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Serenity Crack 

YDS: 5.10d French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 21 British: E3 5b PG13

   
Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 350'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10d French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 21 British: E3 5b [details]
FA: Denny & Wilson - 1961
Tom Higgins gets credit for freeing the crux in '67
Page Views: 28,328
Submitted By: Josh Janes on Sep 21, 2006

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Serenity crack

Description 

The "Serenity-Sons" combo may be the best 5.10 crack climb in the Valley... it is just so, so good. Why anyone would do one without the other, I don't know, but since they are technically two separate routes, they are listed as such.

Serenity Crack is the crux of the linkup and comprises the first three pitches of the climb. Park at the Ahwahnee (the route is visible through the trees from the vallet area in front of the lobby) and hike in to the base.

P1: If you don't like manufactured climbs, just go home! This pitch is pretty unique -- I certainly have never seen anything like it: Hundreds of blown out pin scars the size of #1 Camalots create a practical ladder up the pitch. Unfortunately, secure gear is not available for a long, long ways, and this pitch is very unnerving to climb. Not only that but it is painful on the toes. Bring a full rack and be prepared to place cams in the flaring scars and sometimes great wires up higher. Belay at bolts. 5.10a.

P2: Climb beautiful 5.10a jams to a cruxy crack switch move higher (nice to have some small wires for this). Continue up more 5.10a to a bolted belay.

P3: Steep flakes and overhanging hands leads to a beautiful, thin splitter. The crux is a section of tips jams just before the belay. 5.10d.

Romp up the large ledge system to whatever belay stance makes the most sense for starting Sons of Yesterday.


Protection 

Standard rack. Include some small wires for P2 and small cams for P3.



Photos of Serenity Crack Slideshow Add Photo
Looking down p1, Serenity crack
Looking down p1, Serenity crack
Clark Eising on P1. <br /> <br />Photo by Steve Cox
Clark Eising on P1.

Photo by Steve Cox
Jim cranking hard
Jim cranking hard
Tom inspects the crack for signs of serenity as he nears the end of pitch 2.  <br /> <br />March 2010
Tom inspects the crack for signs of serenity as he...
Harz on the delicate traverse on pitch 2
Harz on the delicate traverse on pitch 2
Serenity Crack is just right of the huge left-facing corner. Climbers can be seen on the 3rd pitch.
Serenity Crack is just right of the huge left-faci...
Bill Roehrich climbing Serenity Crack in Yosemite Valley. <br /> <br />Photo by Chris Vultaggio
Bill Roehrich climbing Serenity Crack in Yosemite ...
Chris Alstrin hiking the 1st pitch of Serenity crack. <br />Late May 08
Chris Alstrin hiking the 1st pitch of Serenity cra...
Claudio working through the crux
Claudio working through the crux
Looking down from the first pitch belay.
Looking down from the first pitch belay.
getting ready to switch cracks, sketchy!!!
getting ready to switch cracks, sketchy!!!
The start of Serenity Crack.
The start of Serenity Crack.
Climbing the wild pin scars.
Climbing the wild pin scars.
Start of P3. Serenity Crack. 1/2012. <br /> <br />Photo: James Sullivan
Start of P3. Serenity Crack. 1/2012.

Photo: James...
Kirk Hansen about to start into the fingery crux.
Kirk Hansen about to start into the fingery crux.
Kirk Hansen midway through the fingery crux pitch of Serenity Crack.
Kirk Hansen midway through the fingery crux pitch ...
Comments on Serenity Crack Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Aug 11, 2014
By Sirius
From: Oakland, CA
Nov 14, 2006

The 'long, long way' on the first pitch is about 30 ft of +/- 5.8 climbing. Heady, but doable if you feel comfortable enough for the .10d moves above.

Note that the start to this first pitch is often wet in Spring, and after storms. Edited to add: Which makes it much scarier!

By Darshan Ahluwalia
From: Petaluma, CA
Apr 5, 2007

The first pitch is missing the bolt.

