Type: Trad, 600 ft, 4 pitches, Grade II
FA: unknown
Page Views: 14,708 total · 93/month
Shared By: ClimbandMine on Jan 29, 2006
Admins: M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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From the parking area at the top of the Sunday slabs, descend the trail to the bottom of the Sunday/Saturday slabs, and hike west about 300 yards below the face below and past an obvious half-circle shaped flake. A left leaning flake, 200 feet high is the start for a number of routes. The Tollhouse Traverse is the large left-leaning groove/crack system on the left side of this flack. Follow it for two and a half pitches (bolted belays), then choose to climb bolted slab, the right-leaning dihedral, or climb over the dihedral to slab. The final pitch is 3rd-4th class.


One set of cams to 4", one-two sets of nuts. The occassional bolt.
M. Morley
Sacramento, CA
M. Morley   Sacramento, CA  
An undeniable classic for the grade. If I'm remembering correctly, it's been climbed in roller skates! Jan 31, 2006
Brian Borowicz
Visalia, CA
Brian Borowicz   Visalia, CA
If your in the area this is a must do route! Feb 1, 2006
An awesome route, with two fun options to finish with: A Nutcracker-style mantel, or a classic book. Both finish at the same anchors. Feb 15, 2006
Somebody supposedly lead it on rollerskates while the follower did it in X-country skis. We used to chain up at least 15 to 20 people in a mass simulclimb assault when the Tollhouse Face Off was still happenin in the 90's. Whatever happened to the Face Off? Any other local climbing gatherings still happenin in the area? Apr 19, 2006
Dave Daly
Kernville, CA
Dave Daly   Kernville, CA
Used to do "laps" on this one.....9 laps in one afternoon. Did a car-to-car from the Hang Glider Slab: 20 min 12 seconds.

Oh, and for those interested......Mark Hammond (lives in Fresno) did one of the first ascents using roller skates. Still active (63 years young) and member of the SSCA. Jan 26, 2009
Aaron Formella
Atascadero, CA
Aaron Formella   Atascadero, CA
Very fun and certainly classic! I've climbed this route four times. Three of the times I've taken the spicy mantle move over the wall toward the end, the other time I followed along the same wall that forms the book. I think the mantle move is definitely a higher grade than 5.5. Perhaps 5.7ish? Following the inside corner of the book continues along as 5.5

Jul 11, 2009
GG Park
Santa Cruz, CA
GG Park   Santa Cruz, CA
I concur with Aaron's previous post. The mantle move is straight-forward, airy, fun and should not be missed. It's also 5.7. Oct 28, 2009
Schiffhauer   Bakersfield
"Follow it for two and a half pitches (bolted belays)" ...this is misleading, unless someone considers a single bolt a bolted belay.

Bolted belays are at the top of the 2nd and 3rd pitches. Jun 24, 2010
Brian Snider
Brian Snider   NorCal
Full 60 meter rope required. Used pink tricam and a .75 c4 for belay at p1. P2 and p3 where solid new bolts. Mantle finish is defenitly 5.7 but looks even bigger after climbing low angle slab and crack for two pitches. Feb 13, 2011
Chris I
Fort Collins, CO
Chris I   Fort Collins, CO
Made it to the area for the first time and opted to solo this route. Wow, awesome climbing the whole length. I got to the corner with the 3 summit options and got a little confused. The dihedral was looking pretty blank so I opted for the 5.7 mantle finish. Airy indeed! Does the dihedral offer some decent holds because it was looking too blank for my liking... especially at that height. Jul 1, 2011
Joe M
Joe M   SLC, UT
Doable in three pitches with a 70m rope, if you don't use any of the bolted anchors and run it out on every pitch. There are lot's of opportunities to build a natural anchor.

Sad to see that there are bolts on the first pitch next to a perfect crack.

Agree, that the mantel move is not 5.5. May 29, 2012

There is a bolted belay on the first pitch as well. As you go up the slanting crack there is a bolt in between the two cracks, cut across there to the second crack and go up maybe 15 feet. There are two shiny fresh bolts. Or you can continue up the first crack to a ledge where there are two bolts as well. This is a part of the climb next door to tollhouse. If you belay from there you then have a spicy unprotected traverse to the next crack and it leaves your follower in a sketchy situation. May 29, 2012
Jared Guglielmo
Tucson, Arizona
Jared Guglielmo   Tucson, Arizona
Amazing climb! There is a bolted belay on first pitch now. 60 meter rope makes it to every bolted belay so no need to build anchors or bring a 70 unless desired. Did 3 pitches, the part to summit after the 3rd is nothing. Relaxed climbing with an awesome move over the dihedral (5.7ish)... I loved it! Jun 11, 2012
sibylle Hechtel
sibylle Hechtel   Colorado
We simul-climbed the first two pitches. If many people think the mantel is 5.7 (I agree that it is); shouldn't the climb be rated 5.7? After all, the purpose of a guidebook is to inform people who've never been to the area, and to indicate which climbs they can do safely.
What if two visiting climbers, who can only lead 5.6, come here and try to climb this? They could be in trouble at the mantel ... although I did place gear above it and it could be aided if necessary. Apr 15, 2013
J. Albers
J. Albers   Colorado

The reason people grade TT 5.5 is because the original route exits to the climber's left at the top of the dihedral (you then finish on 4th class up and left). The 5.7 finish is a variation.

