South Crack, Stately Pleasure Dome 5.8R
Avg time to climb route: 2-4 hours
Approach time: 5 minutes
Descent time: 20-30 minutes
Number of pitches: 6
Height of route: 500'
OverviewSouth Crack is the ultimate all-time classic 5.8 finger crack. It offers beautiful, long, splitter crack, sustained climbing, beautiful position with great views and the sparkling deep blue lake below you. The catch is the run-out slabs above. For those experienced on slabs, they are trivial. For those who have less experience, they can be terrifying and potentially dangerous. The climb is south-facing and generally climbable anytime the highway is open. However, on the rare hot, windless days, it can be an oven. It is often windy up high, and balmy temperatures at the lake can trick the unwary into leaving windjackets in the car. As with all climbs in Tuolumne, do not start if thunderstorms are approaching.
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StrategySouth Crack often generates big lines. Once on the route, there is no way to pass other climbers until the slabs at the top. Faster parties often wait until late in the day to avoid the crowds. Amazingly, the route often goes unclimbed in perfect weather very early or late in the season. Watch for Highway 120 to open and quickly head up for a more serene and beautiful experience. You may even be lucky enough to see a big slab avalanche on Tenaya Peak!
The right start, with some thin face climbing protected by small nuts, gains the bottom of the crack. Itís the more clean and sustained option, but a bit harder than the standard start. When the crack runs out at the end of the third pitch, the original route heads up and left across slabs. An easier escape heads up right.
If you finish early, consider climbing West Country, H... [full history for SuperTopo members only!]
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