LJ working up the Pine Line on a dreamy mid-Decemb...
Begin on a huge platform directly beneath the Nose. Excellent thin 5.7 fingercrack to a ledge with a belay tree and magnificent view. A wonderful Yosemite first lead. Descent: Rappel from tree (recommended) or scramble down right side.
Base of El Capitan, directly beneath the Nose.
Mostly small gear .3-.75" with an occasional 1-2" piece. Can be easily lead on all passive.
From the tree atop Pine Line, a series of fun face climbs can be top-roped. All climbs are right of Pine Line (5.10-5.11). See Photo. See SuperTopos for more detail.
By Jordan K From: Ohio Oct 6, 2006 rating: 5.75a15V+13MVS 4b
Great warm up route and easy to protect with sweeping views of the valley (and the 3000 ft of rock above adds something too!) To get there, take the trail to the base of The Nose and walk right (facing the cliff) a few feet, looking for a large ledge. The belay tree is a ways back from the edge, so you may want to bring some slings to extend the anchor past the bushes.
I found the SuperTopo approach beta for this to be confusing. If you are intimately familiar with El Cap, its features, and where exactly the unmarked "El Cap Meadow" is, you'll be fine.
If not, you may find the parking location unclear, and the parking is definitely NOT at the highway sign described in the SuperTopo book. I'd call it about halfway between Manure Pile and the highway junction when you're driving away from the Valley. After parking, head towards the point on El Cap where the buttress juts away from the formation the most. The approach trail will go slightly left around this point, and you can then turn back around right at the rockface and climb up to the great ledge that accesses this climb.
Lead Pine Line today and really loved it. Placed a BD #0.5 camalot in the crack at the start and then climbed the rest on stoppers. Near the top I added a BD #1 Camalot but it isnt really necessary since its a short scramble to the ledge. The tree had like 5 slings and 2 rings that you can rappel off of.