/ 50 Cracks - Suggestions Please.
I am trying to compile a list of 50 cracks I can climb in the next 7 weeks as prep for a trip to squamish. I am aware that largely it will be poor preparation for the smooth granite, but hey ho, I like a good challenge.
Any ideas for good cracks upto E4 in the fingers and hands range? My initial stab is below (based on previous similar posts on here and things i've already done), gonna be quite a good few weeks. Obviously grit is going to feature heavily, so extra points for none grit suggestions, especially things at tremadog or the welsh mountains. The lakes too, not got much from there on my list. No fairhead please, been this year, can't afford that bloody ferry again!
Also, they dont have to be pure cracks. Anything with a crux requiring jams is good, like ratline (the only bolted route on my list so far). But no cracks that climb like a face route, left wall for example. Bolted good too, partial to a bit of sport climbing.
Based in Stockport.
Let me know.
Regent Street E2 Milstone
Snickersnack E3 Gable Crag
The Asp E3 Stanage
Fingerlicker E4 Tremadog.
Twikker E3 Milstone.
Saville Street E3 Milstone.
Meirionydd E1 Tremadog.
Boadicea E2 Houghton Quarry
SuperCrack E3 Wilton
Boulervarde E3 Laurencefield
Come to the Dervish E3 Vivian Quarry
Calamity Crack E4 Running Hill Pits.
Ratline 7b Harpour Hill
Foil E3 Cromlech
Bob Hope E4 Dovestones
The Toy E1 Curbar
Hands / Fists
The File VS Higgar Tor
Bond Street HVS Milstone
The Grond E2 Dinas Cromlech.
Imposition E1 Ramshaw
Valkery (First pitch) HVS Froggat
The Vice E1 Stanage.
Harvest E4 Stanage
Neb Direct E4 Tremadog
Carls Wall Crack E2 Stoney
Western Front E3 Almscliff
Dexterity E1 Milstone
Rather you than me.
Roof Route HVS (Rivelin)
Strapiombo E1 (Froggatt)
Great West Road (pitch 1)
Coventry Street (pitch 1)
The Crank & Masochism at Ramshaw
All the Embankment routes at Millstone
Herford's Crack on Clogwyn y Tarw
Bird's Nest Crack & Traditional Climb at Almscliff
Some of the classic HVS++s at Hen Cloud?
Razor Crack at Neckband?
Spend a day on Hen Cloud and do as many of the classics (any grade) as you can.
Charming Crack Brimham.
Katana at Holyhead E4 baggy jamming
I would strike Foil, Comes the Dervish and The Asp off for a start - none of these are really fingerjamming cracks.
On the other hand that E4 at Brimham should be a more than adequate substitute, specially if you do three laps. Unfortunately I can't remember its name. Is it True Grit?
Fe Fi Fo Fum (and the E1 5c nearby)
Tufted Crack at Ilkley (Only HVS 5b when I did it, but more like E1 and definitely 5c)
While you are at Millstone Gates of Mordor is a good one - not as straight crack climbing as it appears, but awkward in a very granite style.
Doing something like Great North Road as fast as you can will be good training too.
You should probably put in some slab time too :-)
> The Strand?
The strand doesnt really climb like crack I seem to recall, though its been a while. Its bit like left wall.
However, some suggestions at gogarth would be great. I tried achilles a couple of years ago. I recall it being nails!
Oh lordy, gates of mordor. What a figgin horror show that is! Shut me down so badly when I got on it. I will add it but I predict tears.
Have been playing on GNR recently and the various lines that use parts of it like detour (suprisingly good route), and that thing up the left arete.
Broken crack at froggat is more technically interesting jamming at VS than the file.
yeah, agreed, have done foil but havent done the asp or the dervish. In any case, not a slate fan so suits me.
True Grit has been added.
In reply to All:
Keep them coming...remember, looking for none grit options too. Wanna spread it out for interest. And a few easier ones too. May end up in quite a state after trying the list that is forming. Will create a UKC tick list.
Well that's the rest of my summer sorted! Just what i've been after.
+1 for The Crank, The File and Regent st.
Oh and Baluster Crack at Ravensheugh, again only HVS but worth it.
Three pebble slab..........I thought I'd get the usual UKC thread divergence factor in sooner rather than later..it saves pain later on.
They say Run Fast Run Free (very bottom end E5) is a nice crack, but I haven't done it. In general I'd say Gogarth is not much use for your purpose - the rock (on, eg, Winking Crack) tends to be too featured and thus allowing cheating non-cracky methods.
