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Cracking the Emerald

Mt. Majestic, Cracking the Emerald. In November Ryan Frost and I climbed Cracking the Emerald (IV/V 5.10 C1), a steep new six-pitch route on the southwest face of Mt. Majestic, in the Emerald Pools area. We ascended a striking corner near the center of the face, with dark rock on the right, lighter rock on the left. Part way up the corner is a roof, split by a one-inch crack. The climbing was mostly hand-and-finger cracks, with clean aid climbing and ledges at every belay.

Shortly after our ascent, Ben Williams free-climbed the route, leading every pitch. Three pitches were 5.11, and the fifth was 5.12-. We were surprised this route hadn’t been done before, because of the quality of the climbing and the close proximity to the pools. The setting is spectacular.