Desperation Crack*** HVS 5b
[Desperation Crack, 3 kb]12m.

Rockfax Description
14m. The slanting widening fissure is a classic of its genre. The lower section is steady enough until things turn pear-shaped, then abandon all technique and swim for your life. © ROCKFAX

UKC Logbook Description
THE LINE on Castle Rock.Follow the slightly offset crackline left of Jabberwok to an elephantine finish. Not a t-shirt and shorts climb. A rh variant start is about 5c taking the vague groove running out of the bottom of the upper crack by climbing up and slightly left.

Poss E.Y.M.C. Pre 1957.

Ticklists: Gritstone's finest gruesome and damaging struggles, Wide Cracks, The Dirty Dozen, Yorkshire Off Widths, Thrutch and Clutch.

Photo: Desperation Crack © dazbarker
View all 11 photos or Submit a new photo of this climb.

This climb is in 185 logbooks, and on 19 wishlists.

KeenClimber - Lead O/S - 11/Jul/15

kyaizawa - Lead O/S - 23/Jun/15 with Duncan Livesey, Luke Cullum

lcullum7 - 2nd β - 23/Jun/15 with Duncan Livesey, Ky Aizawa

Hidden - Lead dnf - 18/Jun/15

SteveJCox - Lead O/S - 10/Jun/15

Hidden - Lead O/S - 10/May/15

Graeme Hammond - Lead O/S - 19/Apr/15 with Krzysztof Czechowicz, Gavin Singleton

Birthday offwidth. 1 slow slither onto gear after running out of momentum. Thrashed up next go. Great fun.
freemanTom - Lead dog - 18/Apr/15 with Paul Davies, Richard Henton

spat out numerous times
daviesp2 - 2nd dnf - 18/Apr/15 with Rich, Tom

petegunn - 2nd - 08/Feb/15 with Nick, Nicole, Matt Reeve, Davina

Hidden - Lead rpt - 08/Feb/15

Olli-C - Lead O/S - 27/Sep/14 with Sarah Rixham

Awesome, one of the best routes I've ever done.
robertmctague - Lead O/S - 07/Sep/14

Hidden - Lead O/S - Sep/14

A good fight by Bob, but he ended up having to aid the top crack on my Camelot #6. Very happy to get up clean, but I felt a bit sick afterwards. Definitely one to lead next time.
1poundSOCKS - 2nd β - 30/Aug/14

Had to aid top using Matthews Camalot #6 !!
bobpilgrem - Lead dog - 30/Aug/14 with Matthew

I'm not sure this was entirely enjoyable to climb but it was amusing watching the seconds struggle!
ian d f - Lead O/S - 22/Aug/14 with David Brock, Michael P

Hidden - 2nd dnf - 22/Aug/14

pearson9596 - 2nd O/S - 22/Aug/14 with Ian Faulkner

Desperation😁 she welcomed me in, then spat me back out, minus half the skin on legs & arms when topped out😁😁 should've listened to you paul Long sleeves & trousers
BAZIL - 2nd O/S - 22/Jun/14 with paul haunch

watson23 - Lead O/S - 19/Jun/14

Hidden - 2nd - 30/May/14

petegunn - Lead - 26/May/14 with Davina

Hidden - 2nd rpt - 26/May/14

Hidden - 2nd O/S - 16/May/14

MarkRoe - Lead O/S - 15/May/14 with Arran Laird, Rhys Whitehouse

whitehouse_rhys - Lead O/S - 15/May/14 with aron, Mark Roe

2010_graham - TR dog - 13/Apr/14

Fionnbharr - 11/Mar/14

Hidden - Lead rpt - 22/Nov/13

petegunn - 2nd - 22/Nov/13 with Bruce, Owain, Davina

owain-1978 - 2nd O/S - 22/Nov/13 with Bruce, Pete, davina

petegunn - 2nd - 06/Oct/13 with Matt Reeve, Davina

Hidden - 2nd rpt - 06/Oct/13

Climbster - 2nd β - 28/Sep/13 with Ian

Wanted to try this for a while, went ok really defo getting better at off-width.
Bloke on a Rope - Lead O/S - 28/Sep/13 with Matt

David's first grit lead (attempt) - he backed off at the crux after a long struggle. I pulled the rope and lead it. Great line and climb!
masa-alpin - Lead β - 08/Sep/13 with David F

