King on the Throne, 5.9-5.12c

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Idaho, United States, North America
Trad Climbing, Sport Climbing
Spring, Summer, Fall
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King on the Throne, 5.9-5.12c
Created On: Jul 9, 2014
Last Edited On: Jun 19, 2015


Double Cracks, 5.10a
Dow leading Double Cracks, 5.10a

Double Cracks (5.10a) located on King on the Throne’s north face is one of the better 5.10- trad lines at the City of Rocks.   If you are doing Thin Slice and Animal Cracker, you need to be adding Double Cracks to the agenda.  Bingham’s guide talks about it once being considered “the standard for 5.10- crack (but) now it is considered stiff for the grade”. City of Rocks is considered a soft graded place to begin with mostly due to the majority of the climbers visiting from Salt Lake. But if you are a competent desert or California 5.9 trad climber, this route will be right up your alley. There is a good selection of relatively short 5.9’s on the east wall as well.

King on the Throne is directly across from the Parking Lot Rock road. There are camp sites located adjacent to the rock. In July it is a quiet locale mid-week. I imagine it is a zoo on popular weekends due to no approach and the selection of 5.9 routes.

Route Description(s)

Z-Cracks, 5.9
Jorge Urioste still belaying and climbing like a mad man at 77...
Stan s Roof, 5.10
Dow leading Stan's Roof, 5.10
Double Cracks, 5.10a
Dow Leading Double Cracks-2015

Routes Listed Left to Right as you face the Wall

  • Short Route- 5.10R/

  • Fishbone- 5.12c*TR/

  • Double Cracks- 5.10a***/The crux is the start up the twin finger cracks on good gear (cams or wires). Reach for finger locks via sloping feet. A small reachy hand jam shows up after a few meters. Maybe one chimney move or two, but for the most part, all positive, fun and safe climbing leads to an easy exit with a large feature to sling for a top rope for others or traverse right a few meters to rap hangers. Dow

  • Descent
    Rap the chains out right of Double Cracks with a 60m rope. This rap anchor is not shown in Bingham’s guide book.

    Essential Gear
    This is a true north facing wall, thus a great summer climb. I led Double Cracks in July. Double Cracks takes wires or cams, single rack #0 to #3, doubles #.3 to #2. Take long runners if setting a top rope. 60m rope.

    Routes Listed Left to Right as you face the Wall

  • Jug World- 5.9**/

  • Crack World- 5.9*/Short, but deserving of two stars compared to other 5.9's in the park.  Neat physical start via a huge jug to your first placement (C4#.4). Good hands lead up balanced...angling moves.  One of the better short 5.9's  in the park in my opinion, so is Z-Cracks. Snakes and Ladders is more like 5.7 in comparison.  You can set up a gear belay with a C4#3 and #4 on top and rap down the west face on Groovy Crack.  Dow

  • Dying for Dyno’s- 5.12TR**/

  • Z-Cracks- 5.9**/This is the obvious right facing corner crack in the middle of the wall. Jam up the corner using the multiple crisscrossing dikes for feet until a hand jam crack spits off left. This is the crux of the pitch. Jam that crack to gain height for your feet then back to the corner to reach a jug above the final closed portion to dyno up to the top. Set up top rope out right with a #3 and #4 or rap off the west side. Dow

  • Stan’s Roof- 5.10**/Tricky protection, but a worthy lead for sure.  Start up the off-width.  The crux climbing is a meter or two below the roof.  From a wide heel-toe, transition to lay back and stem via a slab foot bump on the left.  Micro nuts and/or RP's protect this move best.  The roof protects well with a C4#.75 but that piece does interfere some with the under cling needed to pull the roof into bomber hand jams.   An option is to pull out on the right wall, but that is not the intent of the route.  Run-out 5.6 face leads to the summit.  Belay on top on medium gear.  Rap either Double Cracks to the north or Groovy Crack to the west. Dow

  • Snakes and Ladders- 5.9**/This is a fun thin seam but there are many features to climb around the crack.  This is one of the softer 5.9's I have ever led.  The guide mentions it is run out after the seam but in reality the upper section has several horizontal placements through 5.6 climbing to the summit. Belay on top on medium gear.   Rap either Double Cracks to the north or Groovy Crack to the west. Dow

  • One Bolt- 5.10R/

    Routes Listed Left to Right as you face the Wall

  • Tastes Like Fear- 5.10**/

  • Water Groove- 5.10/

  • Climber's Diet- 5.10a*/

  • Queen on the Pot- 5.11b*/

  • The Awakening- 5.11a***/

  • Groovy Crack- 5.10*/Worth more like two stars compared to other 5.10's of this ilk.  Fun jug start off the deck leads through a few easy meters.  The crux is in the middle of the pitch via good fingers with balanced and thoughtful foot work.  Then on to a great hands splitter to finish.  Anchor on top.  Dow

  • Rap and Pillage- 5.12c***/

  • Descent
    Either rap off the west or north side or down climb a rough chimney with a tree in it on the south side. It is not bad, just hard on you if you are shirtless.