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The Catacomb
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Abbaye d'Orval T,S 
Contortionist's Forte T,S 
Crack a Smile T,S 
Gravestone S 
Headstones S 
Hot Zone, The S 
Mausoleum, The S 
Natural Born Driller S 
Saint Sixtus Scoop S 
Spider Line S 
Throw Me A Scone T 

Crack a Smile 

YDS: 5.12a French: 7a+ Ewbanks: 25 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 25 British: E5 6a

Type:  Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 60'
Original:  YDS: 5.12a French: 7a+ Ewbanks: 25 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 25 British: E5 6a [details]
FA: Lawrence Stuemke, '94
Fixed Hardware: 1 Lead Other, 2 Lead Bolts, 2 Anchor Bolts [details]
Page Views: 4,871
Submitted By: Jesse Ryan on Jun 6, 2004

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (9)
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Midway up Crack a Smile.


Stellar mixed line. Rock reminiscent of Vestibule near Psychotomic. Located on the East side of the Catacomb, also across from Gravestone and Mausoleum - and just downhill from Contortionist's Forte. I started from the blocks and flakes, although the crack could be climbed to this same point. Standing on the block one can place a nut to protect the move to the first fixed gear. Climb past four (as of 6/6/04) pieces of fixed gear (leave em) on stellar fun laybacking and locks to a jug. Clip the first bolt. Pull through powerful and thought provoking moves past the two bolts to the anchors. Great line!


As of 6/6/04 there were 4 fixed nuts as well as two bolts above and the 2 anchor bolts. A small/medium stopper protected the moves to the first fixed gear - you may need other supplemental gear.

Photos of Crack a Smile Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Anchor upgraded to all Stainless Steel. Glad to pu...
BETA PHOTO: Anchor upgraded to all Stainless Steel. Glad to pu...
Rock Climbing Photo: The upper face is steep!
The upper face is steep!
Rock Climbing Photo: Rob styling the lower crack....
Rob styling the lower crack....

Comments on Crack a Smile Add Comment
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By Joseph Crotty
From: Broomfield, CO
Aug 21, 2016

As of August 20, 2016, there is only one fixed nut. Small cams, especially offsets, work well to protect the bottom half.
By Anonymous Coward
Jun 16, 2004

I think those fixed wires have been there a while. Makes this route esentially a sport route, so non-trad climbers should not shy away from this one. One of the better 12's at the Monastary.
By Anonymous Coward
Dec 22, 2004

Crack a Smile - you will when you complete this route! I think it is one of the best routes at the monestery. Nice fingerish crack to some powerful pulls past two bolts - Close to classic!
By climber73
From: Fort Collins, CO
Sep 8, 2007

Only 2 wires left in the crack as of today. Bring gear to lead.
By Dusty
From: Fort Collins
May 12, 2008

Only one fixed wire left. Don't expect a sport lead. Excellent route.
By Steven Lucarelli
From: Moab, UT
Sep 21, 2009
rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

Still only one fixed nut, there are good stances to place gear from though.
By Brian Weinstein
Apr 12, 2010
rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

A bit too short for four stars but a nice line nonetheless. Start the crack from the ground (instead of high on the blocks) for full value. I found the crux after the first bolt.