Every Tuolumne climber has eyed the huge face of clouds rest. Then, one day I found a description on the internet (myweb.cableone.net/tomharper/FTTop.html) of an awesome sounding route right up the middle. With 2700 feet of 5.9ish climbing, it sounded too good to be true. Finally in 2009 we went out and did the route and it has become one of my favorite climbs in Yosemite.
Tom Harper has a great topo here: myweb.cableone.net/tomharper/FTTopo.html
The pitches are almost all 55-60m long, ending in two beefy bolt anchors, and the "official" ratings are:
I think these ratings are slightly soft, but considering the amount of climbing, you need to be solid at the grade to make it happen in a day.
With a 6 mile cross country approach, 2700 feet of climbing, 1200 feet of 3rd to the top and 7 miles back to the car, it is a burly, rewarding day.
see myweb.cableone.net/tomharper/FTGetThere.html for a great description.
All anchors have two bolts. Almost all the pitches require a 60m rope. The first 10 pitches can be rapped without leaving any gear. There are bolts here and there, but it is mostly trad gear, with emphasis on small to finger size.
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Feb 11, 2010
Awesome route! We were about 19 hours car-to-car.
We did this route in mid-June and pitches 2, 3, and especially 8 had water running down them. we just dealt with it on pitches 2 and 3, but pitch 8 was a real river and we ended up doing a cool alternate route involving a 5.9 hand crack to the left of the belay to a hand traverse right. I recommend it even if the water isn't flowing. That pitch was the first time I had ever placed a cam in a river.
Some might consider a few of the pitches runout, but it is always on fairly easy ground.
From: Mountain View, CA
Aug 15, 2010
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ E1 5a R
Did this route and found it very fun and a great car to car adventure.
As previously noted, we too found pitches 2 and 3 wet. We were able to climb/friction around it. One important point. On pitch 3 the first bolt off the belay was nearly impossible to clip. To make matters worse, it is smack dab in the middle of a water flow. My guess, rocks beat the hanger down.
Suggestion would be the next person planning on doing this climb bring a new hanger and wrench. AT the very least bring a quick link. Not even a BD Oz made it through the hanger and allowed a decent and secure clip.
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Aug 25, 2010
We clipped the bent bolt by girth hitching a nut through it. Not ideal, but better than nothing.
|By Bill Lawry|
From: New Mexico
Aug 3, 2013
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a
This is a great route for experienced leaders. Much thanks to Hannah North, Tom Harper, and Tom Malzbender for their effort in establishing it. On 31 July 2013, we did the route as a threesome with the "seconds" climbing concurrently. And we rotated leads so each had one third of the leads. This pattern also gave each a 20-30 minute non-busy rest every third pitch without a break in the pace of the team. Maybe this is familiar to many.
Left Tuolumne Meadows campground around 3:40 AM. After the route, we had time to walk up to the summit of Cloud's Rest and enjoy the views plus time after the hike out for a dip in Tenaya Lake as the sunset lit surrounding peaks in red/orange light.
Key in part was swiftly getting to the start of the route. We relied a lot on the various approach photos plus memories from two of us of having been out in the area in 2012 - a story in itself for another time. The route topo (Photo) was fabulous. Also, a couple very nice supplements to have were:
- a photo of the first several pitches so one quickly knew for sure where the route started;
- a photo of the start of pitch 9 (i.e., the one after moving the belay 30 to 40 feet).
The bent bolt on pitch 2 had a rotten sling attached. Not sure about the condition of the bolts on pitch 4 as our lead went far left and then down-climbed to the anchors.
Aug 26, 2013
Did this in Sep. 2012 - after much slab traversing back and forth and soloing some sketchy terrain, finally got on the route at the top of P6 (above the two-bolt anchor, at the base of the 5.8 hand crack). If I were to do it again, here is how I'd approach it - take the airplane gully all the way down to the river, locate the "Golden Boulder" (big golden boulder on the valley floor) - the route is straight above the Golden Boulder - just climb up the slabs the path of the least resistance. I know it adds up vertical footage, but trust me - it's way faster than traversing wet slabs and bushwacking for a couple of miles. You can ask Tuolumne rangers about the airplane gully - it's the gully directly below the Olmstead Point. The fourth class slog after the last pitch was rather long.
From: Boulder, CO
Sep 1, 2013
We climbed the route on 31 Aug in very low visibility conditions with the smoke (couldn't even see the canyon floor) and had no absolutely no issues in finding the start of the route using the beta and photo on summitpost, which involves a long slab traverse that starts above the Pywiack Falls. The only thing to add is that there are two circles of bushes at point 5 that mark the start of the route (somewhat obscured by trees in the photo).