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Supercrack Buttress
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Unsorted Routes:

Incredible Hand Crack 

YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 100'
Original:  YDS: 5.10c French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII ZA: 20 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: Rich Perch, John Bragg, Doug Snively, and Anne Tarver, 1978
Page Views: 61,551
Submitted By: Anonymous Coward on Oct 14, 2001

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Annie leading Incredible Hand Crack, March 2008

RAIN, WET ROCK and RAPTOR CLOSURES: The sandstone around Moab is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. Also please ask and be aware of Raptor Closures in areas such as CAT WALL and RESERVOIR WALL in Indian Creek MORE INFO >>>


Route starts at the top of the trail from the parking lot to Supercrack Buttress. Follows the obvious chalked hand crack in a corner through a large overhang. Lieback up the corner to the roof. Jam out the roof with perfect hands (crux) to a great rest at the end (#3 Camalot). Finish up the corner to a bolt anchor at 95 feet. It really is incredible! Get there early because lines will form on the weekends.


Cams from 2-2.5". Heavy on 2.5" (#2 Camalot)

Photos of Incredible Hand Crack Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Andy Turner on Incredible Hand Crack during the AA...
Andy Turner on Incredible Hand Crack during the AA...
Rock Climbing Photo: Kelly on IHC, March 2013
Kelly on IHC, March 2013
Rock Climbing Photo: A nice sequence of Matt nearly onsighting IHC
A nice sequence of Matt nearly onsighting IHC
Rock Climbing Photo: Incredible Hand Crack
Incredible Hand Crack
Rock Climbing Photo: Bryan climbing through the roof with the last vest...
Bryan climbing through the roof with the last vest...
Rock Climbing Photo: Jim Donini demonstrating how it's done. Three gold...
Jim Donini demonstrating how it's done. Three gold...
Rock Climbing Photo: hand solo in my coustm foot ware..human flag in a ...
hand solo in my coustm foot ware..human flag in a ...
Rock Climbing Photo: On a climbing tour of the USA, French climber Tris...
On a climbing tour of the USA, French climber Tris...
Rock Climbing Photo: What IHC used to look like!  Taken from the origin...
What IHC used to look like! Taken from the origin...
Rock Climbing Photo: G. Neely onsighting IHC
G. Neely onsighting IHC
Rock Climbing Photo: Keo Bolton starts his RP of IHC.
Keo Bolton starts his RP of IHC.
Rock Climbing Photo: Getting my ass kicked on the Incredible Hand Crack...
Getting my ass kicked on the Incredible Hand Crack...
Rock Climbing Photo: near the top
near the top
Rock Climbing Photo: Jon leading Incredible Hand Crack. Like a boss.
Jon leading Incredible Hand Crack. Like a boss.
Rock Climbing Photo: Incredible hand crack
Incredible hand crack
Rock Climbing Photo: Simone Leading IHC
Simone Leading IHC
Rock Climbing Photo: Ben Faber on ICH, photos by the Chad, camera court...
Ben Faber on ICH, photos by the Chad, camera court...
Rock Climbing Photo: looking out for good style
looking out for good style
Rock Climbing Photo: Ben Faber on ICH again, photos by the Chad, camera...
Ben Faber on ICH again, photos by the Chad, camera...
Rock Climbing Photo: working the roof!
working the roof!
Rock Climbing Photo: Unknown climber moving through the overhanging sec...
Unknown climber moving through the overhanging sec...
Rock Climbing Photo: Johnny W. entering the crux.
Johnny W. entering the crux.
Rock Climbing Photo: Stef taking a rest after working through the crux
Stef taking a rest after working through the crux
Rock Climbing Photo: Way to represent justin!!...Haloween 2012 IHC on A...
Way to represent justin!!...Haloween 2012 IHC on A...

Show All 36 Photos

Only the first 24 are shown above.

Comments on Incredible Hand Crack Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Mar 23, 2017
By Dave Chenault
Nov 28, 2001

I agree with Ben, for the average-sized (w/r/t hands!) the jams through the overhang are ridiculously bomber. 9/10, and really freakin cool.
By Tradkelly
Nov 29, 2001

Getting onto the initial pillar, about 20', can be difficult unless you jam it. I liebacked with a green FCU at 8' and pumped out, unable to get in a piece in higher, about a foot below the pillar top. Use a #2 camalot to get on top of the pillar and recover it if you feel the need once you're on top. The landing area only has one rock, but it has a knob on it. A spotter kept my groundfall (with the pulled green FCU) from becoming a broken leg.
By Anonymous Coward
Dec 9, 2001

I've only been to IC once in my life and that was last spring break (2001), but let me just say that being over here in Germany for the semester and not even being able to climb (Northern Germany is nothing but flat flat flat..) Looking and thinking about IC is just giving me a hard on the size of Texas. I'm already starting to train again just to get my muscles in some kind of shape to hit it hard again this spring break!!!!!!
By Charles Vernon
From: Tucson, AZ
Feb 20, 2002

It's common to see this rated 5.10c and Supercrack 5.10. I really can't understand that. I have perfectly average sized hands, and Supercrack (both the technical start, and the crack itself) feels like it's in a different league of difficulty altogether. I can't bring myself to think of IHC as any harder than 9+, whereas I'd call Supercrack solid 10+. Perfect hands (even with an overhang, it has no-hands rests both before and after the crux) should be easier than sustained wide hands with no rests.

