Animal Cracker, 5.10a
Animal Cracker’s namesake route (Animal Cracker, 5.10a) is an under-appreciated route at the City of Rocks. I recall a local climbing veteran (more of a sport climber) telling Joanne (Urioste) and I that this route was not worth our time. However, we both had smiles plastered on from the moment we first walked up to it until we left. That said, there does not seem to be a plethora of good routes to combine it with on the feature named Animal Crack. However, it is only a five minute hike from the north end of Window Rock. One of the reasons it does not see the traffic it deserves is that it did not make it in the Falcon Guide “select climbs” guide book. But I have come to learn after just two trips (2012) that the collection of routes chosen for the Falcon Guide are far from my choice for "select". Yellow Wall did not make it either, nor did Stress Fracture. I advise getting a copy of David Bingham’s guide which proclaims Animal Cracker “one of the coolest flake features at the City”.
Park at the Parking Lot Rock area. Hike around the west or east face of Window Rock, your choice depending on seeking sun or shade. Animal Cracker is the next feature up the hill to the north. The routes listed below are on the west face.
Route Description(s)WEST FACE
Routes Listed Left to Right as you face the Wall
A Man Should Never Gamble- 5.6/
The Assassin- 5.10a/
Grievous Bodily Harm- 5.8R/
Ode to a Dead Ranger- 5.11c-d/
Animal Cracker- 5.10a/ This is one of the top three pure moderate trad pitches at the City. This wall shades itself in June until past noon. I used a C4 #5 in the off width section but could get by without it. Animal Cracker follows an incredible flake with no real crux move, just steady climbing. A fun hand crack roof pull awaits at the top after a short section of heal-toe off-width. A local sport climber told us he thought it was a bit hard to protect. I thought the entire pitch was bomber myself. Must do at the City.
External LinksCity of Rocks National Reserve
Castle Rocks State Park
Rock City, the place for beers