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El Capitan Base Routes

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

El Capitan Base Routes 

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Location: 37.7286, -119.6371 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: M.Morley, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: Sketchy Sam on Jul 13, 2006
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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.

38 Total Routes

['4 Stars',6],['3 Stars',19],['2 Stars',11],['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:
Pine Line   5.7 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   
La Cosita, Left   5.7 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b     Trad, 1 pitch   
El Cap Tree   5.7 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b C2     Trad, Aid, 5 pitches, 400'   
Little John, Right   5.8 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c     Trad   
Little John, Left   5.8 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   
Gollum   5.8 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c     Trad   
Simulkrime   5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a R     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 200'   
Peter Pan   5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a     Trad, 3 pitches, 300'   
Moby Dick, Left   5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a     Trad, 2 pitches   
Ahab   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 155'   
Moby Dick   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 150'   
Sacherer Cracker   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 150'   
La Cosita, Right   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch   
Salathe (pitch 1)   5.10c 6b 20 VII E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 160'   
Hardly Pinnacle   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ E3 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   
Mark of Art   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ E3 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 110'   
Sparkling Give-away   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ E3 5c     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   
Short But Thin   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- E3 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 40'   
La Escuela   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- E3 5c     Trad, 3 pitches, 220'   
Freeblast   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- E4 5c     Trad, 10 pitches   
Browse More Classics in El Capitan Base Routes

Featured Route For El Capitan Base Routes
Sacherer Cracker. Hard.

Sacherer Cracker 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ E1 5a  CA : Yosemite National Park : ... : El Capitan Base Routes
One of the most classic pitches at its grade in all of Yosemite, Sacherer Cracker is a full value 120+ feet of stellar jamming and clean movement. Begin with a short wide section that leads to a small ledge (two bolts provide an optional belay here); step left to the splitter finger crack that widens gradually as you work your way toward the final, notorious wide section that guards the chains. Some find this section to be the route's crux, and many have used the chockstone at its be...[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

News and Events For El Capitan Base Routes
Photos of El Capitan Base Routes Slideshow Add Photo
Looking on up
Looking on up
Frank Brown on "Moby Dick Center". <br />Photo by Blitzo.
Frank Brown on "Moby Dick Center".
Photo by Blitzo...
After a day of cragging at the base, go around the corner and have a swing on the rope in the Cave...  5/09.
After a day of cragging at the base, go around the...
The El Cap Base page could use some more photos.
The El Cap Base page could use some more photos.
Tough living....
Tough living....
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: San Jose
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!