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The Crystal Tower
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Cornered Again S 
Crystallize S 
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Skippin' Stones S 


YDS: 5.12c French: 7b+ Ewbanks: 27 UIAA: IX- ZA: 27 British: E6 6b

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 70'
Original:  YDS: 5.12c French: 7b+ Ewbanks: 27 UIAA: IX- ZA: 27 British: E6 6b [details]
FA: Tony Thomas, Richard Wright, Mark Tarrant, September 2006
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 98
Submitted By: Richard M. Wright on Sep 11, 2006

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Crystallize starts below the big bush 15 feet up the cliff and fires briefly up the right of two parallel cracks. The rock is excellent, the cruxes distinct, and the climbing continuous. There is useful beta for the start that may avoid a minor thrash, and that is to make the first two clips, step back down, move right up the crack, and then step back over the second clip, avoiding an obvious narrow band of friable stone. Its hard to imagine anyone climbing through this band since it obvious and easy to avoid, just step over it. Straight up from 2 to 3 is super hard. Crystallize has three cruxes, and the first can be a real stopper - at least for some of us. Expect about ten feet of 5.12 in the first crux, a strenuous "rest", a short section of very technical 5.12 crimps, followed by a good rest. The final crux may only be 5.11, but by the time you arrive it will seem a lot more difficult - and spooky. Before slashing his right palm, Mark solved the link up on TR pretty much as I had worked it out originally on jugs. But Tony ran a gorgeous sprint through it all for the red point. Passing the fifth clip as he did could produce a nasty slam into the ledge below if you don't commit to it. He backclipped well below his feet in a very tenuous and bold move. A more comforting approach would be to drop a sling from the fifth clip, clip low, and then clip again once you step past it. Overall, Crystallize is a fine route with difficult, tricky, and powerful moves on largely excellent rock.


Crystallize is the furthest bolted route on the right.


Ten draws, something for the double bolt anchor at the top, and a standard rope.

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By Rob Eison
From: Denver, CO
Mar 21, 2011

I thought I would give this a go today but was quite disappointed with the poor quality of climbing. Perhaps it just doesn't get enough traffic to clean up well, but through the first 3 bolts was an unpleasant exercise in avoiding chossy, flaky, cookie crumbs, potato chips, and potentially fragile plates. Staying right as described by Richard meant trusting sketchy blocks and hoping for the best, going left and tackling the parallel seams from the 3rd to the 5th bolts was actually an interesting but very stout V7 boulder problem with better rock but only a few tenous smears for the feet. Above that the rock quality improved slightly, but I still showered a lot of flakes on my belayer as I gingerly tested the feet and small crimps. The latter half of the climb was much more enjoyable 5.11 climbing. This is not even close to the quality of Quartz Sports, and I considered giving it a bomb, but perhaps with a few years of traffic it could improve. A harsh review but people should have realistic expectations on this one.
By Chris. T.
Jun 15, 2015

Richard's description of the route is spot on. An inconvenient start leads to cool movement on good stone from the 3rd bolt to the anchor. Three devious cruxes begin quickly and stay on you to the top. I recall one of the lead bolts near mid-route seemed a little loose, just a heads up. It was a 1/2 inch, Fixe, 5 piece Powers bolt, I believe. This route is worth the effort.

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