Type: Trad, Alpine, 700 ft (212 m), 8 pitches, Grade III
FA: Greg Davis, Neal Beidleman, & Kevin Cooney
Page Views: 27,391 total · 103/month
Shared By: David A. Turner on Jul 5, 2002
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC

You & This Route

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Description Suggest change

This is a magical mystery tour. It has lots of variety including steep face climbing similar to the domes of Tuolumne Meadows. There may be no better face climbing in the Park.

The route starts on Middle Earth, which can be accessed by various means.

P1. The first pitch of the route proper begins to the right of the Eye of Mordor, a huge, seriously sinister, vertical gouge left of center on Spearhead's east face.

The first pitch is easy, taking you to a big ledge. The next pitch climbs straight up into an obvious dihedral, which grows wide at its top (5.9). Not much gear toward the end, unless you brought a 12" piece. I did not but found that focused liebacking brought me to its top and the next big ledge.

P3. The third pitch heads left, through a hole, and onto a ramp. Before heading too far along the ramp, climb up and through an overhang/flake, onto the next ledge which curves into a right-facing dihedral (5.10a).

P4. The fourth pitch heads up the dihedral, over a small roof and hand traverses left into another short dihedral. Belay from slings towards its top (5.10c). This is a cool pitch.

P5. Next, a thin hand crack in a short dihedral quickly turns into a short, somewhat horizontal, finger crack. The crack dies into the sweeping wall above. Figure out how to put your feet where your hands are and stand up onto a golden wall of knobs (crux). Climb toward and ultimately onto a memorable flake and then up right toward a shallow, short dihedral (more cruxey climbing here as well).

Rossiter's guide suggests belaying at the base of the dihedral. I kept going and joined two pitches together into 165 feet of incredible climbing. You will need lots of runners if you do this. The next section heads up the dihedral, breaks out right into more wonderful face climbing and then into another shallow short dihedral, belaying at its top (5.11a/b). Take a breather.

P6. The next pitch heads up a series of dihedrals. Belay on top of the second one (5.8).

P7. You are now below the exit pitch. The rock changes dramatically in character at this point but remains solid. Clip a bolt, mince left toward a thin crack and get some smallish stoppers in it. Then head straight up the crack to the summit (5.10b).

Protection Suggest change

Lots of quick draws, shoulder runners and a small standard rack with TCUs.