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Tourist Crack 

YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 100'
Original:  YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: Unknown
Page Views: 6,671
Submitted By: Tony B on Nov 13, 2002

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BETA PHOTO: This is just before the bathroom. Tourist crack ca...

Seasonal Raptor Closures ***** RAIN AND WET ROCK ***** The sandstone in Zion is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. Holds rip off and climbs have been and will continue to be permanently damaged due to climbers not respecting this phenomenon. After a heavy storm the rock will remain wet, sometimes for several days. PLEASE DO NOT CLIMB IN ZION during or after rain. A good rule of thumb is that if the ground near your climb is at all damp (and not powdery dry sand), then do not climb. There are many alternatives (limestone, granite, basalt, and plastic) nearby. Seasonal Raptor Closures MORE INFO >>>


This route is a nice warm up to Zion rock. You can pull in, get to the temple parking or bus stop (depending upon the season), use the bathroom, then walk 150 yards to this route. The route can be seen from the parking area.

Look back to the right of the narrows trail for a set of anchors about 100' up off of the ground in a left-facing dihedral.

Follow a decent trail back the the route and rack up there. Take a rope-bag or tarp to keep your stuff out of the fine sand at the base. Also take care on the descent to keep the rope away from the cacti nearby.

Climb said corner to the anchors, and descend via a single rap (we used a 70m rope with some to spare. A 60m rope should work as well, but use caution. I do not believe a 50m could make it.


A stack of cams from large fingers to hands. You can see the entire pitch from the ground.

Photos of Tourist Crack Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: This is NOT Tourist Crack, it is the harder route ...
This is NOT Tourist Crack, it is the harder route ...
Rock Climbing Photo: 60 m rope does the trick, but just bearly!
BETA PHOTO: 60 m rope does the trick, but just bearly!
Rock Climbing Photo: THIS* is Tourist Crack. (not to be confused with T...
THIS* is Tourist Crack. (not to be confused with T...

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By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
Nov 14, 2002

Despite our guidebook's glaim: "climb the obvious crack behind the bathroom", we couldn't find this route! We found a right facing crack that bent right and turned into a large roof, with a fixed anchor visible above the right edge of the roof. Looked like the most obvious crack to us, and also the only obvious anchor.

However this crack is a bit harder than 10a. We resorted to some aid for the traverse under the roof, an interesting route, but probably at least 5.11. Is the real "Tourist Crack" the one left of this?
By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Dec 2, 2002

George. I went back on 11/23/02 and climbed the route you speak of here and photograhoed. That route is 5.12b, I think. I'll add that to the site as "bathroom unknown right." The climb just left of that goes 5.9+ and I'll add it as "bathroom unknown left." These are both 300' or so left of the Tourist Crack, and not nearly as nice.
By Anonymous Coward
Jun 7, 2005

My friend and I just recently did this route. I thought it was an excellent line. It is a very clean left-facing dihedral.

We used a 70 meter and really didn't have too much rope to spare. I know for certain a single 50 won't do the job and I remember thinking that a 60 mostly likely would fall short by about 10 to 15 feet.

This climb consumes a lot of #1 camalots. I also took a 3.5 camalot and a 4.5 camalot with me and found them to be extreemly comforting in the off-width pod near the top. You can get by without the 4.5 camalot by placing a few finger/hand size pieces deep in the back of the crack at the bottom of the offwidth(runners?), but the 3.5 camalot(4 friend) is the only piece you can place in the last section of fists(though it is only about 7 feet of fists).
By EricD
Feb 28, 2006

The routes directly behind the toilets are aptly named "Toilet Cracks". Check the visitor center topos or topos at Zion Rock in Springdale. Not sure of the ratings or anything else.

I definitely found #3.5 and #4 cams very useful in the pod. I would have been happier with more than 4 #1s for the main crack. Fun route...excited to do it again.

Also, a 60m rope is not long enough to belay toprope from. A 70m rope would be just enough.
By George Vigeon
From: Bend, OR
Jun 6, 2008

Super fun. We did this with a 70m, pulled up the second, and rapped with no problems. I placed (in order) a #5 peanut for the face moves, .3, 2 #.75's, 3 #1's, a .75, and a #4 (new style Camalot's) in the top of the pod. There is an older #4 BD stuck at the top and I didn't feel like messing with it, but a few chips and I'm sure it'll come out, it is sandstone.
By Dan Lay
Nov 13, 2011
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Did this route today. I only brought a 60 m rope and it worked just fine, but just bearly. I also top-roped the climb and it still worked... So disregard Eric's comment.
By Gordon Larsen
From: St. George, Utah
Sep 7, 2014

Usually find this route strenuous probably because I seem to always climb it on a hot day. Good chain anchor at the top.
By Seamus Morgan
From: Alaska and New England
Mar 17, 2017

Be prepared to solo the first 20 feet off the ground before you get a good first piece in when the crack starts. I backed off this route hard.

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