Here are a few more I don't think have been mentioned yet:
Saul's Crack, HVS, Roaches.
Sorrell's Sorrow, HVS, Curbar. (Hand/Fist turning into an offwidth higher up.)
Nowanda, HVS, Gardoms. (Slightly flared, baggy hand jamming.)
Tangerine, VS, Gardoms.
(Bit obscure this one - but it has a short section of very pure, steep hand jamming. Doable as a short solo/highball.)
Has anyone suggested anything around the E2/E3 mark at Chatsworth yet? ;o)
Pity you cannot get to fairhead.
Overhanging crack - Dovestone Edge
Plenty of stuff at Wimberry - The Trident, Blasphemy, Freddie's Finale etc
Tom Thumb - cratcliffe
Robert - Kinder south
Carls Wark Crack & Medusa - stoney
Synopsis, Great Crack, Big Crack, Chequers crack - Froggatt
Great Crack & Grand Cleft - Wild cat
The Golden Tower - Anglezarke Quarry
Knightsbridge and almost every route at millstone
Undercut Crack - Bamford
Falling Crack - wilton 2
Wipe Out, Central Route - wilton 1 and loads of other stuff
Thin Red Line & Forked Lightning Crack (need to do try this) Heptonstall
Zeus - Burbage south
Foord's Folly and plenty of other stuff at Ramshaw
Ping and Ping pong - Water-cum-Jolly
Pollux - Agden Rocher
The Rat - Ladybower Quarry
Flake Crack - Helsby
Dateline - pex and probably some other stuff
Deadbay Crack, Sorrell's Sorrow, Saddy, Elder Crack, Insanity - curbar
Sentenal crack - chatsworth (need to try this one too)
Another vote for Grond. California granite demands good technique on pure, sustained cracks and Grond is one of those.
Definitely a NO vote for Charming Crack unless you want to ruin the back of your hands before you go, or they are already so toughened up that they could do with a severe workout.
> They say Run Fast Run Free (very bottom end E5) is a nice crack, but I haven't done it.
Not as I recall, a bit rattly and snappy - and I must have been having an off day, because I thought it was anything but bottom end E5 - in fact it was nails :-)
Aye, true about fairhead. Tho was there in June and have done stuff like Jolly Rodger, Halloween, salango and GBH. And a ton of the corners. I may just add them to the list and give myself a head start!
Thanks Graham, some lesser known gems in there. I have done quite a few too, which makes it ok to fall off them this time around!
Cream is debateable, it is a crack, but it doesn't involve crack climbing. Balancey laybacking, and crimping I recall. I do need to return having fallen off the very top a few years ago though!
> You should probably put in some slab time too :-)
Yep, though I expect people will say, downhill racer and that has scared the life out of me ever since I saw it. I am basically too much of a pussy for that sort of business!
Well protected slabs maybe, though we dont actually have many of those here. Maybe you don't over in Squamish? In fact don't answer that, I am going with the mindset that everything is mega safe!
> Yep, though I expect people will say, downhill racer and that has scared the life out of me ever since I saw it. I am basically too much of a pussy for that sort of business!
> Well protected slabs maybe, though we dont actually have many of those here. Maybe you don't over in Squamish? In fact don't answer that, I am going with the mindset that everything is mega safe!
TBH, you can have a great time in Squamish and not set foot on a slab.
So... its on: http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/set.php?id=643
Come and join the fun. I expect there will be blood and plenty of tears. This is the first draft though as there is nothing at hen cloud and I plan to go there this week. May drop the yorkshire contingent and replace with whatever horror shows I find at hen cloud. I've just left yorkshire, im not ready to go back just yet :-)
Good news is Ive already done 24% of em, so I can fall of them without blowing any precious onsight points!
Gonna do london wall when I get back. Saving it.
I wanted to do it last year, but didn't really climb any cracks so wasn't in shape.
I will probably add the grader as i want to group things together to give myself a fighting chance. I will be there doing supercrack (again).
Boot crack - (HVS) milestone buttress
Dinorwig Unconquerable - slate
Ray's Roof E6 6b Baldstones? Go on you know you want to ;o)
Well I've done 38 on your list. But that took me 25 years, good luck in 7 weeks. I'll buy you something as a token of respect if you can on sight all of those in 7 weeks. I would add Emerald Crack at Chatsworth, because it's class, technical and gnarly. The Mangler at Stanage because it's one of the few genuine offwidths in the UK. Centaur at Stanage because it makes the Vice look reasonable. Quietus is hard to do without decent jamming skills. The Gates of Mordor is also proper jamming.
