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Dark Side Dome

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Batteries Not Included T 
Dark Side of the Force T 
Death Star Rides Again T 
Imperial March, The T 
In the Dark T 
Megacrystic T 
Pebble Beach T 
Pitch Black T,S 
Spaceballs T 
Voice of the Crags T 
Who's the Bosch T 

Dark Side Dome Rock Climbing 

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Location: 37.88397, -119.43086 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 4,516
Administrators: M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: john durr on Aug 8, 2008
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Dark Side Dome with small lake in foreground

Closures for Peregrine Falcon Protection MORE INFO >>>


The west face of Dark Side Dome is a nice place to find a wide variety of face climbs, mostly on nice feldspar knobs. The north end has plenty of easy face climbs on knobs with lots of bolts including Spaceballs 5.5, Dark Side of the Force 5.7, Pebble Beach 5.9R, and Imperial March 5.10. The south end has more face climbs like Voice of the Crags 5.10, Shot in the Dark 5.10, Batteries Not Included 5.11, Who's the Bosch 5.8.

Getting There 

Dark Side Dome is along Cathedral Creek, about 1 mile downstream from Daff Dome along the approach to Hammer Dome. Park at the lower Daff Dome parking area near the creek. Hike northwest down the short hill to the creek. Cross the creek and follow a very faint trail along the north side of the creek west to River Wall. You may need bug spray...

Once past the River Wall, continue about 10 minutes more on the faint trail through the woods to the start of a low angled golden slab that faces southeast (see beta photo). Hike up this low angle slab that seems to take a while, northish to the west face of Dark Side Dome. Approach time is about 30-45 minutes and very pretty. There is a small lake at the base. This is at GPS 11 S 286220 4195690 NAD 36 CONUS.

Climbing Season

Weather station 11.0 miles from here

11 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',4],['2 Stars',4],['1 Star',3],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Dark Side Dome

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Dark Side Dome:
Spaceballs   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a     Trad, 1 pitch, 110'   
Megacrystic   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   
The Imperial March   5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b     Trad, 2 pitches, 180'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Dark Side Dome

Featured Route For Dark Side Dome
Rock Climbing Photo: Batteries Not Included - West Face Dark Side Dome

Batteries Not Included 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a  CA : Yosemite National Park : ... : Dark Side Dome
Even steeper giant knobs! Too bad the steep bit isn't longer.Just right of a pair of beautiful trees, look for a fixed pin in a left facing roof/corner thing. Undercling out right and power past large steep knobs and four bolts. Lower angle 5.4 runout past two more bolts.Pretty sustained from the pin to the third bolt with a definite crux moving past the first bolt....[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

Photos of Dark Side Dome Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: DAFF area and the hike to Darkside Dome
DAFF area and the hike to Darkside Dome
Rock Climbing Photo: First view of Dark Side Dome when approaching from...
First view of Dark Side Dome when approaching from...
Rock Climbing Photo: Half way up the hill, and Dark Side Dome is still ...
Half way up the hill, and Dark Side Dome is still ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Slab and boulders lead the way to Dark Side Dome. ...
Slab and boulders lead the way to Dark Side Dome. ...
Rock Climbing Photo: End of another perfect day in Tuolumne - hike out ...
End of another perfect day in Tuolumne - hike out ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbers on The Imperial March (5.10b)
Climbers on The Imperial March (5.10b)

Comments on Dark Side Dome Add Comment
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By Justin Johnsen
Jul 21, 2015
Apparently the dark side was not strong in me! My friends and I wandered out but turned around just shy of the wall. We mistook the first bolted wall next to the approach trail for "River Wall" in the directions, and scrambled up on top of the actual River Wall based on that mistake.

Does anyone know the name of that first (landlocked non rivery) climbing wall on the Hammer Dome trail, just west of Daff?

I adjusted the MP area page GPs coords to center on the small lake, which seems to be the key landmark!

Also, from satellite photos the climbing wall appears to face northwest.

We'll find it next time.
By Todd Townsend
From: Bishop, CA
Jul 21, 2015
Maybe Micro Dome?
By Ed Henicle
Jul 24, 2015
It took us ~20 min to get to River Wall at a leisurely pace, and then another ~40 min to get to Dark Side Dome from River Wall - so an hour approach, not 30 min. 5 star hike!
By Justin Johnsen
Jul 29, 2015
Yes thanks Todd, I picked up the Reid and Falkenstein guide, and that's Micro Dome!
By nkane
Jun 27, 2016
1. For the approach: don't take the first gully after River Wall, as we did. Rather, keep following the trail for another solid 5-10 minutes until you reach some golden slabs. (If you get to Hammer Dome, you went too far; backtrack to the gully behind it.) Follow the left side of these slabs up for a good 10 minute hike up a gully, finding an occasional trail. The wall is over the back side of gully; you can't see the climbing until you're pretty much there.

2. Does anyone know what the deal is with the 5 bolt route on the black panel left of Batteries Not Included? It's just left of the 10b with the fixed pin and two bolts (forgot the name, but it's on the Reid/Falkenstein topo), but well right of what I believe is Voice of the Crags. There are 5 closely placed bolts total: two starting up a white flake feature, then three more through mid-10ish vertical knobbery, up to a small overlap. And then.... nothing. 35 feet of 10ish climbing later, there's a 2 bolt anchor with no rap rings, and then, after 40-50 feet of unprotected 5.7ish, there's another 2 bolt anchor with no rings. About a 140 foot pitch total.

I was very confused about why a route that's sport bolted through easier climbing down low would just stop mid-crux. Maybe the developer ran out of bolts? Anyhow, it's a nice 2-rope toprope from the top anchor and would be a super fun sport climb with 2 or 3 more bolts up to the first set of anchors.
By Tony Lewis
Aug 16, 2016
See Greg Barnes' comment on "Voice of the Crags". He hadn't finished an open project........

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