Type: Trad, 1000 ft (303 m), 10 pitches
FA: Worrall, Long, Barry, Barton, & Clevenger - 1973
Page Views: 15,984 total · 73/month
Shared By: Josh Janes on Aug 9, 2006 · Updates
Admins: Mike Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer Ski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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Description Suggest change

Stoners' Highway is a unique climb for Yosemite in that it is devoid of continuous crack systems. Instead, it involves high angle slab and face connecting various features for ten sustained and consistant pitches. The climbing is excellent (somewhat reminiscent of Birds of Fire in Rocky Mountain National Park), gear is adequate (expect run outs, but except for the first pitch and one of the upper pitches, nothing is too dangerous at the 5.10 level) and the occasional brand new bolt -- courtesy of the ASCA -- is welcome.

Almost every pitch on this gem checks in at 5.10. The climb begins a few hundred feet right of the Central Pillar of Frenzy and can be rapped with double ropes (every anchor except the first is bolted). The first pitch is the crux both mentally and physically -- checking in at 5.10c with big swing/fall potential. This pitch can be avoided by climbing a 5.7 corner, but we enjoyed climbing it and knowing afterwards that the biggest challenges were behind us... However, without very good judgement and route finding, pitch 6 can be the one to give you, or your belayer, gray hairs.

P1: Climb up the face to a small TCU placement (0.2 Camalot/blue Alien), then up past a bolt and a difficult move. At a second bolt traverse almost straight right to another bolt (crux), then past one more bolt and a ramp. Step around the corner and belay in a significant right-facing dihedral (it is also possible to climb up this dihedral at 5.7, thus avoiding the crux pitch) with less-than-optimal gear.

P2: Climb up to some gear placements, step back down and traverse a long ways left to some more gear in an undercling. Continue left to a long, right-facing corner system. Up this with good gear to a bolted belay.

P3: Traverse left then up to another right-facing corner. Follow this up with good gear to a thin, diagonal flake. Follow this out right to another bolted belay.

P4: Climb up, slightly left, then up again past a bolt or two to another bolted belay.

P5: Climb up to a small crack system, past a pair of good pins, then face climb up past two bolts to a bolted belay.

P6: The scary pitch! Climb up past a bolt, then to a stance at a second bolt, then you must decide: Left or right. Going left initially appears easier, but without a lot of luck/very careful route-finding, you may find yourself doing desparate moves WAY (as in 30+ feet) out from that second bolt. Going right lets you do the difficult moves right by the bolt. Either way you'll gain a long ramp system that rises gently to the left. It is tempting to follow this ramp all the way to the left end where it gets steeper and appears to go up to the belay, but this is a deadend (there is 10 feet of blank rock between the belay and the end of the ramp). Instead, head up a crack/ramp system just before the end of the main one, with an off-balance, poorly protected move to gain a positive finger crack. This crack leads straight up to the bolted belay. This pitch is 5.10 and possibly R at that grade.

P7: Climb up an easy left-facing corner (5.8) -- easily linked with the previous/next pitch.

P8: Climb up and left past a bolt to a gear placement (ignore old bolts that continue up and left!), undercling right and enter a mossy, dirty right-facing flake/crack system. Use long runners early on this pitch.

P9: Climb up past a bolt to two tightly-spaced bolts and some difficult moves. Continue up to a bolted belay.

P10: Continue up easier crack systems & corners to the Powell-Reed Ledges.

Protection Suggest change

SR through a #0.75 Camalot, include RP's and extra little techie cams. Draws, slings. Two ropes to rap the route (from any point).