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Elephant Rock - East
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Columbian Crack T 
Heironimous Bosch S 
Just Say No S 
Pretzel Logic T,S 
Pygmies Got Stoned, The S 
Rye Crisp T 
Sinsemilla T 
Tres Amigos S 
Wash Out T 
Wheat Thin T 

Columbian Crack 

YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 150'
Original:  YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b [details]
FA: Greg Lowe and friends, 1960's
Page Views: 16,284
Submitted By: kBobby Hanson on Apr 10, 2004

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (310)
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Maura Hahnenberger near the top of Columbian Crack...


Aaahh, the good stuff! This crack is good, and long! On the east side of Elephant Rock is the fence marking private property. Forty feet past the fence is a large boulder which forms a chimney with the face. There is a nice hand crack coming down into this chimney but not all the way to the ground. This is the Columbian Crack.

Start up the chimney toward the crack. A good option for protecting this start is to go around to the east side of the boulder before you start up and toss your rope over. Have your belayer belay from this side. Then you are essentially on TR until you get to the crack. Climb up to the top of the chimney and step out onto the boulder. Have your belayer come back around to the inside of the chimney. Now you are ready to go!

Follow the ever-widening crack to the top, passing one old SMC bolt and finishing at another single bolt. Belay at this bolt (I think you can probably get some other gear in around here, but I don't remember exactly).

Rappel off the anchors for Just Say No, or walk off the south side.


Same rack that you used on Rye Crisp. Standard rack, heavy in large gear.

Photos of Columbian Crack Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Now that's a crack!
Now that's a crack!
Rock Climbing Photo: Columbian Crack!
Columbian Crack!
Rock Climbing Photo: Milton topping out on the chimney section.
Milton topping out on the chimney section.
Rock Climbing Photo: Great exposure
Great exposure
Rock Climbing Photo: Julia gets it
Julia gets it
Rock Climbing Photo: Dustin on Columbian Crack, with The Gallstone in t...
Dustin on Columbian Crack, with The Gallstone in t...
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbing Columbian Crack
Climbing Columbian Crack
Rock Climbing Photo: Go feet first..this crack is so big it may swallow...
Go feet first..this crack is so big it may swallow...
Rock Climbing Photo: The chimney start..
The chimney start..
Rock Climbing Photo:  hand jammin good
hand jammin good
Rock Climbing Photo: Another classic crack on Elephant Rock!
Another classic crack on Elephant Rock!

Comments on Columbian Crack Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jul 5, 2017
By Andrew Gram
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Jun 23, 2005
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

This is my favorite 5.7 at the City so far. Stiff and sustained for 5.7, and lots of varied climbing. The idea for protecting the chimney never occurred to me, but the climbing is fairly secure.
By Anonymous Coward
Aug 18, 2005

FYI: as of two weeks ago that side of Elephant Rock got opened, i saw a ranger type guy up there fixing some old anchors.
By Addict
May 23, 2006

The "crack" is more of a flared groove and is not very fun. 2 stars for its length. Also, who is the idiot that placed 2 bolts right next to perfect gear placements on the upper half of the route?
By Brian in SLC
From: Sandy, Utah
Jun 6, 2006

Last I heard, this route is open to the public for climbing. Great route.
By Tea
Jun 12, 2006

Extra #3 Camalots, Helpful...maybe even a 3.5 or 4 on the rack.
By Nathan Fisher
Sep 11, 2006
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Not nearly as good as other routes in the area. I was not too impressed with this route. Still worth climbing and worth the less than 5 minute approach to get there.
By Blitzo
Oct 24, 2006

A great, easy crack.
By sqwirll
From: Las Vegas
May 29, 2007
rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

This climb is great. Don't let the negative comments detour you from climbing this. I'm not sure where the flared groove comment came from, but it's a perfect hand and fist crack. A #4 camalot works nicely to supplement the one bolt anchor.
By Ben Folsom
Aug 21, 2007

This is a great route, and if for some reason you don't like cracks, you barely even have to use the crack as huge buckets are everywhere.
By Brice W
Sep 8, 2008
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

This is a fun crack that you don't have to jam much because of all the face holds. I wouldn't do it before Rye Crisp or Wheat Thin, but definitely worth doing if you are at Elephant Rock.
By Woodson
From: Park City, Ut.
Sep 20, 2009
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