The supertopo says that the first pitch is really scary and wet and blah blah. But it is not that bad. There is good gear to be found. I think I got in Black and Green Metolius right around where the bolt is missing.

By Paul Hunnicutt
From: Boulder, CO
Oct 22, 2007
rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b PG13

I don't feel this is PG-13 if you can take your time in placing gear and especially if you have offset cams, however the gear is tricky to place well. Metolius offset cams worked so well here. I highly recommend them for the Valley. I agree that this hurts the feet quite a bit. Every pitch is excellent and logically combines with Sons of Yesterday. If you live in Boulder and want to practice the crux of this climb (left leaning finger locks with smearing feet) climb 'Deviant' at Cadillac Crag in Eldo. The pitch 2 step across is awesome. You can get good small stoppers in before you make the move.

By lee hansche
Administrator
From: goffstown, nh
Oct 25, 2007

the pin scars on the first pitch made me want to vomit... i have no idea how they went so long before saying "hey, why dont we stop destroying this climb"...

after the first 40 feet the pin scars get much less disturbing and the climbing gets so much better i forgot about the negative aspects of the beginning and had a blast on the rest of the climb...pits 2 is super cool and the 3rd pitch (the crux) is so great, wow...

By Scotty Nelson
From: Boulder
Dec 1, 2008

Too bad the P1 anchors are not ~ 5 feet higher, since that would make it possible to rap from the top of P3 to the top of P1 in a single rap.

I tried to go for it and ended up just a little bit short.

By Matt Desenberg
From: North Berwick, ME
May 3, 2009

Great route, P1 isn't as bad as they say, it eats gear after the initial section.

By jhump
Jun 28, 2009
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b R

After 2 trips up this one (mid-May for both), I still think the first pitch is the crux. Wet, physical, and foot destroying- the first pitch pin scars are the crux for me. The 5.10d crux offers all the solid gear you desire. You can hang out and place pleny of small cams. I think I fished in 4 from the stance at the little black blob and above. Pinky fingers fit bomber in the locks. Go for it!

By Bruce Hildenbrand
Mar 13, 2010

I love pitch 3, but if you are not into doing 10+ tips, you can head around to the left from the tree at the start of the pitch and do a 5.9 lieback as an alternative finish.

By tallmark515
From: San Francisco
Apr 11, 2010
rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b PG13

1 move off the ground is tricky, good nut placement 20+ feet up. Had to negotiate around a few wet sections on P1 when doing this route in early April.

The P3 crux starts at the obvious thin seam 3/4 way up. While the finger locks are good all the way, for two moves (crux) finding your footing may feel desperate.

By gregory huey
From: Irvine, CA
Jun 7, 2010
rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b PG13

Climbed this route on Sat, Jun 5 2010 with Jack Ziegler. I led P1 & 3, Jack led P2. I'll claim the onsight, though I did hang once on P2 while removing my partner's pro. In any case, Jack and I both onsighted all the pitches we led. The middle of P1 was wet - runoff from the falls, I guess.

Note that after the leader pulls the crux, they should put in a left directional for the second, as the top-of-P3 anchors are way around right. Otherwise the second risks a mighty big pendulum.

I've heard some people claim this is really a 10c. I'd have to disagree - its definitely significantly harder than Rubicon/JT, which is being downgraded to a 10c from 10d.

The P1 bolt is missing - wish someone would replace it.

By C. Hill
Jul 5, 2010
rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b PG13

P1 bolt was still missing on June 29, 2010. The initial 30ft are pretty damn scary, but the climbing is no harder than 5.9 and it definitely gets your head on straight for the rest of the route.

Of course, the rest of the route protects beautifully and has some of the most classic 5.10 hand & finger crack climbing you could possibly imagine. Very doable in midsummer if you start early (we left the car at 6:30am).

Beware, if rapping from bolts in the groove at the base of Sons, of a tendency to swing to the left and possibly end up below a large overhung arete. It would probably be better to rap from the tree on the ledge below and right of those bolts.

