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Toe Crack 

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

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 100'
Original:  YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b [details]
FA: Todd Swain and Brad White 1980 (Repulsion, i dont know if this pitch was already done)
Page Views: 14,280
Submitted By: lee hansche on Apr 20, 2007

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BETA PHOTO: Toe Crack 2nd Pitch


Though Toe Crack is not its own route it is done on its own more often than not so I figured I'd add it as a route.... It is actually the second pitch of Repulsion (5.8+) which is not too popular due to being a bit spicy.... If you are looking to climb a perfect 5.7 hand crack, Toe Crack is for you for sure...It is also one of the first cracks to dry after rain which adds to its allure....

Pitch 1: (5.5) Start on the ramp that leads up and right to Turner's Flake.... When you get under Turner's, step down and right (tricky at the grade) and over to a stance below the beautiful crack.... Belay from here or keep climbing but think of rope drag and your partners safety on the traverse move and protect accordingly....

Pitch 2: (5.7) Climb the crack for about 100ft. It doesn't get much finer at the grade.... a #3 cam is helpful and you may want a 3.5 if you are shaky at the grade...The jams are good and so are the feet, but the gear is a little weird in parts 'cause the crack isn't perfectly splitter.... Just look at your cams before you move on instead of stuffing them blindly (always a bad idea).... When the crack ends, move right into Standard Route (5.7) and belay at a fixed rap anchor on a tree or build and anchor at a thread...One rap with double ropes gets you back to the ground....

Finish: you have choices if you don't feel like rappeling.... You can continue up Standard Route (5.7) or Repulsion (5.8+), or trail blaze left on fun, low-angle, face climbing (it protects well but you can't really tell from below) over to the 2nd belay on Thin Air (5.6) and finish up that....


Just right of Turner's Flake (5.8) look for the hard to miss perfect hand crack, that screams to be climb....

Two rope rap to the ground from the standard route belay.


Normal rack to #3.5 Camalot....

Photos of Toe Crack Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Doug Fosdick during an unsuccessful winter attempt...
Doug Fosdick during an unsuccessful winter attempt...
Rock Climbing Photo: Toe Crack
Rock Climbing Photo: Diane on the direct start to Toe Crack (1st pitch ...
Diane on the direct start to Toe Crack (1st pitch ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Toe Crack's $ Pitch
BETA PHOTO: Toe Crack's $ Pitch
Rock Climbing Photo: This is the ultra fun traverse to get to Thin Air
This is the ultra fun traverse to get to Thin Air
Rock Climbing Photo: Me exiting Toe Crack and entering the traverse to ...
Me exiting Toe Crack and entering the traverse to ...

Comments on Toe Crack Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 20, 2017
By Ian McEleney
From: Mammoth Lakes, CA
May 26, 2007

What a great route. The traverse left to Thin Air is fun and easy. You can also rap from those anchors with two ropes, or a set just below with a 70m.
By Bill Hutchins
From: Bethesda, MD
Oct 6, 2007
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Great route. From the end of the crack one can climb the arete above to a belay on right in the Standard Route Crack. An option from there is to traverse high across the face to the third belay ledge on Thin Air. Aim for a right facing corner with a tree. The belay is just above the corner. The traverse is easy (5.3?) but unprotected.
By matthewWallace
From: Sandwich, NH
Dec 28, 2008

Great route my climbing partner Gary's hand actually got stuck in the crack, great fun...
By rdlennon
From: New Hampshire
Jan 17, 2009
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Hm, on pitch 1, I think the crux is before you reach Turner's, on the hand traverse once the ramp ends. And as you approach the belay ledge, it is helpful to place as high in the crack as possible so as to protect the second, then downclimb it to the ledge.
By matthewWallace
From: Sandwich, NH
Jan 17, 2009

yeah i agree completely that is really the hardest move on that pitch it is alot of fun though
By lee hansche
From: goffstown, nh
Jan 17, 2009

Not an easier option really but more direct (and fun) is to start up the first pitch of Repulsion (5.8) it is a slab and crack pitch leading up directly under the Toe Crack...
Start up a dike to a bolt then move left on tricky moves between finger cracks protected by TCUs then over a slight bulge to belay at the base of Toe Crack...
By matthewWallace
From: Sandwich, NH
Jan 17, 2009

yeah man that sounds rad
By dale polen
From: arivaca, az
Dec 15, 2011

Barefoot climbing heaven. Did this after leaving the Moat at last call, on a full moon night. It was snowing too. But love this climb barefoot.
By Danny Weisberg
Jun 11, 2013

I did this route straight up from the stairway looking dike. I also did the whole thing in one pitch. No need to break it up into two, just don't get caught up with rope drag in the beginning of the climb. I linked this climb up with Thin Air. You can do two rappels with a 60 meter rope.
By Chris Gesek
Oct 10, 2013

Some are saying the traverse to Thin Air protects well, others claim the protection is non-existent. Anyone able to elaborate?
By lee hansche
From: goffstown, nh
Oct 10, 2013

there is some small gear, some tricky placements and whether you find the right spots will depend on the exact line you take... if you are good with gear craft and comfortable at the grade it shouldn't be a big deal and you should be able to keep it safe... but i wouldn't bring a total beginner up there as a second unless i knew exactly where i was going... all i can say since its been a few years since ive done it...
By Ryan Gibbs
Sep 22, 2015

Having just followed the route from Toe Crack to Thin Air I can attest that it can really go either way. The traverse to thin air is tricky to protect, but solely dependent on the route taken.(Several variations high and low, the high line has great feet that link across two grassy spots and thin face hands (awkward pro), whereas if you were lower you would have great hands and protection, but terrible feet) The placements along the high route seemed tricky. Like Lee said if you are solid in the grade and feel comfortable there are spots to protect the route. A fall here either as a leader or second could be disastrous.
By ChrisN
From: Morro Bay, CA
Oct 7, 2015

The direct first pitch 5.8 start (Retaliation) is useful in that you can run both pitches together without too much rope drag, but if you can't get a tricam in the sort of nothing cracks up there, the slab moves will be fairly heady for the leader... the pro will likely be at or below your feet...
By Russ Keane
Oct 21, 2015

Both of the choices for "first pitch" are tricky!! The Turner's Flake way is a nasty, awkward traverse, both on lead and the follower!! And then theres the 5.8 face straight below.... wow kinda no win
By Systematic
Nov 4, 2015

Killer route. First pitch much less so.

3-4" gear is useful as are big nuts.
By Jay Stanley
Jul 31, 2017
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

if you plan to cross over into thin air, belay from the nasty cave and start directly at the top of toe crack. I belayed from above the boulder/cave on the tree, then did a boulder problem into P3 of standard route (there appears to be two) and crossed from the second tree. this traverse was ~50ft of 5.5 with only one piton. not hard, but kind of R, especially for the second
By Ryan Christopher
From: Biddeford, ME
6 days ago

Second on the R rating for the traverse to Thin Air. Only one piece of pro for the second.

With a steady head its an easy climb. Have a confident second.

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