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32 - Elephant Rock
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Crack of Despair T 
Crack of Doom T 
Crack of Redemption T 
Crashline T 
Elephant Talk S 
Elephantiasis T 
Fatal Mistake T 
Fun Terminal S 
Hairline T 
Hocus Pocus S 
Hotline T 
Hundredth Monkey, The S 
Left Guru Crack T 
Lost Error T 
Moongerms T 
Pink Dream T 
Pink Elephant T 
Plumb Line T 
Real Error T 
Reality Check T 
Right Guru Crack T 
Sky T 
Straight Error T 
Trundling Juan T 
Wicked Gravity S 
Worst Error, Left T 
Worst Error, Right T 

Crack of Despair 

YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 500'
Original:  YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: Frank Sacherer and Galen Rowell (Oct, '62) --- FFA: Frank Sacherer, Chuck Pratt, Tom Gerughty (1964)
Page Views: 1,141
Submitted By: Bryan G on Aug 23, 2012

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Tom Higgins climbing through the crux section. Pho...

Closures for Peregrine Falcon Protection MORE INFO >>>


This is the huge corner to the right of the more famous Crack of Doom. You can either approach by scrambling up the open scree/rockfall zone and then moving left to the base of the ledge system, or there is a trail that starts at the right side of the Monster Boulder which leads up to the base of the Worst Error Pinnacle and then over right to the base of this ledge system. There is a fixed rope on a slab that you hand-over-hand up to access the ledge which then leads up and left to the base of the routes.

This climb is best done in two rope-long "full value" pitches (and will be described below as such) but it could also be broken up into 4 shorter pitches (as per the Reid guide) if you stop at some less savory belay spots.

Pitch 1 starts out kind of dirty and passes several trees. Once you've climbed to the top of the last tree you will encounter a double crack. You get a couple handjams in the left crack before it turns to a seam and are forced into the right crack in the corner. This is the crux offwidth. It can be difficult to find a rest, especially towards the end, so just keep moving until you snag a chockstone "jug" and then flop over into the wider chimney. Clip a newish bolt ("new" compared to the one below it!) and wiggle a little further up the flared chimney/ow to a good stance where the chimney really opens up and gets deep. There is an anchor here consisting of an old piton and an 'ok' bolt. 180ft.

Pitch 2 climbs straight up the massive chimney system. There's a section, maybe 60ft up, where it gets pretty tight. Skinny folks will be able to squeeze through in the back, while larger dudes will need to battle it out with a flared ow at the edge of the chimney (looked like some more 5.10?). Continue up the chimney with little to no pro and then climb out at the top. There's a handjam flake here which leads up past some bay tree's to the top. We stopped at the bay trees and rapped the route because we left stuff at the base. To top out you might need to do one more short pitch or just a bit of simulclimbing (it's probably a little over 200ft to the best belay spot).

To descend either rappel the route with two ropes or scramble east on ledges and 3rd/4th class to the top of Real Error and rappel that route (see descent info for Crack of Doom)


I took a single set of cams to 6", which worked pretty well.

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By Alexey
From: San Jose
Sep 21, 2015

We did not link the pitches.
P2 - OW pitch consists from two sections - 5-6 inch ow and higher up 9 inch flare. Flare is the crux of the route and hard for the grade.
On p3 I was trying to get into secure chimney system to avoid to go for unprotected outside.
After taking off my helmet and chest harness with the gear- I still was not able to pass-throuh after fighting for inches more than half-hour. I am relatively small and had no problem on Harding slot
By Alexey
From: San Jose
Sep 22, 2015

Rock Climbing Photo: Tom Higgins at the crux of the route ( from 1972 c...
Tom Higgins at the crux of the route ( from 1972 climbing mag)

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