But maybe, if you have excellent wide hands technique, Supercrack could feel even easier I suppose. Now I'm just confusing myself.
By Bryson Slothower
Feb 26, 2002

whatever you want to rate it this is an excellent route that should not be missed. If you feel comfortable leading just about any other route in I.C. then you will enjoy this one and it will keep you coming back for years to come.

It is best to have your second follow this route as you belay from above or you risk pushing your cams into the crack with your rope if you top rope it.
By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
Apr 4, 2002

Agreed, simply lowering off can suck cams way into the crack near the crux. When we did this, my brand new #2 Camalot was pulled so far in I could barely touch the stem. Fortunately 10 minutes fishing for the trigger with a cleaning tool got it out.
By Erik M. Corkran
May 28, 2002

Great route and the 1st I climbed at IC. Might be that I have weird-sized hands or something, but I found this to be considerably harder than Supercrack.
By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Jun 3, 2002
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Those are not hands Eric, they are paws. I am surprised you can type with those meat-hooks.

Supercrack was loose for me and good for you. I.H.C was good for me and tight for you.

By Ben Mottinger
Founding Father
Oct 7, 2002
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a


I think the short pumpy section is enough to warrant a 10, but with all the rests, it's definitely easier than most 10s around here. The hands were great for my size (average to small).
By Robert Stetler
Nov 2, 2002

The crack is getting wider. It gets done more than my belayers sister. Anyway I think the rating is historical. It is unbelievably locker now but probably not so when this crack was more virgin. Once it becomes Incredible Fist Stack Crack it probably will have shorter lines.
By chad m. davis
May 9, 2003

IHC is definitely .9 And the worst part is that its because of excessive traffic. I climbed it first only like seven years ago and couldn't get my hands into the crack. I remember there was one part to SQUEEZE a #2 Camalot in at the lip of the crux; I think people manking gear around in that pre crux manic attack have increased the wear. It's a shame people don't redistribute the wear a bit. climb some other cracks and definitely try not to top rope the whole team up the thing. Have some respect. I wonder if most people even realize the all that white rock is from wear, ditto on Supercrack, fingers,

chad davis
By Dan Russell
May 10, 2003

I don't mourn the wear on IHC. I mourn the ridiculous hoards of climbers who flock to Supercrack Buttress. I still can't figure out why everyone stays on this one cliff, when Indian creek has countless cliffs of excellent quality, with short approaches. Go do some FA's for Pete's sake! There are a million IHC's and Supercrack's at the Creek, and many haven't even been climbed.
By Anonymous Coward
Sep 6, 2004

The picture of Ben climbing w/o shoes is fantastic. May I suggest climbing w/o pants? This affords a great cock jam rest before the roof!!
By C Miller
From: CA
Jan 25, 2006
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

Stellar climb with nary a variance in size the whole way. This crack was made for #2 Camalots. I recall placing about 9 of that particular cam and sewing it up - super fun route. Exactly 100' to the anchors.
By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From: Bend, OR
Jan 25, 2006
rating: 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

For what it is worth, I've confirmed the crack is getting bigger!

4 years ago I could NOT get in a metolius fat cam (forgot the size) below the crux 'roof'.

This year, same cam fit PERFECT.

It'll be the IFC in about 10 years.
By d-know
From: electric lady land
Jan 26, 2006
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b

this route takes a 5.10+ amount of juice for me to get up it.
10- and 9+ is more like generic crack.
By Rob Dillon
Jun 8, 2006

By m-earle
From: USA
Oct 30, 2006

if you place gear under the overhang, use long runners to avoid rope being sucked into crack.
By camhead
From: Vandalia, Appalachia
Feb 21, 2007

it would be nice if everyone would take a voluntary "three climb maximum" vow on this (as well as Supercrack, and maybe Coyne and Fingers in a Lightsocket). I have.

That said, it is nice that this climb, the buttress, and its short approach keep attracting the majority of Indian Creek visitors. Helps save the rest of the canyon.
By evanvv
Jun 20, 2007

if cookie monster ate only #2 camalots- he would be very happy on incredible hand crack.
By morkel
From: Fort Collins, CO
Mar 22, 2008

Number three Friends NOW fit this crack perfectly, it has also become easier with 'man hands'.
By snowey
Mar 25, 2008

Oh my god. This climb is sooo much fun. I want to mate with the Incredible Handcrack and make baby IHCs that will hopefully resemble the original.
The wear and tear of climbers is taking its toll on this route so get on it soon.

