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Yellow Ridge T 

Yellow Ridge 

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

   
Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 200'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b [details]
FA: Fritz Wiessner, Edward and Ann Gross, 1944
Page Views: 11,404
Submitted By: John Peterson on Feb 22, 2006

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Breanna finishing the final pitch of Yellow Ridge ...

Description 

Perhaps the best 5.7 in the Gunks.

This climb is just a few minutes from the road - you'll pass Disneyland and a number of inside and outside corners. Immediately past Yellow Ridge is the huge roof of Fat Stick. The route is most easily recognized by the left-leaning offwidth crack about 15' off the deck.

P1: There are two ways to start. On the right is a left-facing corner leading up to a small roof - you traverse left under the roof to the offwidth crack (5.7 and reasonably protected). A more direct start traverses on thin holds (no protection) to the rib below the offwidth crack and then up. This is 5.7 and scary but a good spot will keep you safe.

In either case, attack the offwidth above. At a horizontal you can either traverse right out of the crack and climb the face or be like Fritz and power up the offwidth. Both of these are about 5.7. Most people choose the face.

Continue to a good ledge just above the offwidth, and belay here.

P2: Climb a corner to a roof about 20' above the good ledge. Instead of pulling through the roof, traverse up and left about 50' to a another good ledge. 5.7, 120'.

P3: Make thin moves traversing to the left edge of the ledge, and climb up just right of the obvious ridge for about 10'. Traverse left to the arete, passing a pin. Follow this up past another old pin to a roof (fortunately much easier than it looks!) and then on to the top. 5.7, 80'.

From the top, walk climbers' right along the clifftop until it is possible to easily scramble back down to the base, just before the road.

Protection 

Standard Gunks rack. No need for offwidth pro.


Photos of Yellow Ridge Slideshow Add Photo
BGraham on belay.
BGraham on belay.
approaching the final roof... super fun!
approaching the final roof... super fun!
Beginning the final pitch under the yellowish rock...
Beginning the final pitch under the yellowish rock...
Corner start of Yellow Ridge: Tyler turning the co...
Corner start of Yellow Ridge: Tyler turning the co...
Underneath the offwidth.
Underneath the offwidth.
Beginning the traverse
Beginning the traverse
Style point deduction.
Style point deduction.
Reaching the jugs after the thin arete. Yes, I did...
Reaching the jugs after the thin arete. Yes, I did...
Tricia Fusco taking the direct start up the nose.
Tricia Fusco taking the direct start up the nose.
Pulling through the roof.
Pulling through the roof.
In the offwidth at the start of the route.
In the offwidth at the start of the route.
2nd(or 3rd)  pitch crux
2nd(or 3rd) pitch crux
At the 5.7 crux on the last pitch of Yellow Ridge....
At the 5.7 crux on the last pitch of Yellow Ridge....
Looking down from part way through the traverse on...
Looking down from part way through the traverse on...
Unknown climber finishing the roof.
Unknown climber finishing the roof.
At the 5.7 crux on the last pitch of Yellow Ridge....
At the 5.7 crux on the last pitch of Yellow Ridge....
The start of Yellow Ridge, showing the offwidth cr...
BETA PHOTO: The start of Yellow Ridge, showing the offwidth cr...
Melissa on p3
Melissa on p3

Comments on Yellow Ridge Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated May 16, 2013
By Ron Olsen
From: Boulder, CO
Feb 23, 2006
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

A great climb. I recommend the right-hand start (up a left-facing corner, traverse left under a roof) to get to the offwidth crack. I used two #2 Camalots on this pitch: one in the initial corner, and one in a horizontal crack above the fixed pin in the offwidth. I also used a #3.5 Camalot (same as a #4 C4 Camalot) at the base of the offwidth to protect the moves up to the fixed pin.

Face climbing right of the offwidth is probably a little easier than climbing directly up the crack.

You can shorten the first pitch and belay on the first good ledge after the offwidth. This will let you communicate with and watch your second as they climb the offwidth. A 5.4 second pitch goes up a corner and left to a ledge. From here, finish with the last pitch as described above.
By Taino
From: South Salem, NY
Dec 27, 2006
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

HIGHLY recommend doing the "optional" belay at the top of the offwidth; otherwise, the rope drag is only slightly less than paralyzing.

Also disagree with the opinion above that the right-hand start (to the right of the arete, up the left-facing dihedral, move right to left under roof to arete) is "5.6". It's harder than any of the other starts listed in the various Williams' guides - but it has gear.
By adrenalated
From: Denver, CO
May 10, 2007

Agree that the right hand start is a bit harder than 5.6, but I don't think it was harder than 5.7. It gears well regardless.

Like Ron, I used a large cam (#4 Friend) at the base of the offwidth, then put a medium cam in the horizontal on the right midway up the offwidth. Both placements are bomber, so the offwidth is totally safe.

