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Routes in Big Sleep

Afternoon Nap T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Moonlight Madness S 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Young Guns T 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c

Description

This massive dome is a dream of easy slab climbing on incredibly grippy high-quality granite. The summit is a surprisingly prominent pinnacle for a dome like this, and offers expansive views of Southern Yosemite, the Minarets, the Eastern Sierras, north along Shuteye Ridge to the Shuteye Peak fire lookout, and south toward Crocodile, Voodoo, and the Eagle's Nest.

Getting There

See notes in comments below for what sounds like a better approach than I used.

The approach and deproach are great adventure from start to finish. From North Fork, follow Mammoth Pool Road (also known as Minarets Road and Rd. 225, most often signed as "Rd. 225") about 22 miles. Drive about 1 mile past well-signed Rock Creek Campground, and turn left on Browns Meadow Road (Mostly signed as "7S02"). Drive about 8 miles, being careful to stay on 7S02, which sometimes means just staying on the most well-traveled road, since some roads are poorly signed or not signed at all. After about 8 miles, turn right on 7S02K (signed with a small but legible signpost). Drive about a mile (or walk it if you have thin tires) to a really nice campsite in the tall trees. There is another approach (an earlier right turn off of 7S02) in the guidebook, which I know nothing about. ***See comments below from people who took what sounds like an easier approach***

A giant boulder called the "Petrified Elephant" will be visible to the east. You can't miss it. Walk toward this boulder's right side. Grahm Doe's new guidebook shows you walking straight past this to the big slab, but you don't. Turn right at the Petrified Elephant and look closely for the "trail" that leads to the big open slab. You can't see the slab yet. At the slab, follow cairns to the other side of the slab until you are below the center of the southwest face of Big Sleep. Here, a trail follows a gully up to the toe of the slab, which is about 10 feet left of the start of Afternoon Nap. All but a couple of climbs start to the left of where you meet the formation.

I've centered the map on the spot where you'll meet the rock at the end of the trail.

3 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Big Sleep

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 28
Afternoon Nap
Trad 5 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 21
Moonlight Madness
Sport 5 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Afternoon Nap
 28
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad 5 pitches
Moonlight Madness
 21
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport 5 pitches
More Classic Climbs in Big Sleep »

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Photos

Chris D
the couch
Chris D   the couch
Descending Big Sleep involves either rapping Afternoon Nap, or walking off to either the right or left after continuing to the summit of the dome. If you choose to rap, be mindful of the fact that you'll be rapping a popular route that includes a hanging belay at the start of the last pitch. Be courteous to parties ascending this route.

Walking off takes you to other domes and walls on your way back to where you parked. Walk off to the right and you can access Voodoo, the Crocodile, and I imagine other formations. I haven't gone this way. Walking to the left is an easy way to get to Midway Dome, 12 O'Clock Rock, Little Sleep, and whatever you have the energy to get to nearby.

I have no descent beta for the walkoff to the right. For the walkoff to the left, head toward Midway Dome, then begin to drop down the gully between Big Sleep and Little Sleep. For a while, you'll stay near Big Sleep, then you'll trend skier's right toward Little Sleep, always following the path of least resistance through the brush and boulders. About 200 feet above Little Sleep, as you start to get into terrain that looks really rough, scan the bottom of the gully, which is now filled with giant boulders. If you are attentive, you'll see a cairn or two, which will lead you to a trail that has been gardened to a width of about two feet and cairned by some wonderful soul. This trail leads to the slabs, where you can get back to the campsite at the end of 7S02. Jun 30, 2014
Sean P. Sullivan
Clovis, Ca
Sean P. Sullivan   Clovis, Ca
The walkoff right is tricky, try and stay high and gain the ridge before heading down towards the obvious gully and the left side of Voodoo. Once in the gully the trail disappears and it gets ugly. We did it, but we got beat up. I would not recommend this way as a way down to voodoo. May 11, 2015
Do NOT take road 7S02K, but take road 7S02M to get to big sleep.

Followed the directions on this site to get there, and ended up bushwhacking for a few hrs with no luck. When I turned around to head home, there was Big Sleep looking me in the face. Turned on to 7S02M and it headed right over to it. Sep 2, 2015
This photo and a little $$ might have saved you a lot of Bushwhacking!
mountainproject.com/v/11046… It is a beautiful guidebook. Sep 4, 2015
I followed the advice to take 7S02M (not K) and was very pleased. This road ends in about quarter mile and turns into a perfectly maintained and impeccably cairned pathway directly to the base of Big Sleep. The decent route left is a little less obvious and requires some bushwacking - but is as described and returns you to that perfect trail.

I cannot BELIEVE no one was here on a weekend. Incredible area. Sep 26, 2016
Andrew Fahrland
Denver, CO
Andrew Fahrland   Denver, CO
I did both descents yesterday and can confirm that walking off left is much faster and more straightforward than walking off right. Don't enter the brushy drainage climber's left of the dome as previously suggested; instead, hug the apron of the dome as far skiers left as you can the whole way down. Mostly class 2 slab walking with a few short class 3 sections will bring you back to the base of the routes in approximately 20-30 minutes. This descent is 99% brush-free and brings you back to your packs without having to hike back up the approach trail.

7S02M is the way to go on the way in. When the road ends, pick up a clear trail. After about five minutes, keep left at a junction to make it to the base of Big Sleep. (Staying right will take you to Voodoo.) Oct 20, 2017

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