The Grack, Center

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 37.74000°N / 119.58°W
Additional Information Route Type: Technical Rock Climb
Additional Information Time Required: Half a day
Additional Information Difficulty: 5.6
Sign the Climber's Log


The route is located on the Glacier Point Apron - a one thousand foot high and a quarter mile wide smooth slab of granite. Drive 0.2 miles east of Curry Village to a 3-way stop. Go straight at the stop and turn right into the parking lot right before the road barriers (no private vehicles beyond this point).

From the northeast corner of the parking lot, walk 100 feet on a hiking trail and turn right onto a climbers trail (or go cross country) and head uphill towards the slab. Once at the base of the slab (foot of Glacier Point Apron), turn left and follow the foot of the slab (uphill). Hike several hundred yards till you see an opening in the forest and a massive rockfall visible further to the southeast. The second pitch of The Grack, Center - a beautiful splitter crack in a low angle smooth slab - should be visible above.

Route Description

The route is east facing and gets VERY hot on summer mornings. It becomes pleasant by early afternoon. According to C. McNamara of, this is the best 5.6 in the valley. The route begins in a 4th class gully and heads up toward a "bulge" or a notch in a roof above the gully (see photos).

Pitch 1: 5.6, 160'. Climb up 4th class gully (with some small vegetation) toward a bulge. Traverse right (6 feet) under the bulge and climb past the bulge via a notch (crux - thin for 5.6). Keep climbing for another 30 or so feet until a pod is reached at the base of the beautiful splitter crack. Gear anchor.

Pitch 2: 5.6, 150'. Follow the beautiful splitter crack as it moves up and right on the low angle slab. Protection is abundant; climbing is nothing short of pure joy. Blay in one of the shallow pods. This is THE reason to climb The Grack, Center. Gear anchor.

Pitch 3: 5.6, 140'. Continue climbing the splitter crack as it moves further up and right. The crack becomes more shallow on this pitch (and has the occasional patch of grass in it) until if finally vanishes about 15 feet below the top of the climb (an obvious shelf). At this point, move directly up toward the ledge. This is the psychological crux of the climb as there's no protection. Climb either by edging on "credit card edges" or pure smearing (it's quite easy!). The route ends atop the ledge.

Rappel straight down using TWO 60m ropes. You will see a bolted station near the end of your ropes. Do another double 60m rap to a tree below a small roof. Either downclimb the 4th class slabs from here to the ground or do another single rope rap.

Essential Gear

Two 60m ropes are required for the rappel. A full rack from micro-cams (for near top of pitch three) to about #3 Camalots (got to place a #3.5 and a #4 Camalot near beginning of pitch 2 though that probably was not essential); complete set of nuts. A short pieces of webbing might be needed for the final rap from the tree (depending on the condition of the existing ones).

Miscellaneous Info

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

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

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Diggler - Jan 15, 2004 6:42 pm - Hasn't voted

Route Comment

you might want to put a warning in here somewhere about possible unstable rock conditions on the Apron above- there was major rockfall a few years ago from Glacier Point Apron, & also another major incident recently (a month or 2 ago?), that inflicted major damage on some buildings at the base.

Craig Peer

Craig Peer - Jan 15, 2004 6:59 pm - Hasn't voted

Route Comment

The major rockfall was east of the Cow - don't climb anything East of the Cow or West of Monday Morning Slab. Routes in between those two points are " probably " ok, although I'd like to know more about the last rock fall.

dkangas - Nov 24, 2013 12:46 am - Hasn't voted

Better Approach Beta

We found the above approach beta hard to follow--in fact we went one pitch up a different 4th class gully before we realized it wasn't the right one. Simple instructions for the approach are: as above, follow the trail from the NE side of the trailhead parking (do not take the trail right off the road, take the one that stays about 25 yards from the road); stay on this trail for about 1/3 of a mile until you get to an old fire ring/ampitheater. You can't miss this. From there, angle up right to the base of the Apron and follow it left until you see easy 4th class start and an obvious splitter crack above.

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