FragOcon - 2nd - 13/Aug/13

Dervey - Lead O/S - 04/Aug/13

Hidden - 2nd - Jul/13

nails at the top, didn't risk it climbed off it and abbed for the gear.
jamesgodwin64 - Lead dnf - 16/Jun/13

David_Gledson - Lead rpt - 15/Jun/13 with Alan

cherad - Lead O/S - 15/Jun/13 with Louise Bell

petegunn - 2nd - 01/Jun/13 with Bill, Davina

wildbill - Lead O/S - 01/Jun/13 with Davina, Pete Gunn

Hidden - 2nd rpt - 01/Jun/13

Never again ! Possibly the worst climb I have ever tried , horrid, even with roger pulling ; no joke about swimming ! Well , maybe not never :-)
cobweb - 2nd - 25/May/13 with Roger Waterworth

A really big cam would have made the top bit of crack a bit less terrifying although it's lack did spur me on to the top once I was committed!
MeMeMe - Lead O/S - 19/May/13 with Tom

petekeron - Lead O/S - 13/May/13 with Chris Wright

Hidden - 2nd O/S - 30/Apr/13

Chris Reid - Lead - 30/Apr/13 with Lissy Manners

lanky and weak - Lead - 26/Apr/13 with Katie

PeteH - 2nd O/S - 16/Apr/13 with Naomi Hart

NaomiHart - Lead O/S - 16/Apr/13 with Peter Hart

andi turner - 2013

Two Cams Tom - 2nd - 02/Dec/12 with Davina, petegunn

petegunn - Lead - 02/Dec/12 with Tom, Davina

Hidden - 2nd rpt - 02/Dec/12

petegunn - Lead - 23/Nov/12 with Davina

Hidden - 2nd dog - 23/Nov/12

Classic 3*
petegunn - Lead - 05/Oct/12 with Davina

Hidden - 2nd dog - 05/Oct/12

BeckyPayne - 2nd - 09/Sep/12 with Jim Gilligan

Hidden - Lead O/S - 09/Sep/12

Great route until you near the top.... at which point upward progress seemed impossible. Almost got to a point where i couldn't even fall off! Not having much gear on your rack is useful.
markfairbank - Lead dnf - 18/Jul/12 with Calum Wadsworth

Paul Figg - 2nd - 20/Jun/12

Paul Figg - 2nd - 20/Jun/12

Matt Harle - 2nd - 20/May/12

No impression on this. sfter Chris succeeeded.
egg-man - 2nd dnf - 01/Apr/12 with Chris Vernon

Peter Reynolds - Lead - Apr/12 with matt harle

lost a lot of skin. worth wearing socks and long sleeves rolled up to elbows
timmsy - Lead - 30/Mar/12 with David_Gledson

2nded after my attempt at the lead ended one move short of the top, utterly exhausted and having stripped all the skin off my right arm. Rich led up and showed me how it was done, I was facing the wrong way! Face right and all will be well. Very well protected.
David_Gledson - 2nd - 30/Mar/12 with Rich Timms

1st lead in a while... dam good
feilx - Lead O/S - 10/Mar/12 with Floris

Hidden - 2nd - Mar/12

Hidden - 2nd O/S - 12/Nov/11

Dhonny_Jaws - Lead O/S - 12/Nov/11 with Michael Porter

Matt Cooke - Lead β - 06/Nov/11 with Rosh

Petarghh - 2nd - 19/Oct/11 with NickoClimb

Hidden - Lead O/S - 19/Oct/11

Adam Lincoln - Lead O/S - 20/Aug/11 with Meg

Did RH variation, hot, humid, sweat, physical.
mikecollins - Lead O/S - 14/Jul/11 with craigruddock

Jack00 - Lead O/S - 09/Jul/11 with Si Bulmer

alan1234 - Lead O/S - 06/Jun/11

coombsy - Lead O/S - 08/May/11 with John B

Got stuck by the rope, boobs, hips and well... everything. No fun at the time but kind of want to go back and do it now. Definite HVS, Hard VERY silly.
llamaglama - Lead dnf - 01/May/11 with Jam

Much thrutching and may have been on the rope at times but hard to tell when your wedged in a offwidth at night!
a13x - 2nd - 27/Apr/11 with Ben Hirst

nia - Lead O/S - 16/Apr/11 with Fred Mainwaring

Mr. K - 2nd O/S - 16/Apr/11 with Pete Dollman, Nia Fletcher

Required much effort... Top section done using the KFC technique
Diggler - Lead O/S - 19/Mar/11 with andyob, Calder

