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West Face (The Pinnacle West Face)
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Crack Parallel T 
West Face, The T 

Crack Parallel 

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

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches
Original:  YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b [details]
FA: unknown
Page Views: 9,766
Submitted By: Julian Smith on Dec 31, 2001

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Sarah leads Pitch 2 in the morning. Photo credit -...

Reopened after flood damage! MORE INFO >>>


This is a really nice climb. Approach as for The West Face. Scramble up a gully to the start of the climb. Climb 2 pitches up the slab beside the obvious, left-facing corner system on the right side of the west face. The first pitch has a funky start.

Pitch 1 - there is a hard move, boulder problem really, that goes over a bulge and gets you up to a stance where the first bolt is. It would seem that either side of the bulge will go, but most people tend to favor the left side. Climb the rest of the pitch to the anchors.

Pitch 2 - edge past eight bolts up a superb slab to a notch on the left just below the top of the cliff. Notice the missing anchors on your right. You can go back along the ledge for 10 to 15' to a tree and belay. This tree can be rappelled from to get back down the west face. You can use 2 ropes or 1 rope with a little down scrambling. Or, continue over the top and belay from a tree about 30' back.

Use the standard Pinnacle descent if you go over the top.


This route takes only quickdraws. You could bring along a few stoppers and camming units up to mid-size.

Photos of Crack Parallel Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Christian working on the 2nd pitch.
Christian working on the 2nd pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up at the first pitch from the belay.
Looking up at the first pitch from the belay.
Rock Climbing Photo: The first pitches anchors.
BETA PHOTO: The first pitches anchors.
Rock Climbing Photo: Comfortable first pitch.
Comfortable first pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: On top of The Pinnacle after finishing Crack Paral...
On top of The Pinnacle after finishing Crack Paral...
Rock Climbing Photo: Following up the 2nd pitch on a drizzling day.
Following up the 2nd pitch on a drizzling day.
Rock Climbing Photo: Cracks Parallel.
Cracks Parallel.
Rock Climbing Photo: Ralph and Laura at the top.
Ralph and Laura at the top.
Rock Climbing Photo: Bill Parmenter photographer.  Lance on second pitc...
Bill Parmenter photographer. Lance on second pitc...
Rock Climbing Photo: On the second pitch.  Photo by Lee Rittenmeyer.
On the second pitch. Photo by Lee Rittenmeyer.
Rock Climbing Photo: Finishing up the first pitch.
Finishing up the first pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: Just a pic of the route itself.
Just a pic of the route itself.
Rock Climbing Photo: Solo Crack Parallel.
Solo Crack Parallel.
Rock Climbing Photo: Top portion of "Crack Parallel." West si...
BETA PHOTO: Top portion of "Crack Parallel." West si...
Rock Climbing Photo: Solo of Crack Parallel.
Solo of Crack Parallel.
Rock Climbing Photo: Ryan Busch working his way up Pitch 2 on a chilly ...
Ryan Busch working his way up Pitch 2 on a chilly ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Almost to the 1st belay.
Almost to the 1st belay.
Rock Climbing Photo: Me A little higher on the 1st pitch.
Me A little higher on the 1st pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: Me starting the first pitch.
Me starting the first pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: Perfect last day of Winter on the crack.
Perfect last day of Winter on the crack.
Rock Climbing Photo: Second pitch bolts headed slightly left.
Second pitch bolts headed slightly left.
Rock Climbing Photo: Brenda on the very short approach to Crack Paralle...
Brenda on the very short approach to Crack Paralle...
Rock Climbing Photo: View of Crack Parallel from Lower Gold Camp road a...
View of Crack Parallel from Lower Gold Camp road a...
Rock Climbing Photo: The Danimal on the 2nd pitch.
The Danimal on the 2nd pitch.

Show All 25 Photos

Only the first 24 are shown above.

