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Chouinard's Crack 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a

Type:  Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 50'
Original:  YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: unknown
Page Views: 3,566
Submitted By: Aron Quiter on Jul 22, 2002

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (35)
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Liza Butler is past the crux and is cruising, on C...

Falcon Nesting Closure at Castle Rock MORE INFO >>>


This is the prominent crack on the mid-left side of the upper tier. If you're not sure, there's a tree about halfway up the climb. Crux is an interesting section about 25 feet off the ground. Remember to look to your right for additional hands and feet!

Keep in mind that you're leading sandstone before running out your protection.


Friends from small to 3", and a long sling for the tree. Bring a really long sling (30'+) for a top rope.

Photos of Chouinard's Crack Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Cecilia cursing chouinard's crack
Cecilia cursing chouinard's crack

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By Ami Bhatt
Dec 5, 2004
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

I think this route is fan-bloody-tastic. Next to Amazing face, my favorite at Diablo. It is rated 5.8 in Bay Area Rock - I think it's more appropriately rated on this site as 5.9 or 5.9+.

The crux begins at the flaring of the crack and continues through an area of a couple of good left side lay-backs (with right and/or left hand). It is tricky until you find the small, but plentiful footholds on the right wall and take advantage of palming with the left hand.

To set this route access the large tree about 15 feet from the top of the crack by an easy access route 20 feet or so to the left of the crack. There are *steps* carved into the rock almost all the way to the tree.
By vincent L.
From: Redwood City
Nov 30, 2008
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

I also think this route is 5.9 . It was somewhat sandy but still quite fun and worth doing. I belayed my friend up from the top. There are huge scars in the soft rock from repeated toproping. I anchored off a tree about 30 feet back from the end of the climb. Just as I was starting to belay, I noticed a set of anchors right next to me. They are easy to miss, they are on the right side of the top of the route and they actually face away from the route.
By Joe Forrester
From: Palo Alto
Aug 20, 2011

Seriously, 5.9+? There is only one move of 5.8 on the route.
By Scott Coffin
From: Riverside, CA
Jan 9, 2013
rating: 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c PG13

5.8- at most. Honestly this is 15 feet of slimy, poor-protected crack climbing and 40 feet of even slimier, impossibly-protected 5.6 chimney-ing. Not recommended.
By Antonio G.
Aug 18, 2013
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

A 2-bolt anchor station was recently added above the tree that offers top roping for this route with minimal rope drag on the rock.

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