Calder - Lead dnf - 19/Mar/11 with Andy OB, Mark

rosh3000 - 2011

Jonathan Hall - 2nd - 20/Nov/10 with Mark Williams

Swim! The top widening bit of crack is a great struggle not small enough to jam and not big enough to fit the whole body into. I felt i would just fall out the whole time. It rare when a route eats a whole set of cams inc. a size 5 camalot
disturbed_one51 - Lead - 20/Nov/10 with Wee man

akhughes - Lead O/S - 18/Nov/10 with Steptoe

The clue's in the name!
Martin Haworth - Lead O/S - 21/Aug/10 with Tony

Hidden - 2nd rpt - 09/Jul/10

phew! Did the direct variation, as I now know it to be. Next time I'm on this I'll do the original start! (which it appears the right hand of the two possible cracks is NOT. No wonder it felt harder than expected). Gear on the direct start is adequate with RP's - just.
pebbles - Lead rpt - 09/Jul/10 with crofty

Abominable. Tenacious lead by Peri.
Kirk - 2nd - 04/Jul/10 with Peri

found the main crack a straightforward udge, but the initial "easy" start a nightmare as couldnt reach big jugs at top, and yo-yoed it. Eventually found enough micro gear to prevent deck out and lowered to ground but did not pull ropes - after this led route without rests or falls. Ironically found the main off-width chimney absolutely straightforward.
pebbles - Lead dog - 04/Jul/10

Jesus wept. Desperation is the word. Hot, sweaty day. Just kept getting spat out of the crack. I'll come back on a cold day armed with jeans and a woolley jumper...
Hardonicus - Lead dnf - 12/Jun/10 with sarah

Peter Holder - Lead O/S - 21/May/10 with Nick Valente

Hidden - 2nd - 21/May/10

simon kimber - Lead O/S - 17/May/10 with Fabrizio Della Rossa

what a fight, left a lot of skin on this one !
lithos - Lead O/S - 24/Apr/10 with Roy Crouch

mikecollins - 2nd dog - 15/Apr/10 with cliff lowther

Shorts and T-shirt
Mr Wild - Lead O/S - Apr/10

dancey1981 - 2nd - Mar/10

got fully stuck in for the first and only climb of the day. took a while figuring out/psyching myself up before the final showdown, much grunting and shouting at myself later i topped out. crack was wet with seepage and snowy topout on a proper bluebird day. AWESOME ROUTE!
andrew sandercock - Lead O/S - 20/Feb/10 with robert sandercock

mattyork2 - 2nd - 30/Jan/10 with Johnny Richard

Interesting and AWKWARD
Mattyk - 2nd O/S - 2010 with Ali K

philw - 2010

Top crack bit was hard :-)
buddha1369 - Lead O/S - 01/Oct/09 with Christian B (OB)

Christian Beck - Lead O/S - Oct/09

Hidden - 2nd - Oct/09

most effort ive ever put in on a HVS
Rowansb - Lead O/S - Sep/09

al99 - Lead O/S - 09/Aug/09 with Martina Zandonella

martinazando - 2nd dog - 09/Aug/09 with Al Benson

jimdanson - 2nd - 11/May/09 with Bob Curry

Hidden - Lead O/S - 15/Feb/09

Hidden - 2nd O/S - 15/Feb/09

andy mcc - TR - 15/Feb/09 with Robin Nicholson

Seymore Butt - 2009

Nasty Pasty body Jam to finish!
FrankKeogh - TR - 11/Jun/08 with Douggy

andrewineichen - TR dnf - 11/Jun/08 with daz barker 3csm

Hidden - TR dnf - 11/Jun/08

Well named, like trying to climb up an elephant's arse! Prepare to lose some skin!
dougiestein - TR - 11/Jun/08 with Frank Keogh

clive-greenwood - Lead dnf - 04/Jun/08

Take big stuff (Friend 6) for the top.
liamoloughlin - Lead O/S - Apr/08

Hidden - Lead O/S - 07/Mar/08

IanJackson - Lead O/S - 02/Mar/08 with Robeverybody

Hidden - Lead dnf - 2008

Hidden - 2nd - 20/Oct/07

Matt crawford - Lead - 20/Oct/07

Thought i could shuffle up the top crack!! took 5min's trying (i am thin enough!!), then stepped back out, to finish properly!! Just like Frank did afterwards!! Thanks Daz!!
AlanDavis - TR β - 10/Oct/07 with Daz Barker