I did the route in two pitches as described above, without the optional belay, and had absolutely no problems with rope drag. But I didn't put a ton of pro in while climbing the corner above the offwidth. YMMV.
By GMBurns
Sep 4, 2008
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13

A fun route overall, with P1 having a bit of a scary crux. P3 has what appears to be an intimidating line, but this is not the case.
By Jim O'Brien
From: Branford, CT
May 4, 2009
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Great route- The offwidth wasn't that bad, only a couple of moves and it's over. Found the thin traverse at the start of the last pitch to be the crux of the climb, good hands but bad feet for a couple of moves. The roof was very cool, easier than many 5.6 roofs I've been through in da' Gunks.
By JSH
Administrator
Aug 3, 2009

I agree that the right start nudges up towards 5.8 - I had some trouble when I led it, and corners are usually good to me.
By Gunkiemike
Nov 6, 2009

Denis O has posted a photo of the "direct start" which is basically straight up the rounded nose to the offwidth. This might be 5.7+ or so; it's not described in the new purple Nears guide, but I remember reading about it somewhere. It's a bit necky, in that you make the first of two very balancey moves with gear at your knees but the second a bit above the gear, arguably in groundfall range. Still I think it's safer than the sketchy traverse in from the left.

ADVICE - If there's any chance your second may fall below the offwidth, DO NOT combine the first two pitches. They'll hit the ground before you even know they've fallen.
By doligo
Jun 21, 2010
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

I did the right hand up the corner start - it's a bit thin on feet, but definitely not a 5.8. The off-width protects well even with smaller gear - I used my #4 at the base (but there was a small cam placement to the left of the crack to back up the pin) and #.75 mid-crack (#1 would have been better but I used it on the under the roof traverse). I ended up off-widthing it as I was too short to reach for face holds. The P3 traverse is exciting! BTW, P2 is 5.5 and P3 is 5.6 in the new Nears book, ratings that I agree with.
By saxfiend
Administrator
From: Decatur, GA
Oct 13, 2010
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Full value for the grade. The offwidth at the start is pretty damn tough.
By doligo
Nov 15, 2010
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Just followed the route this weekend and am taking my above comment back - the traverse from the right hand corner start is damn hard! Can't believe I had led it on a 100 degree sweltering summer day. The OW is still a lot of fun. BETA ALERT: the OW is easier if you jam the left side of the body and use little footsteps on the right edge of the crack. Jamming the right side of the body is tougher. YMMV.
By worth russell
From: Brooklyn, NY
Nov 21, 2010
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

1st pitch off width is tough. the traverse to belay ledge is 5.3ish. 2nd or final pitch is awesome really a super thin, exciting climb. All of a 5.7
By ericcr
Oct 23, 2011

no move on the corner start may be harder than 5.7, but you do place your gear from unpleasant stances. (there is plenty of it. totally G.)

i mistakenly led the offwidth with my right leg jammed. i found this to be strenuous, secure, and difficult to get out of at the top. i agree with dolgio's assessment that (if you want to offwidth it), the left side in may be more... fun?
By Andy Weinmann
From: Alexandria, VA
Apr 9, 2012
rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

What a climb...just good fun.

From the looks of the photos here, we obviously did P3 a bit different. On the face with horizontals going out to the arete I went pretty much straight up to the small roof and then traversed out. Gear is sparse if you do this. I managed a 00 master cam up in the corner before the traverse and that wasn't exactly 'ideal' but it made me feel better! It's definitely a 'hand' traverse with very little for your feet. If you go this way just keep moving ...dial it in and focus and get the big holds on the corner arete. Gives the grade a "+" in my book.
By Logan Schiff
From: Brooklyn, NY
Sep 5, 2012

Great climb! Initial traverse start felt 5.6 if you find the right handholds (i.e. not the undercling). Otherwise easily harder.

A #4 would definitely be nice for the start of the offwidth. I tried getting my whole body in the offwidth and found it very uncomfortable.

Thought the pro on the final pitch was a little sparse at times, though it was getting late in the day, so maybe I just wasn't looking carefully enough. There are a few pins to clip.
By Benjaminadk
From: Lake George, NY
Mar 5, 2013

Strenuous moves off the deck and that OW was a toughy. I'd give the right hand corner start a 5.8 rating, but the first ten feet don't count to the overall grade. The final pitch traverse is money. Feet on the traverse are great you just can't see them. Hero jugs through the final overhang. The best 7 in the Gunks.
By rgold
From: Poughkeepsie, NY
May 15, 2013

I've always climbed the nose at the start. You begin just left of the nose, move up, and step just right of the nose to finish. The gear wouldn't stop you from hitting the ground from later moves. It's 5.7.

I've always off-widthed right side in, which follows the granite conventional wisdom about having your back on a protruding offset. Given the prevalence of holds in the Gunks, the granite wisdom may not apply, but in any case the two or three offwidth moves are very elementary. You do end up turning around at the top since there is a ledge to the right of the crack.

I don't remember about gear but never had anything like a big cam up there; a standard gunks rack with pieces up to yellow camalot size ought to do the trick...
By losbill
May 16, 2013
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

I don't know Rich. Getting out to the Nose the way you describe is pretty easy. However I have not found the 2 or 3 moves up necessary to gain a stance and get gear in to be trivial at the 5.7 level. Plus the landing really sucks. Jagged boulders are not soft.

To be able to keep it safe at the grade level I think you may be better off with the start on the right, up the left-facing corner. Maybe I'll have to go back and give the Nose start another go to judge appropriately. It has been a number of years since I have gone that way. Regarding John's comment regarding a "good spot" I'm not sure how you can manage that with your climber six feet above you.

Heck, with the left hand start as dicey and delicate as it is, if I remember correctly, it actually has some sort of pro. Something that is missing on the Nose start.