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BETA PHOTO: Braille Book, looking up at Pitch 3
Braille Book is an awesome route perched way up high at the top of the Cathedral gully. Named for the many knobs that would "allow even a blind many to climb it", this is some fun climbing! An extra bonus to the extremely enjoyable climbing is belaying with a ringside seat to the two Cathedral Spires and Yosemite Valley spread out below you. Although it comes with a bit of a grunt approach, it's well worth the effort for such a nice route. Get up early, this one is popular!
P1) Climb steep and featured wall just right of right-facing corner system. 130'
P2) Jam a crack that heads up and left into the corner. Continue in wide (fist) crack and belay at a small tower with slings. 100'
P3) Climb up crack to right of corner, that dumps you into a slick chimney (watch out tricky move!). Continue up the chimney to belay on small shelf on left at the base of right-arching offwidth crack. Long pitch 185'
P4) Climb right-arching offwidth crack up and right to a shelf. You can continue 20' up to another shelf via a nice and obvious crack. 60'
P5) Climb up face around the corner to the right (tricky!) crossing up and right to gain the top of the buttress above. 90'
P6) Climb up featured face, up and left across the face, headed for the top. Lots of places to go here. Jugs at the top.
Descent: Scramble off the back and then come around to descend gully. Beautiful hike down!
Park on the side of the road (south side) in front of Middle Cathedral Rock. A climbers trail can be accessed from this pullout. Follow the climbers trail all the way up the gully. Approximate time 1.5 hours.
Start climbing on the left side of the base of Higher Cathedral Rock at a right-facing corner system. Watch out that you're not starting up the Book of Job route!
Standard rack; soup to nuts. Don't forget the big stuff!
BETA PHOTO: Braille Book
Starting up Pitch 1 of Braille Book
At the P1 belay of Braille Book.
Approaching the P4 belay on Braille Book.
On the summit of Braille Book with Higher Cathedra...
BETA PHOTO: Braille Book follows a line to the left of the obv...
First pitch of Braille Book.
Kevin Sargent belaying from top of pitch 1. Braill...
The last easy pitch of Braille Book, one of Bridwe...
maybe just a little sandbagged?
BETA PHOTO: Braille Book. The big obvious corner that goes up ...
From: Sacramento, CA
Jun 26, 2007
The approach hike is straightforward but steep, gaining 1600' in elevation from car to the base of the route. Count on a solid hour at a brisk pace.
Pitches 5 & 6 link with a 60m rope (180').
|By Wesley Ashwood|
From: Durango, CO
Oct 26, 2009
This is a great route to move into 5.8 territory. The 5.6 and 5.7 sections are steep and well protected with fun features everywhere.
I brought an old BD 3.5 that came in handy a few times, you could probably get away with a 3 but for that extra pro its worth lugging along.
Avoid a backpack, its definitely a nuisance in the chimney as well ad the 5.8 OW which is in a pretty sharp corner.
We linked 5 and 6 together with some nasty rope drag and wind, but everything worked out alright.
|By Daniel Max Christiansen|
From: Torreón, Coahuila, Mexico
Jun 18, 2010
I would say, and the word around the valley is, that due to the greasyness of the 5.8 OW the rating is fairly sandbaged
|By mark felber|
From: Frisco, CO,USA
Jul 14, 2011
This climb gets my vote for the best 5.8 around. I did it for the first time in 1982, did it many times after that. The hike to the summit of Higher Cathedral Rock is well worth doing, the view of El Cap is spectacular. I've sometimes lowered down a bight of rope and hauled the pack up the OW section, then left it clipped to some gear while I finished the pitch, just to save the second having to carry the pack up that stretch.
Jan 4, 2012
One of my favorites of all time! Did it on Jan 2nd, 2012. Can be done in four pitches with a 70m rope.
