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15 - Knob Hill
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Anti-Ego Crack T 
Chicken Pie T 
Deception Gully T 
Just for Starters S 
Knob Hill Ropest T 
Pot Belly T 
Pot Belly (left variation) T 
Sloth Wall T 
Unnamed T,TR 

Pot Belly 

YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 60'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Bill Griffin and Bruce Price, April 1973
Page Views: 2,164
Submitted By: Blitzo on Sep 27, 2006

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This is the first climb that one comes to upon reaching the cliff.

It follows a crack that doesn't reach the ground. Do tricky slab moves up to the crack. Follow this crack (5.7) to a ledge.

A second pitch is rarely done for good reason. If you must try it, move left from the ledge and up a 5.9 crack.


Pro to 4" (for anchor and/or second pitch).

Photos of Pot Belly Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Pot Belly Route at Knob Hill in Yosemite.
BETA PHOTO: Pot Belly Route at Knob Hill in Yosemite.
Rock Climbing Photo: Jerry leading Pot Belly.  Photo by Sandra
Jerry leading Pot Belly. Photo by Sandra
Rock Climbing Photo: Pot belly takes the face to the wide crack and the...
BETA PHOTO: Pot belly takes the face to the wide crack and the...
Rock Climbing Photo: Pot Belly Hand Crack
Pot Belly Hand Crack
Rock Climbing Photo: Sandra on the nice, low angle hand crack.
Sandra on the nice, low angle hand crack.

Comments on Pot Belly Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Aug 24, 2015
By Matt Lundy
Apr 9, 2007
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

I was up here in April '07 and I didn't notice any bolts. You can easily set up a TR anchor with a #1 and #4 Camalot. There is also a wedged rock you can sling. Try the thinner crack that slants diagonally left (10a fingers) while on toprope.
By Bill Olszewski
From: Colorado Springs, CO
May 15, 2009
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Decent climb but short. The face moves to gain the crack are slick - 5.9. The transition feels 5.7 but the rest of the crack is easy.
By Mark P Thomas
From: Oakland
Dec 15, 2010
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

These comments make me feel better about climbing so poorly on 5.8 slab. After sliding/falling 3 times on the start when leading, I chose the undercling variation, which is much more manageable (although it would be ugly if you fell near the end, as if your feet popped out on the slick granite, you would smash your face into the undercling lip before you fell to the ground). I could do it on TR, but it felt really hard! Perhaps it has gotten slicker over the years?

Ditto about the crack above. I couldn't find the bolts, and attempted to climb this crack thinking that maybe the bolts were higher. That crack has an intense lieback on corroding granite covered in lichen. Fell once on that from my feet ripping off some exfoliating granite before deciding it was a dumb idea to continue up it due to the unknown terrain, cruddy rock, and ledges to hit if you fell.
From: Portlandia, OR
Jun 13, 2011
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Don't overthink the bottom start. Get a running start and hit the jug below the crack. Best done in approach shoes. Undercling is 5.7 at most. When in doubt, follow the path of least lichen/black granite!
By Nick Zmyewski
From: Newark, Delaware
Oct 7, 2011
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

The start feels like hard 8 or 9 slab, then the crack is 7ish. good to practice your slab edging
By Kevin Heckeler
From: Upstate New York
Oct 10, 2011
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

The beta from locals has the right hand crack at 5.8, and the left finger crack at 5.9 No bolts. I think the supertopo guide had the same grade(s).
By Topher42
Nov 12, 2013

Pot belly is 5.7!!! not 5.9 thats ridiculous, just because it has tricky slab move
By Gracew
Jul 8, 2015

I was there July 5th, 2015 and the bolts are definitely gone. Climbed all the way to the top of the "knob" as well and no bolts to be seen.
By Justin Johnsen
From: Sacramento, CA
Aug 3, 2015

Looks like the FA team called this 5.7. I updated the route grade to follow this. SuperTopo calls it 5.8.
By Crimpanzee
From: San Francisco, California
Aug 24, 2015
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

IMO Slab Start = 5.9, Undercling from left start = 5.8, right crack = 5.7, left crack = 5.9, left slab (TR only) = 5.9

Bolts were indeed chopped from the top, so set up TR in the horizontal crack with three cams and an easy walkoff.

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