Type: Trad, 300 ft, 3 pitches
FA: Pat Callis, Charlie Raymond & Larry Reynolds, January 1967
Page Views: 12,714 total · 79/month
Shared By: C Miller on Jan 20, 2006
Admins: C Miller, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

You & This Route

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Scramble up to a ledge with a pine tree directly below Log Ledge, a sloping shelf with a dead log, then walk left to a left-facing flake system which is the start of the route.

P1) Lieback up the widening crack (5.8) to reach a small ledge where another left-facing corner (5.9) leads to the left side of Log Ledge and a 2 bolt anchor.
P2) Make some thin moves off the belay (crux) and then wander up the incredible face above past five bolts. After the last bolt traverse right (5.9) to gain the arete of a left-facing flake system which is climbed 20' or so without pro (5.6) to a stance atop the flake with a 2 bolt belay.
P3) Climb face past two bolts into a thin crack with tricky gear placements or head left after the second bolt, via the popular Sundike variation, past two more bolts.

Descend off the back via Bye Gully or by rapping down the face (not recommended if it's busy).


This fantastic route lies in the middle of the main Sunshine Face just left of the classic Valhalla.


Mostly bolts with supplemental gear to 4 inches (larger gear if you feel the need and/or want to drag it up two more pitches)
david baker
jamul, ca
david baker   jamul, ca
Use a 41/2 on lie back at top of first pitch. Apr 5, 2006
Paul Rezucha
Paul Rezucha   Alameda
Sundance is a must do classic on this rock which follows a unique line requiring a variety of climbing techniques including a little jamming, liebacking, steep crimpy moves, mantles, high steps, chicken head gear, a long delicate friction traverse, and a long run out on an exposed face. And that's just the first two pitches. We decided to do the Sundike finish as it looked beautiful following a thin leaning dike system to the left. A beautiful sunny day with gusty winds made this pitch quite exciting as the bolts are widely spread (safe though) and moves are balancy and exposed. Jun 6, 2006
Adam Stackhouse

Adam Stackhouse    
5 star route all the way. I remember not seeing the last bolt before the traverse on P2 and I traversed over towards the arete a bit early. I think I ran into a bit of 10d territory, paused too long and took a nice fall. It wasn't until climbing back to that stance again, did I realize there was more "up" climbing to the last bolt. At least it made the correct traverse moves seem easy. Jun 27, 2006
Chris Owen
Big Bear Lake
Chris Owen   Big Bear Lake  
One of my enduring climbing memories is of leading the Sundike Variation on a cooling summer's eve with the Sun just above the horizon - pure magic. Aug 23, 2006
Jesse Davidson
san diego, ca
Jesse Davidson   san diego, ca
first time up this route. Last pitch was hard to protect, didn't have the tiny cams mentioned above, so basically sank 2 bomber 1.5" cams at the bottom & ran it out. Jun 18, 2007
Bruce Diffenbaugh
Bruce Diffenbaugh   Cheyenne,Wyoming
Cool route a must do. this is a great route to do in the winter on a sunny day very little snow run off if any.(NOTE; IN THE SUMMERTIME THE LOG ON THE LEDGE AT THE TOP OF THE FIRST PITCH HAS A GIANT HORNETS NEST IN IT.DON'T F_ _K WITH IT.)Or you know what happens next. bring small wire nuts #3 or #4 to protect the crack on third pitch put one in half way and go. don't like small wires or the run out a bit to much do sundike finish. Feb 5, 2008
Andy Laakmann
Bend, OR
Andy Laakmann   Bend, OR  
P1) Takes a small nut at the start, and then I just ran it out to the top of the first pillar. Not much in the way of pro in that section anyways. At the top of the pillar, work down and right to the base of the fat crack. You can loop the rope behind the pillar if you want "pro". I then went up the fat crack a bit and placed a #4 camalot. Then I returned to the pillar on the left and placed the rope in a perfect dish on top of the pillar (this protects the second at the start!). Back to the fat crack, up a ways, placed a #5 camalot (new style), and to the belay. Phew, lots of ins-and-outs-and-what-have-yous. But this method succeeded in reducing rope drag and protecting the second.

P2) 10b crank off the ledge, and then lots of 5.9 moves as you wander your way up to the belay. For those shorter than 5'11, the mantels on the knobs might prove to be the mental crux.

P3) We did Sundike variation. Balancy, insecure, but reasonably well protected climbing.

Rapped the route with a single 70m, but I think a 60m will just make it too. May 27, 2008
Fat Dad
Los Angeles, CA
Fat Dad   Los Angeles, CA
You don't need a huge piece on the first pitch. A single large cam (even a 3.5 camalot or old 4 friend) will do. Mostly, you just have to commit and do it. And, remember, the lieback used to be rated 5.8. Also, as a couple other have said, the traditional finish straight up is tricky and hard to protect. When I fist did this back in the day I talked to a couple of locals and their eyes widen. They claimed everyone finished right on the last pitch of Valhalla. The second pitch will seem more sustained if you're short, but still .10b. Jan 22, 2009
Here's another option for protecting the lieback on the first pitch. The nice thing about it is that it's small gear, stuff you're likely to have along for other routes (or the last pitch) anyway.