From: Oakland, CA
May 25, 2012
Second time up so I tried the 10c variation on p4 and it was really good. The final 10a finger section looked dirty so at that pointed you can also stem back to the regular route. Perfect hand jams on slight overhang. Really fun.
From: Oakland, CA
Jun 11, 2012
Fun and exposed variation goes out right after traversing around the roof that caps the chimney/corner. Up to a ledge on right-slanting corner, then out right to good hands with lots of air under you feet and an amazing view of the complex, tiger-striped face of Higher's east face.
5-star route, no sandbag at 5.8, bring the #4 if in doubt.
|By daniel ballarin|
Jul 6, 2012
Good time, there was a lot of easier face climbing that was pretty damn run out especially the 2nd pitch. Bring a #4 for piece of mind. Also 2 #3 camalots helped for piece of mind. I also found my C3s were handy. There was a lot of fixed gear that I clipped but never tested them. Also the pitons on the crux chimney was welcome, otherwise the chimney would have been more dangerous. I still thought it was a PG-13 route. I was also tired from climbing the week before though.
|By Brian Prince|
From: morro bay, ca
Oct 15, 2012
I've climbed this twice over two years or so and I still think the crux pitch is harder than anything on the Northeast Buttress. And if you don't bring bigger gear it will sure be scarier too. When I think of the two now, therefore, this one makes me uhhhh way more nervous. Even though the NEB is way longer, I'd say it's way more doable as far as the climbing and pro go. Seriously, one should bring a 4 or 5 if there's any doubt. It's just for the one spot but I'm sure it could probably be used elsewhere
From: Las Vegas, NV
Oct 15, 2012
Great climb at the start of a cold day...I just wanted to warm though: I got stung up pretty nicely by a swarm of yellow jackets that my partner accidentally riled up in the brush as we were hiking off. It was where you hike up an obvious trail right after topping out and it parts faintly to the left or right. We took the left - which included passing through the brush that the hornets reside in. Additionally, later I learned of a girl that was stung up two weeks ago on the same hike off after climbing Book of Job. Be warned!
|By mark felber|
From: Frisco, CO,USA
May 13, 2013
Regarding the location of the climb, the best place to park is NOT on South Side Drive in front of Middle Cathedral Rock. There are quite a few climber's trails here, most of them leading to various routes on Middle Cathedral Rock. Park on El Capitan Drive, the cross over from North Side Drive to South Side Drive. Walk down to the 3 way intersection of El Capitan Drive and South Side Drive, and there's a very obvious climber's trail at the west end of the intersection. This leads to what is probably the most efficient line up the Spires Gully.There are a few too many climber's trails leading into the Spires Gully, so keeping as much traffic as possible on this trail should minimize our impact on the area.
|By Some Random Guy|
From: San Francisco, CA
2 days ago
rating: 5.9 PG13
The approach description in the previous post is spot on. You will gain a large obvious trail that heads up the gully between Higher Cathedral Rock and The Spires. Use this trail for any routes on Higher Cathedral Rock or Spire. I lead the first four pitches and there was a good amount of runout on some of the face parts and the large gear I plugged into the corner system was questionable at times. The fourth crux pitch felt 5.9 to me but I was kinda tired and not using the best technique at the moment. I was able to get good gear in the corner on the fourth pitch though (two #4 and one #5 Camalot). I was not able to clip the lower fixed pin on pitch 4 because my Black Diamond OZ carabiner would not fit through the eyelet of the pin. Started late and climbed the last pitch in the dark sans head lamp. FUN! That made the route live up to it's name, literally. Easy to get down off of Higher in the dark. You have to go south toward Hanging Valley until it almost cliffs out and then trend south east. It is not harder than class 2 so if you run into cliffs you are going the wrong way. Eventually you wrap around (keep trending left) and then are north east facing. Now follow the obvious trail all the way down the gully and back to the road (same one you came up on). Micro nuts would have been good for some of the belays but we got by without. The belay at the top of pitch 3 was sketchy. The rest are all pretty solid.