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Routes : North America : United States : California : Lake Tahoe : Sugarloaf : West Face : Fat Merchant's Crack (5.10a X)

Fat Merchant's Crack (5.10a X) - 5.10b

Average Rating = 3.67/5 Average Rating : 3.67 out of 5
Route sequence (left to right): 0
Route Summary | Ascent Notes (4)
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Royal Robbins, TM Herbert, 1967
Rock (Trad)
cams: 1 ea 5-9"
Consensus Ratings
  Difficulty 5.10b
  Safety Rating R
  Exposure 3.00/5
  Rock Quality 4.00/5
  Scenery 3.50/5
  Fun Factor 5.00/5


"Sugarloaf's wide crack testpiece". Start in the wide chimney and burrow yourself in deep. After about 50 ft the crack narrows to a tight squeeze where you'll find a hideing piton in a horizontal crack deep inside the chimney. After clipping the piton, you'll have to drop down a few feet to be able to squeeze your way out of the crack. This is where the struggle begins. You can protect this section if you have 12" gear or you'll have to work your way up another 20 ft until you can get a #6 to stick. Keep in mind, you'll be 20 ft up and 30 ft out from that manky looking piton before you can get a solid piece of gear in. Once the squeeze chimney narrows to the point where it forces you out, despirate "thank God" foot and hand holds begin to appear and you can now plug in some much welcome gear. Now that the huff is over, make your way up an ever narrowing crack (w/ good pro) to the belay or continue to a short roof where you'll find a set of bolted anchors waiting on top...(60m rope only). The next pitch climbs some slightly runout face up a (sorta) chimney (5.6ish) and meets up in the south notch with Hardings Chimney. Follow that to the top. Much harder than Self Abuse or Midterm and the Meat Grinder in the Valley.

Descent Options:

Walk off the top or rappell with a 60m rope from the anchors of the first pitch to the anchors of Pan Dulce. Another short rap puts you on the ground.

Submitted by: pierredestcroix on 2006-08-17
Last Modified: 2006-11-18
Views: 1388
Route ID: 79027

4 Ascents Recorded

GoRecord an ascent

  Difficulty 5.10b
  Safety Rating R
Second Second ascent by: Rockjunkie15 on 2012-01-28 (View Climbing Log)

3 out of 5 stars Good

I drew the short straw and ended up following this really good route, we had a #5, #6, #12 so it really wasn't the full on x status. The climbing isn't too hard but you definitely need to conserved your energy and be efficient at squeeze chimney. Can hardly wait to lead it

Added: 2012-01-29

  Difficulty 5.10b
  Safety Rating PG13
  Rock Quality
  Fun Factor
Onsight Onsight ascent by: retro67 on 2009-11-14 (View Climbing Log)

4 out of 5 stars Serious OW

Pretty well defined crux. The rest is just physical. I had #9 and #12 VGs and also clipped a bolt on the adjacent face climb. So I was never facing groundfall. Never even saw or clipped the "hidden piton".

Added: 2009-11-14

  Difficulty 5.10b
  Safety Rating X
  Rock Quality
  Fun Factor
Onsight Onsight ascent by: salamanizer on 2006-11-12 (View Climbing Log)

4 out of 5 stars The Fatty Merchant

Feels harder than the grade. Very sustained. The Piton needs replaced. 12" pro would be nice. A #6 #5 and a set of nuts protects the protectable just fine. I cheated, I used a #12 Valley Giant. Still 50 Feet till I could use it and still very much an R++ route.

Added: 2006-11-17

Top Rope Top Rope ascent by: pierredestcroix on 2004-08-17 (View Climbing Log)

0 out of 5 stars Ascent Note

First Pitch only after setting up a TR after climbing Scheister and rapping down.

Witnessed by: John Robinson, Adam Peterson
Added: 2004-08-17