G.C.T. - West Face / Lightning Crack

Page Type
Washington, United States, North America
Route Type:
Rock Climb
Time Required:
Less than two hours
II 5.8

Route Quality: 7 Votes

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G.C.T. - West Face / Lightning Crack
Created On: Feb 4, 2005
Last Edited On: Mar 4, 2005


Follow the directions to the base of the southeast face of Grand Central Tower given on the main page. The West Face starts up the center of the slab in the middle of the face.

Route Description

Pitch #1 - 5.8 - 95' - Move up the stellar slab utilizing knobs, nubbins, and other small features for climbing. This pitch is well protected by numerous bolts, and is very enjoyable. Near the top of the pitch, the route traverses to the right under a bulge. This is the crux (hard for the grade), and is balancy and tricky. A long reach helps. Belay at the bolts.

Pitch #2 - low 5th class - 60' - This pitch traverses to the left over to the top of the first pitch of Lighning Crack on easy but fairly runout terrain. A fall here will result in a big pendulum. Belay at the bolts on Lightning Crack.

Pitch #3 - 5.8 - 130' - This pitch climbs the classic pitch of Lightning Crack. Start the pitch in a crackless left facing corner using bolts for protection on the slab. Now gain the namesake zig-zag crack and jamb it for 60 feet to a rest on a ledge. Climbing is sustained at 5.7+ to 5.8- in the crack, and is really nice. At the ledge you have 2 options: The first is to traverse to the west edge of the formation and belay at the bolts (recommended). Another option is to continue up the slab to the summit ridge. The slab is chossy and insecure with a piton and some cracks for protection. I rated the topout 5.8A0 or 5.10A. Belay on the shotty anchor.

Down - If you belayed from the bolts make 1 single rope rappel off the west side of the formation. If you contined to the ridge, make one single rope rappel off the back (north) side of the formation. A 50 meter barely reaches.

Essential Gear

A set of cams from .5 to 3"
1 set of nuts
12 quickdraws
50 meter or longer rope

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.

G.C.T. - West Face / Lightning Crack

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