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YDS: 5.10d French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 21 British: E3 5b

Type:  Trad, 5 pitches
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10d French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 21 British: E3 5b [details]
FA: Dale Bard & Bob Locke - 1975
Page Views: 16,433
Submitted By: Josh Janes on Sep 21, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (133)
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Filip on the beautiful 3rd pitch of Oz

Closures for Peregrine Falcon Protection MORE INFO >>>


Ascending the steep, forboding, north face of Drug Dome at a surprisingly easy grade, OZ is a thing of beauty. Its pitches forge their way upwards to a striking right-facing dihedral and involve much interesting climbing. I usually pronounce it "ounce" but sometimes I slip and say "Oz." When I'm feeling posh I say "oh zee."

P1: Begin at a little flake system well right of the huge dihedral above. This flake system intersects a low roof. Some tricky small gear protects this pretty well and gains a long left-angling flake/crack. Follow this to its apex and belay. 5.10a.

P2: Perform a tricky move up off the belay, then step left and climb past three bolts and a difficult hand traverse on slopers (crux). This reaches a rest stance. There is one more difficult face passage past a few more bolts before the climbing eases. Climb up cracks and ledges to a belay on a sloping ramp that leads directly into the long corner. A long pitch, 5.10d.

P3: Climb the awesome, overhanging thin hands corner. This pitch is soft for 10c and has many rest stances. It is steep and amazing however. Belay below the huge roof that caps Drug Dome.

P4: Climb out left past a few bolts, around the arete, then up easy terrain to a belay below the summit. 5.9. Or, better yet, do the Gram Traverse!

Excessive gear for the dihedral really isn't necessary as there are enough constrictions and pods to fit a varity of equipment. Keep in mind that OZ and Gram can be chilly and windy.


Standard rack. A few extra thin hands pieces.

Photos of OZ Slideshow Add Photo
The French couple finishing the crack.
The French couple finishing the crack.
Starting up the crack.  Photo by Ian Desberg.
Starting up the crack. Photo by Ian Desberg.
Wider still.
Wider still.
Darek leading the crack.
Darek leading the crack.
Looking down the crack.
Looking down the crack.
The most beautiful of stemmable dihedrals in the m...
The most beautiful of stemmable dihedrals in the m...
Dustin selects the #2 camalot on OZ
Dustin selects the #2 camalot on OZ
At the last hard move on P2.  Photo by Ian Desberg...
At the last hard move on P2. Photo by Ian Desberg...
Mike Durant leading the corner pitch on "OZ&q...
Mike Durant leading the corner pitch on "OZ&q...
The last pitch of OZ
The last pitch of OZ
pitch 2
pitch 2
Rico Miledi and Kevin Daniels on the classic corne...
Rico Miledi and Kevin Daniels on the classic corne...
A wider view of the French.
A wider view of the French.
The beautiful corner on OZ... only wish it was lon...
The beautiful corner on OZ... only wish it was lon...
A very cool route!
A very cool route!
The Gram Traverse
The Gram Traverse
Dustin of the awsome corner picth of OZ
Dustin of the awsome corner picth of OZ
A couple from Grenoble at the bolts atop P2, who w...
A couple from Grenoble at the bolts atop P2, who w...
Enjoying the 3rd pitch!
Enjoying the 3rd pitch!
The technical crux of the route
The technical crux of the route
OZ from the approach.
OZ from the approach.
The enduro crux of OZ
The enduro crux of OZ
Dustin on the crux picth of OZ
Dustin on the crux picth of OZ
Much of the route is visible
Much of the route is visible

Show All 36 Photos

Only the first 24 are shown above.

Comments on OZ Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jul 28, 2013
By 426
Mar 6, 2007

Beware of the sleeper first pitch. 5.9 in the "old" guide...

A spectacular route.
By Dennis
Jul 2, 2008

There are rap rings on top of P3 and P2 (don't recall about P1). We climbed the first 3 pitches and double rope rappelled back to the base. Very convenient to do it this way.
By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From: Bend, OR
Jul 20, 2009
rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

As good as it gets.

