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South Crack 

YDS: 5.11 French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E4 5c

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 120'
Original:  YDS: 5.11c French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 24 British: E4 6a [details]
FA: FFA: Steve Wunsch & John Bragg, 1975
Page Views: 5,247
Submitted By: Mark Hammond on Mar 19, 2004

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Trevor Bowman on South Crack.

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  • Description 

    This has got to be one of the best cracks in the area! It's the obvious crack just up from the low point of the Maiden (on the S. face), look up. Great protection, setting and movement make this one a gem. 5.10 climbing leads to the final pumpy sequence where the crack leans right and the crux face climbing exit. (Or was that the pump factor?) Save a #3.5 or 4 Friend for the last piece. Rated .11c, it felt more like .11a to both me and my partner. No fixed anchor means that you continue to the summit or devise another way down. Combine with East Ridge, West Overhang and Dream Street Rose (on the North face) for the ultimate Maiden tour!


    Nuts and cams to #4 Friend, no fixed anchor.

    Photos of South Crack Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: The prominent crack on the right side is South Cra...
    BETA PHOTO: The prominent crack on the right side is South Cra...
    Rock Climbing Photo: The South Crack (5.11) on the Maiden, as seen from...
    BETA PHOTO: The South Crack (5.11) on the Maiden, as seen from...
    Rock Climbing Photo: This is the start of the crux section. From here o...
    This is the start of the crux section. From here o...

    Comments on South Crack Add Comment
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    Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Mar 30, 2014
    By Joe Collins
    Apr 1, 2004
    rating: 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a

    Not 11a
    By Bill Wright
    Apr 2, 2004
    rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

    This is a really cool crack with good protection. I guess it isn't 11c, but it is sure hard for me. It is builds in difficulty all the way and the pump factor for me in the last twenty feet is too much, but the holds are generally good and there is no real technical crux or bouldery, stopper move. Save a couple of medium cams for the belay.

    You must continue up at least one pitch to the two-bolts at the top of the South Face. From here you can do two raps with a single 60-meter rope, but it will NOT bring you to the ground. You have to downclimb about 40-feet of very positive 5.4 climbing. Or you can continue up another long, easy pitch to the summit.
    By Anonymous Coward
    Apr 2, 2004

    By Chris Archer
    Apr 2, 2004
    rating: 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a

    Fabulous route, it and dream street rose on the north side deserve lots more traffic. Too bad the fixed anchor was chopped because for a while you could do south crack and east ridge back to back and rap after the cruxes without having to top out and join the bottleneck for the summit rappel. Solid 11.
    By Joe Collins
    Apr 2, 2004
    rating: 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a

    Sorry about the cryptic post above. What I meant to say was, "Not 11a... harder than W. Overhang." Different style climb, but this isn't an easy 11.
    By Brian Milhaupt
    From: Golden, CO
    Apr 3, 2004
    rating: 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a

    Two #3 Camalots would be very useful for the start and middle of the traverse.
    By Tony B
    From: Around Boulder, CO
    Jun 24, 2007
    rating: 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c

    I kept waiting for the crux. I usually have trouble on hard 11s in the Flatirons, but this one went down easy as a warm-up. Probably not 11c. Then again, I was feeling around near the hard section and found good (well, positive at least) holds. If you let the bottom sections pump you out before you hit the top, I guess you will end up slapping at 'whatever' and have trouble... Grade? 5.11- I guess. I thought W. Overhang was WAY harder. YMMV.
    Rack- one set of Camalots and small Aliens. I placed nuts, Aliens, and then the red and blue Camalot (up top) and that was it. A few longer slings are useful, and the anchor up top was a gold Camalot and left-over Alien.
    By Phil Lauffen
    From: The Bubble
    Apr 18, 2011

    This climb is probably my favorite pitch. Really good, airy climbing on jugs and cracks down low leads into some thinner, trickier sequences that get you pumped out for the finale. Then as your leaden arms fail you on the mantle onto the slab, you get the huge whip into air. So much fun! This climb is a lot easier to follow, as after I led SC, we topped out, got spanked on west overhang, and my partner then led SC. Both times the leader fell once, while the follower didn't really break a sweat.

    I placed a #2 Camalot about halfway through the traverse and that was good for me at the end. I don't really know where you put a #3.
    By krispyyo
    From: Ventura, CA
    Mar 29, 2012
    rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

    Really cool climb! Fun moves, airy exposure, good gear, and nice rock. It has fun and varied 5.9/10 climbing the whole way to the crux section using cool jams and face holds. I thought the technical crux was right where the crack begins to arch to the right, to me it felt about 11a with some thin finger jams and crimpy faceholds, but then you don't really get a rest and have to keep traversing the crack on the pretty steep wall with good handholds but not the best feet. The key is definitely just being able to hold on, just plug gear and go! There's good holds and good gear all the way to end, and a nice clean fall (I tried it out...).
    By Jeff McLeod
    Jun 3, 2013
    rating: 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c

    A fantastic route. Had the pleasure of whipping on my OS attempt right at the crux, on a brand new Camalot X4! I had trouble finding a belay without running it out up the left side East Ridge for a while, which produced an undesirable amount of rope drag. If you can muster up the strength to add a sling on your last piece before monkeying over the crux lip, do it.
    By WadeM
    From: Golden, Co
    Mar 30, 2014

    Another classic. Small band of choss. A hold blew on my right before the traverse, but it's usually pretty good. Bring a bit of everything.

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