> Ray's Roof E6 6b Baldstones? Go on you know you want to ;o)
Bit wide for fingers like, Im not that fat!
I've already fallen off a few of these, so onsighting them all isn't possible. Ive onsighted a fair few of them already too.
The plan is to get on them. Falling is part of the exercise.
I will add emerarld crack for sure.
Thanks Colin. Will check them out, I drive past this wall enough.
Bonus points for a limestone and bolted. The list was getting a bit samey, need to rejig the list anyway as its too spread out to manage these I think.
A bit late I know but Terrazza Crack at Stanage End should be there and if you've done all those cracks surely you should be giving London Wall a shot before you head out!
Cheers, will add, and remove one of the others. Im gonna be up at stanage end anyway doing some of the others, so that works better for me planning wise.
London wall is a present for my return to fend off the post trip blues.
Has anyone suggested The Bulger at Bowderstone Crag? Proper fingers and quite brutal, if I recall, but well-protected. Probably at the top end of your requested grade band; not sure if it still gets E4 in the definitive guide, but I note it's E5 in the database.
> Gonna do london wall when I get back. Saving it.
There are some brilliant London Wall training sessions to be had here :-)
Obvious stuff like the Exasperator (10c), Rutabaga (11b), Yorkshire Gripper (11c), Crime of the Century (11c), Sentry Box (12a) etc. Then there's less obvious stuff not in the guide because its next to the (not busy) railway line and out of bounds (called the 'Lower Malamute'), but there's often a crowd down there; Clean Crack (11c), Crescent Crack (10d?); two of the best cracks in Canada.
Then there's a stonking brand new area called the Top Shelf which is MEGA at 10d and up, loads of vertical crack lines which is nice as not that much reaches vertical here, best find in several decades apparently!
I digress... nice tick list BTW, I'm only on 30% so plenty to do on my hols with the new baby :-)
Thought of some more:
Overhanging crack at Bowden Doors
Mangled Digit at Running Hill Pits.
Ormuzd and the Camel at Gogarth.
Ron's Crack 1 & 2 at Crookrise
The Mau Mau - Rainbow Walls
Kershaws Cracker - Tintwistle Knarr
Nah, won't prepare you for granite jamming cracks at all. Too many holds. Nice enough route but not for the OP's purpose.
Not been to squamish but my memory of yosemite granite is being surprised how smooth and frictionless it was, especially the faces either side of the crack, so dont rely too much on gritstone and other grippy stuff! Make sure to spend a good bit of time on slippery slate, and perhaps even some granite? Theres good chunks of it in Cornwall and Scotland, I've heard...
Here are some in the south (and one in the far north), all of these venues have many more cracks to offer.
Crack in the Sky
Dolphin Cracks HVS
Super Jam E5
Don's Long Gone F6b+
Have added managled digit, as its close to me. The list is nearing completion.
Got any suggestions for the slate?
Golva at Sennen is really good and is E2 now I think.
Some thoughts on Cracks in Northumberland....
At Bowden Overhanging Crack has already been mentioned. But, Slab Crack and Green Crack are both probably as hard.
At Ravensheugh, Baluster, Sandrider and Ravensheugh crack are worthy of note.
The Pearler at Kyloe In along with Thin Hand Special.
Sandy Crack at .....Sandy
Australia Crack at Kyloe Out, very hard but probably doesn't count as it's a layback.
The hardest pure crack in the county is most likley Cowboy Up at Caller.
Oops, I omitted Honeymoon Crack at Ravensheugh....
If you are going to Stanage End you might also consider:
Nursery Crack - not tried this yet but sounds interesting
the excellent, Surgeon's Saunter, the Wobbler and maybe Valediction as warm ups for the Vice etc.
Herford's Crack, Ogwen - HVS 5a - great hands
Plumbline, Running Hill Pits - VS 4c - easy hands
Sodom, Running Hill Pits - E1 5c - allegedly "thin hands"
Kershaw's Krackers, Tintwistle Knarr - E1 5c (6a?) - desperate thin fingers
Dinorwig Unconquerable, Slate - E3 5c - hands / thin hands
Cracking Up, Gideon - E2 6a - fingers to offwidth!
Rylstone Crack - E1 5b - hands
Gatepost Crack, Dovestone - E1 5b - narrow hands
It's not in any guide, Caller tho is in the NMC Database, there's a photo on Mark Savage's blog. It's a highball, or you could use a rope...
It's a flared crack, hand then sort of rattly hand/fist to an 'exciting' finish.
