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Strawberry Jam 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches
Original:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: n/a
Page Views: 13,680
Submitted By: Skip Harper on Jan 1, 2001

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BETA PHOTO: Jenny Schillinger follows, high on 'Strawberry Jam...

Dirt roads reopened as of June 2014 MORE INFO >>>


NOTE: NUMBER 3 on the topo. Tape up or your hands will look like a bowl of mashed berries. Other than that, its simple - jam up the beautiful handcrack. Think about 'swapping sides' at the squeezy crux. The upper half turns into an offwidth trough (think about long pants, gobi knees). If you don't feel comfortable running out the last 30' to the anchors, set a belay (on gear) at the obvious shelf in an alcove. Bring up your second, then do the second short pitch to the top. This climb is the 5.8 Vedauwoo 'hands' testpiece.


Take a full rack, lite on the wires and assorted stuff, and heavy on the medium and large cams (rec. 3x#1, 3x#2, 2x#3, 2x#3 1/2 Camalots). A 60m rope is recommended. It's 2 rap stations to the ground from the top as indicated on the topo.

Photos of Strawberry Jam Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Kyle rappelling, Strawberry Jam is the crack to th...
Kyle rappelling, Strawberry Jam is the crack to th...
Rock Climbing Photo: Hanging with the pooch.
Hanging with the pooch.
Rock Climbing Photo: The thin-to-wide gradual transition of "Straw...
The thin-to-wide gradual transition of "Straw...
Rock Climbing Photo: Chris Parks leads off on Strawberry Jam (5.8) at t...
Chris Parks leads off on Strawberry Jam (5.8) at t...
Rock Climbing Photo: Jenny Schillinger follows 'Strawberry Jam (5.8)' o...
Jenny Schillinger follows 'Strawberry Jam (5.8)' o...

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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Apr 28, 2014
By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Jul 7, 2002

This really is a great line.We saw it when bush-whacking from the central area to the Valley Massif. Without looking up the grade or knowing what the line was we just stared and said "We are coming back to do that!" We did, and I am super-jazzed.

It takes cams from 1.5" to 3.5" for the first 40' of hand crack in perfect but toothy rock, until a slot crux. That crux can protect on a #4 Camalot, or a smaller piece placed further back. Once past the crux, the route will take hexes or cams from 2.5" to 5", depending on how far in you want to place them. You need not run this out much, even if you don't have a fist-full of #4s. I had two, but only used one. #3.5 Camalots are actually more frequently a good placement.
By Brian Weinstein
Sep 15, 2003

Great hands to a sweaty groaning offwidth, this great route is one you'll most definitely remember. it'd be nice to carry two 3.5 Camalots near the top of the offwidth.
By Jeff Sallen
From: San Diego
Oct 29, 2003
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

This was a stellar route in my opinion. However i must give credit where credit is due. Brian Weinstien, my partner my wing man for life, grunted, groaned, cussed, and screamed up that off width. without enough big pro, bri sucked it up and ran out the remaining 25 feet,,,, i was most impressed....brian its on
By nolteboy
From: Fort Collins, CO
May 3, 2005

This and grunt layback alone are worth the walk.
By Emily Gresham
Jun 27, 2005

This is a really great route for getting a taste of Vedauwoo and practicing some hand crack and off-width techniques. I used a lot of fist jams near the top, and a little grunting. Make sure to wear long pants and a shirt with sleeves-no sportsbras on this one.
By shad O'Neel
Aug 10, 2005
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

The offwidth part of this climb seemed easier than the upper slot, just longer. There are some good jams and smallish gear (like #3's) in the back of the crack, but if you are scared and have a 4.5 or 5 you can walk it the entire length of the OW making this a good lead for those like me trying to get comfy in wide world.The last 30 feet are very interesting.
By Ross Tichota
Jun 25, 2006

The bottom of this route has sweet jams, once you hit the offwidth though I think everyone leaves a little skin. Ouch...
By Danny Inman
From: Arvada
Jul 24, 2006

Done as one big pitch-this climb is awesome!
By John Korfmacher
From: Fort Collins, CO
Aug 21, 2006

With H. McIntyre 8.21.06. This is a beautiful line that looks hard and strenuous and doesn't disappoint. Found it easiest to go left side in on the lower part (good hands to fists), then switch to right side in at the crux. Pro is bomber in the crack and OW, nonexistent on the lichenous face at the finish. Don't bother with any pro smaller than a .75 Camalot; the OW protects nicely with large, sideways hexes.