Cheers. Apr 15, 2013
san mateo
powderfinger   san mateo
Sibylle is referring to the standard finish with the mantel over the dihedral and 4th class climbing to the top not the 5.7 bolted runout friction pitch of Elephant's walk. Apr 22, 2013
sibylle Hechtel
sibylle Hechtel   Colorado
The guidebook states that the 4th pitch goes over the mantel - so I did the mantel. I'm not sure what you mean by exit "left" - doesn't the corner head up and right before the mantel?

We climbed the route as a way to reach the top at the end of the day. But I'm concerned about beginning climbers who get onto the route, which looks (and is) easy down low, and then are stymied at the mantel.
The beta photo here shows the route going over the mantel, and it also says:
" starting the 5.7 bolted slab option to the right of the dihedral"
If the slab option's 5.7, and the mantel is 5.7 ... how do we end up with a 5.5 climb? Apr 23, 2013
Will Rynes
Grovetown, GA
Will Rynes   Grovetown, GA
I might be way off base here but I remember there being essentially 3 ways to finish the route. The 5.7 mantle over the dihedral, the 5.7 bolted line out to the slab on the right which I believe is actually part of elephant walk and then instead of mantling the right facing dihedral on the third pitch you continue working up the dihedral until you arrive at the ledge with the anchor for the top of p3 which will be on your left. I believe continuing up the dihedral goes at 5.5 and is the original variation of the route, thus the 5.5 rating. At least that's what I'm going with. Apr 25, 2013
Love this route!! The approach to get down to the route is sketchy if you take the wrong turn as its along the top of some other climbs, so make sure you stay to the designated trail head and don't fall down the slabs!

The climb is awesome! Great for new trad leaders, the top (second to last pitch) where the mantle is, caught me by surprise as it doesn't seem like a 5.5 move but you can aid it with some TCU's if needed to avoid the fall as it takes small pro prior to the mantle.

On the last pitch a giant rock fell down and nearly took my buddies head off.. a piece busted his toe, I think someone threw a rock off the top as there were local workers pulling weeds and a big fresh boot print at the top of the climb..

As for the 4x4 trail - even a 4x4 would struggle on parts of that trail! Dont risk it with a 2wd, you can park on the bottom of the trail and hike your stuff up if needed its only about 1/4 mile to get to the camping area.

Have fun!! Jul 11, 2013
Scott O
Scott O   Anchorage
It's good, but "best 5.5 in the country" good? I think not. The second pitch is very good, and the mantle is a fun move, but really it's not as remarkable as the hype. Worth doing, great climb for beginners, but not a "must do" climb. The mantle is right at 5.5. Also, what's with the bolts right next to perfectly good cracks? Sep 30, 2013
Austin Archer
Bishop, Ca.
Austin Archer   Bishop, Ca.
This was my very first rock climb in 1994. Jul 20, 2014
The 2nd pitch offers a really good climb for someone to practice jamming technique as the low angle and holds outside of the crack ease the learning curve. After having done this a handful of times, I think there are at least 2-3 5.6 moves, especially the 3rd pitch ceiling/mantle, which protects very well with small nuts but is height and flexibility dependent.

The first time I climbed this route I was very confused as to the new-looking bolts placed right next to decent cracks (or within body length of excellent placements). Evidently bolts have been there awhile as they are shown in my 1993 Moser/Vernon/Hickey Southern Sierra guide. Still, pretty unnecessary- even for the belays which can be constructed on gear.
Feb 15, 2016
Nick Ehman
Bloomington, IN
Nick Ehman   Bloomington, IN
Did ten laps on it today (in ~4hrs)! So good. Also had a couple sub-20 base to base times. Pretty sweet natural stairmaster! Lives up to all the hype in my mind! Mar 8, 2017
Elan B.
Lenoir, NC
Elan B.   Lenoir, NC
I agree with the 5.5 rating for this climb. After reading this thread I had it in my head that the move over the mantel was going to be a bit stiff for 5.5 but the first thing I thought after pulling over the mantel was "that's it?". It's also very easy to protect so I didn't even find it all that heady. I'm 6'-5" though so maybe it's not so easy for shorter climbers but I did this route twice this week with different people 2nding, both of which aren't very tall and one of them had never climbed before, neither of them had a issue getting over the mantel. I felt much less secure on the first 15' of slab with no gear after the mantel, maybe not the technical crux but certainly more mentally challenging for me. If you happened to come off right before getting to the water grove where the climbing gets easier you'd be looking at a good 30' slide/tumble down the face and possibly off the mantel which would make for a bad day. If there was anywhere on the route that I felt could use a bolt it was on that slab and the fact that there wasn't one made it seem even weirder that whoever bolted the route felt the need to put bolts next to perfectly good cracks on the first pitches. Super fun route for the grade! Oct 29, 2017
Dave Daly
Kernville, CA
Dave Daly   Kernville, CA
Nickehman.....wager those times and laps at age 44? Let me know in 20+ years. ;) Jan 16, 2018