3/13/15 – Mason Earle has redpointed a 35-meter overhanging finger crack in Bartlett Wash, outside Moab, Utah, and called it 5.14-, undoubtedly one of the hardest pure crack climbs in the United States. He found the sandstone crack in 2012 and has been working on it “off and on ever since.”
The thin crack was so tenuous that Earle ended up climbing half of it with only one shoe, on his left foot. He taped his bare right toes for protection as he squeezed them into the jams. “I climb the first half of the pitch with shoes on both feet, then discard the right shoe, climbing to the top with a taped foot,” Earle said in an email. “It was crucial beta for me!” He placed 15 cams for protection during the lead.
“This crack has the wildest and most sustained movement of any route I’ve ever climbed, and it’s severely overhanging for the entire 35 meters,” Earle said in an Instagram post. “Yesterday I had the fire in my eyes, and I knew I could give it a solid go. It went down first try of the day.”
Video of Earle working on the Bartlett Wash project in 2013.