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Sky Crack 

YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 230'
Original:  YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b [details]
FA: Unknown
Page Views: 5,364
Submitted By: Aaron Martinuzzi on Feb 6, 2010

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So much fun. Cruiser fingers & hands.


Sky Crack is an amazing finger- and hand-crack that defines, and ascends, the right margin of the NW Slabs. The climb is easily identified as a clean crack splitting the low-angle slab above the base cairn, and begins in a right-facing, right-leaning dihedral below and the to the left of the crack.

Begin by liebacking around the right side of a white flake leaning against the wall below the base of the dihedral and continue to lieback up the dihedral above. It's probably worth slinging your pro on the end of this section, as the dihedral heads right while the majority of the climb angles slightly left.

At the end of the dihedral, pull through a short roof on bomber fingerlocks to gain a shallow groove that ends at a second overhang. Overcome this second crux and swim up the classic hand and finger crack above until the crack dies out on Cow Pie Ledge.

If you're climbing on a 70m rope, this climb should unquestionably be done in one pitch, since any belay would break up an otherwise continuous line. However, a belay could be had at any point on the pitch, since the crack takes pro for its entire length.


Sky Crack climbs the right side of the NW Slab of Greyrock, and is plainly obvious as one reaches the cairn at the base of the face.


Nuts through #3 BD; plenty of opportunities for passive pro, bring your hexes!

Novice leaders will likely feel more comfortable with doubles since the route is a full rope length.

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Rock Climbing Photo: Sky Crack (in all its glory) ascends the right-ang...
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By Aaron Martinuzzi
Feb 6, 2010

Of all the moderate lines I've climbed at Greyrock, this is absolutely my favorite thus far. The grade is spot on, the initial lieback solid and fun, the overhangs exciting but secure, and the crack totally stellar.

The opening dihedral has a few hollow flakes (one immense one, actually, though I imagine it'll stick around for a while) and a couple ready-to-exfoliate edges, but this shouldn't deter climbers from this line, as the remaining 85% of the climbing is clean. Finger locks and hand jams can easily be made around the bushes in the initial crack, and it's smooth sailing from there. With a few more ascents, this line will clean right up and stand among the best moderate pitches in Northern Colorado.
By ErikJohnson
From: Fort Colllins
Feb 23, 2010

Nice job on the description, Aaron. I can't wait to get up there and check out the NW area (as soon as some of this snow melts). It looks like some good climbing.
By Aaron Martinuzzi
Feb 23, 2010

Thanks, Erik! It's an enjoyable place, and it melts out pretty quickly since the majority of the good climbing faces South and West.
By Kevin Landolt
From: Fort Collins, Wyoming
Jun 5, 2010

Fun little climb.
By Drew Clements
From: Fort Collins, CO
Oct 13, 2011

Very nice route, but I think 5.7 is a little stiff of a rating. I suppose it is long.
By Travkrack
From: Alaska
Mar 17, 2013

Awesome route! Definitely one of my favs, the grade is spot on. After you lieback the beginning and pull that first roof, be prepared for some weird pro placements. From the first roof to the second roof, it's a flaring crack. Protect the first roof as best as you can, because I had a hard time finding a good placement for something in between. Might be about a 20 ft runout? Lots of fun and would recommend it to my friends. The hand/finger crack at top is so awesome. Enjoy!
By Ramsey Houck
Apr 10, 2015
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

This climb alone is worth the trek around the northwest side of Greyrock. This is a great lead for anyone trying to break into trad climbing - plenty of protection options. In fact, it's long enough that if a new leader isn't careful they'll run out of gear before the top; however, one always feels secure on this climb, and this should not be necessary.
By Anthony
From: Northern CO
Apr 12, 2015

Just out of curiosity, can you walk across Cow Pie Ledge and summit via the Yellow Dihedral? What's the best way of descent?
By Aaron Martinuzzi
Apr 22, 2015

Yep, you can walk across the ledge and reach the upper pitches of Yellow Dihedral.

Descend via the Greyrock Summit trail. If you're making a day out climbing the NW Slabs, you'll have to hike back around to your gear.
By Owen Murphy
From: Fort Collins, CO
May 25, 2016

Great cruiser route with plenty of pro except for that flared section down low where you to have run it out for some 15 ft. I was able to get down from Cow Pie Ledge by rapping down and across to a tree on the climber's right.

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