In the Kalymnos guidebook under the entry for the route Trela it quotes a spanish climber as saying "Oh my god, how could I have existed without having done this climb". IHC might be considered the crack climbers equivalent.

Ok, maybe I am exagerating it a little bit, but this climb is really fun.

By TBlom
May 2, 2008

i think I places 7 #2 camalots, and maybe a #1 at the start. Easier than it looks if you have huge man hands (felt cruiser to me).
By Christina kalb
From: Boulder, CO
May 21, 2008
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

I have small hands, and the crack was shaky hands or off hands for me. I could not get a good jam over the roof at all. I would give this a solid 5.10 rating. Still a great route though
By Jason Shatek
Dec 3, 2008

"Well, if perfect hands is your thing" uttered to us by another climber while we were waiting for the climb. The hands really are perfect and the crack is a bit tapered so it fits a lot of hand sizes.
By Darren Knezek
Dec 5, 2008

FA: Rich Perch, John Bragg, Doug Snively, and Anne Tarver, 1978.
By Sarah Kate
From: Seattle, WA
May 5, 2009

This route is a raging pain with small hands. Wear long sleeves.
By Skyler Penrod
Oct 2, 2009

The new guide suggests 6-7 2.5 Friends....ya they don't work. #2 BD and #3 Friends work really good. After the roof you can get a pretty good #3 BD placement in a small pod. It takes a little looking to see the placement.
By Alexander Nees
From: Grand Junction, CO
Mar 9, 2011

For anyone who wants additional evidence of the changes that have occurred on this route from all the traffic...

Rock Climbing Photo: What IHC used to look like!  Taken from the origin...
What IHC used to look like! Taken from the original 1988 "Desert Rock" (Bjornstad). The changes are obvious compared to recent photos of the route here on MP.

Back then, the crack was parallel, the edge was crisp, and there weren't any wear marks. No doubt that this climb is getting beat out.
By Hoag Hoag
From: Littleton, CO
Nov 25, 2011
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

This is probably the best single pitch route I've ever been on. The crack is sustained perfect hands (for me) and eats gear. Make sure you have a ton of BD #2 cams with you. I think I racked with 7 #2s, 2 #3s, and 1 #1. The #1 can be placed in the thinner part of the crack at the very beginning. It's #2s the rest of the way with exception of one #3 placement at the beginning of the overhang section.

A must-climb. A must-lead.
By Matt Hoffmann
From: Squamish
Apr 20, 2012
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b

Pretty damn incredible. Bomber hands the whole way. if your hands are yellow c4 size. There are several great rests (before the roof, after the roof and a bit higher) that make the climb feel super mellow. Use the rests and move efficiently through the roof you shouldn't even feel pumped.

Great route!
By Mark P Thomas
From: Draper
Apr 30, 2012
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

5.10c? Most of this route was tight for my hands, but not .10c tight. I got tired in the roof and hung out on hand & foot jams to rest before continuing up. No way I see myself doing that at the crux on a .10c!

To me the roof seemed easier than the crux move to the pedestal on Super Crack but harder than the main event of Super Crack, which for me was comfortable cupped hands.
By Joe Lo
Jan 14, 2013

First SENND of the year was on January 2, 2013(avg high temp 18)....smoked IHC and all the other classics with NO LINES ahahaha where were you guys???
By Hendo Henderson
From: Denver, CO
Apr 16, 2014
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

This climb ended up being a bit easier than I thought! There's lots of rests. One on the pedestal, one right above that. Another rest before the roof. Than like 7 rest spots 4ft above the roof move. Still classic though! 3AM was way more burly in my opinion. I've never gasped so hard for air in my life finishing that route.
By Ryan Arnold
Jun 10, 2015
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b

There are spots for #1, #3, and even bigger camalots above the crux, if you're short on #2s. I used six #2s and several of the other sizes.
By Jonas Kuginis
Dec 28, 2015

I was here in 2010 but can't remember if incredible hand crack faces the sun or is in the shade. I expect to be there in early January 2016 so would like some warmth. Anyone know?

By Matthew Richardson
From: Durango, CO
Jan 3, 2016

Donnelly canyon across from Super Crack gets sun early, Super Crack doesn't get sun until after noon. Was there about a month ago.
By Tomko
Oct 19, 2016
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b

Honestly found this climb wholely underwhelming. The best climbing is over as soon as you start the roof. Jamming up to it was amazing, the roof was OK, everything after that was uninteresting. If only the first 20-30 feet just kept going and going... then it would be incredible.
By Jaime McCandless
Mar 23, 2017
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b

I have small hands and found the roof jamming to be pretty tough. It is wider than the start and extremely smooth and flared from so many climbers, and I found it really hard to get a good jam in. Maybe it used to be better - less flared, less smooth, more bomber? Or maybe it's just that a perfect hand crack is in the #1-2 Camalot range for me and the roof was a bit wider than that.

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