Yellow Brick Road
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BETA PHOTO: 29-December-2011: another party gearing up. Note ...
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).
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.
Ice screws, 60-70m rope(s). Two 60's will get you down in two rappels, a single 70 will make it in three.
29-December-2011: Me leading first pitch. pic by ...
29-December-2009: Steve Larson leading crux pitch,...
BETA PHOTO: 29-December-2011: Steve Larson at the rap station ...
BETA PHOTO: 29-December-2011: Me traversing towards the rap st...
A big snow year and thin ice barely covering the f...
December 2011, Hwy 120 open, approach 20 minutes f...
View upwards to the 2nd pitch.
BETA PHOTO: The climb as seen from the road, January 2012
First pitch in January 2012 (70 meters makes it al...
Looking down the first pitch of Yellow Brick Road ...
BETA PHOTO: Looking up
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 1
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 2
|Comments on Yellow Brick Road
|By Jason Ham|
Jan 5, 2012
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.
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.