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Yellow Brick Road 

Yellow Brick Road 

WI3+

   
Type: Ice, 2 pitches, 350'
Consensus: WI3+ [details]
FA: Charlie Porter and Mead Hargis
Season: winter
Page Views: 1,303
Submitted By: rhyang on Dec 31, 2011
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BETA PHOTO: 29-December-2011: Me traversing towards the rap st...

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Description 

In early summer there is a seeping waterfall down a black streak on the face around the corner from Oz, Gram, etc. In the winter this becomes an ice route. Probably in most years highway 120 is closed for the winter before this happens, but in 2011 the road re-opened in December and did not close for the rest of the year.

The route started out fairly easy, and then steepened. Most seemed to belay on screws about 150' up on a bit of a ledge. The second pitch had a short vertical section, and in late December seemed to get sun by noonish.

After the crux the route flattens, and it's probably most expedient to just traverse right towards a 2-bolt anchor with rap rings. Place a screw or two as a directional for the follower and then walk in crampons on knobby Tuolumne granite for a bit. This seemed about 60m from the belay, possibly a rope-stretcher.

I believe the rap anchors belong to a rock route called Crystal Meth (5.8R), established in 8/2008 (see the 2009 supertopo guide).


Location 

Start at the pullout for Drug Dome and hike/ski/snowshoe towards Drug Dome, but as you near the base contour right towards Mariluolumne Dome. The route can be seen from the road if driving from the west and is fairly obvious from the approach as you come out of the trees.

Depending on snow cover and recent traffic there may be a nice use trail to follow (we were second of at least four parties on it).

Descend by rappel. There are two other bolted rap anchors after the first one; with two 60m ropes you can skip one of them.


Protection 

Ice screws, 60-70m rope(s). Two 60's will get you down in two rappels, a single 70 will make it in three.



Photos of Yellow Brick Road Slideshow Add Photo
29-December-2011: Me leading first pitch.  pic by Doug Artman
29-December-2011: Me leading first pitch. pic by ...
A big snow year and thin ice barely covering the first pitch.  16 mile ski approach.
A big snow year and thin ice barely covering the f...
First pitch in January 2012 (70 meters makes it almost to the top, a short second pitch is needed)
First pitch in January 2012 (70 meters makes it al...
29-December-2011: Steve Larson at the rap station just right of the route's topout.
BETA PHOTO: 29-December-2011: Steve Larson at the rap station ...
29-December-2009: Steve Larson leading crux pitch, me belaying.  pic by Doug Artman
29-December-2009: Steve Larson leading crux pitch,...
Looking down the first pitch of Yellow Brick Road - fun!! Climbed sunny rock after this in tshirts...
Looking down the first pitch of Yellow Brick Road ...
Pitch 1
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 1
The climb as seen from the road, January 2012
BETA PHOTO: The climb as seen from the road, January 2012
29-December-2011: another party gearing up.  Note the upper pitches of Hobbit Book (5.7R) in upper left.
BETA PHOTO: 29-December-2011: another party gearing up. Note ...
View upwards to the 2nd pitch.
View upwards to the 2nd pitch.
Looking up
BETA PHOTO: Looking up
December 2011, Hwy 120 open, approach 20 minutes from the car.  Solid ice for 2 pitches.
December 2011, Hwy 120 open, approach 20 minutes f...
Pitch 2
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 2
Comments on Yellow Brick Road Add Comment
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By Jason Ham
Jan 5, 2012
rating: WI3

This route is known as Yellow Brick Road. According to Bob Harrington, who possibly did the 2nd ascent, the FA team was Charlie Porter and Mead Hargis.

By rhyang
From: San Jose, CA
Jan 5, 2012

Thanks Jason ! I've added this info to the route description. If Bob remembers the year of the FA, that would be great to include too.