I thought this was a heady lead, as the chimney starts those thoughts rolling! Save a # 4 for the top for some peace of mind.
By Ty Morrison-Heath
From: Bozeman, MT
Apr 26, 2011

Bring your big gear as I dont think I placed anything smaller than a #1. A fun climb but could be heady for a first leader. Placed a whole crapload of #3's. Sorta turns into a groveling off width at the top. Bring a number 4 up to back up the single bolt anchor at the top. Have fun!
By Matt Schroer
From: Logan, Utah
Apr 1, 2012

I chose not to TR the chimney - be prepared to be in the zone once you reach the crack in this fashion. Fun climb, but didn't feel as classic as either Rye Crisp or Wheat Thin to me. Definitely bring along 2's, 3's, and a 4 for this climb.

As for the top - I can't speak for everyone, but belaying my partner up from a single bolt is not ideal. I was also out of big gear at the top and couldn't build an anchor near that bolt. I was using a 70m and was able to head right at the top to the top of Rye Crisp and build a bomber anchor there with my smaller gear.
By Hendo Henderson
From: Denver, CO
Jun 17, 2013
rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

I honestly wasn't thrilled about this climb. Maybe because my favorite thing in this world is continuously hand and foot-jam. And for some silly reason I thought that's what this route would be. A City of Rocks version of Indian Creek! Haha.

But yeah, the route traverses too significantly to the right to really ever get continuous jams in. My right calf was about to explode from constantly edging on some small to medium sized footholds the whole way up. Still fun, and worth doing! My expectations were probably in the wrong place, that's why it's not a favorite...

I placed a #4 cam at the top next to the 2nd bolt. The crack does constrict though, so I'm betting a #3 would work as well.
By K Baumgartner
Jun 28, 2013
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

A must do at Elephant Rock. Had the left foot/hand in the crack, right foot/hand on the face. This crack was made for hexes. Used 4 of those puppies.

Belayed at the second bolt, backed up with a #3 in somewhat flaring rock.
By Ryan s Nelson
From: Salt Lake City, Ut
Sep 8, 2013
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

After belaying up a couple friends on this route they both reported the chimney to be challenging for them, if this is of concern to you- once in the chimney if you head further into it (to the south) there is a crack with some good hand/foot holds to supplement the chimneying. At any rate it's rather secure and comfortable chimneying.
Sep 29, 2013

Nice climb with fun Jams. Longer than it looks. Safe your bigger cams for up high and the anchor. I used cams from .5-5in(not really needed).
Couple/maybe even three #3's and #4's would nice if your new to leading and really want to stitch it up and have gear for the anchor.
By craiger Craig
From: park city
Apr 22, 2014

Great climb
Fun chimney
Good exposure
By DrApnea
From: Wenatchee, WA
Jul 2, 2014

Why are there bolts next to this perfect crack? Bring the big gear, pull the bolts. If this route needs any bolts it is only for a station to rap from.
By pooch
Sep 16, 2014

regarding the lone bolt 40ft from the top- clipping a short draw to it keeps your rope from walking gear below it in too far...
By bheller
From: SL UT
Aug 27, 2015

Best crack on the elephant! I would assume the bolts next to the crack up high are relics from a time when ropes were short ( belay option) and large cams had not been invented yet. New technologies (large cams)have a way of changing everything- including common opinions. You can rap with a 70 from the top of Just Say No- a short ways right from the top out.
By johnny utah
From: Salt Lake City
Aug 20, 2016

If you run this pitch past the ending bolt straight up you can set a bomber anchor at about 68m off the ground using .5 and .75 cams. Just can't hear your follower well from there.

In the chimney at the bottom there is gear left of the lower part of the crack and high on the pillar behind you.
By sclair
From: SLC, Ut
Jun 11, 2017
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

I enjoyed this much more than wheat thin. I thought the climbing was more consistent for the grade and more varied in technique. Great jams if your hands are gold and blue camalot sized with plenty of options in between. Anyone saying this is a flared groove might have missed the jams, so don't be dismayed. Might feel harder if you're hands are smaller but the rock is well featured
By Matt Wenger
From: Bozeman
Jul 5, 2017

Super fun climb! Cool chimney start (you can throw the rope over and TR it for pro), great upper crack. BD #5 cam nice to have up top. You can bump it along for a few moves as the wide crack keeps going...and going. Classic.

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