Comments on Crack Parallel Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jun 6, 2017
By Anonymous Coward
Apr 23, 2002

The bolts on P1 blow. I tried to tighten them and they just spun in the holes. If someone has the gear and the charity, this belay could use 1/2 exp's or even glue-ins(probably the better choice). Other than that, not a bad route. Mike Ray-
By Jordan Kidd
Aug 15, 2002

P1: is around 110 feet long, with a slight runout between the 3rd anchor (a manky piton) and the 4th anchor.The belay anchor consists of a junky cable through two bolt hangers. I would rather trust the bolts than the wire myself.P2: is about 155 feet long, on solid rock, with adequate bolt protection. The belay tree as mentioned above is a 3" thick pine tree. We were unable to reach any other trees with a 50 meter rope. To rappel this route with two ropes, bring 15-20 feet of webbing to leave on the large boulder to the right of the top. We had the pleasure of descending the SW scree gully in rock shoes since we had no slings to burn.
By Anonymous Coward
Sep 6, 2002

Left photo is not a nobody, my buddy Bill Parmenter on lead. P1 at bulge inside "cave" has right start also where stemming or chimneying the cave wall gets you up to features right under first bolt. Wire cables at belay anchor are okay, but not ideal, and not recommended for stringing your rope! Second pitch has several crux moves, steeper faces, and tougher route to stay on bolts. Last 1-2 bolts are pushing envelope of 5.7, and our party made an exit to the pine tree ledge. A second, larger tree with long or linked runners can back up a couple pieces of pro to place in cracks just up from ledge. Airy climb! Watch out for frequent small rockfall from leads or others finishing the ridge off other routes. Enjoy!
By Tradkelly
Sep 16, 2002

Above the last bolt on P2, the original line goes straight up to the chopped anchor. A single piton about 6' above the last bolt is visible after a relatively (for the route) difficult mantle move on the face, at the same point one would consider bailing left to the notch. The climbing above is just as good as below, and it's worth the straight-on finish.

With a 60m, you can reach the larger tree (30' ahead and 10' to climber's left at the topout), set an anchor, and walk the belay back to the edge to watch your second. If you tie off when you reach the edge (your second will still be on easier ground, around the first bolt) you can do a decent seated belay at the top and watch your second.
By Tradkelly
Sep 18, 2002

On P1, I would only carry 1 black and 1 orange metolius, or comparable, camming units. The black backs up the funky piton for the left approach to the face (standard route up it, I believe), and the orange provides pro in the middle of a 35' easy runout section. Yeah, it's only 5.6 here, but it feels good to have some pro. The second pitch direct finish takes 9 QDs. Take a couple extra in case I don't know how to count. :)

It's the most solid route in the lower canyon; the first pitch is sketchy, as noted by others, but the second pitch is fabulous for it's airyness and good rock (as good as it gets for Pikes Peak Granite, IMHO).

I did not experience the spinning bolts that others have, but the P1 belay is two bolt hangers with a loop threaded cable (american triangle setup). Could be better, but could be a lot worse. Use discretion. There are also gear placements here.
By Adam Hicks`
May 12, 2003

Sweet route. I felt the pin on the first pitch was adequate on its own, and used a #2 Camalot and a #4 Smiley through the runout section. Bolts at belay were not loose, and a screwgate hardware oval was on the wires for rappelling. As for the second pitch, the direct finish is well worth it, and my partner actually found a fun belay ledge to the right at the top of the dihedral. He wiggled a couple of OK nuts into a horizontal crack and slung a choss horn. I didn't feel the 2nd pitch pushed 5.7 too bad, but I definitely am not a slab monger, so the crux moves after the third bolt made me hurry willy nilly for sure.

Overall a great route on a great formation and nice exposure. The descent down the scree gully is easy, but one must not mind trashing their rock shoes! Have fun!