P1 seemed safe. Just go up to the end of the starting crack, place a nut, and then downclimb back to the traverse. Once done with the short traverse, another nut is available in the other crack. You might want to save a #3 camalot for the last 30 feet to the anchor.

P2 was well protected but definitely tricky 10d granite face climbing. Great stuff!

P3 seemed a touch soft to me as well - but damn was it good!!! I expected lots of #1 camalots based on the various guidebook descriptions, but the business turned out to be green and purple camalots. Next time I'll bring triple #0.5,#0.75, and #1 camalots. and save one of each for the final steep section.

P4 was fun and airy. Watch out for the death blocks after you turn the corner.

We continued on to Hobbit Book - a highly recommended linkup. Next time we'll do Gram as well. Once topping out on Hobbit Book, we just walked South and picked up the Muir trail back to the Cathedral Lakes parking lot. A very simple descent provided you have a car shuttle or similar.

My rack next time: set of nuts, set of small cams, 3x#0.5, 3x#0.75,3x#1,2x#2,2x#3 camalots.
By Tyler Logan
From: Mammoth Lakes, CA
Oct 11, 2009
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

I agree with Andy that the corner pitch is soft for the grade. The footholds are quite good. The 3/4" pieces seem to be the ones most frequently called for. While you can get bigger gear in occasional openings, this size would be the easiest to place when you're pumped. I'm bringing three .75 C4s next time.
By ccmski
From: Prescott, AZ
Oct 13, 2009
rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

One of the best. Grades felt acurate- it was cold and windy though. Saved green camalots for the top due to the hype and wished I had placed them lower and saved purple for up high.
By TylerW
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Feb 11, 2010
rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

Pitch 2 was definitely the butt kicker on this climb. Once done with that the corner was pure pleasure. No need for more than doubles of finger size if you keep your eyes open for other possibilities.
By trying hard
From: Sierra East Side
Aug 6, 2010

Approach: Mellow approach, you can go left at the base of the talus field and straight up over boulders to the climb, or walk the path around the right and it hooks back into the base of OZ, Left is a little more convenient in my opinion.

P1. Committing Moves off the ground until about 15 feet up where you make your first placement. Very fun climbing through the first 10A moves or couple moves over a tiny roof/ bulge. You can mantle or just keep moving your feet up and climb right through it. Then follow the easy crack up and left to the nice belay that is fixed.

P2. Crux pitch for some. If your a 10D face climber you will be so pumped on this pitch. Beautiful slopers and crimps. The first crux is just after the belay, you get on a little ledge then have to figure out a very nice crimp sequence to a long reach out left on a fancy little knobish thing. 2nd crux is a tiny little bulge at the top of the sport section of this climb and requires delicate climbing. Continue up a short crack to the base of the main dihedral for P3 and build your anchor here. Takes .75, 1, and maybe another smaller piece so make sure you don't use to many bc you will need them on P3. The face climbing requires 8 or 9 quick draws and a micro nut placement in the middle.

P3. Beautiful crack dihedral. Focal point for this climb looking up at it. Requires some endurance but the feet become so perfect to stem off. A classic for sure! The anchor is at the top of the crack before the Gram Traverse. There are two bolts but one is loose, so use the crack left of it to help make a safe anchor.

P4. Traverse out left on hard to find crimps and feet on two sport bolts. Turn the corner, takes a great cam placement. Move down and left to a arete. Climb over the arete on the left then clip a sport bolt. Once clipped move up one easy climbing to finish the climb. Belay up and then either traverse out left on 4th to walk off or go straight over the top.

