Best sport areas in Yosemite


Original Post
Cuong Ngo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2017 · Points: 0

I'm going to be in Yosemite for a week in October and would like to get some sport climbing in during this trip. Yosemite seems to be predominantly trad from what I've heard, but given I've never tried trad, and just started sport climbing, I'm looking to do a few sport routes in 5.11-12 range.

I've looked around on the route finder, but what area would you recommend that has good single-pitch 5.11-12 sport routes? Ideally, there more routes concentrated in that area, the better :)

Thanks

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 15

Good luck finding much sport climbing in Yosemite. You can try this:

http://www.supertopo.com/packs/yosemite-sport-climbs-top-ropes.html

Ben Horowitz · · Berkeley · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 123

Main areas off the top of my head are Killer Pillar (Elephant Rock), Mecca (Cathedrals), and Schultz' Ridge (near El Cap). The first two have a lot of 5.11s and 5.12s. If you want to go a bit further afield you can drive about an hour south and go to Shuteye Ridge which has arguably the best granite sport climbing in the state.

aaron hope · · Walnut Creek, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 180

There's actually great sport climbing in Yosemite if you climb 5.11 and up. Chapel Wall, Public Sanitation Wall, and Lower Cathedral Rock to name a few. A bunch of new McDevitt routes over by Fifi Butress but no book for these ones yet. 

Cuong Ngo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2017 · Points: 0

Shuteye Ridge looks pretty sweet. I added these areas to my list. Thanks guys

phylp · · Upland · Joined May 2015 · Points: 115

There are also 3 5.11 sport routes in the Church Bowl area. Church Bowl and Chapel Wall have 2 minute approaches and are easy to find. Killer Pillar might be a little harder for a first time visitor. You have to drive up out of the Valley floor and rap in to do those. 

Nata · · San Francisco · Joined Sep 2014 · Points: 5

Anyone have recs for some easier sport?  We have a group that will be looking for some 5.7-5.9 this weekend 

Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 0
Nata wrote:

Anyone have recs for some easier sport?  We have a group that will be looking for some 5.7-5.9 this weekend 

I'm not aware of any sport routes in Yosemite at that grade. While there are bolted routes in the Meadows in those grades, they're not sport routes by any means and will usually need some trad gear.

Ned · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 0

Mockery at Five & Dime (https://www.mountainproject.com/v/mockery/105974243) is a safe, well-bolted 5.8, and at the same cliff you can find a couple other sport climbs in the 5.10-5.12 range, but that's the only climb in that range. Also, it will probably be really hot in the sun there, and I don't think it gets any shade. If anyone in your group knows how to set anchors off trees, TRing at Swan Slab is a good option for less experienced climbers. If you really want to climb sport, there's many more options in the Lake Tahoe area, and much less competition to get on the few options that exist.

Nata · · San Francisco · Joined Sep 2014 · Points: 5

Thanks guys!  I've done Swan Slab and agree it's good for beginners but gets soooo crowded. We might check out Five & Dime.  I realize Yosemite is not *the* place for sport but we have a super large and mixed level group on this trip so hoping to find something for everyone. :)

caughtinside · · Oakland CA · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 1,415
Nata wrote:

Thanks guys!  I've done Swan Slab and agree it's good for beginners but gets soooo crowded. We might check out Five & Dime.  I realize Yosemite is not *the* place for sport but we have a super large and mixed level group on this trip so hoping to find something for everyone. :)

Complains about the crowds... then plans to bring "super large" group to the crag.  Well done!

Fat Dad · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 5
Ben Horowitz wrote:

Main areas off the top of my head are Killer Pillar (Elephant Rock), Mecca (Cathedrals), and Schultz' Ridge (near El Cap). The first two have a lot of 5.11s and 5.12s. If you want to go a bit further afield you can drive about an hour south and go to Shuteye Ridge which has arguably the best granite sport climbing in the state.

