The Yellow Wall
Avg: 3.9 from 30 votes
|Type:||Trad, 125 ft, 2 pitches|
|FA:||FA: Dick Williams & Ants Leemets - 1966FFA (crux): Steve Wunsch - 1973FFA (complete): John Bragg & Russ Raffa - 1977|
|Page Views:||20,504 total · 141/month|
|Shared By:||Josh Janes on Feb 21, 2006|
DescriptionSome claim that The Yellow Wall is the best climb in the Gunks regardless of grade. I'm inclined to agree. It is awesome.
The Yellow Wall area is just right of Bonnie's Roof, and is easily identified as a towering, yellow, tidal wave of rock. The climb begins from a large pile of boulders (these boulders are about 100' right of Silly Chimney) - you can scramble to the top of these from either side and there's a nice belay area there.
The route was originally done in three pitches, but is best done as two, and if done in one, is absolutely amazing (as long as you're very careful about rope drag).
P1: Start up a right-facing corner, step around the corner to the left, and face climb up to a stance at a pin (may be missing -- see comments) and horizontal. Belay here, or, if you were able to run it out to this point without gear, continue on. 60', traditionally rated 5.8 but I think it's more like 5.6.
P2: Climb up off the belay (PG) to a fixed pin which can be backed up with a wire. Step left and pull a roof at a modern bolt (put an extra long runner on this bolt or you will experience lots of rope drag, or, consider skipping it (dangerous), or back-cleaning it. Face climb back right to a second bolt under the "Mummy Roof" -- so named because it resembles a sarcophagus from below. Place the #3 Camalot and pull this roof (5.11c crux, with perfect beta it may feel easier, without the beta it may feel impossible). Climb up and left (PG) to a possible belay in the Mummy Cave. This was the original belay when done as three pitches, but do NOT belay here - if you blow the second crux you will factor 2 on the anchor. Place gear and reach up to a hollow flake (please consider not placing pro here - the flake is a crucial hold and has already broken once) over the roof, lieback and step up to a stance in the corner. Have your partner give you a bunch of slack here so if you fall you will drop into space below the Mummy Roof. This is rated 11b or c, but is probably 11-/10+. Climb delicately up the corner (PG13) to a crucial Yellow Alien/0.5 Camalot placement. Turn the arete to the right, and hand traverse 25-30' on easier climbing to a great belay stance (natural gear) at the top of the wall.
It's worthwhile to note that if the second falls off of this climb at certain points, it will be impossible to get back on (the falls are safe for the second, however). Additionally, if the second falls at the crux, the rope can be abraded by dragging across the lip of the roof.
Descend from a rap station 100' climber's left from the top out. Two 35-meter raps (a 60m involves some downclimbing); or use the old school descent, the chimney just left of the route (Silly Chimney).