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Crack of Dawn 

YDS: 5.10b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b

Type:  Trad, Sport, 2 pitches, 160'
Original:  YDS: 5.10b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: Richard Rossiter, Dan Hare 1998
Page Views: 171
Submitted By: Ivan Rezucha on Aug 22, 2004

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BETA PHOTO: Sleeping Beautry, Main Wall center.

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  • Description 

    Crack of Dawn may be named after the famous Yosemite wide cracks Crack of Doom and Crack of Despair. This would be 2 stars if it was cleaner, but, due to water running down the crack, it may never be really clean.

    Start on ledge 2 at the first crack system left of Mystic Mile. Mystic Mile can be identified by a 2 bolt anchor just above the ledge. See beta photo.

    P1: 90' 10b: Make a couple moves up the crack then swing left onto the face to bypass the overhang. Using a combination of crack and face/slab moves continue up to a left facing corner where the rock steepens. The crux section follows. Climb the wide crack using somewhat hidden footholds until you can reach hand jams. Use the #4 Camalot here if you brought one. Pull up to the roof and optionally place a #4 Friend/3.5 Camalot. This section was wet today after the last several days of afternoon rain. It may often be wet. Using a fist jam or an undercling, or a rounded horizontal on the right wall, reach out to a bucket at the lip beyond a bolt. I had to hangdog this section on self-belay, so I'm not sure, but you may want to clip the bolt after reaching the arete. High step onto the arete and stand, and you're done with the crux. Step back left into the crack and continue with some stems to a ledge. You could belay here if you are running low on gear, but the wide crack above is much easier than it looks. You need one or two hand-sized cams and a #3 Camalot to finish the pitch. Continue up the crack at about 5.8 until it gets wide again. Move up on big footholds to clip the 2nd bolt and make an 8ish move to gain a good foothold in the crack. Another couple of easy moves lead to a ledge and the anchor.

    P2: 70' 5.9: I got rained off and didn't do this pitch. It looks very low angle with many dishes. Rossiter says it's 5.9. Maybe so, but it looks way easier. Leave any trad gear at the belay, since this pitch is sport.


    Pitch 1 is trad with 2 bolts at wide sections. Single set finger sized (could do without), double in 0.75 to #3 Camalot, #3.5 Camalot, #4 Camalot (could do without). Backclean or move cams up when you can. Pitch 2 is sport with 5 bolts. Both pitches have 2-bolt anchors with rings.

    Photos of Crack of Dawn Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Left side of Sleeping Beauty.
    BETA PHOTO: Left side of Sleeping Beauty.
    Rock Climbing Photo: JJ (Pebby) slaving away on the Crack of Dawn 3 Aug...
    JJ (Pebby) slaving away on the Crack of Dawn 3 Aug...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Joan "Pebby" Johns working the final off...
    Joan "Pebby" Johns working the final off...
    Rock Climbing Photo: The Crack of Dawn.  The crux is at the roof above ...
    BETA PHOTO: The Crack of Dawn. The crux is at the roof above ...

    Comments on Crack of Dawn Add Comment
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    By Ivan Rezucha
    From: Fort Collins, CO
    Aug 29, 2004

    I went back and did the second pitch of this as a continuation of Immaculate Deception. It's worth doing, with several 5.8 or 9 moves at the first 2 bolts, and then easier to the top.
    By Bruce Pech
    Sep 18, 2004

    Maybe my crack-climbing technique has atrophied, maybe my hands are smaller than Ivan's, or maybe I just missed something -- but the hanging corner below the traverse to the first bolt felt awfully hard for .10b (i.e., more like .10d or .11a). I couldn't find the "inobvious footholds" and had to stem from ripples on the left wall to smears on the right wall. Decent jams were in short supply as well. Fortunately, I was able to get a bomber #4 Friend in the roof capping the corner and then clip the first bolt before committing to the (easier) "crux" traverse.

    Ivan's gear recommendations may be a little conservative too. I'd call a #4 Camalot, a #3.5 Friend, and a #4 Friend mandatory for the corner -- and two #3 Friends (or a #3 and a #3.5) advisable for the wide section 10' or so below the second bolt
    By Ivan Rezucha
    From: Fort Collins, CO
    Sep 19, 2004

    Bruce, I think you did miss something. There's a foothold at the bottom of the crack that's hard to see unless you lean out. Stepping on that allows you to reach the bomber hand jams. But maybe you're shorter or, as you said, your hands are smaller, so that was harder. I self-belayed so no way is it hard 10 or 11a for me. Easy 10 trad or mid to hard 10 sport is my limit self-belaying.

    As for gear, the gear list I posted matches what you say more or less: double in 0.75 to #3 Camalot, #3.5 Camalot, #4 Camalot (could do without).. The "could do without" refers to the #4 Camalot. By making the first move in the crux crack you can place a hand-sized cam above the wide spot.

    In any case, when I did it, the top of the crack was wet, and I was unable (more like unwilling) to cleanly clip the bolt and make the reach out to the bucket. That part was the crux for me.
    By Bruce Pech
    Sep 20, 2004

    I don't know, Ivan ... I think I used the foothold you described (a small triangular edge where the crack intersects the little overhang at the base of the corner), but, at 5'11", my skinny hands were rattling around in the crack, not jamming. I didn't reach good handholds until I stemmed up to the roof and began the traverse. And my 5'3" wife -- who has really small hands -- was totally flummoxed by the corner. I certainly agree that bomber hand jams would knock 2 or 3 letter grades off my very subjective .10d-.11a rating -- so .10b may be an accurate rating for the hypothetical "average climber." Caveat emptor, I guess.
    By Ivan Rezucha
    From: Fort Collins, CO
    Aug 21, 2006

    Did this again, clean this time, barely, despite having a human belayer and knowing the moves. If there was a decent foot hold to rest on at the crux, this would be 5.9 for me (but see Bruce's disagreement regarding the approach crack). As it is, there's a thin edge for one foot and a rattly jam as you clip the bolt and lean out. If you're extra cool, you could place the high gear and clip the bolt, then downclimb a body length to think about it. Compared to other 10s on this crag, this is one of the hardest to onsight in my opinion (having onsighted all of the others, and half of those self-belayed).

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