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S Crack 

YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b PG13

   
Type:  Trad, 10 pitches, 800', Grade III
Original:  YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b PG13 [details]
FA: Larger & Saum (June 1976)
Page Views: 659
Submitted By: JTLA Tolins on Jun 28, 2016

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BETA PHOTO: This is where the previous day we had exited off l...

Description 

If you enjoy the type of adventure that can be found on South Face, you're sure to love this climb as well. The complete description in the Moser guidebook consists of follow the obvious crack system to the squeeze chimney crux. If you'd like to maintain that level of mystery stop reading here and go get it, you won't be disappointed. Otherwise here is how we pitched it out. All our anchor locations were guesses and there may be better options.

1: 5.9+ ~70ft (from where we belayed). Scramble up a third class gully and belay near the base of a chimney. We took the chimney up and right, which gives you a good flavor of the crux pitch to come. There also appear to be a few crack options. End at a ledge with a number of small trees.

2: 5.8 ~150 ft. bushwhack to the back of the ledge. Climb the broken right facing dihedral that eventually turns into a cleaner dihedral with a beautiful crack in the left wall. Around where the crack starts to disappear we stepped right to a ramp with a flaring corner. About 15 feet back up and left along the ramp there was a spot where a short crack in the corner took a purple camalot just below a tiny tunnel in the rock that took a medium or large nut. We belayed here but you could also belay back before the step right where there is much more opportunity for gear.

3: 5.9 ~175ft. Follow the dihedral with a second mostly flared crack about 4-5 feet out on the right wall (really aesthetic stemming) for ~60-70 feet. The gear here is pretty sparse, but we found a few shallow placements in the right crack. The second half of the pitch was quite vegetated. We ended in an uncomfortable hanging belay in a flared corner.

4: 5.7 ~50 ft. Continue up the corner to a more comfortable stance below a spectacular lay back. I'd be willing to bet that pitches 3 and 4 could be combined with a 70 meter assuming you started pitch 3 at the higher belay option.

5: 5.9 ~100ft. follow two cracks, mostly lay backing the right crack for 40 feet (easier than it looks) until the right crack opens into a chimney. Step right to a third crack and wiggle into the chimney. Follow it up and right past a short OW crux to a large broken ledge.

6: 5.10 ~80 feet. This is the squeeze chimney mentioned in the guide book. The biggest piece we had was a #5 Camalot, and lets just say it made for a spiritual experience. If you aren't comfortable with squeeze chimneys or you just value you life, I would recommend a big bro. Also, this chimney is very tight, I'm 6' 165 lbs. and I think I absolutely maxed it out. helmets have to go and all gear should be hauled up separately. Ends at a large comfortable chockstone.

7: 5.9 ~110 ft. The laminated topo found in the emergency gear boxes by the witch called this a 5.9 so that's what I'll call it but it felt more like mid 10 to us. Finish the now wider chimney then step a few feet right on slab. Follow a crack/flake back up and left until you can move left to a second crack. Keep going past one last surprisingly awkward stemming/mantle move to the base of a very low angle v slot.

8: 5.5 ~120 ft. walk or chimney (depending on how wide your hips are) to a flat spot where the climb meets with South Face for it's final two pitches.

Location 

South East face of the Warlock. Starts just right of the climb South Face

Protection 

We had doubles from 0.3-4 BD, a handful of TCUs, nuts, and a #5 (something really big would have made me feel better tho)


Photos of S Crack Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Unfortunately, the corner is a bit unprotected for...
BETA PHOTO: Unfortunately, the corner is a bit unprotected for...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up the second pitch
BETA PHOTO: Looking up the second pitch
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 2.
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 2.
Rock Climbing Photo: Danny starting the squeeze chimney the route is kn...
BETA PHOTO: Danny starting the squeeze chimney the route is kn...
Rock Climbing Photo: Some fun exposed climbing on Pitch 6 (or Pitch 7 b...
BETA PHOTO: Some fun exposed climbing on Pitch 6 (or Pitch 7 b...
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 3. Awesome stemming.
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 3. Awesome stemming.
Rock Climbing Photo: A splitter crack that starts Pitch 4 (or Pitch 5 b...
BETA PHOTO: A splitter crack that starts Pitch 4 (or Pitch 5 b...
Rock Climbing Photo: 3rd class gully to get to start of S Crack.
BETA PHOTO: 3rd class gully to get to start of S Crack.
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 1 chimney.
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 1 chimney.
Rock Climbing Photo: My first attempt at a topo so take it for what it&...
BETA PHOTO: My first attempt at a topo so take it for what it&...
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 5 lay back.
Pitch 5 lay back.
Rock Climbing Photo: Third Pitch.  The only two placements I could find...
BETA PHOTO: Third Pitch. The only two placements I could find...
Rock Climbing Photo: The vegetated crack system on the right that was o...
BETA PHOTO: The vegetated crack system on the right that was o...
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 1 chimney.
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 1 chimney.
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbing the corner. Somewhere on Pitch 3 or 4 dep...
BETA PHOTO: Climbing the corner. Somewhere on Pitch 3 or 4 dep...
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 2.
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 2.
Rock Climbing Photo: A rather wild "chimney" (not sure what e...
BETA PHOTO: A rather wild "chimney" (not sure what e...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up the second half of Pitch 2 (this might ...
BETA PHOTO: Looking up the second half of Pitch 2 (this might ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 6 (or 7 by some route descriptions) follows ...
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 6 (or 7 by some route descriptions) follows ...
Rock Climbing Photo: The awesome stemming corner on the second half of ...
BETA PHOTO: The awesome stemming corner on the second half of ...
Rock Climbing Photo: The final pitch continues up blocky terrain to the...
BETA PHOTO: The final pitch continues up blocky terrain to the...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up at the first pitch from below the third...
BETA PHOTO: Looking up at the first pitch from below the third...

Comments on S Crack Add Comment
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By Fat Dad
From: Los Angeles, CA
Sep 30, 2016

Thanks for adding this. I climbed the South Face a couple of years ago so was curious about this route, having the chance to eyeball it for several pitches. My only comment is about the first pitch, which we inadvertently climbed, not knowing where the start of the South Face was. I'd hesitate to call it 5.9+. It felt more like a standard, not so well protected, grunt 5.8 chimney that you might find in the Valley. Having said that, chimney ratings are pretty personal, particularly if your technique is as bad as mine.

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