Guidebook lists the climb at 5.8- which is a sandbag for us ordinary mortals. I would rate the handcrack at 5.8, crux at 5.8+ or 5.9 (arm length dependent), and the OW at 5.7-5.8.

If you're in the habit of bringing your kids along, I'd recommend leaving them at home as this route inspires some, uh, interesting phraseology, i.e., 'Holy sh!t this is hard' and 'Mother of God!' and assorted F-bombs. Props are due my partner for seconding the pitch with considerably milder language and in rather better style!
By Brian Story
Nov 14, 2006
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Good climb, not the splitter handcrack I was expecting. I'd recommend doing this as 1 long pitch. Be sure to bring at least one #4 camalot sized cam. After the steep hand to fist crack start, I found the upper OW to be moderate and not the gruntfest others appear to have found.
By kili
From: 29 palms, ca
Sep 28, 2009
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

A great climb, but it seemed easy for a 5.8 at Vedauwoo.
By Petsfed
From: Laramie, WY
Sep 29, 2009
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

I found the apparent difficulty of this climb to be dependent on three things: hand size, how you approach the hand crack section, and the ambient air temperature.

If you have bigger hands (#3 Camalots are perfect hands for you), the lower section will have some distinctive cruxes.

If you go with the wrong shoulder leading, getting to that offwidth crux will feel difficult.

If the rock is very cold, it can be very difficult to get good pro as the flare requires some finger work to get a cam in place.

Not saying it will feel like 5.9, just that where in 5.8 it lands depends on those three.
By kili
From: 29 palms, ca
Sep 30, 2009
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

That's true, but it doesn't compare to Humper, 5.8.
By Rob Davies UK
From: Cheshire, UK
Oct 16, 2010
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

As a visitor, without allowing for the weird local grading system, I'd give this 5.9. After 30' of pleasant hand-jamming the real fun starts. An inflatable pad for the right knee would be a good idea. Or maybe an old-fashioned big mountain boot on the right foot would make things easier.
By Petsfed
From: Laramie, WY
Aug 26, 2012
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

The final 30' have two options:
Go up and left towards the final anchors via an easy but completely unprotected slab.
Go right into the squeeze chimney. It has some good hand jams right where it gets wide enough to start wriggling up (so all the way in the back). The downside is that the final few moves to the anchors are also unprotected but licheny and loose too.

The slab is probably easiest, but 30 feet off of a cam and 10 feet off of a cam, if you're still reeling from the offwidth, will feel wildly different.
By Hoag Hoag
From: Littleton, CO
Sep 9, 2012
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

This felt a bit more difficult than 5.8, but what did I expect. It's the Voo!

I only used one #1 at the beginning, two #2s as the crack widened, 2 #3s at the crux, and a #4 above the crux. One could avoid the #4, but you would have to burry smaller cams pretty deep and risk them waling back into oblivion.

Rack smaller gear to your right and bigger gear to your left. There is a bit of a corner that is on your left as your start and switches to your right as you go up, making gear rather inaccessible if on the wrong side.

I linked it all together at one pitch, rapped twice to get down with a directional across from the second rap station, and top roped my partner on the first pitch.

Definitely a great route with an excellent view!
By Derek Wehrle
Apr 28, 2014

Left a silver Helium Friend here on 4/25. Would be greatly appreciated if it made its way back!

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