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Palisades Park
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Elephant Crack 

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

Type:  Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 70'
Original:  YDS: 5.8- French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 14 British: VS 4c [details]
FA: unknown
Page Views: 5,325
Submitted By: saxfiend on Jan 31, 2007

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (41)
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Part 2


At 5.6 in the guide, Elephant Crack is probably the most sandbagged route at Palisades. The gear placements on the face are small and not easy to find, and the roof traverse is strenuous with good potential for an unpleasant pendulum fall. This is an excellent route, but not a good choice for novice leaders.

Starting on a slightly slabby face, climb to a corner under the roof. Underclinging the roof, traverse right about 25' to an outside corner and escape up the rain gully to the top.


In the Fire Tower Wall section, not far right of the descent gully. Starts below an obvious large roof.


Small gear (mainly nuts) for the face section; small to medium cams for the roof traverse. Sling trees for anchors at the top.

Photos of Elephant Crack Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: fun perspective!
fun perspective!
Rock Climbing Photo: Starting up the route
Starting up the route
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up at Elephant Crack
BETA PHOTO: Looking up at Elephant Crack
Rock Climbing Photo: Watch out for large loose block after the traverse...
BETA PHOTO: Watch out for large loose block after the traverse...
Rock Climbing Photo: Leading Elephant Crack
Leading Elephant Crack
Rock Climbing Photo: Part 3
Part 3
Rock Climbing Photo: Part 1 ...  Top-roped. We tied off on a tree at th...
Part 1 ... Top-roped. We tied off on a tree at th...
Rock Climbing Photo: Starting the roof traverse
Starting the roof traverse
Rock Climbing Photo: John Vasik cleaning Elephant Crack
John Vasik cleaning Elephant Crack

Comments on Elephant Crack Add Comment
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By gus
From: Alabama
Oct 22, 2007

time to argue! its 5.6.

pro is straight forward--place in crack above your head before committing to traverse.

traverse is EASY. Good hands in crack and lots of positive placements for feet. Once at end of traverse there are jugs to grab.

Only caveat is you really cannot fall from traverse as you will smack the slab below if you didn't place pro far out in crack before starting to traverse. For that reason its not a good climb for beginning leader...
By Chuck Parks
From: Atlanta, GA
Feb 4, 2008
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

The crux of this route favors those with a long reach (either tall, or ape-y, or both). People with a wingspan over 6 ft. will find it easier to place safe, solid protection further out the roof before committing to the crux. It will also be a bit easier to climb the crux.

I'm not saying the route is super-hard for the shorties out there, but I wouldn't be surprised if difference in reach is a factor in the 5.6 vs. 5.7+ debate.
By Brad "Stonyman" Killough
From: Alabama
Jul 18, 2011

I'm with Gus....5.6.
By David Logan
From: Tuscaloosa, Al
Feb 15, 2012

5.6 for sure. Everyone rates it higher because they freak out about the potential pendelum.
By Nathan Self
From: Louisiana
Mar 7, 2012
rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

New anchors at the top.
One of the tallest routes at Palisades.
Super fun.
By Brad "Stonyman" Killough
From: Alabama
May 9, 2012

Such a fun lead for an intermediate climber, not for novice.
By TurtleHippy
Jun 26, 2012

Elephant crack seems to be abit harder for taller folks. I had a rough time with the first move onto the roof, but after last winter my core is a lot more weak than I'd like. I'd say 5.7, but I could see it either way. NEW Rappel anchors at the top!
By Ryan Cantor
Feb 26, 2014

Fun Route! Definitely a must at Palisades.
By KennyJoe Sabine
From: zOmBiE = from = OUTER-SPACE
Jul 31, 2015

This is a 5.6

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