The thing you don't get on cracks here in the UK that you get in North America is length - they need real stamina.
I also forgot to mention the venerable Flake Crack at Helsby (VS 4c) - easy but good.
> Some thoughts on Cracks in Northumberland....
Some good choices - was building up to mentioning sandy crack if no-one else had. In a slightly lower grade I'll throw in Long Layback Crack at Simonside - good practice for err.... laybacking :-)
Not heard of this one, will defo add it as its close.
Got the ball rolling last night with ratline, 49 to go.
not sure climbing all super hard short technical cracks are the best advice
just got back from squamish - I found the biggest issue was to keep 5b/5c moves going over a 35-50m length
So my advice would be longer routes in wales, the strand isn't a bad option
Grond is a good shout
2/3 laps on dexterity too
I didn't do any prep on fingers and managed 10b/c fingers ok
definately practise grit slabs as smearing is pretty useful on the granite!
The Minstrel - Maeshafn
The Dog - Pot Hole Quarry
Aladdinsane - Trowbarrow
>I found the biggest issue was to keep 5b/5c moves going over a 35-50m length
Strongly agree with that. In my experience the standard progression for the UK punter on all NA crack routes is thus:-
First third – I knew the Yanks couldn’t jam – all that taping up, bunch of girls – this is piss, never 5.10 [or whatever grade].
Second third – actually, I see what they mean; it does go on a bit - wonder if that’s a rest up there?
Last third – f*ck, it isn’t, pant, burn, pant, flail, watch me, WATCH ME, HAVE YOU GOT ME??? – slump. After that, it's not usually pretty.
> First third – I knew the Yanks couldn’t jam – all that taping up, bunch of girls – this is piss, never 5.7
> Second third – actually, I see what they mean; it does go on a bit - wonder if that’s a rest up there?
> Last third – f*ck, it isn’t, pant, burn, pant, flail, watch me, WATCH ME, HAVE YOU GOT ME??? – slump. After that, it's not usually pretty.
Corrected that for you.
Best/Worst example of this for me was a route called The Mark of Art ** 5.10d on El Cap Base. No moves above 5C but ridiculously sustained.
I think the issue with climbing super smooth glacier worn granite is that you have to place feet very precisely on crystals as there is no actual general rock friction.
hahaha very true, they don't stop coming! I did this myself
also.... really beware of grading! I climbed many 10b/c pure cracks & found some 5.8 just as tough
Led exasperator (10c 50m) one day then a few days later pixie corner (5.8 15m!!!) felt as tough and my fingers were wrecked and bloodied by the top!
Now then, this be my kind of thread.
This is no expression of interest (I've eaten the laces from my rock boots and 'lost' my harness) but get thee to:
Shooters Nab - Ricochet Wall and Scot's Wall (get on Sweatyman for a laugh whilst you're there)
Heptonstall - Curving Crack whilst you're there repeating everything!
Rivelin - Altar Crack and Kremlin Crack whilst you're doing aforementioned Roof Route - which you can't do if you can't hand jam
Ilkley - Curving Crack whilst you're in quarry doing Welly and Tufted Cracks and down in Rocky Valley get on Beeline, Somersault and I think Blind Valley might have finger crack on it
Shining Clough - Phoenix Climb, Saucius Digitalis, Naaden, Galileo, Pisa Super Direct, The Big Wall... in fact do you fancy a trip to shining clough?
Dovestones Edge - always wanted to do Hanging Crack, looks ace...
Sandbags / major testers above include Undercut Crack at Bamford, anything at Brimham, Sentinal Crack at Chatsworth but I'm sure that's common knowledge.
Giz a shout when you're getting on London / Right Wall, I'll nip over and get some pics.
Another vote for Hen Cloud and in particular Delstree HVS as its fairly sustained hands. You could always miss out the occasional foot holds that appear to the side of the crack to make it more granite-esque.
While you're up doing Grond, jump on The Monster on the upper tier at the Cromlech as the crux relies on finger locks IIRC (?).
Agree with jcm 100% about the unrelenting length of North American cracks. Best training would be running laps on something like dexterity at Millstone, though I can't see how you can restart quickly enough to simulate a single 40m pitch without toproping.
Yeah, I think the focus is going to be on mileage to be honest. In any case, I made a good start on these and did about 10 of them, then the weather got really good and the mountains started calling me.
I'd rather just go unfit then spend these sunny days in quarries!
As soon as it cools down, some enduro style challenges at millstone and hen cloud are on the cards.
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