What's the deal with Fish Crack?

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Nefarius

Big Wall climber
Fresno, CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Sep 16, 2007 - 02:41am PT
My partner and I ran a number of laps on Fish Crack this afternoon and got to talking about the grade. He seems to remember reading somewhere that it was originally rated .11+ or .11something. It was then upgraded to .12b... Why??? There are a number of .11d climbs that are harder. He says .11c, I say if so, it's a soft .11c. It's just not that hard. What about real a real .12b such as 'A Dog's Roof'? Or even a .12a such as 'Horshoes and Hand Grenades'? Both are significantly harder. In a different realm, actually.

Other than Barber "stealing" the FA of the climb, what's the history? Why the upgrade? Why the hoopla about bad or hard to get pro? There is neither on the climb. Sure, you have to be careful where you place pro in the crux, so as not to get in the way of your hand and foot placements, but there is pro all over that crack! Good pro. Easy pro. So, what's the story? Regardless, it's a really enjoyable climb. Just curious.
Russ Walling

Social climber
Out on the sand.... man.....
Sep 16, 2007 - 02:47am PT
I thought A Dogs was pish..... 11b/c, of course I did it on TR, but first try. I think they call it a hand size phenomenon.

Can't believe Barber stole that other one from me ;)
Maysho

climber
Truckee, CA
Sep 16, 2007 - 02:50am PT
Good on Ya!

In the 70's it was referred to as the hardest 5.11, and when I did it I got in a couple of wired #2 hexes to protect the thin part. Seemed harder than the other 5.11+'s that were the standard of the day, like pinky paralysis, calculator, blind faith first pitch. Have not been on it for 27 years, to assess how it stacks up with plug and go gear, and sticky rands, or with the new rating. Still would not expect to find it easier than 11d, but I could be light!

Peter
Russ Walling

Social climber
Out on the sand.... man.....
Sep 16, 2007 - 02:54am PT
Peter, how does it (Fish Crack) compare to Stubs or Tips?
Maysho

climber
Truckee, CA
Sep 16, 2007 - 03:06am PT
Stubs? Is that what you had left after you did Tips?
I thought Tips was pretty hard too, and I did it when you climbed up the crusty old aider to get started, but whats the point, we should just quote Salathe, "John they climbed our route in 3 hours! twinkle in eye smile, "no they didn't do our route Al, not our route".
All those routes were on the "proud circuit" when .12s were rare, and those who sent them even rarer.

Peter

Nefarius

Big Wall climber
Fresno, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 16, 2007 - 03:13am PT
Hey thanks for responding, guys!

"I thought A Dogs was pish..... 11b/c, of course I did it on TR, but first try."

Wow! Proud, Russ! 135* overhanging rattly fingers! Do you have fat sausages for fingers?! That's badass that you did it on the first go, even on TR!

You really found Fish Crack to be harder than Kaukulator, Peter? What about the crux pitch of The Rostrum?

Maybe different strokes for different folks, I guess? Different hand sizes? I think Fish Crack could be a bit height/reach dependent... I was able to do the crux in less moves than Blaine, but I have quite a reach advantage over him (6' with +2 reach). I set a super good foot lower in the layback and then a decent left foot high, stand up and grab the good hold to the right. It's over from there.

bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Sep 16, 2007 - 04:47am PT
i ALMOST flashed fish crack...actually fell while hanging off those huge black intrusion jugs at the top 'cause i was so fukking pumped. did it next try. this was '86 or so. back then it seemed like a valley standard for 12a. mos def WAY harder than butterballs .it was way way mos def way harder than tips. tips, you can do that whole f*#kin' thing on your feet, it's a slab....

stubs is hard. if fish is 12a, stubs is 12c, IMHO.

dog's roof is a whole different kettle of fish, definately finger-size dependent. did it on my third try. 2nd try i fell out of the shallow corner over the roof and almost decked.

assuming yer on the lead, of the four: dog's is the hardest and scariest -- 'specially with mid-80's gear; stubs is the most technically difficult -- gotta milk some sick ultra-tips locks on that f*#ker, feels a lot like a woodson route; for me, cold turkey/fish crack didn't have a single move harder than 5.11b but was pretty enduro; and tips was always a very, very pleasant walk in the park, 'specially if you stepped out onto the no-hands rest on the black knob about 3/4 of the way up the route.

just my .02 cents. that's CENTS, asshats, not BAC.

by the way, did i mention i'm SWOLE? just fyi.

y'all can go to bed now. me? i'm gonna watch t.v. and have crazy monkey sex with pink elephants. swear to god, the things they can do with that trunk....





