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Quartz Crack Face
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Flight of the Manatee S 
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Quartz Crack 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a

Type:  Trad, 4 pitches, 360'
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Unknown
Page Views: 1,220
Submitted By: John Gassel on Aug 12, 2016

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Tom topping out the 3rd pitch

Seasonal Raptor Closures 2016 For access issues: please review MORE INFO >>>


This is the namesake route on this wall for good reason — a well deserved classic that comes with a sense of adventure. You'll also be the star of the show all day as tourists gawk up at you from the parking lot.

P1 (5.5, ~60'): Go straight up, past 2 bolts to a nice ledge with a new two bolt rap anchor. It's possible (and I recommend) combining this pitch with the next one.

P2 (5.7, 70'): Move left from the anchor and up an easy corner trending back right almost immediately. Near the end of the pitch, continue up steeper terrain past an old pin or two to another nice ledge and a bolted rap anchor.

P3 (5.8, 95'; 5.6R): Move left off the belay again to the obvious crack. Some tricky pro and 3 ancient pins to get started. You'll pass some white quartz through this section that gives the route its name. After 40', run it out over easier terrain to a right facing corner above and a little left (pretty obvious). There are currently some really old, terrible cord slung around a block in this corner. Don't use it. Continue up to a new two-bolt rap anchor just above, under the roof.

P4 (5.9, 100'): Don't skip this pitch. It's the money in my opinion. Traverse low and right until under a corner system and a terrible bolt that can be backed up with a very small cam. Move up from here, passing more ancient relics (and gear options that you should use) through the crux corner. Expect this to either be wet or mossy. Go all the way up this corner to under a roof. Don't traverse right too early. See this picture for what not to do! Once under the roof, move right to a good ledge and gear/tree anchor.

Interesting to note that the P3 belay and entire climb of this pitch is totally protected from any time of rain the notch can throw at you, which can be a fun experience.

Descent: You can rap from rap from any of the first 3 pitches easily. Once you top out, you'll have to hike climber's right on the Beduin Trail a bit to another rap route. It's a pretty obvious trail that may be marked with orange or pink tape. Find a trail skiers right which leads to a nice ledge with two anchors on it. The one closest to the edge will have rap rings. A single 60m rope will take you to the top of the first pitch of Flight of the Manatee and a second rap gets you to the ground a few hundred feet climber's right of the base of Quartz Crack.


Follow the approach for Quartz Crack Face. This climb is really easy to spot as it's the first clearing. Look up high for the massive roof above on the first pitch. There's also two bolts on the face right off the ground to let you know you're in the right spot.

If that's not enough, check out this picture of someone on the first pitch.


Standard trad rack should get this done based on your mileage at the grade. There are a number of fixed pins of questionable nature (see photo) along the route and a few bolts on the first pitch.

Photos of Quartz Crack Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Griff finishing the 4th pitch.
Griff finishing the 4th pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: Photo taken from parking lot.
Photo taken from parking lot.
Rock Climbing Photo: The start of Quartz Crack
The start of Quartz Crack
Rock Climbing Photo: P4, traversing too early.  Don't go this way! ...
P4, traversing too early. Don't go this way! ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Emmett lead P3.
Emmett lead P3.
Rock Climbing Photo: Pat topping out on P2.
Pat topping out on P2.
Rock Climbing Photo: Some of the ancient pro on P4.
Some of the ancient pro on P4.
Rock Climbing Photo: Tom leading the crux 4th pitch in the rain.
Tom leading the crux 4th pitch in the rain.

Comments on Quartz Crack Add Comment
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By Kris Fiore
From: Burlington, Vermont
Aug 18, 2016

I know the guidebook says the first pitch is 90 feet but it's really more like 40. It might be 50 but it's nowhere near 90.
By Zak Munro
From: VT,CO, Bar Harbor ME
Sep 4, 2016

The amount of haggard pitons/cord/fixed gear on the route is hilarious. Pulling the corner bulge on the last pitch was sweet!
By John Gassel
From: Boston, MA
Sep 19, 2016

KrisFiore, I definitely agree regarding the length of pitch 1. I've updated the route description accordingly.
By Greg VT
From: vermont
Feb 1, 2017

Has anyone aided the roof? I've been on Quartz Crack a bunch, but never remember to check it out. Tough Schist says there is a bolt somewhere as well.
By Derek Doucet
Feb 2, 2017

Yes, the roof has been aided.
By Greg VT
From: vermont
Feb 3, 2017

I should have worded my question better. I know it has been aided. I was just looking to hear from someone that actually did it.
By Kris Fiore
From: Burlington, Vermont
Feb 3, 2017

The only recent aid ascent I know of would be Nate Vince and Hope Chipman's last summer.

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