie Port
From: Boulder, Colorado
Apr 26, 2003
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Looking up from the bike path or road, the upper face looks angled enough that you might guess its a romp up the crack, but don't be fooled. Its steep, and might feel harder than 5.9 at the crux on your first attempt. I've done this route 3 times now and it never gets easier, but always stays fun. There is a good hold out left, at the crux, that is easy to overlook, but allows advancement of the left foot high enough to get thru the little bulge in the middle of the face. Lots of foot smearing required, but the rock is excellent. Although the climb is short, I enjoy the sustained nature of the climbing on this route. My favorite climb on the Elephant Buttresses.
By Peter Beal
From: Boulder Colorado
Aug 3, 2003

I'd like to applaud the sentiment of the previous post. Difficulty is rarely synonymous with danger. The class 4 approach is long and steep and hardly seems worth the risk for a 30 foot pitch. If you want to climb easy stuff without a rope, why bother bringing the gear to do the crack?
By Anonymous Coward
Sep 6, 2004

2 cents on the approach scramble: It's really not that bad, if you take your time, and pick out the path of least resistance. If you are concerned, put on your climbing shoes first. Don't be deterred by this alone.

To get down, the rappel off the pine tree is also straightforward to get to.

Oh, and the climb itself was fun, but was much more of a face climb than a crack climb, i.e. not too many jams.
By Ernie Port
From: Boulder, Colorado
Sep 8, 2004
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Agree with you AC, its a face climb that you use the finger crack to climb! And a #8 stopper placement is bomber up in the middle of the crack, but a black alien placement 2' lower is hard to pass up...this climb is like a 3 move wonder...but ohhhh so good...
By Sergio P
From: Idaho Springs, CO
Nov 1, 2004

This is so not worth going out of your way for. I can't imagine who the hell would name it "Classic" Finger Crack. It is a good route for about 15 feet. The most amount of vertical you will gain will be on the scramble up to the crack! The only way this route would be three star is if it got one star for each move.
By Anonymous Coward
Oct 7, 2005

Is this area open now? The sign I saw last week on the orange fencing said closed until 10/23 under penalty of $300 fine for anyone caught climbing in the entire Dome area.
By Jason Shatek
Oct 10, 2005

I did this climb with Larry not too long ago and also I taught a CMC trip on the pine tree route a few weeks back. I asked one of the workers if we were allowed to be here. He said "you guys are climbers" I said "yes" he then said "you're allowed to be here". So, I'm not sure if it's just climbers who are allowed to be there or what, but we also ran into other climbers. After all that chatter, all I can say is that I'm not sure but one of the workers told us it was OK.
By Phil Lauffen
From: The Bubble
Jan 31, 2009

This is a sweet climb. Great gear the entire way combined with a pumpy crux make this a Boulder Canyon must do.
By analogical
Jun 6, 2010
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

The climbing is well worth doing if you come down from the top after another climb (we did Northwest Face, which is terrific).

The scramble down toward the rap tree and then over to the base of the climb wasn't bad at all (much better than the Ramp at Devil's Tower, just to make one comparison).
By George K. Watson
From: Nederland, CO
Aug 11, 2010
rating: 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c

Did this years ago and then again today, it's fun if you are in the neighborhood, but it's very short and very little 'finger crack' climbing technique is actually used. #2 Camalot is good for the initial little corner smaller and bigger by one size would work also. Wireds and a #1.5 Friend for the 'finger crack'.
By Zane E
From: Lyons, CO
Oct 4, 2011

Maybe it's been a while since it rained, but the "finger cracks" were so filled up with chalk it made it so slippery I used the tiny face holds.
By BarcaRules
Dec 31, 2012

This was fun!
By Fehim Hasecic
From: Boulder, CO
Oct 30, 2016
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13

It should be called one finger jam crack....