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Washington Crack Workshop

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I was reading about a workshop put together by the Southern California Mountaineers Association .


Essentially, it's a bunch of climbs they've compiled as to-do list for newbies. "Do these 5.7's, and when you're comfortable with those, move on and do these 5.8's."


I doubt I'm doing the concept justice- follow the link and it will be explained much better.


If you were putting together a similar list for Washington climbers, what would be your 10 nominations for each grade?


The only restrictions would be a)trad routes only and b)located somewhere in Washington (the area that extends as far north as Squamish and as far south as Smith, as far east as Frenchman's Coulee).


Single pitch routes are better for our pedagogical purposes.

Edited by Squid

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here are a few, not 10 of each.

5.6 Cat Crack (Squamish)

5.7 Undercover (Erie)

5.8 - Free For all (Beacon) Classic Crack (Leavenworth)Springboard (Erie)

5.9 - Godzilla, Roger's Corner, Princely Ambitions (Index) Penny Lane (Squamish) Damnation Crack (Leavewnorth)

5.10a Air Guitar (Vantage) Breakfast of Champs (Index)Cocaine Crack (Leavenworth)

5.13c City Park (Index) - Don't think this grade will be too crowded.

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Good idea Squid. You guys keep working on it and I'll document this one for the front page on the new board. thumbs_up.gifyoda.gif

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here you go mostly classics because those are the only names i can remeber without a guidebook infront of me


GNS Fist Crack

Dogleg Crack thin hand

Classic Crack hand

Eds Jam

Tarus finger crack and Chimney

Canary pitch 1

South face of jello tower



Heart of Country Fist Crack

Toxic shock/lieback start

Up up and away (pennylane) hand

Princy ambitions face finger crak

Pennylane hand

Damnation fist stem

Godzilla varies

Moonshine Dihedral stem

1st pitch of davis holland

The Bone



Breakfast of champions (H)

Arrowroot (F)

karate crack (H)

Split Beaver (fist-ow)

Brass balls (roofs, hand, fist, finger)

Sagittarius (fist)

Exotic dancer (stem)

A swingin affair (hand)

The zipper (thin finger)

2nd pitch of Davis Holland (thin hand)

last pitch of narrow arrow direct(OW)


5.10+ (yikes these mostly all thin finger cracks)

sloe children f

thin fingers h

the 10d finger crack right of purejoy at tieton

leap of faith thin h

1st pitch of lamplighter chimney face

zoom thin crack/face

Debs crack(haven’t actually climbed it) thin

3rd 10d pitch of narrow arrow direct everything

Smut face

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you gotta stick some smith gorge climbs in there, great pro, sustained


10a gruff, cruel sister, mantra, quasar

10b badfinger, wildfire, cornercopia

10c prometheus, last chance, morning star

11a on the road

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Left Side Mounties Dome

Barney's Rubble Crack



Clamshell Crack (LW)



Inca Roads (Testpiece 5.9 everything IMO)

Tangled up in blue


Intro to 10a fingers

Flying Circus


Erics list is pretty comprehensive

Edited by TrogdortheBurninator

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nice Eric. Anyone have anything to add?


Might as well list all the 8 mile cracks since you're there, eh? Deception, Right Forking. Left Forking, Nauseous


Also, mebbe: Givlers Dome, Madsen's Squeeze Chimney, COD at Castle Rock


Do people climb at the crag at the outwash of Rat Creek anymore or is it a victim of Private Property?

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Perhaps the better way to do this would be to keep routes in a given area together. That way a person will be able to work on a number of routes in their grade.


I actually tried to do the J-Tree workshop for awhile. In theory it brings you up to 5.12 trad. The problem with it is that things are so spread out. You go and do a route on the list and then just hang out where that route was for the rest of the day.



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This is cool snugtop.gif


Perhaps I can make a view similiar to the trip report index where you can sort the based on location, difficulty, and quality? We're not looking to write a guidebook here, just the best for the grade for learning, in keeping with Squid's original idea. I'll investigate how I can get this done from the technical side of things, keep them coming but if you can,


list the

1. location

2. difficulty

3. quality (your call on it)



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well if you replace the two smith routes, moonshine and karake crack with madsons chimney and crack of doom mentioned by mistermo. Then the list is basically index and leavenworth with one weekend of climbing at squamish and one weekend of climbing at tieton. Won't be to hard to make it exculsively index and leavenworth either.


That said i wonder if having a list is going to make a difference for people. The good climbers i know usually just get effing stoked about climbing and are always coming up with there own projects to challenge them. And whole thing in the jtree was on redpointing routes, which i guess is fine. But onsighting is way cooler. I know that i had to lead way more than 10 10- routes before i got my first 10c onsight.

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I think it'd be better than have a few routes from all over. Erie, Index, Tieton, Vantage, 11Worth, and Beacon.

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5.8 sf Jello tower, jam exam, slot machine

5.9 wf picaboo tower (mixed pro), Inca Roads

10- exasperator, sunblessed, Orange Sunshine

10 p1 lovin arms, Pure Joy, wildcat crack, Split Pillar

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The Beckey/ Cinnabon route on the SW rib,right next to the left facing corner that borders the NE face of the South Early Wine Spire....Viva Cinnabon!!!



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i'll have to second CC on the gorge. i did my first climbing down there this fall, cruel sister and a few others, and it is awesome, sustained pure crack. a must visit on your workshop tour.


also tieton should be on your list for gear placement. i find the placements tricky because of the variable size of the cracks. if you can lead pure joy then you have completed the workshop.

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This isn't a new concept - Jim Bridwell wrote an article in the 1970's about benchmark climbs in the Valley. If you could do all the 5.9's listed, then you were a solid 5.9 climber to the Bird's standards. But the article is long and I'm not cut-and-pasting it here. Do a google search with "bridwell brave new world" and you should find a copy out in cyberspace.


