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Pedernal Cracks 

YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 120'
Original:  YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b [details]
Page Views: 200
Submitted By: Bill Lawry on Jun 14, 2010

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (5)
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BETA PHOTO: Climbers at bolted anchor on Pedernal Cracks


Climb up the wide crack continuing straight up after it narrows. At roughly 30 feet, trend left near a potatoe-sized cactus (June 2010) to a smaller crack: the "middle crack" of Clark's guide? Follow this right-trending crack to where it naturally ends, stepping right into a wider crack (approx 2 inch gear where it necks down). Continue up through the well-protected crux (5.6 or 5.7) and beyond.

Once one exits the crack system proper, look left about 7 feet to find the bolted rap station. One 60 meter rope rap works but be sure to hang it by the middle.


The route is to climber's left of both Cave Woman and Shoes for Industry. Probably, the best thing is to find the characteristic roof of Shoes for Industry: short, reddish face to yellow lichen below a smallish triangular roof with finger crack above. Then look back left for the "monolithic slab" described in Gary Clark's guide. This slab stands out from the general surface of the cliff that extends to the right of this slab. The "monolithic slab" is fairly broken with cracks, more so in the lower half. We started up an approximate 2 foot wide crack that quickly narrows down after 10 or 15 feet.


Standard rack to 2 or 3 inches. I only say "3 inches" because I can't recall if I used my number 3; either way, it likely was not needed. Tree anchor at top.

Comments on Pedernal Cracks Add Comment
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By Howard Snell
From: Belen, New Mexico
Jun 15, 2011

We stayed in the crack on the right side. Crux was a flaring section of hand jams where the crack was surprisingly smooth. Whole route was a great opportunity to use natural protection via slings and girth hitches on chockstones. That crux felt a bit more like 5.7, but I'm a newbie.
By Brett Kettering
Mar 2, 2014

There is now a bolted rap station at the top. The crack leads you onto the right side of a ledge. Look left about head height above the ledge to find it. One 60m rope just reaches.
By Ed Santiago
From: Los Alamos, NM
Sep 16, 2017
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Speaking as a less talented climber: there are two consecutive moves near the top that I felt were harder than 5.6 and not easy to protect. Definitely a fun climb, though.

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