'Daks Cracks vs. J-Tree Cracks

Posted by: caver

'Daks Cracks vs. J-Tree Cracks - 02/26/05 01:50 PM

Time to start the annual spring break climbing trip post......We are planning to hit J-Tree for a couple days before returning to Red Rocks for some of the multi-pitch classics in the canyons. Several people have told me to tape up for those J-Tree cracks. I've lead some of the moderates in Keene Valley (Jewels/Gems Wall, Creature Wall, Beer Walls) Also some of the 'North End Cracks' at Cathedral in NH, how do those 'stack' up against those grainy hand eaters at J-Tree.?
-M
Posted by: Chas

Re: 'Daks Cracks vs. J-Tree Cracks - 02/27/05 02:55 AM

J-Tree cracks are like putting your hand into a cats mouth, ok not quite so bad but coming close. Tape in J-tree is a lifesaver
Posted by: intrepid02

Re: 'Daks Cracks vs. J-Tree Cracks - 02/27/05 01:02 PM

Tape is good as primary prevention and that j-tree climbing balm is good as tertiary prevention.

Have a blast!!! I can't wait to get back there. I'll probably go on a trip there in March of '06.
Posted by: dalguard

Re: 'Daks Cracks vs. J-Tree Cracks - 02/27/05 04:20 PM

I don't tape at J-Tree. There's a nice texture on the rock but good technique should keep you from incurring any damage. It's not like Sonja, for instance.
Posted by: CrackBoy

Re: 'Daks Cracks vs. J-Tree Cracks - 02/27/05 10:03 PM

yea, i haven't taped either of the times i went to Jtree. i didnt think the rock was that sharp at all, the only time it bothered me were on the approaches where you are boulder hopping.

tape does help if you havn't had much experience with the crack
Posted by: Jim Lawyer

Re: 'Daks Cracks vs. J-Tree Cracks - 02/28/05 12:16 AM

To reply to your question about comparing cracks in the two areas:

Both areas have some really good quality crack routes. I love the hand-size lines in the Dacks as well as the off-width, whereas J-Tree, the finger cracks are just exceptional.

I find J-Tree cracks tend to be sharper with more crystals. For strenuous cracks in both areas, I always tape, but especially in J-Tree. More obscure routes in J-Tree tend to be *very* grainy and coarse -- e.g., Junk Clump, Sheepbugger's Wall. I find that taping is especially important if I'm pushing my grade -- I'll slip a bit from being such a weak bumblie and I'd rather tear tape than skin.

Both the Dacks and J-Tree tend to have many features on the edge of the cracks or on the face around the cracks (with exceptions, of course). Cracks in these areas are not "pure" like at Indian Creek.

Both areas have cracks of all sizes -- from off-width to hands to fingers.

As a general rule, I find crack climbing in J-Tree to be cleaner -- i.e., not as dirty, mossy, lichen covered, or brushy. -- as the Dacks. Obscure crack routes in the Dacks are, well, gardens of dispair (e.g., Cobble Hill, Echo Cliff).

In both areas, the cracks are generally not uniform, meaning that you don't need 7 of the same piece. I find that doubles from #00 TCU through #3 Camalot (or as big as you want) is usually sufficient. (Of course, you sort through and carry only what you need for a given route, leaving most of the stuff at the base.) Both areas eat up nuts of all sizes, from RPs through, say, #8 or #9. In the Dacks, a double set of RPs is required for some routes; in J-Tree, I've never needed that many.

Jim