Huecos Over Easy

Pocket climbs from east to west - Nine Gallon Buckets (5.10c), Smith Rock, Oregon: Choose your finish with three sets of anchors on this long sport pitch at the Morning Glory Wall. The first anchor finishes at 5.9, the second at 5.10c, and the third after more 5.9 climbing—you can just lower off from the top with a 60-meter rope. “The best part of the route is the upper third, which has a water streak with holds ranging from two- to four-finger pockets to large huecos you can sit in,” says Smith local Ian Caldwell.


Steph Davis savors the jugs on Nine Gallon Buckets (5.10c). Photo by Tyler Roemer
Nine Gallon Buckets (5.10c), Smith Rock, Oregon

Choose your finish with three sets of anchors on this long sport pitch at the Morning Glory Wall. The first anchor finishes at 5.9, the second at 5.10c, and the third after more 5.9 climbing—you can just lower off from the top with a 60-meter rope. “The best part of the route is the upper third, which has a water streak with holds ranging from two- to four-finger pockets to large huecos you can sit in,” says Smith local Ian Caldwell.

Guidebook: Climber’s Guide to Smith Rock, by Alan Watts

Knobs in My Pocket (5.10), Telluride, Colorado

Escape the typical Colorado crowds with a lesserknown classic on the Main Wall near Bridal Veil Falls. Fish out the pockets in a sea of conglomerate pebbles for 100 feet.

Guidebook: Telluride Rocks! by Damon Johnston and Charlie Fowler

Sunshine (5.9+), Red River Gorge, Kentucky

Sunshine is one of the popular Military Wall’s most classic routes, and it makes a great warm-up for those gunning for Military’s “5.12 Wall.” Sunshine travels 50 feet up an overhanging sandstone wall with huge pockets and a pump that doesn’t let up.

Guidebook: Red River Gorge Rock Climbs, by Ray Ellington


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Jules Cho looks ahead on Pocket Party (5.10b). Photo by Andrew Burr
Jules Cho looks ahead on Pocket Party (5.10b). Photo by Andrew Burr
Pocket Party (5.10b), Queen Creek Canyon, Arizona

“Good for a deep-down pump!” says photographer Andrew Burr of this bolted line at the Pond. “Not too sharp, this baby is steeper than your average 5.10 and throws pockets of all sizes and shapes at you for the entire distance.”

Guidebook: The Rock Jock’s Guide to Queen Creek Canyon, by Marty Karabin

Power Milk and Bagels (5.10b), Shelf Road, Colorado

“One of Shelf’s finest pocket routes, and a must-do for the limestone aficionado. A real live pocket dominatrix!” says Rick “Rico” Thompson, one of Shelf Road’s early developers. The highquality Power Milk and Bagels follows 75 feet of excellent pockets up a black panel at the North Gym. Don’t let the climb’s awkward start throw you off—a string of long, fun moves quickly follows.

Guidebook: Shelf Road Climbing, by Bob D’Antonio

Take Your Hat Off (5.10b), Wild Iris, Wyoming

Located at one of Wild Iris’ tallest crags, Cowboy Poetry, Take Your Hat Off tackles huge pockets on vertical to slightly overhanging white limestone. This sunny classic can be extended to a second set of anchors for a 5.13b ride.

Guidebook: Lander Rock Climbs, by Steve Bechtel

Malice in Bucketland (5.9-), Hueco Tanks, Texas

The name says it all: Hueco Tanks has copious large pockets, and you’ll find them on the roped climbs as well as the boulders. Enter Malice in Bucketland on North Mountain: a 125- foot jug haul on some of the deepest pockets you’ll ever sink your hands into. A 70-meter rope is necessary for lowering.

Guidebook: Hueco Tanks: Climbing and Bouldering Guide, by John Sherman

Pocket Rocket (5.10c), Day Canyon, Moab, Utah

This unique ladder of huecos, shooting straight up a sandstone face for 65 feet, is located in Day Canyon, a less-crowded alternative to busy Potash Road. Some call it sandy, but that all fits in with the desert environment.

Guidebook: Best Climbs Moab, by Stewart Green

Dinkus Dog (5.10b), Looking Glass Rock, North Carolina

Many climbers contend that Dinkus Dog is one of the best traditional routes of its grade in the state, covered with Looking Glass’ trademark eyebrow pockets. “I first climbed Dinkus as a teenager with my dad [first ascensionist Jeep Gaskin, a prominent area route developer],” says Sarah Gaskin. “It’s 200 feet of pure, steep, well-protected eyebrow climbing. The beauty of eyebrow climbing is that you continually have to handfoot match, and the climbing is incredibly graceful.”

Guidebook: Selected Climbs in North Carolina, by Yon Lambert and Harrison Shull

Scarab (5.9), Malibu Creek, California

Malibu Creek is littered with pockets, and Scarab is no exception. This short but fun route follows a line of huecos to an arête before the top. Warm up your tendons here before heading to the neighboring pocketed 5.10s.

Guidebook: Sport Climbing in the Santa Monicas, by Louie Anderson

 


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