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Mr. Bigglesworth T 
On Safari T 
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Karls Crack 

YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 50'
Original:  YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: Karl?
Page Views: 2,582
Submitted By: Rick D on Dec 5, 2008

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (29)
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BETA PHOTO: Karls Crack


When you come to the base you will see a really thin crack. This is the start. You can also do the start of African Flake (to the right, ledge system), but this really takes away from the experience. Make hard moves up to the horizontal crack. Continue up. You will come to a good rest ledge with a bulge above you. Crux time.


Tallest and most prominent crack. Next climb to the right of Spring Break and to the left of African Flake.


Gear 3".

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By Rick D
From: Reno, NV
Mar 12, 2009

The snap gate anchors have worn through. Someone left a locking carabiner for back up. I replaced the snap gate's today with mussy hooks. If anybody wants their locker back, let me know.
By Josh Cameron
From: California in my Mind
Jun 12, 2011
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

About as good as River Rock gets. There's a nice little ledge to rest on before the crux fist/offwidth near the top.

Thanks for the new mussy hooks Rick.
By d e
From: Reno, NV
Nov 2, 2011
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Thought this was a bit harder than the consensus indicates, if your hands are small prepare for some thrutching at the crux
By Patrick Mulligan
Mar 29, 2012
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

D e I'm with you there. I lead this onsight when I moved here and found both the fingery start highly thought provoking and the crux jams higher on the climb totally rattley. Felt harder than 10a to me at the time. Some of these things are hand size dependent but I've got to wonder if some of those calling this 9- might have toproped it into submission prior to leading it for the first time.
By Colonel Mustard
From: Sacramento, CA
Apr 1, 2012
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

My take? I think some of those rating it 5.9- may just be trying to get it down to 5.9 from 5.10a. The climb is nothing if not solid 5.9 for the area.

I find the rating on this one a "hard to say" proposition. I've done many laps on TR and on lead (on lead for the onsight) and it seems to have some full value sections, although I wouldn't put it at 5.10b or higher. A solid 5.9, or maybe an average 5.10a? I've rated it 5.10a here because I've seen many a 5.9 climber struggle on it.

The bottom crux is relatively full on and I prefer to just highball it without futzing for gear. The upper, wider crux is tricky for many, and I find those who have trouble with it think it's an off-width, whereas I feel like you should go for deeper hand jams in that section. Those with small hands may still find it more in the OW / wide cupped hands range.

That's my mini-essay anyway ;). I love this climb, so I've definitely thought about it.

Now, if you take Africa Flake to the right to be the 5.10a it has been rated, then you would rate Karl's a 5.8-.
By Willoughby
Dec 26, 2013
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Personally, I find the start to be the crux. The upper part feels like 5.8-5.9 hands and fists to me. Different strokes, I guess, and it's not like I have gigantic hands. Pretty coarse up top, too, so tape is nice.
By MisterCattell Cattell
From: South Lake Tahoe, Ca
Jan 27, 2016
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

For anyone doing research on this route in preparation for the lead: just go do it. It takes gear well, and both cruxes are protected. I took my first fall on gear on this route a few years back and is definitely worth your time if you like cracks. Do it.

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