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DH-20 (an unknown 5.10 Crack) 

YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b PG13

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 140'
Original:  YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b PG13 [details]
FA: unknown, likely 1990s by bolt appearances
Season: Faces Northeast.
Page Views: 1,848
Submitted By: Tony B on Sep 26, 2011

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The crack and the climb.

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This is a 'destination route' worthy of making this cliff a target on its own merit. This wonderful pitch is on bulletproof rock with perfect gear for 140' to a bolted rap anchor. Approach via a single pitch of 5.5 uphill and right of the target pitch. The lower pitch could be soloed in climbing shoes, but it is a little dirty, so a rope might feel better. After the lower pitch, traverse left on a good shelf for 50' to a right-facing corner that will take 1-2" gear for a belay anchor. The fun begins immediately after that....

Start climbing up on a flare and some small footholds to get a stance, rest, and gear. An experienced climber should have no problem with this, but the ledge below may justify some pause for a novice leader at this level. Get established in the corner and work up past reasonable gear and rock for 30' to intersect the delicious crack above. Start slamming in jams and cams and work your way up past bulges and jutting sections of the crack to the top. As it becomes thinner, the angle lessens to keep it all from 5.9-5.10, sustained.

This appears to be the route marked "Unknown 5.11b/c" in Hubbel's book but is most certainly NOT 5.11, a grade that has done nothing more than discourage climbers who could easily enjoy this climb.


This crag lies at the right-hand side of the South Face of Devil's Head. Hike to the base and head right, uphill. Continuously look back over your shoulder for a splitter running its way up the left side of a right-facing corner one pitch above the ground. When you see a line that looks like a classic 5.10 splitter pitch, you have found it for sure.

The face is slightly yellowish and lies above a few lines that go ground up - passing a single 3/8" stud (no hanger) 4 meters off of the ground. The best approach pitch is a low angle 5.5 10-15 meters to the right of this.


A double rack of cams from 0.5"-3" plus an optional 4" for the easier lower section and set of nuts. Only a few slings will be needed for the bulges and overlaps. The belay below and left of it on the shelf may require additional gear from 1-2" and we built that on tricams to save our rack of SLCDs for the route itself.

Rapping requires 2 ropes unless you have a 80m+ rope. A single 70m would leave you hanging high.

Photos of DH-20 (an unknown 5.10 Crack) Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: The second pitch (bad sun spot).
The second pitch (bad sun spot).
Rock Climbing Photo: At the beginning of the second pitch (camera malfu...
At the beginning of the second pitch (camera malfu...
Rock Climbing Photo: At the first belay.
At the first belay.

Comments on DH-20 (an unknown 5.10 Crack) Add Comment
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By slim
Sep 28, 2011
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13

Great route. I had forgotten about this one.
By Jay Eggleston
From: Denver
Aug 3, 2014
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13

This really is a great route and deserves the four stars given to it in the newest South Platte guidebook. If you are in the area you should do it! I thought the crack went from big to small, it kind of does, so I tried to conserve my gear for when it was really needed. I had 2 #3 Camalots left that I did not place low, and I found places for them up high where the crack is mainly finger-sized.
By Dana Prosser
From: Boulder
Sep 15, 2014
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b

This route is definitely not PG rated - good gear every few feet. A green Alien protects the start. Triple #0.5- 2 Camalots are nice to have on this long pitch. Super sweet route!
By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Sep 15, 2014

^^ Genuine curiosity here. How did you protect off of the belay ledge in the little flare?
By Dave Holliday
Sep 15, 2014

Awesome route. If there was a way to give this more than four stars, I would.
By mike h
From: Denver, CO
Jul 5, 2015

This thing is so great, I can't believe it's not done more. It felt like a South Platte version of "Jolly Rancher" at Indian Creek. The second pitch faces east-ish so gets shade by 1pm in early July, but the base and belays hold sun a bit longer.

What I'd bring next time - green-red Aliens, same sizes TCUs, med.-large nuts & offsets, C4s: 2x0.5, 3x0.75,1, 2x2,3. Tricams, big stopper, and maybe an extra 0.75 or 1 for the belay, save listed cams for the climb.
By Pink Thunder
From: Lakewood
Jul 6, 2015
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b

Sick route. Do it.

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