I almost said two, but for the Canyon this is as good as it gets. I'd love more pitches, and if there were places for gear this would be a badass gear climb. You know, Sport Climbing is neither :) I'll let y'all figger that one out.
By Michael J Yarros
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Sep 30, 2003
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Did this route for the first time, on 9/16/03. Great route, with nice moves. I had to do the 2nd 1/2 of pitch 2 in the dark, so It was interesting finding the holds :)Overall, nice route. The decent was also interesting in the dark. Don't do this route without a headlamp, if you even think you won't get off before sunset.
By Sirius
From: Oakland, CA
Nov 17, 2003
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

A good, fun route that feels exposed but isn't scary at any moment. We all need those once in a while. Perfect climb for any team of two wanting to do their first multi-pitch, as the ledge at the first belay is wide and comfortable. Belaying your second from the top will take a couple degrees more thought, but don't let that deter you.

We were cold on this shadowy route - next time I'll wear a fleece.
By BWpete
Aug 2, 2005
rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

The route overall is 5.7 but at the top if you try and go straight up after the last bolt gets to be 8 and then past an old angle gets to be "harder than [Peter]" at I would say 5.9, but if you [follow] the true line it is easy. The only other thing I noticed is that at the begining if you [don't] know where you are going it is easy to get off route because there is a pin about 15 feet left of where you want to be.
By Michael J Yarros
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Aug 15, 2005
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Climbed on Saturday, (5/13/05) - Lead the first pitch, climbing from the left side of the bulge. I think it's easier to start on the right side of the bulge. Had to rap off the first pitch due to weather. One 60 meter rope gets you to the ground. Rock is solid after the first bolt.

PS. anyone ever consider replacing the cable [that's] used to rap off with? I'd replace with chains ;)
By Larry Shaw
Aug 31, 2005
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

After clipping the old pin on the first pitch I went right plugged a .75 cam then up the rest of the pitch. The second pitch was stellar. If it wasn't for the distraction of the first pitch I would give it ***
By Unassigned User
May 29, 2008

This is a great 2-pitch route! I followed on both pitches today, but would have been reasonably comfortable (as an intermediate climber) leading this one. The protection is good up to the top with two solid bolts and chains at the belay station. I started right of the initial bulge at the beginning of the first pitch while our leader climbed around the left side of the bulge. The right seemed pretty straightforward with good holds, the opportunity to use the wall above me, and less exposure than the left side. Our third climber was the only one who saw the first piece of protection just above the bulge. The first pitch felt like an easy 5.7 to me. The second pitch was more challenging and more fun with good bolts. We followed the bolts all the way up using only quickdraws and perhaps 1 sling. No problems with rope drag. We all took the direct finish to the top as opposed to exiting on the left hand side about 20 feet below the top. The last 20 feet were the steepest and had the smallest selection of holds. This finish felt more like 5.8. Setting an anchor on top required some improvisation. We ended using a large (~ 1 foot in diameter) pine tree about 30 feet back from the top of the route. We linked the rope to slings around that pine tree and then tied the belayer to a bite in the rope at the top of the route. Not ideal, but it worked well and seemed more solid than using the closer small 3" diameter pine. With no good options for rappel anchors, we hiked down the loose scree gully to the west.
By Bosier Parsons
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Oct 26, 2008

You can also climb this in one long rope-stretching pitch with a 70m rope. It requires some thoughtfulness in terms of the protection and runners and making sure you don't have too much drag at the top (I usually skip some bolts along the way). I recommend finishing straight up the slab, which seems like 5.7+ to me, while the rest of the climb seems easier. At the very top, sling a large bollard-like feature of rock with a cordalette, then back it up using the bolts that are missing hangers by using wired nuts. There's a small ledge to stand on just below this belay set-up, and it provides a great view of your partner as they climb.
By Derek W
Mar 24, 2009
rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

