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El Capitan Base Routes

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Ahab T 
Bluffer, The T 
Captain Hook, Left T 
Captain Hook, Right T 
Delectable Pinnacle, Right  T 
El Cap Tree T 
Footstool, Right, The T 
Freeblast T 
Gollum T 
Hardly Pinnacle T 
Indubious Battle T 
La Arista T,S 
La Cosita, Left T 
La Cosita, Right T 
La Escuela T 
Little John, Left T 
Little John, Right T 
Mark of Art T 
Masquerade/Call Me Ishmael S 
Moby Dick T 
Moby Dick, Left T 
Party Mix T 
Peter Left T 
Peter Pan T 
Pine Line T 
Pterodactyl Terrace, Left T 
Pterodactyl Terrace, Right T 
Reeds Leads T 
Sacherer Cracker T 
Salathe (pitch 1) T 
Seedy Leads T 
Short But Thin T 
Simulkrime T,TR 
Slack ( center), The T 
Slack, Left, The T 
Sparkling Give-away T,S 
West Buttress (pitch 1&2) T 

El Capitan Base Routes  

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 37.7286, -119.6371 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 177,294
Administrators: M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Sketchy Sam on Jul 13, 2006

77° | 45°

83° | 49°

86° | 49°

90° | 50°

90° | 50°

87° | 50°
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Not really a route, but a cool shot of the Alcove ...

Closures for Peregrine Falcon Protection MORE INFO >>>


The base of El Capitan is home to numerous dreamy classic climbs to cut your teeth on while gazing up at the Big Stone.

Getting There 

Park in El Cap Meadows area and hike the trail up to the base. Figure on about 10 minutes for the approach.

Climbing Season

Weather station 3.2 miles from here

38 Total Routes

['4 Stars',10],['3 Stars',17],['2 Stars',9],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',1]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for El Capitan Base Routes:
La Cosita, Left   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 1 pitch   
Pine Line   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   
El Cap Tree   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b C2     Trad, Aid, 5 pitches, 400'   
Gollum   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad   
Little John, Right   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 3 pitches   
Little John, Left   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   
Moby Dick, Left   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 2 pitches   
Peter Pan   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 3 pitches, 300'   
Simulkrime   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 200'   
West Buttress (pitch 1&2)   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 2 pitches, 300'   
La Cosita, Right   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch   
Sacherer Cracker   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 150'   
Ahab   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 155'   
Moby Dick   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 150'   
Salathe (pitch 1)   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 160'   
Mark of Art   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 110'   
Hardly Pinnacle   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   
La Escuela   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Trad, 3 pitches, 220'   
Freeblast   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Trad, 10 pitches   
TRON   5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c PG13     Sport, 1 pitch, 150'   
Browse More Classics in El Capitan Base Routes

Featured Route For El Capitan Base Routes
Finished with the freeblast and on to bigger thing...

Freeblast 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c  CA : Yosemite National Park : ... : El Capitan Base Routes
Totally CLASSIC route in its own right! Will get you ready for typical El Cap weirdness. All the hardest pitches rely on good bolts and some questionable fixed gear.P1. Start from the pedestal and aim for the double cracks. Cool opposing crack moves and lots of good pro tapers to a hand size crack with some loose flakes and then a 2-bolt anchor on the right. (5.10)P2. Jam or lieback (better) the unassumingly awkward flake/crack to a hanging 3-bolt belay under the roof. (5.8)*Belay low, away from...[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

Photos of El Capitan Base Routes Slideshow Add Photo
Worn rap rings, removed from the tree atop Pine Li...
Worn rap rings, removed from the tree atop Pine Li...
Looking on up
Looking on up
After a day of cragging at the base, go around the...
After a day of cragging at the base, go around the...
Frank Brown on "Moby Dick Center". Photo...
Frank Brown on "Moby Dick Center". Photo...
Tough living....
Tough living....
The El Cap Base page could use some more photos.
The El Cap Base page could use some more photos.

Comments on El Capitan Base Routes Add Comment
Show which comments
By Greg Smith
From: Canon City, CO
Aug 3, 2007
Can anyone tell me how to add a route on this page? One of my favorite climbs "The Mark of Art" branches off this climb right before the offwidth and continues straight up for another 70 ft. It is awesome!
By M.Morley
From: Sacramento, CA
Aug 3, 2007
Greg, just click the "Add Route" button above.
By Bryan G
From: Yosemite
Apr 2, 2011
"When do these climbs typically dry out? I'm hoping to get on some the end of April..."

The El Cap base is climbable year-round. A handful of routes will get hit by seasonal runoff coming down from the rim, but most of the climbs dry out pretty quick. After a major rain storm it usually takes a couple days of sun. After a snow storm it can take a week or longer for things to get dry, depending on how much snow gets dumped. Watch out for falling chunks of ice and be aware there is an increased chance of major rockfall following any storm. But in general the El Cap base is one of the best cragging spots in the Valley proper during the fall, winter, and spring.
By Eric T.
From: St. Augustine, Florida
Apr 3, 2011
Rad, thanks for the beta Bryan!
By Countzen
From: Santa Monica, CA
Oct 13, 2014
Beta for Alcove Swing:
As of few weeks before October 2014 it's been cut and shortened. :(

I heard some douches tried to get five people on it at once and core-shot the rope after slamming back into the slab part.

Rope from the alcove stance
Rope from the alcove stance

Rope from the base of alcove.
Rope from the base of alcove.
By Vlad S
Oct 14, 2014
Yeah, hiked up to the alcove swing last week for nothing. Shame on you people, who did this. The rope was pretty much new and bomber just when I was there in May.
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