Maysho

climber
Truckee, CA
Sep 16, 2007 - 10:05am PT
Having just today learned what SWOLE means (thank Mighty Hiker!) I would have to say it all comes down to where you are SWOLE and when.

For Tips: Swole in the calves is all you need. (never heard of Stubs so can't say)

For Calculator, for the two hard moves, or A Dogs for the whole thing, swole fingers seems to help.

For old slabs like Greasy but Groovy swole balls is certainly required.

For the Fish, swole but not too swole forearms gets you through. (musta been heartbreaking to pitch off the jugs, I feel your pump man)

To down rate old classics and crow about it here, or for me to jump in and smirk about doing a lot of the 5.11+ circuit as a kid, pre-cams in EB's,

that only takes a Swole head!

lol,
Peter

snyd

Sport climber
Lexington, KY
Sep 16, 2007 - 10:35am PT
Heh, good one Peter!
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Sep 16, 2007 - 11:48am PT
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=328855&msg=328991#msg328991
tiki-jer

climber
fresno/clovis
Sep 16, 2007 - 12:13pm PT
Russ, get back to work....where's my Chalkbag.
WBraun

climber
Sep 16, 2007 - 12:20pm PT
Well ya all maybe swole, but Barber is an ahole for stealing fish crack.
Russ Walling

Social climber
Out on the sand.... man.....
Sep 16, 2007 - 12:25pm PT
Nef: if my fingers are swole from climbing, they fit pretty darn snug in a 1" crack.

Yellow Myers Guide edit:

Stubs: FA: Werner Braun, Dale Bard, Ed Barry, 1980 (5.12 no letter)

Tips: FA: John Bachar, Ron Kauk, 1975 (11d)

Fish Crack: FA: Hot Henry et al, 1975 (12a)

A Dogs: FA: Ray Jardine, 5/77 (12a)
bob d'antonio

Trad climber
Taos, NM
Sep 16, 2007 - 12:45pm PT
Werner wrote: Well ya all maybe swole, but Barber is an ahole for stealing fish crack.

Who did he steal it from?? Where did he take it?? To the Gunks??
bachar

Trad climber
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Sep 16, 2007 - 01:45pm PT
Try "Fish Crack" with stoppers and hexes like when Henry did it...it's crazy man.

He did rate it 5.11d BTW.
bob d'antonio

Trad climber
Taos, NM
Sep 16, 2007 - 02:27pm PT
JB wrote: Try "Fish Crack" with stoppers and hexes like when Henry did it...it's crazy man.

He did rate it 5.11d BTW.

And a one inch swami.

Walleye...I know the history of the route and have climbed with Henry.

It was a little joke.
bachar

Trad climber
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Sep 16, 2007 - 02:49pm PT
Yeah and put on some o' dem green Vasque "whatchyamacallit" platform edging boots Henry used to like to wear....

Bod d' - What were those green Vasques called anyway?
Nefarius

Big Wall climber
Fresno, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 16, 2007 - 02:55pm PT
Swole heads... hahaha I guess we all have that sometimes. I'd go along with what John said about the climb being originally rated as .11d. I can see that, for sure. Still don't see it as .12b. And if it's due to the "enduro factor", then what about the climb next door? While I haven't done "the Cringe", it seems to me that CC would be way more enduro than "Fish Crack". FC is definitely a little enduro. I actually find the hardest move to be pulling into the lieback off of the big rest knob on the left. And even when it's not terribly hot, this climb feels greasy when it's in the sun!

It's so interesting to see everyone's take on different climbs throughout the valley. Cool, actually, to hear Russ, JB, Peter, bvb's and everyone else's thoughts. That's what makes this place cool! F*#king badass that you guys were doing stuff like this in EBs and swamis with nuts and hexes for pro! That certainly adds to the burl/pucker factor!

It's a nice line and fun climbing... I'd be pissed too Werner! Bummer.

Raydog

Trad climber
Boulder Colorado
Sep 16, 2007 - 02:58pm PT
I thought Stubs was ridiculous -it completely shut me down and agree w/ JB's comment regarding means of ascent, not to mention the psychological barrier involved. I mean, the attitude after Fire's alone hit the scene, it changed so much of the sport. Then with better small cams, well, I mean, that made it possible for timid moderates like me to actually lead things like Tips, Butterballs, Pinky, Blind Faith 1st, etc. With nuts and EB's, I doubt it, probably no way.
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Sep 16, 2007 - 03:03pm PT
We called 'em green 'nards.
Shoenards?
Ascenders?
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