Craig’s List: A Tribute to Offwidth Master Craig Luebben

Offwidths are Beautiful (5.10) near Moab, Utah  Photo: Andrew Burr

Last Spring I concluded a pilgrimage to Craig Luebben’s (1960-2009) top ten desert offwidth FAs as a tribute to him. I started in the Spring of 2010 with an innocent looking list, 50 rolls of tape for my hands, a few hundred caffeinated Clif Shot Bloks, Motrin, a huge rack of big cams and Big Bros, elbow pads, knee pads, liquid bandage, topical lidocaine patches, duct tape for  shredded clothing and a few bottles of tequila.

Read the story  and see Andrew Burr’s awesome photos in Climbing Magazine online here: Craig’s List

Pamela Shanti Pack on The Dragon’s Lair 5.11 near Moab, UT  Photo: Andrew Burr

Craig’s Top Ten

Long Canyon, Utah
Ralph (5.12b), with Kennan Harvey and Dave Anderson, 1994
The Mayor (5.12a), with Topher Donahue, 1995
Done Lubin’ (5.11), with Jim Dunn, 1994
Sidewinder (5.11), with Thor Keiser, 1990
Dragon’s Lair (5.11), with Greg Murphy, 1989
Slither & Scream (5.11), with Sari Schmetterer, 1991

Indian Creek, Utah
The Dentist’s Chair (5.11d), early 1990s
Tooth Fairy (5.10+), with Kevin Chase (same day as Dentist Chair)

River Road, Utah
Sorcerer’s Crossing (5.12a), with Jeff Achey, 1994

Potash Road, Utah
Offwidths Are Beautiful (5.10), with George Hurley, Earl Wiggins, Katy Cassidy, and Sari Schmetterer, 1988

Patrick Kingsbury starting to suspect he knows why this route is called "Ralph" 512b
Patrick Kingsbury starting to suspect he knows why this route is called “Ralph” 512b

Most Visionary of the Top Ten: The Sorcerer’s Crossing 5.12a

Below, the chimney fell away into darkness, and above it pinched ominously to a flared 5.11+ offwidth…Above the pinch, thinking I was home free, I faced the crux: a sandy, flared, wet, overhanging – and for Dunn, unprotected – offwidth. I happily placed two Bigbros and pressed up this frightful gash to the top of The Sorcerer. ~Craig Luebben Climbing 179

The  Sorcerer’s Crossing 5.12a was established by Craig Luebben with Jeff Achey in 1994.  The final pitch was originally part of the Sorcerer, a three pitch route up the left side of  the Sorcerer formation on River Road. The Sorcerer was established in 1977.  Initially, Jimmy Dunn and Chris Wood climbed the three wide pitches with a few points of aid.  Dunn returned the next year with Leonard Coyne and freed the route at 5.11+.  The soul and ego crushing Sorcerer and Sorcerer’s Crossing  are visionary and spectacular routes.

Craig Luebben avoiding the over-hanging calf-locks on Pitch 1 of  The Sorcerer’s Crossing 5.12a, River Road, UT

A special thanks to all those who climbed, belayed, took photos and provided stories about Craig.  It wasn’t possible without you:  Andrew Burr, Jay Anderson, Pat Kingbury, Jeff Achey, Dougald McDonald, Sylvia Luebben, Malcolm Daly, Kennan Harvey, Topher Donahue, Sari Schmetterer, Craig DeMartino, Greg Murphy, George Hurley and Kevin Chase. Also a big thank you to Nathan Smith and Edelweiss for their continued support as well as indestructible ropes.

Offwidths Are Beautiful!


  1. Shanti I am psyched to see the story in Climbing! Looking forward to getting on some wide cracks with you this spring. Keep crushing!

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