Type: Trad, 200 ft, 2 pitches
FA: unknown
Page Views: 5,092 total · 32/month
Shared By: Guy H. on Feb 18, 2006
Admins: Aron Quiter, Lurker, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

You & This Route

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This route is located on the far right side of the lower Buttress. It is a fast way to the upper tier, when there are lines on the Pillar. The pitches can be combined into one long lead with a 60M rope. The climb follows large crack systems that you stem and face climb around. The climbing is steep and a little runout, so it is probably not a great climb for a 5.5 leader. The top pitch is on runout dike climbing.


Gear to 3.5", extra large pieces...


Cool dike! Fun free solo! Sep 8, 2006
Oakland CA
caughtinside   Oakland CA
aka 'Novitiate's Delight'

A couple guidebooks list the direct start to this as 5.6. I'd disagree and say the direct start has a 5.8 move on it, but is worth doing. the Novitiate's Nightmare finish is also recommended! Jan 9, 2007
The hardest part of this climb was the rope drag. Because there are so many options, placing for rope management becomes key.

honestly, this was a little more pucker inducing than bears reach or corrugation corner, both 5.7.

Glad I did it, but i don't need to do it again. Mar 6, 2008
Boulder, CO
kevinnlong   Boulder, CO
The direct start felt solid at 5.8--5.8+. The foot work is a bit tricky and the jams are poor while laying-back makes the footwork even more difficult.

On the other hand, the pro is excellent. The direct start adds ~20 feet of stellar climbing. Go for it! May 25, 2009
daniel c
San Francisco, CA
daniel c   San Francisco, CA
great to see that other climbers found the direct start harder than 5.6. i thought i was going crazy. agreed on 5.8+ for the direct start. the rest of the climb is a really fun 5.5. Jul 12, 2009
Floyd Hayes
Floyd Hayes  
At the start I traversed in from the right and followed the main hand crack straight up, which felt no harder than 5.5 until I reached the second "5.5" crack just before it veered left, where it felt like 5.7 (other climbers I spoke with said the same thing). It felt just as hard as Bear's Reach, Surrealistic Pillar and Corrugation Corner. Where is the 5.5 variation? I wondered if it might be easier had I gone right toward the big corner, but it looked harder (as verified below by other climbers), or left toward The Groove which looked unprotected. High up I belayed out on the right edge where there were a few narrow cracks. Weird climb, not much fun, definitely not recommended for new leaders. Jun 21, 2010
The climbing was interesting. The way we went, it seemed to be 5.5/5.6. Nov 12, 2010
Josh C
Somewhere out West
Josh C   Somewhere out West
I once saw a climber lay down on one of the dikes. They are huge! After commenting on how hard the upper section felt, I was told the "true" 5.5 climb goes into the corner and traverses under the roof. Aug 20, 2011
Tyson Waldron
Reno, NV
  5.7 R
Tyson Waldron   Reno, NV
  5.7 R
"probably not a great climb for a 5.5 leader." if you don't understand this funny joke, climb this!

This climb is actually really cool, which goes up insane alien dike granite, and I enjoyed the hand crack direct start.

The direct is solid 5.7 for the area, and the route itself is pretty run-out, especially considering the deck potential on the enormous dikes. I'm no soloist, but this route might be much more enjoyable sans rope. You're going to the hospital as the crow fly's if you blow it up there rope or no rope, and the rope drag is gonna be bad no matter how you sling it.

Did it in one pitch, and have to agree with Evan, due to the run-out and the tricky route finding, this was much more of a lead than bears reach, or the groove right next to it, which is three grades harder. I don't know what a 5.5 leader looks like, but I probably wouldn't recommend this to anyone less than a 5.8 leader. May 6, 2013
Joe Hunt
Costa Mesa, CA
  5.7 R
Joe Hunt   Costa Mesa, CA
  5.7 R
"I was told the "true" 5.5 climb goes into the corner and traverses under the roof."