Best climb I've done in tuolumne. ( Great link up from on the Lamb. If you can climb 10D you have to do the Gram traverse, and consider finishing on Hobbit Book. Did the link up of On the Lamb, OZ, Gram Traverse to Hobbit Book in 12 hours moving at a medium pace.
By gregory huey
From: Irvine, CA
Sep 12, 2010

Onsighted while climbing with Ed Henicle on our first day in the Meadow - Sep-3-2010. The 10d crux (face-climbing on crimpy knobs) pitch is very well-bolted - its almost a sport/gym route - probably would be 11a in our gym. Super-topo says the dihedral takes lots of 1 inch cams - not the same as BD #1. You want alot of #0.5 BD C4s (purple). I'd say protecting the start is PG13 (with G being 100% straightforward). We decided not to do Gram Traverse though - trad-leading at my limit under supposedly large loose death blocks didn't appeal to me, so we did the standard finish. However, there are some loose holds on the standard finish also. After one (blindly) turns the arete, while stepping down, two holds present themselves - they are as loose as they are positive & inviting. Avoiding them makes the move harder than one would have initially expected. The walkoff isn't too difficult, but try to do it in the daylight.

A great first day in the Meadows!
By tallmark515
From: San Francisco
Sep 27, 2010

Did OZ to Gram Traverse. Best multipitch route I've done to date anywhere! Varied and sustained 5.10 climbing. the Gram Traverse was AWESOME and well protected, however the follower should be a confident 5.10 climber.

I agree that the .10c crack pitch felt soft as compared to other valley .10's, the stems are secure and almost every move is a rest through the steep section.

Use your .5 and .75 BD cams sparingly, if you only have two of each, walk them when you can and don't waste gear on the easy section of the crack (bottom part).
By eDixon
From: Durango, Colorado
Jun 17, 2011

P2 & P3 are gems. P2 felt kinda tricky with interesting and varied face climbing that was well bolted. P3 seemed kinda cruiser for 10c, absolutely stellar corner with bomber gear. Agreed that #.5 & #.75 Camalots are the meat of it.
By fossana
From: Sin City, NV
Jul 12, 2011

I found #0.4 and #0.5 Camalots to be the most useful in the dihedral. Used only 1 #0.75 and 1 #1.
By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From: Bend, OR
Jul 28, 2011
rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

Climbed it again and modified my gear list. The belay below the corner needs #1 and #0.75 camalots - it is hard to make nuts work.

So, my revised gear list for next time:

2x #3 (p1)
2x #2
3x #1s (one for the belay)
4x #0.75s (one for the belay)
and as many #0.5 camalots as I can carry :)
1x set of small cams
1x set of nuts

Seriously though, this thing will take an endless number of #0.5 camalots in the top third of P3, so bring as many as you need to feel comfortable. Sure you can make other things works, but if you got em - bring em.

SPOILER ALERT - After the 10d P2 crux, when you are under the bolt, continue moving left... NOT up to the bolt. I made the mistake of going up this time and it didn't work out so well.
By Ranger Matt
From: Yosemite NP
Aug 18, 2011

First moves on the first pitch were the most heady for me. Some delicate face climbing with only a small came behind a suspect flake to keep you from the ankle breaking fall.
Route gets sun around 1pm (in August). So a late start isnt a bad idea.
Two thumbs way up!! Love the name of this route, needless to say we honored the name at every belay.
By 1Eric Rhicard
Jul 24, 2012

.4 camalot is good and the Metolius orange which is a little smaller than the purple camalot. Run it out on the lower angle section of the dihedral if you are worried about not having enough cams.

At the start I climbed the little arete to the left as I watched a guy make a big reach there the day before. My partner said it he didn't have to make a big reach. Either way I wouldn't want to fall so have your head together.
By -robin-
Feb 23, 2013
rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

Don't belay at the chains at the top of the second pitch, instead continue up another twenty feet to the base of the dihedral, Its far more fun to climb the corner with no junk to start off, the extra .75. 1, and nut aren't needed for the pitch so won't take up space on your harness. Also if you are quick, go mid afternoon, take two ropes and go to the top of the third and rap twice, quick, easy, no crappy fourth pitch to mar the otherwise great route.
By gumbotron
From: Denver, CO
Jul 28, 2013

Double fat fingery and small hands cams seem fine to me, a few extra nuts or even a hex would eliminate the need for triples in the purple/green camalot sizes.
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