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Left Crack 

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

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 450', Grade II
Original:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Unknown
Page Views: 4,291
Submitted By: john durr on Jul 14, 2008

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (21)
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Jesse Groves negotiates a wide section near the to...


An excellent sustained moderate crack climb. It looks wide and ugly from below, but is actually 2 pitches of excellent hand and finger crack climbing. Follow Arch Bitch-Up 5.8 to top.

Pitch 1: Left Crack starts at Tobin's Dihedral. Stem/lieback the first move of Tobin's to reach a horizontal thin crack. Traverse the crack right 30' (crux) and follow the crack as it curves upward to form a wide looking (hand size) vertical crack to a bolt/rappel anchor, 5.8 - 120 feet.

Pitch 2: As you follow the moderate hand crack up it diagonals left after a prominent ledge. Option A (recommended) is to follow this crack past the ledge to join the top of Tobin's and continue the nice dihedral to the top of a pillar (gear anchor 1-3" cams) 5.7 - 100 feet. Option B at the ledge traverse about 15 feet right, ascend a short bulge to reach an easy bushy crack left of Arch Bitch-Up to a tree belay 5.8 and spooky - 90 feet. Option C at the ledge follow the crack left about 10 feet up to a wide spot and face traverse up and right to reach the easy bushy crack and belay at the tree 5.8 and spooky - 90 feet. If you did option A, move the belay down and right 20 for the next pitch, easy 5th class.

Pitch 3: Follow the last pitch of Arch Bitch-Up past a slung knob to a bolt, head up and left big knobs to a weird ear / lieback. Bizarre and fun maneuvers past the ear (gear 0.5 - 3" cams) lead to a bolt belay / rappel station, continue past one more bolt and an easy runnout to another bolted belay, 5.8 - 180 feet. Walk off or easy 5th class left then up to the top of the rock.


The route starts on the main east face at the start of Tobin's Dihedral. Walk off either north or south side of the dome.


A standard rack to 3". Small cams for the crux traverse help you to protect your second. Double 2-3" cams for the crack. A 4" cam would fit in some spots, but is not necessary. Belay anchor/rap station at the end of pitch 1 and 3, gear anchor at top of pitch 2.

Photos of Left Crack Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: The dimpled slab at the top. The last bolt is way ...
The dimpled slab at the top. The last bolt is way ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Slinging horns on the start of the last pitch.
Slinging horns on the start of the last pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: Sam on the start of P1.
Sam on the start of P1.

Comments on Left Crack Add Comment
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By Matthew Fienup
From: Ventura, CA
Aug 11, 2009
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

The traverse that starts the first pitch is intimidating; although, it protects very well. I climbed with my feet a full 6+ feet below the crack the entire way. The rest of the climb was surprisingly cruiser.
By Brian Paden
From: Goleta CA
Aug 29, 2010

The routefinding at the end is a bit tricky. After you go up the nice right facing corner with thin hands, go right across an easy face protected by an old style bolt. After the bolt is a strange shallow chimney. A .4 camalot protects the bottom, then a 1 camalot protects the top. bolted anchor after the chimney. The last pitch is an unprotected pitch of easy 5th. Heady climb for the 5.8 leader.
By Matthew Fienup
From: Ventura, CA
May 30, 2011
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

The first pitch of this route is an absolute of the best pitches of climbing on the dome.

In regard to Brian's comment, there are at least three variations atop the layback pillar...two to the left and one to the right.
By Ted Sumers
Jun 3, 2013

Maybe it was a high-gravity day (it was certainly a scorcher!) but i thought the traverse was scary, with crappy feet, tenuous holds, and a fairly big section in the middle with no pro. i backed down after getting halfway across and thought it was nearly as scary to follow... we wound up bailing after p1.
By Matthew Fienup
From: Ventura, CA
Jun 11, 2013
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Traversing pitches are always heady. The leader and the follower are both on lead! Think of it as sustained 5.9 and you might not feel sandbagged. Still a must-do pitch!
By Paisley Close
From: Mojave, CA
Aug 8, 2013
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Keep your feet low on the traverse and its not so bad... Here's how we climbed it.

P1: ends with a nice, new looking bolted anchor w rap rings on a ledge.

P2: suggest a #4 C4 for the move into the weird pinnacle in the pod at the top. move left to the dihedral to build the anchor. There's a nice ledge to stand on over there.

P3: goes up the dihedral then heads right over the pillar. There is a pretty decent piece of webbing tied around the top of the pillar you can clip to before you down climb to the base of the last pitch, where you build a gear anchor on another nice ledge.

P4: as noted, is definitely heady. old bolt then a few moves to the flared chimney -- awkward -- but there is gear. then one last bolt before at least 30 feet of slab climbing to the top.

Fun route but come prepared!
By geoff georges
From: Seattle, Wa.
Oct 9, 2013
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

climbed 2 piches of this and traversed right to the 1 bolt, chickenhead slab/ ear formation pitch last week. We rapped off bolt/rings at the top of that, unsure of the hundred foot runout above.
Rapping off Mansinitta bush got us back to top of pitch 1 bolted anchor with one 60m rope.
the 1st pitch is great, 2nd pitch is good too.
By nathanael
From: Riverside, CA
Jun 15, 2016

We got on this looking for a quick run to our cars to grab lunch but it ended up being a bit more engaging than we expected. P1 wasn't too bad, though "one of the best pitches of climbing on the dome" feels like quite a stretch.

We got a bit mixed up on the 2/3rd pitches with all the possible variations, but we ended up finishing the 2nd pitch at the start of the left facing corner on top of Tobin's. Then a mini-pitch up the corner (stem and it's easier than it looks) the top of the pillar and down and right on some ledges to reach the start of the final pitch.

The last pitch goes up the slab, slinging a couple chicken heads, clipping a bolt, and proceeding up a funky elephant ear flared lieback thing. It's weird and insecure but kinda cool. You can get some small gear in the crack behind it, but placing it is a bit strenuous. Then you pass a two bolt anchor and another bolt before steeling your nerves for the final runout to the top. Nearly 100' of paddling up a beautiful dimpled slab. 5.3 but don't fall.

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