By TylerW
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Jul 5, 2010
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

Bolt still missing as of June 2010, although by the time you get to where it used to be, the gear is pretty good anyway. A few decent nut placements (sideways orientation) are possible somewhere 15ish feet up if you are creative.

Definitely soft for valley 10d, but no question it's one of the best crack climbs in the country.

By snowhazed
From: Oakland, Ca
Nov 17, 2010

the useless bolt is gone forever

Aside from the thin move off the deck the first 30 feet are no harder than 5.8. Really- how are you going to fall off with such good feet?

By coreylee
From: Sacramento, CA
May 4, 2011

i think it is funny, all the fuss about the bolt. The whole first pitch is one big pin scar!

By David Aguasca!
From: New York
Aug 15, 2011

Serenity crack can be rapped with a single 70m rope (haven't tried a 60 yet) by rapping from P3 belay to P2 belay, then climber's left from the P2 belay. From there three raps will yet you back to the starting ledge. The old tat that had been added to for ages has been removed and replaced with some new cord and carabiners.

By Stephanie Patrick
From: Oakland, CA
May 3, 2012

my partner set a bomber blue tricam about 10 feet off the deck. Helps with some mental pro

By aaron hope
From: Walnut Creek, CA
Sep 9, 2012

I was nervous about the first part of P1 so I brought my offset cams. Didn't really work. The scars are just too flaring or too shallow. I was able to get one red/black metolius in one of the scars, about 15 feet up. But I would give it a 6/7 out of 10. 10 being totally bomber. Unfortunately the cam made the next move harder by blocking a perfectly good foothold! Truth is, the first 30 feet are pretty casual if you are attempting 5.10's in the valley.

By Bababata
From: New Haven, CT
Oct 1, 2012
rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b R

The first pitch is very heady indeed - no pro for 30' unless you bring offset cams. I didn't and I'm pretty sure that a fall on one of the two half-open and very shallow cams I placed would have resulted in a ground fall. The first decent piece is a 0.75 camalot in a pocket 30' up...

By Luke Stefurak
From: Mountain View, CA
Oct 15, 2012

Anchors have been moved/extended so that you can rap from P3 to P1 with two 60m Ropes. You can also rap from P2 to a separate rap route (three more raps to the ground) with one rope.

By tsuji
From: Boulder, CO
Feb 21, 2013

If you're trying to get from 3 to 1 with two 60's be careful! The anchor is right at the end of the 60's and it wouldn't be hard to go off the ends of the ropes if you forgot to tie knots.

By Evan Riley
From: San Francisco, CA
Mar 30, 2013

The first pitch was wet in late march which made it extra sketchy. You can climb the Son's-Serenity link up in 5 pitches with a 70m rope.

By Johnny Y
From: California
Jun 10, 2013

agreed with tsuji, 60m rope + stretch will barely get you from P3 to P1, definitely tie knots and I had to clip myself in above the anchor. Better yet, use the alternate rap route to the left you won't be in the way of other climbers on the route

By tom higgins
Sep 27, 2013

Just for the record, Chris Jones did not lead the crux pitch on the FFA. Tom Higgins did.

By Matt Scheidt
From: Washington
Oct 1, 2013

Climbed this on 9-27 and had a blast. Got to the base of the wall at 6am to try and be the first party on and barely made it, 5 minutes later another party strolled on up with the same idea. Watch out for the crack on p3. I counted 5 or 6 fixed cams in that beast. We rapped on 2 60s from p3 to p1 with no problems.

By DrW
From: AUSTIN, TX
Aug 11, 2014
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c PG13

Interesting name for a route that has no chance for serenity until after it is done. I think that pain management is probably the most important skill on the lower part of the route so that you are able to handle the upper part and the Sons of Yesterday. Try not to kill your toes on the scars. Otherwise it will come back to haunt you later on in the combo. To do one without the other is a crime.