Tried to lead it but head up my arse again. Had to top rope it in the end.
dazbarker - TR rpt - 10/Oct/07 with Al Davis

joe larner - Lead O/S - 30/Sep/07

Used shunt didnt load it though. Very awkward at the top.
dazbarker - Solo O/S - 01/Aug/07

tom_1985 - Lead dog - Mar/07 with Mark D

Scuming fest like trying assist in the birth of a cow placing pro
00hirsb - 2007

rob askew - 2007

fifth - 2007

tomB - TR O/S - 30/Sep/06 with Tim Griffin

Hidden - 2nd - 17/Sep/06

The final crack was awful. Eventually managed it after much blood and sweat!
Matt Bill Platypus - 2nd dog - 10/Jun/06 with Cider Nut

alicia - 2nd - 10/May/06 with Ali K

Hidden - Lead - May/06

Jon Greengrass - 2nd O/S - 2006 with Hosey

Karl Bromelow - 2006

markalmack - Lead RP - 2006

full body pump. Eroded holes in T-shirt,
Ram MkiV - Lead O/S - Oct/05 with Tony Holdsworth

Hidden - 2nd O/S - 29/Aug/05

Hidden - Lead β - 16/May/05

Andy Graham - TR dog - 2005 with Chris Robinson

Hidden - 2nd - 2005

Hidden - Oct/04

Hidden - TR RP - 16/Aug/04

Hidden - 2nd - 2004

Hidden - Lead O/S - Oct/03

adamwesthead - 2nd O/S - 28/Sep/03 with Hoult

Nigel Coe - TR - 24/Aug/02 with Tim Dunsby

Scottish78 - Lead O/S - 14/Aug/02 with Fiona G

Aptly named, took me a long time to do the finish, and a lot of sweat!
dougiestein - TR - Jul/02 with James Potter

a memorable route
innes - Lead O/S - Jun/00 with Ruth

stuart100 - 2nd O/S - 19/Mar/00 with Ian Brown

cragspud - Lead O/S - 2000

craig h - 2000

Hidden - Lead O/S - 2000

I tried to lead it but couldn't (well named - elephants arse!) Kim finished it
nickdonohue - 2nd - 06/Aug/98 with Kim Clark

Tenko - 2nd O/S - 11/Jun/98 with Glyn Jones

said "VD" in old guide book we where using - sandbag or wot! Just shows its all in the head - wouldn't of considered it if graded at HVS.
rocktigger - Lead O/S - Mar/98 with lee + shelby

Hidden - Lead O/S - 28/May/97

Tom V - 30/Apr/95

craig h - Lead O/S - 05/May/92 with Matt Ford

Hidden - Lead - 1992

Well-named. I wrecked a brand new pair of Troll climbing trousers getting up this horror.
allmag - Lead - 12/Aug/91

Pete Pozman - 2nd - 13/Jun/90 with John Byrne

rob.grafton - 1990 with barry maybank

Hidden - Lead O/S - 26/Nov/89

Dave Musgrove Jnr - Lead - 04/Sep/88 with Dad

Dave Musgrove - 2nd - 04/Sep/88 with David

Andy Say - 13/May/86

mikej - Lead - 20/Apr/74 with Nigel Sumner

mikej - 2nd - 28/Aug/73 with John Bickerdyke

Hidden - Lead - 1972

Dave Musgrove - 26/Nov/67

Users with this climb on their wishlist are:
Keith Swainson, radams2000, jotunscope, Matthew Glenn, jammy4536, Simonj, jonnybull, tgeh, Niko, Sam Marks, benghull, Davie Thomson, PanzerHanzler, betamonkey, Jack00

Total votes cast 96
hard E11 of 36
E11 of 36
easy E14 of 36
hard HVS16 of 36
HVS14 of 36
easy HVS0 of 36
hard VS0 of 36
VS0 of 36
easy VS0 of 36
hard 5c0 of 31
5c0 of 31
easy 5c0 of 31
hard 5b14 of 31
5b13 of 31
easy 5b3 of 31
hard 5a1 of 31
5a0 of 31
easy 5a0 of 31
3 Stars24 of 29
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Style of ascent
Clean O/S
Clean β
Clean repeat
Clean RP