Lightning Bolt Cracks 5.11a
North Six Shooter, Indian Creek
About the Climb
Lightning Bolt Cracks is an outstanding, sustained, varied and intimidating climb. It is is one of the undisputed classic desert climbs that every climber should do. The position and exposure are simply incredible, and the summit of the North Six Shooter offers some of the best views of Indian Creek and Canyonlands. The climbing on Lightning Bolt Cracks is varied with cracks of all sizes, going from fingers to hands, fist and chimney. Check out the movie Return2Sender to see Renan Ozturk’s onsight free solo ascent!
Although the technical crux on Lightning Bolt Cracks is right off the ground, many struggle at the top of the first pitch as well. And if you don't have big hands, the 2nd pitch roof can feel pretty hard for 5.10. Overall, Lightning Bolt Cracks is pretty sustained and can be done in 2, 3 or 4 pitches, with various belay options possible.
To compensate for the relatively short tower, a rather long and involved approach is needed to get to the base of this classic climb, which can add to the adventure. 2 main options exist: The Southern approach is the most common, and is better suited for High Clearance 4x4 vehicles. The Northern approach is better for 2WD vehicles and might be a slightly shorter and gentler approach. However, it is less used and traverses a field with a lot of cryptobiotic soil. Please try to stay in other peoples’ tracks if you choose this option.
If you're in Indian Creek and you want to take it easy, the closest thing to the North Six Shooter is it's little sister to the South. The South Face (5.7 to 5.10) of the South Six Shooter is a great place to bring less experienced climbers or to take it easy on a rest day. Our Gearlooptopo for this tower features two distinct routes allowing you to reach both summits, as well as other quality single pitches to fill your day.
If you're looking for something a little more sustained, check out the Bridger Jack Spires (5.10b to 5.11b: East Face Route, Learning to Crawl, Sparkling Touch, and Thunderbolts). With 4 independent summit towers, these excellent, short and varied climbs will keep you busy for a full day, and camping at the base of the formation is hard to beat!
If you're driving back to Moab and want to get on something longer, try Primrose Dihedrals (5.11d or 5.10+A0). If you want something that will feel a little easier and with more finger size cracks, you should climb In Search Of Suds (5.11a) or Fine Jade (5.11a).