Access Issue: Yosemite National Park climbing closures and conditions Details

Description

The base of El Capitan is home to numerous dreamy classic climbs to cut your teeth on while gazing up at the Big Stone.

Getting There

Park in El Cap Meadows area and hike the trail up to the base. Figure on about 10 minutes for the approach.

38 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Base Routes

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 314
Pine Line
Trad
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 150
La Cosita, Left
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 132
Little John, Right
Trad 3 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 76
Little John, Left
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 184
La Cosita, Right
Trad
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 348
Moby Dick
Trad
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 198
Sacherer Cracker
Trad
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 61
Ahab
Trad
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13
 3
Party Mix
Trad
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 164
Salathe (pitch 1)
Trad
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
 21
Hardly Pinnacle
Trad
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 25
Sparkling Give-away
Trad, Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 27
Mark of Art
Trad
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 39
Short But Thin
Trad
5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c PG13
 3
TRON
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Pine Line
 314
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad
La Cosita, Left
 150
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad
Little John, Right
 132
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 3 pitches
Little John, Left
 76
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
La Cosita, Right
 184
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Moby Dick
 348
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
Sacherer Cracker
 198
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
Ahab
 61
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
Party Mix
 3
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13 Trad
Salathe (pitch 1)
 164
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad
Hardly Pinnacle
 21
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Trad
Sparkling Give-away
 25
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad, Sport
Mark of Art
 27
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad
Short But Thin
 39
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Trad
TRON
 3
5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c PG13 Sport
More Classic Climbs in Base Routes »

Sun & Shade

Weather Averages

High
 
Low
 
Precip
 
Days w Precip
 
Prime Climbing Season
J F M A M J J A S O N D
J F M A M J J A S O N D
M. Morley
Sacramento, CA
M. Morley   Sacramento, CA  
Greg, just click the "Add Route" button above. Aug 3, 2007
Bryan G
Yosemite
Bryan G   Yosemite
"When do these climbs typically dry out? I'm hoping to get on some the end of April..."

The El Cap base is climbable year-round. A handful of routes will get hit by seasonal runoff coming down from the rim, but most of the climbs dry out pretty quick. After a major rain storm it usually takes a couple days of sun. After a snow storm it can take a week or longer for things to get dry, depending on how much snow gets dumped. Watch out for falling chunks of ice and be aware there is an increased chance of major rockfall following any storm. But in general the El Cap base is one of the best cragging spots in the Valley proper during the fall, winter, and spring. Apr 2, 2011
Eric T.
St. Augustine, Florida
Eric T.   St. Augustine, Florida
Rad, thanks for the beta Bryan! Apr 3, 2011
Countzen Shin
Santa Monica, CA
Countzen Shin   Santa Monica, CA
Beta for Alcove Swing:
As of few weeks before October 2014 it's been cut and shortened. :(

I heard some douches tried to get five people on it at once and core-shot the rope after slamming back into the slab part.



Oct 13, 2014
Vlad S  
Yeah, hiked up to the alcove swing last week for nothing. Shame on you people, who did this. The rope was pretty much new and bomber just when I was there in May. Oct 14, 2014