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Gemini Cracks 

YDS: 5.8+ French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches
Original:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Greg Donaldson, Brian Cox, 1972.
Page Views: 5,378
Submitted By: Blitzo on Dec 16, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (27)
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BETA PHOTO: Gemini is flake and crack on far right hand side o...


From below the obvious, right-leaning, parallel cracks, climb up past bushes and follow the cracks for three pitches. Rappel off.


Pro to 2".

Photos of Gemini Cracks Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Caroline Duell on the classic 5.8 fingers pitch of...
Caroline Duell on the classic 5.8 fingers pitch of...
Rock Climbing Photo: Gemini starts at tree closest to white triangle ro...
BETA PHOTO: Gemini starts at tree closest to white triangle ro...
Rock Climbing Photo: "Gemini Cracks". Photo by Blitzo.
"Gemini Cracks". Photo by Blitzo.

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By Peter Valchev
From: Truckee, CA
Oct 11, 2011

Right hand splitter (5.10b) is quite amazing too.

One way to do the approach is to do a 5.7 slab pitch to the tree... we tried to figure out the scrambling approach but it looks dirty and requires probably just as much time as doing the 5.7 slab... which starts only 50 feet from the trail

From the tree, one pitch leads to the fat bolts on top of the flake (no need to stop at the earlier bolted belay station) with a 60 meter rope... from there you could make it to the top directly, but it's better to move the belay up and right (small ledge/stance to the left of a bolted rappel station)
By Lana dude
May 28, 2013

The scramble approach around the toe got us lost. Came back next day and did direct start for better results. 5 pitches total. To approach the direct start head downhill 40 feet after the aqueduct goes into tunnel. As you skirt rock edge there's a wide step over a gap and shortly after you'll see a 15ft corner and a bolt above. Roped up here and could see obvious white scar further up wall to give our bearings. Fairly easy climbing although the gear and bolts were sparse enough to keep my attention (I'd avoid direct start if rock is wet). The rest of route protects well. On official pitch 1 we climbed the left edge of white scar feature past roof to a 2-bolt anchor under flake. We used this anchor to replenish rack, and make communication with belayer easier. Whole climb was enjoyable. It got windy in late afternoon as route went into shade. Took 2 raps to get down with two 60m ropes. Curious if it can be rapped with 1 rope for next time?
By csproul
From: Davis, CA
Apr 5, 2015

I don't think the rap from the top of the route would go with a 70m. Ours came up short. Luckily we had a second rope. A #4 is useful to protect the offwidth on the second pitch.
By BruceB
From: Reno, NV
Apr 5, 2015
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

I've approached this route both by going around the toe and also by doing the direct start. I'd say the latter is just as quick, less scrambling up dirty gullies, and it's a more direct rappel back to your packs. Plus you'll get an extra pitch of climbing. There are 5 bolts on the direct start slab, plus some pro options to reduce the runout. Lana is spot on with how to find the start.

Official Pitch #1 will be the crux unless you have huge mitts and can fist jam the offwidth. Otherwise it's dam awkward!. You'll appreciate some big gear, forget the "pro to 2".

Official Pitch #3 is absolutely stellar. You'd be hard pressed to find a cleaner, steeper 5.8 finger jam anywhere. Moderate finger jam cracks seem to get compared to West crack in Tuolumne, it's considerably better than that. Haven't done Sands of Time yet, maybe that's better? But awesome never the less.
By revans90
May 16, 2015

This climb has its all. The approach pitch is a bit of a lichen hike. The "off width" is a move and a #4 can be used but might get in the way... Way cool undercling to easy hands. The finger crack is as good as West Crack and Sands of Time and more sustained fun.
By ElGreco
May 1, 2016

Did someone say "wind"?? We were blasted by sustained and fierce (50mph) winds as we gained height at the end of April. Made for some interesting climbing, but at least we earned it.

This is a very enjoyable moderate climb, with nice variety. Slab/face, a token wide section, undercling, nice hand cracks, and a stellar twin fingercrack. Worth doing if you are in the area.

It would be nice to link the direct start with p#2 but I don't think even a 70m would make it - a 60m definitely does not. Single set of cams to #4 and small-medium nuts work well. Double up on finger and off-finger cams if you want more pro. The rap from the top of the money pitch (twin cracks) does NOT go with a 60m, and it doesn't look like it would go with a 70m either - not sure. The next rap goes with a single 60m. From there you can get to the ground (just) with two 60m ropes, or there is an intermediate station (did not measure whether a single 60m would get you down from that one).

Overall, super fun. First pitch is indeed covered in lichen, but get on it, people! Second was mellow for me, but the wYde is my strong suit. Undercling is very secure and easier that it looks, and then lets up to a very low angle hand crack. The finger cracks live up to their reputation: clean, pure and juicy - pick left, right, or both, and go!

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