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YDS: 5.10b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VII- British: E2 5b

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 300'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VII- British: E2 5b [details]
FA: Jim Bridwell, Bruce Kumph & Mark Klemens 8/70
Season: All year around
Page Views: 3,388
Submitted By: Darko Sarenac on Sep 14, 2007
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Eric Reed on p1 of Gripper. Photo taken by Chris T...
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  • Description 

    Pitch 1. This pitch is the business. Climb the flare that ends with a hardish (.9) move to a sloping ledge, enter the chimney with some difficulty, move right from the chimney to a thin hand to fingers corner. This exit goes at 10b, but what really gets you is the physical climbing below. Belay at the tree. Pitch 2. Climb some 50 feet to a ledge where you can see a hand crack about 15 feet to the right. Pitch 3 is one of the best 5.9 hand cracks in the Valley. A true jewel.


    Start about 30 or so feet to the right of Midterm.

    Rappel the route or walk off (rather tricky).


    Standard Valley rack with emphasis on thin hands.

    Comments on Gripper Add Comment
    Show which comments
    By Tavis Ricksecker
    From: Bishop, ca
    Sep 30, 2008

    I found the flare to be the crux of the whole route. The third pitch is amazing perfect hands.

    By Fat Dad
    From: Los Angeles, CA
    Jan 26, 2009

    OK, I didn't think the flare was the crux, definitely the first pitch; but it sure the heck isn't 5.8 hands like the Meyers guide says. It was too wide for me to fist jam and awkward as heck. I ended up doing a stemmy, liebacky finessy thing to swim past it.

    By Sirius
    From: Oakland, CA
    Jan 5, 2010

    Can be done in two pitches - either belay after the traverse at the base of the hero handcrack on a good stance, or gun for the top from the bolted anchor at the end of p1. Double ropes will help.

    By Will S
    From: Joshua Tree
    May 23, 2010

    First pitch is currently a museum of stuck gear, maybe 4 or 5 pieces total. A hacksaw/chisel mission would really serve it well.

    By Alexey
    From: San Jose
    Dec 13, 2010

    Just did all Gripper as one ~270 ft pitch . My new 80m rope have same exact length as a route.
    But on rappel you still need 2 ropes -80m come 5 feet short off the bolts on top of pitch 1

    By Phil Esra
    Jan 17, 2011

    when the supertopo says one 3-3.5" for pro, best to interpret that as one 3" and one 3.5". A BD #3 and #4, or two #3s, is fine, but having only one piece in that size isn't ideal. Also, when the topo says that the p2 belay takes medium cams "and bush," i think they must be making a joke. It's a sad, bushy little bush. Plenty of other options though--small cams, medium cams, a big nut.

    Really cool route. P1 is pretty damn hard all the way through, but not enduro; P3 is rad.

    By Mark P Thomas
    From: Oakland
    May 4, 2013

    Start really felt more like sustained wide 5.9 to me compared to other climbs in the Valley. Chimney is not that hard and pulling the roof wasn't as tricky as expected. What got me was the thin flaring crack after the roof 'crux'. At least for me, I couldn't stay secure or get rests, so that part was really tough for me. We linked P2-3 as a very nice long pitch. Definitely don't stop after the first pitch!