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Kernville Rock (a.k.a. Kern Slabs)
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Branscum-Martin Route S 
Chouinard Special T,S 
Claustrophobia Crack T 
Claustrophobia Direct Start T,TR 
Cornflakes T,TR 
Dirty Dishes S 
Fine Line S 
Friction Slab T 
Initiation Crack T 
Just for Kicks S 
Lieback, The T 
Sight Unseen S 
Top Out T 

Initiation Crack 

YDS: 5.10d French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 21 British: E3 5b

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 160'
Original:  YDS: 5.11a French: 6c Ewbanks: 22 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 22 British: E3 5c [details]
FA: Matta, Doug Robinson
Page Views: 1,658
Submitted By: mtoensing on Jun 3, 2009

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (14)
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Matthew Fienup belays from the bolted anchor that ...


The crux is right off of the ground. Jam the tips crack through a small, slippery bulge. The crux is over when it is possible to get your whole finger in the crack to jam. Then mantle onto a ledge and jam the 5.6 hand sized splitter to a ledge with a bolted anchor.

Admin's Note: It is highly recommended that you continue from the bolted anchor for another 100 feet of excellent climbing along the tiny crack (5.7-) above the first bolted belay. The crack is usually too small to insert fingers but there is an abundance of face holds. It is possible to adequately protect this crack using micro-cams and tiny stoppers. Descend from a bolted rap station 160 feet off the ground.


About 40 feet to the right of lieback crack. It is the obvious splitter to the right of the thin crack.


I used an old BD yellow cam (I think it is .2 size piece) so a blue TCU is probably suffecient. Then a .3 BD (Blue) size piece and a .4 (Grey) BD size piece. Then some wires and hand size pieces for the rest of the climb.

Photos of Initiation Crack Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Tim at the base of Initiation Crack
Tim at the base of Initiation Crack

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By Matthew Fienup
From: Ventura, CA
Dec 5, 2010
rating: 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

The laser-cut crack that makes up the first 60 feet of this route (all of it in the tight-fingers to tight-hands range) is simply incredible.
By Greg G
From: SLC, UT
May 29, 2012

this thing reminds me of a desert crack in that it is finger size dependent. i struggled on the first few moves time and time again while my lady cruised this no problem a few laps in a row!
By Richard Shore
Jul 16, 2012

Extremely finger-size dependent. For my larger-than-average digits, I couldn't even get a single tips jam in the first 15'. 5.7 A0 for me. A very nice crack, even if you can't do the start. Also, be sure to place your gear deep in the initial crack as it is perfectly smooth and polished. I pulled a perfect #1 mastercam placement and took a 10' groundfall at the start. Fortunately, I walked away without injury.
By Matthew Fienup
From: Ventura, CA
Apr 2, 2013
rating: 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

I have big hands, but I'm also 6'-1" with a +3" reach. I was able to stand on the horizontal seam/ledge near the base and reach high for a nice finger lock. I guess this is a tall-guy route.