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Desert Gold is an Iconic 5.13 Roof Crack

Desert Gold is one of the most sought-after roof cracks in Nevada

Desert Gold is photogenic and incredibly splitter and has a lot of history. The 5.13a is the most iconic roof crack in Las Vegas, it was freed by Stefan Glowacz in 1987.

The first ascent of the roof was in 1984 by Paul Van Betten and Richard Harrison, who aided on bolts to the horizontal crack. They graded it 5.11d, and three years later Van Betten returned with Sal Mamusia and climbed the finger crack directly up to the roof at 5.12c. They called it Desert Crack and left the obvious challenge of linking the two cracks into one pitch. Stefan Glowacz arrived a month later and linked the two cracks.

Over the years, several iconic photos of the route with climbers like Peter Croft and Katie Brown have circulated in print and digital. If you travel to Vegas in search of hard splitters, be sure to give Desert Gold and go. Watch Jordan Canon climbing it below.

Katie Brown on Desert Gold. Photo by Cory Richards
Katie Brown on Desert Gold. Photo by Cory Richards

Desert Gold