Climb Number 1: Climbing Smarter on El Cracko Diablo, Devil’s Tower

April 25, 2015 Climb Number 1: Climbing Smarter on El Cracko Diablo, Devil’s Tower

The last time we climbed Cracko Diablo at Devil’s Tower, we were really scared. We were nervous. We didn’t bring the right gear. We were just plain sloppy. This time, we will do it better by being smarter.

The challenge:  We move up and along a featureless granite wall with a center crack system that spans between 3 to 8 inches wide.  It continues vertical and then shifts to a slight overhang for 400 feet; it is just enough of an angle to make me nervous. The crack feels like it wants to push me off the rock as I climb higher and higher. Then it gets easier for another 300 feet of climbing to the summit.

Last time I climbed it: We underestimated the climb and didn’t bring enough gear.  Because the crack is such a consistent width, it needs a lot of the same sized camming devices, which anchors the rope into the crack. We didn’t bring enough of that size so we had to ‘run it out,” meaning we had bigger gaps between protection. That made it really scary; a fall would be a big one: up to 60 feet.

This time: Bring a bigger rack of same size cams. Borrow lots of cams from our friends!

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