That =was= the 5.7R, imo.

I agree, not a climb for the inexperienced leader. Mar 31, 2015
Why doesn't this route get the love? Such a unique easy route! I usually do it in one pitch or solo, and is great for beginners. Where else do you see dikes this massive? Jun 7, 2015
Berkeley + Sunny Slopes, CA
old5ten   Berkeley + Sunny Slopes, CA
sometime in the mid 90's i found myself in the leap parking lot talking to 'eric,' some guy working construction in the delta - turns out we were both sans partner and decided to climb together. not that a partner really mattered for the first climb, 'the farce,' which we soloed.

eric cruised ahead, floating the thing in style and after i got to what seemed like a thousand feet off-the-deck he was well out of sight (probably done).

i had never climbed the route before (5.4? how hard can that be?), wasn't much into soloing to begin with, and started getting that queasy feeling in my gut. go down? nope, not happening! go up? big dikes, huh? everything suddenly looked greasy, slick, flared and round. face flushed, hands sweating, and legs shaking i survived to the top.

next up: 'fear no evil' - yep, a rope and eric's lead all the way... ;-) Oct 14, 2015
Matt Hostetler
Oakland, CA
  5.7 R
Matt Hostetler   Oakland, CA
  5.7 R
Agree with the comments.. Felt 5.7 and was extremely runout, difficult to stay on route.

If you want climbs easier than the 5.7s head around to hogsback. Great easier climbs there. May 13, 2017
jg fox
jg fox  
This climb is 5.7ish if you venture too far to the left/follow up the direct start (which is puts you on The Grove). I wimped out on the 5.8 start because the granite was too cold to hand jam and opted for the casual 5.5 way maybe headed into a 5.6. If you follow the discontinuous crack system it doesn't get hard and has good placements for #2 and #3 cams. You can bring a number #4 to help with the pucker factor. You know you are on the 5.7 route if you come up to a ledge with anchor bolts.

I don't recommend this for a beginner leader because the steepness, routefinding, and the dykes could jack up an ankle if the leader slipped. Dec 5, 2017
Cory F
San Francisco, CA
Cory F   San Francisco, CA
I did this climb the other day. It was a very fun steep jug haul. I paced back and forth on the dikes looking for the 5.5 moves and even opened the guide book mid route for guidance. I took the left flairing crack before the roof up. I have no idea if this was the intended route but it did not feel like 5.5. Compare to other routes in the area its a 5.7.

This route is definitely a heads up. I recommend being comfortable at 5.7 before jumping on this since the route finding is challenging. Most falls on this route can be bad. I wish I had read the comments on MP before jumping on this route :-/ Its definitely harder than Napsack (5.5). Jul 15, 2018
Alex Kolchinski
  5.6 R
Alex Kolchinski  
  5.6 R
Funny to see the split in opinions on this one - seems like more experienced leaders experience this one as a cruiser 5.5, whereas less experienced leaders (including me) have a tough time with the inconsistent gear placements and constant ledge fall potential. Personally this was more pucker inducing than fun and I'd call myself a fairly confident 5.7 leader!

Also, the guidebook mentions doing the route in one pitch with a 60m rope but I'm not sure how that would work - we set the first anchor at the ledge that's 20-30m up the route and I didn't see many, if any, other good spots to put an anchor afterwards. After that, getting up to the first tree at the end of the route took most of 60m after the first belay station so it seemed to me the only way to do the route as a single pitch would be to climb up ~60m to the 4th-class at the end, find a better place to set an anchor than I saw, and then climb the exposed 4th class to the top unroped. I was glad to have done it in 2 pitches. Sep 4, 2018
John Clark
San Francisco
John Clark   San Francisco
I'd agree that if you take the direct from the bottom, it is 5.7, but it looks like if you traverse in from the right it is probably 5.5-5.6. Sep 28, 2018