Crab Eyes is the most iconic feature in the refuge. Unlike Moab or Sedona, there are few towers or features within the refuge that resemble anything particular. Crab Eyes does indeed reflect crab eyes staring down on you. The classic moderate to ascend to the “eyes” is a route named Crab Salad, 5.8R****, located at the south end. The best 5.10 crack climb I have climbed to date in the refuge is The Claw, 5.10+****, located in the middle of the east face. Another stellar moderate crack is Women on Mopeds, 5.10a***, located on the center of the west face. There is a fixed rappel at the southwest end, single 60m rope. There is a walk down gully at the northeast end. A good feature to combine Crab Eyes with for a full day of climbing is the west facing Hidden Wall, just minutes down the hill to the west. We saw snakes, centipedes, elk and bison in the area.
Park at the Sunset parking lot or if the gate is closed, just before the gate. Hike a trail west past bathrooms and across a bridge. Continue to very nice stone steps (2021) that lead through the Charon Gardens, made up of small oak trees that provide 100% shade. Continue on the trail as it bends south eventually and makes way for Crab Eyes. You see Crab Eyes on approach once you gain a plateau, so it is difficult to get lost. The trail is well used. Approximately a 30-40 minute approach.
Alaskan King Crab- 5.9R***/ Just a finish variation of Crab Salad.
Crab Salad- 80’-5.8R****/ The guide has this route at 2 pitches and 100’. But it is shorter than that and goes easy as one pitch. Climb the chimney to a short finger crack above. Climb it to a ledge, traverse right along the ledge, whilst placing a horizontal piece, and take on the run-out 5.7 face climbing on the right arete. Rock is a bit chossy on this section. Belay on top with medium gear and rap Moby Dick from the summit. No need for a full rack. I used a decent #0 or #.1, #3, + one or two other pieces. 60cm slings. Southwest facing. Dow
The Arete- 5.6X/
Where the Buffalo Roam- 5.12R***/
I Wanted to Be in the Guidebook- 5.9*/
Three Hour Craniotomy- 5.10aRX/
Catch Another Ride- 5.12aTR**/
Fun Ride- 5.12aRX***/
Karl Bird Crack- 5.8+**/
The Claw- 70’-5.10+****/ The best moderate route I have climbed in the refuge to date (2021). A true crack climb that protects well and involves pure crack moves. There are two start variations. Either stem up right and traverse left or climb the wider crack to the right and traverse right. Both are good. The crux is after either traverse, an awkward finger lock to hand jam through a slightly overhanging section. It eases after that to a wide section with a little bit of off-width technique involved. Nothing a #3 or #4 can’t protect. Grunt up this section and either climb through the hole or do some decent face climbing up and right to the base of the south eye. Single to #4, plus off sets or wires. East facing. Make a medium to large gear belay on top under the south eye and rap Moby Dick when finished or walk off the ramp to the northeast. Dow
Power Series- 5.10+***/
After Lunch- 70’-5.8***/ A fun crack climb at the grade that leads to the bottom of the north eye. The beginning traverse is the crux, traversing right to left on a hand rail and placing medium gear before a physical mantel. Climb the right facing corner from there to a few meters below the north eye. Medium gear belay can be had underneath the eye. Walk off a bush laden ramp to the northeast back to the base of the wall in short order. Single to #3. East facing. Dow
Preserve the Bush- 5.10b*/
Wild Planet- 5.9+RX***/
Tarzan Traverse- 5.9**/ Overgrown with vegetation (2021).
Slab Route- 5.5**/
Wide Crack- 5.6*/
Women on Mopeds- 45’-5.10a***/ Short but good. One of the better pure crack climbs in the refuge. Scramble up left and traverse right via a micro piece and balancing moves. Place small gear and start climbing the splitter with finger locks to hands. Traverse left at the top and make a medium gear belay. Can downclimb the Wide Crack, 5.6, or walk off the long way to the northeast. Single from micro to #2. Dow
Babes on Harleys- 5.10+***/
Are You a God- 5.12cX***/
Yellow Beard- 5.12cRX****/
Moby Dick- 5.12b****/