Go to the top of the flake that is just left of the crux lieback (or, doing the chimney moves at the top of the initial crack you'll naturally be there before moving right to the lieback).

Off the flake, step up on large face holds and put a couple of small cams (around .75) in a left leaning flake/crack. There should even be room for two of them in the obvious placement. Put a runner on them, move right, send the lieback. This actually ends up being pretty close protection, although a large cam would still be better. It even has the advantage of running better, reducing rope drag a lot.

Just another option. And a good one if you don't have any large gear but still want to do the route. Jan 22, 2009
Santa Cruz, CA
sam.f   Santa Cruz, CA
I must say I did this route yesterday and completely forgot my rack of C4's but had TCU's from 00-4 and stoppers. As per Darell's beta above, I was able to safely protect P1 with just that gear. AND, I could fit both red and orange TCU's into the flake he mentioned for extra assurance on the lieback. I'm glad I had read his note prior to forgetting my larger gear, otherwise I probably would have waited to do this route. Apr 13, 2009
Cory Harelson
Boise, ID
Cory Harelson   Boise, ID
Such a fun climb! All three pitches have something that will get your attention. The 10b move is basically a boulder problem right off the ledge, with a bolt at face level while you are pulling it. The mental crux for me was the 5.9 traverse after the last bolt on pitch 2. The moves seemed VERY thin. I was able to get a small cam (yellow C3) into the corner before moving onto the runout 5.6 face. We did the sundike variation, which was great, with very interesting moves. Push, pull, and pinch the dike as you work your way up. Also, both of the hard moves on sundike come right after the bolts, so I found it well protected. Jun 21, 2009
Did the P3 finish and felt it was harder than the crux on p2, though I think I made it a little harder by being on the right side of the crack. My follower found a better sequence up smears on the left side of the crack. A mid-sized cam, mid-sized nut, and two hybrid aliens (blue-green & green-yellow) protected the crack section above the bolt well. The Sundike finish is probably a more impressive finish, but the traditional Sundance finish is good fun, harder, and definitely more exciting. Jul 19, 2009
T.J. Esposito
San Diego, CA
T.J. Esposito   San Diego, CA
If you want to work your offwidth technique (which I do) and don't care for liebacks (which I don't), you can jam up the last section of P1. Oct 17, 2011
Los Alamos, NM
Aerili   Los Alamos, NM
Leave the #4 at home. It was dead weight for me. Bring your #5 (I am referencing all new Camalot styles of course). A #5 was my best friend ever on the first pitch. I didn't feel like free soloing up 2/3 of the way (no gear should be placed prior due to epic rope drag issues), so I used it to protect above me on the first ledge you come to in order to reach down and back-clean my small gear from the start. I then removed it, free soloed up the small pillar you have to get over to finish the pitch, then placed it again during my downclimb of said pillar. After downclimbing, you can take it out and use it on the crux.

I also put in a small cam in the left leaning crack mentioned above, but it didn't seem high enough to keep me from a nasty landing in the event of a fall; maybe height makes a difference here. The #5 can be bumped up as you launch into the lieback (strenuous but worth it) and ensures a safe potential falling experience.

These written shenanigans will become crystal once you climb it. Oct 25, 2011
Adam Stackhouse

Adam Stackhouse    
1967? Wow! Jan 26, 2013
This is one of the best in Idyllwild! Topo is a bit outdated in the vogel book, no pin on p2, new bolt.


Traverse directly right at the final bolt on p2, hands on two small black knobs, then breathe for a heady 5.6 runout, no pro after that bolt. Oct 12, 2013
Climbed the crack finish, would have been runout without my #000 C3! Sundike is the superior finish. Jun 2, 2015
Broomfield, CO
pkeds   Broomfield, CO
Sundike ftw. I actually got two decent nuts in the left facing dihedral after the traverse on p2. Mar 11, 2016
G Frisby
Orange, CA
G Frisby   Orange, CA
Warning - BETA!

The other comments about keeping the left hand on the corner of the dihedral is important.

One time I got suckered by some inviting looking dishes into moving to the right. The inviting dishes quickly disappeared, leaving me to do some heart-stopping friction moves a long way above the last bolt.

don't repeat my mistake, and you'll be rewarded with grin filled climbing. Apr 28, 2016
Max Shaffer
Boston, MA
Max Shaffer   Boston, MA
BETA! The moves between the third and fourth bolts are quite hard if you're on the shorter side (less than 6ft tall). A fall here would mean a large pendulum swing. Also I think the feeling of this route is quite similar to the crux pitch of OZ in Tuolumne, which is rated 5.10d. If this route is 5.10b at Suicide, then Johnny Quest should be 5.9 or less. Nov 9, 2016
master gumby  
Superb route that is well bolted. The 10b move right off the second anchor is well protected and the rest of the climb is not too hard. Sundike was a fun way to finish. Oct 21, 2018