This is a really fun climb. Smaller holds up high add to the thrill of it, but it's not scary even for intermediate climbers. The bolts looked good all the way up except for the anchor at the top of the 2nd pitch. There were a few chopped bolts but no hangers. There is a tree about 30 ft back that you can use, but you have to miss the top 15 or 20 feet of the climb. Has anybody thought about rebolting the top anchors at the top of Pitch 2? I'd give it more stars if so! Great afternoon sun on a March day!
By Rich F.
From: Colorado Springs, CO
May 12, 2009
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Fabulous climb from start to finish. Bolts all looked great -- spaced out just enough to add some spice to the climb, especially near the top. Can exit left early on 2nd pitch, or climb last 20' over the top on much thinner holds. If you choose to go over the top (recommended!) there's an old piton that still looks reasonable to clip in a horizontal crack about 6' from the top ledge. Take some shoes/boots for the hike down the scree-filled gully back to the car after the climb. Still one of the best climbs in Colorado Springs!
By England
From: ?
Sep 4, 2009
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Excellent climb. I think the large tree 30' back from the ledge of the second pitch acts like a perfect belay point. I don't see a need for additional hardware.
By ChrisOConnor
Jun 4, 2013
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13

Definitely one of the best climbs in C-Springs. P1 was easy and the belay ledge is huge! Go left of the bulge if you're OK with a little exposure and running 15' of rope before getting to the first bolt; go right of the bulge if you'd rather squeeze under the roof and enjoy the jugs! P2 was a tad harder (5.7 PG-13?), I exited 10' from the top to the left for a belay off of a cordalette anchored to a 3" pine tree and two marginal nut placements backed up by a slung rock horn... not the best belay I've ever had the pleasure of setting up but worked well enough to belay two climbers simultaneously on the ATC guide. Didn't see any good options for a clean rappel off of the route, so we ended up trashing our climbing shoes on the scree gully exit (nothing a little how water and a toothbrush can't fix). All bolts looked good and trustworthy (including two pins, one on each pitch). I had a Metolious #1 and two #2 TCUs plus six of my smaller stoppers, 12 draws, and a fair amount of "slingage"; used every piece of gear (to make a belay anchor and put pro in one or two run out areas) with only a few draws left over at the top of P2.
By Rob Scrivner
From: Denver
Aug 24, 2014

Crack Parallel is certainly a COSP favorite. P1 is just fun, easy climbing on solid bolts to an enormous ledge. A bit of a runout through easy terrain could take a stopper or small cam, but anyone comfortable at the grade won't need it.

P2 has several traverses that make things a bit spicy. Bring alpine draws to reduce rope drag. I've always finished the route straight up thin slab that feels like 5.9 or so (right side), but there is an obvious exit to the left that looks much easier.

I usually tie off to the tree 30' back, then I clove into my rope back at the ledge to watch my climber while I belay.

Enjoy an awesome summit, and descend to the west right back to the car.
By Dan McCabe
Oct 11, 2015

My son and I were in Cheyenne Canyon on Crack Parallel. Apparently, these two guys ahead of us took issue with us climbing behind them and cussed out my 16 year old, while I was finishing the route. If that weren't enough, they raced to the bottom and stole some gear...but it wasn't ours! So, now you know who I am. Springs is a small place...we will meet up soon.
By Charles Baker
From: Colorado Springs, Colorado
May 18, 2016

We just climbed this for the first time a few days ago. P1 was pretty cut and dry. I felt like 5.6 and 5.7 are about right. The second pitch gets pretty runout in a few parts, and the climbing to the last 2 or 3 bolts is starting to feel a bit polished. Granted I was borrowing some loose shoes, but my second agreed with me that it landed around 5.9 maybe 9-. As far as any trad placements, there were none on the second pitch unless you went left or right of the bolt route. If you fall on the second pitch, you can plan on taking a tumble.

We also neglected to see if there were rap rings and had to walk down in scree, but not wanting to ruin our shoes, we did it in bare feet. 45 min and a few bloody feet later we got our gear from the base of the climb.
By Graham Montgomery
From: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Jun 6, 2017
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Climbed this back on 5/28/2017. First pitch was real nice but pretty runout between bolts but easily protected with a few small cams. Pitch 2 was the more stout pitch, and I might put it at 7+, but it wasn't bad. Only one section where the bolts are about 15' apart, so not too bad of a run out. It's also high enough off the belay ledge that if you do fall there is no way you will deck unless there is tons of slack in the rope.

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