Reading his article inspred me to cull through the index posts and write up a "classics" list. Please note that all the grades and comments were not made by me.


Index Cracks:


p1 Even Steven

p1 that approach pitch to GNS, forget its name - wide

p1 GM

Private Idaho


"5.9" - these are all pretty real for 5.9s

Toxic Shock

p1 Jap Gardens


Rogers Corner

p1 Davis Holland

Battered Sandwich



p2 GM -> Heart of the Country as one pitch sinker great practice for Thin Fingers!

Breakfast of Champions - more great practice for Thin Fingers!

The Zipper (P1) 10



Libra Crack - thin hands!

Saggitarius - long pitch with everything!

Breakfast of champions 10-


hard 5.10

Davis-Holland on UTW

Godzilla p2 and Slow Children

Thin Fingers (I dont think its 11a at all, sorry)

Slow childern 10+

Narrow arrow direct 10+



Even Steven, upper

Iron Horse

others I am not good enough to climb

Marginal karma 11-

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Cool- thanks to everyone for you suggestions so far; this is great. I'm still waiting for lists from some of the 'more mature' crankmeisters (PeterP, MisterE, Pope, ChucK, etc).


I'd like to assemble a ticklist that's functional for Seattle area climbers- focused on Index, 11orth, Tieton & Vantage, but with significant inclusions from Squish, Smith, & Skaha for a change of pace & to give exposure to different types of climbing.


It may be that this entire concept is futile & useless, but I suspect that more than a few people would find a progression like this useful, even if only as a source of inspiration.

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Add to Index:


5.9: Beak, Beak, Beak


5.10+: Dr. Sniff & the Tuna Boaters


5.11: Japanese Gardens, Centerfold


5.11+: Clay




5.8: Old Gray Mare,


5.9: Mary Jane Dihedral, Yellowbird, Straight Street, Celestial Groove


5.10: Easter Overhang (o/w), MF Overhang, Off Duty


Edited by MisterE

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I always thought Plum Pudding seemed hard for the grade. In fact it made Godzilla look like 5.8 or so. Maybe it is because I didn't touch the tree in it?


Never done the upper Model Worker, but the lower part is no crack climbin really. At least not near 11. Really good climb and probably way better when doing the whole thing.


What is Free Range Chock??

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I always thought Plum Pudding seemed hard for the grade. In fact it made Godzilla look like 5.8 or so. Maybe it is because I didn't touch the tree in it?

I think you’ve touched into a pitfall in building a stepladder list – grading inconsistencies. If some cranks a couple of Squamish 5.9s and decides to step up, they’re in for a shock if they choose an Index 5.10a like Pisces or Breakfast of Champs - which are really 3-4 letter grades harder. confused.gif


Not saying whether Squamish or Index ratings are right, but if you want to mix them, you need to adjust for such differences.

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Here's what I think is a fairly comprehensive Leavenworth list. I eliminated a few of the above routes cause they have bolts hellno3d.gif or they are more of a multi pitch affair or I just think they suck wink.gif. I'm sure I missed a few good ones from lack of knowledge (or memory...) and I definately know of a few that aren't in the most current guide that should be included. I did down rate a few (one grade) to keep it more consistant. A few are multi pitch but most have a quality first pitch at the given rating, others like the R&D just simply should be included. You'll notice a serious decline after 11- cause, um, well, that shizzle is gettin too hard for my old ass... wave.gif



Midway- multi

Saber- multi

Notch Route on Tumwater Tower- hands



R&D- multi

Tree Route- multi

The Fault- chimney, hands, fists, face

Ground Hog Day- fingers, hands



Givler's Crack- mostly hands, fist

Bob's 4th Crack- hands

Roots Rock Reggae- hands

P2 Rgular Route (Careno)- hands



Classic Crack- hands

Dogleg Crack- tight hands, hands

S Face Jello Tower- tight hands, hands, face

Canary- hands

Animal Farm- hands, fists, face

Cloud Nine- hands, fists

Catapult- hands, stemming

Arselips and Elbows- chimney

Spaghetti Sauce- hands

The Arch- undercling, smearing

P3 Regular Route (Careno)- stemming, hands



Celestial Groove- fingers, hands

Ski Tracks Crack- hands

Damnation Crack- lieback, fists

Kitty Corner- lieback, stem, fingers, hands

Yellowbird- fingers, hands, face

The Bone- hands, heel hook, mantle

Lightning Crack- hands

Poison Ivy Crack- hands

Deception Crack- thin hands, slick face

Twin Cracks- thin hands

Angel Crack- fingers, slick-as-snot feet

Forking Crack- hands, face



Crack of Doom- hands, thin hands, face

Brass Balls- fingers, off fingers, hands

Cocaine Crack- fingers, hands

Arms Control- fingers, hands

Exotic Dancer- stemming, hands

Meat Grinder- hands, fists

Bo Derek- hands, face

A Swingn' Affair- hands

P3 Bale/Kramar- fingers, hands, fists

Pearly Gates- fingers, chimney, hands



MF Overhang- fingers, face

The Nose- fingers, face

Carnival Crack- OW

Z-Crack- fingers, hands

Deb's Crack- hands, fists

Original Route on Warrior Wall- stemming, hands, face

Shot Down in Flames- lieback, hands

Leap of Faith- fingers, thin hands, face



Pumpline- fingers, thin hands

MF Direct- fingers

Divine Line- fingers

Solar Power- fingers

Air Roof- fingers, hands



ROTC- thin hands, hands

Lazy Boy- hands


- bigdrink.gif

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