I'm always puzzled by people hitting the Valley for just sport, but this is a good list.  I'd also add the Chapel Wall though.  A number of good sport routes there in the hard .11/easy to mid .12 range.  There are a couple of one pitch climbs at the Cookie--Pringles (.11b) and I forget that other one.  The Cascades has some easier stuff (.10) that's bolted, but probably should not be considered sport.  Not trad in the style of MCR, but not a bolt every 5 ft. either.   Phylp mentioned some .11s at Church Bowl, but they're pretty stiff, technical slab climbs that I would not consider sport.  If you've climbed mostly inside, which it sounds like from your description, these will feel desparately hard.

Highlander · · Ouray, CO · Joined Apr 2008 · Points: 175

I seem to recall a handful of sport routes at Pat & Jack Pinnacle but they may be easier then what you are looking for.

wsperry · · San Jose/Lafayette · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 95

How about East Cottage Dome in Tuolumne. Not in the Valley but some rad lines for sure.

Fredrik Ehne · · Stockholm, Sweden · Joined Mar 2017 · Points: 0
Cuong Ngo wrote:

just started sport climbing, I'm looking to do a few sport routes in 5.11-12 range.

Thanks for that one.

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 45

Hahahah good point.  What is your gauge for grades?  If it's the gym, you're in for a rude awakening...

Cuong Ngo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2017 · Points: 0
Ted Pinson wrote:

Hahahah good point.  What is your gauge for grades?  If it's the gym, you're in for a rude awakening...

Hehe I thought someone would comment on that :D

I'm currently onsighting 5.11b-c in the gym but haven't really redpointed anything. I'm sure if I was to climb 5.11a outside right now, I would've been trashed just getting past the first clip. It was more of me guessing where I'll be in 3 months. Who knows, grading varies so much anyways (both gym vs. outdoors and by region), so you might find me struggling on a Yosemite 5.8. Whichever way it is, I'm looking forward to it.

Thanks all for all the rec's!

Fredrik Ehne · · Stockholm, Sweden · Joined Mar 2017 · Points: 0
Cuong Ngo wrote:

Hehe I thought someone would comment on that :D

I'm currently onsighting 5.11b-c in the gym but haven't really redpointed anything. I'm sure if I was to climb 5.11a outside right now, I would've been trashed just getting past the first clip. It was more of me guessing where I'll be in 3 months. Who knows, grading varies so much anyways (both gym vs. outdoors and by region), so you might find me struggling on a Yosemite 5.8. Whichever way it is, I'm looking forward to it.

Thanks all for all the rec's!

Now I'm a dirty foreigner, but 5.8 bolted slab in Yosemite counts as sport climbing right? Start there 

Also be sure to redpoint a few routes in the gym before you go to Yosemite.  

Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 0
Fredrik Ehne wrote:

Now I'm a dirty foreigner, but 5.8 bolted slab in Yosemite counts as sport climbing right? 

If your concept of sport route includes 50' - or significantly longer - runouts.

Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 0
Cuong Ngo wrote:

I'm currently onsighting 5.11b-c in the gym but haven't really redpointed anything. I'm sure if I was to climb 5.11a outside right now, I would've been trashed just getting past the first clip. It was more of me guessing where I'll be in 3 months. 

Go do Moby Dick Center and tell us about it. It's only 10a. You'll need trad gear from fingers up to a #4 or #5 cam. After that, give Misty Bethoven a try over on the GPA. 10c and all bolted pro. It's only 40' of 9+ friction to get to the first bolt.

King Tut · · Citrus Heights · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 200
Fredrik Ehne wrote:

Now I'm a dirty foreigner, but 5.8 bolted slab in Yosemite counts as sport climbing right? Start there 

Also be sure to redpoint a few routes in the gym before you go to Yosemite.  

I cannot think of one 5.8 slab in Yosemite that is a 5.8 sport climb. There might be that one pitch at 5 and Dime (new route) but we don't make 5.8 sport climbs in Yosemite, is the general rule.

Sport climbs start at about 5.10 I would say up at the East Cottage Dome.

Or maybe that route Shagadelic over on Medlicott. Dunno if that is really "sport" bolted but I think those guys were generous.

We do like dirty foreigner chicks and Euro-trash babes though.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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