Type: Trad, 350 ft, 3 pitches
FA: Denny & Wilson - 1961Tom Higgins gets credit for freeing the crux in '67
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Shared By: Josh Janes on Sep 21, 2006
Admins: M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Yosemite National Park climbing closures and conditions Details


The "Serenity-Sons" combo may be the best 5.10 crack climb in the Valley... it is just so, so good. Why anyone would do one without the other, I don't know, but since they are technically two separate routes, they are listed as such.

Serenity Crack is the crux of the linkup and comprises the first three pitches of the climb. Park at the Ahwahnee (the route is visible through the trees from the vallet area in front of the lobby) and hike in to the base.

P1: If you don't like manufactured climbs, just go home! This pitch is pretty unique -- I certainly have never seen anything like it: Hundreds of blown out pin scars the size of #1 Camalots create a practical ladder up the pitch. Unfortunately, secure gear is not available for a long, long ways, and this pitch is very unnerving to climb. Not only that but it is painful on the toes. Bring a full rack and be prepared to place cams in the flaring scars and sometimes great wires up higher. Belay at bolts. 5.10a.

P2: Climb beautiful 5.10a jams to a cruxy crack switch move higher (nice to have some small wires for this). Continue up more 5.10a to a bolted belay.

P3: Steep flakes and overhanging hands leads to a beautiful, thin splitter. The crux is a section of tips jams just before the belay. 5.10d.

Romp up the large ledge system to whatever belay stance makes the most sense for starting Sons of Yesterday.


Standard rack. Include some small wires for P2 and small cams for P3.


Oakland, CA
Sirius   Oakland, CA
The 'long, long way' on the first pitch is about 30 ft of +/- 5.8 climbing. Heady, but doable if you feel comfortable enough for the .10d moves above.

Note that the start to this first pitch is often wet in Spring, and after storms. Edited to add: Which makes it much scarier! Nov 14, 2006
Darshan Ahluwalia
Petaluma, CA
Darshan Ahluwalia   Petaluma, CA
The first pitch is missing the bolt.

The supertopo says that the first pitch is really scary and wet and blah blah. But it is not that bad. There is good gear to be found. I think I got in Black and Green Metolius right around where the bolt is missing. Apr 5, 2007
Paul Hunnicutt
Boulder, CO
  5.10d PG13
Paul Hunnicutt   Boulder, CO
  5.10d PG13
I don't feel this is PG-13 if you can take your time in placing gear and especially if you have offset cams, however the gear is tricky to place well. Metolius offset cams worked so well here. I highly recommend them for the Valley. I agree that this hurts the feet quite a bit. Every pitch is excellent and logically combines with Sons of Yesterday. If you live in Boulder and want to practice the crux of this climb (left leaning finger locks with smearing feet) climb 'Deviant' at Cadillac Crag in Eldo. The pitch 2 step across is awesome. You can get good small stoppers in before you make the move. Oct 22, 2007
lee hansche
goffstown, nh
lee hansche   goffstown, nh  
the pin scars on the first pitch made me want to vomit... i have no idea how they went so long before saying "hey, why dont we stop destroying this climb"...

after the first 40 feet the pin scars get much less disturbing and the climbing gets so much better i forgot about the negative aspects of the beginning and had a blast on the rest of the climb...pits 2 is super cool and the 3rd pitch (the crux) is so great, wow... Oct 25, 2007
Scotty Nelson
Scotty Nelson   Boulder
Too bad the P1 anchors are not ~ 5 feet higher, since that would make it possible to rap from the top of P3 to the top of P1 in a single rap.

I tried to go for it and ended up just a little bit short. Dec 1, 2008
Matt Desenberg
Limerick, ME
Matt Desenberg   Limerick, ME
Great route, P1 isn't as bad as they say, it eats gear after the initial section. May 3, 2009
  5.10+ R
  5.10+ R
After 2 trips up this one (mid-May for both), I still think the first pitch is the crux. Wet, physical, and foot destroying- the first pitch pin scars are the crux for me. The 5.10d crux offers all the solid gear you desire. You can hang out and place pleny of small cams. I think I fished in 4 from the stance at the little black blob and above. Pinky fingers fit bomber in the locks. Go for it! Jun 28, 2009
I love pitch 3, but if you are not into doing 10+ tips, you can head around to the left from the tree at the start of the pitch and do a 5.9 lieback as an alternative finish. Mar 13, 2010
San Francisco
  5.10d PG13
tallmark515   San Francisco
  5.10d PG13
1 move off the ground is tricky, good nut placement 20+ feet up. Had to negotiate around a few wet sections on P1 when doing this route in early April.

The P3 crux starts at the obvious thin seam 3/4 way up. While the finger locks are good all the way, for two moves (crux) finding your footing may feel desperate. Apr 11, 2010
gregory huey
Irvine, CA
5.10d PG13
gregory huey   Irvine, CA
5.10d PG13
Climbed this route on Sat, Jun 5 2010 with Jack Ziegler. I led P1 & 3, Jack led P2. I'll claim the onsight, though I did hang once on P2 while removing my partner's pro. In any case, Jack and I both onsighted all the pitches we led. The middle of P1 was wet - runoff from the falls, I guess.

Note that after the leader pulls the crux, they should put in a left directional for the second, as the top-of-P3 anchors are way around right. Otherwise the second risks a mighty big pendulum.

I've heard some people claim this is really a 10c. I'd have to disagree - its definitely significantly harder than Rubicon/JT, which is being downgraded to a 10c from 10d.

The P1 bolt is missing - wish someone would replace it. Jun 7, 2010
C. Hill
  5.10d PG13
C. Hill  
  5.10d PG13
P1 bolt was still missing on June 29, 2010. The initial 30ft are pretty damn scary, but the climbing is no harder than 5.9 and it definitely gets your head on straight for the rest of the route.

Of course, the rest of the route protects beautifully and has some of the most classic 5.10 hand & finger crack climbing you could possibly imagine. Very doable in midsummer if you start early (we left the car at 6:30am).

Beware, if rapping from bolts in the groove at the base of Sons, of a tendency to swing to the left and possibly end up below a large overhung arete. It would probably be better to rap from the tree on the ledge below and right of those bolts. Jul 5, 2010
Tyler Williams
Flagstaff, AZ
Tyler Williams   Flagstaff, AZ
Bolt still missing as of June 2010, although by the time you get to where it used to be, the gear is pretty good anyway. A few decent nut placements (sideways orientation) are possible somewhere 15ish feet up if you are creative.

Definitely soft for valley 10d, but no question it's one of the best crack climbs in the country. Jul 5, 2010
Oakland, Ca
snowhazed   Oakland, Ca
the useless bolt is gone forever

Aside from the thin move off the deck the first 30 feet are no harder than 5.8. Really- how are you going to fall off with such good feet? Nov 17, 2010
Sacramento, CA
coreylee   Sacramento, CA
i think it is funny, all the fuss about the bolt. The whole first pitch is one big pin scar! May 4, 2011
David Aguasca!
New York
David Aguasca!   New York
Serenity crack can be rapped with a single 70m rope (haven't tried a 60 yet) by rapping from P3 belay to P2 belay, then climber's left from the P2 belay. From there three raps will yet you back to the starting ledge. The old tat that had been added to for ages has been removed and replaced with some new cord and carabiners. Aug 15, 2011
Avani Patrick
Nevada City, ca
Avani Patrick   Nevada City, ca
my partner set a bomber blue tricam about 10 feet off the deck. Helps with some mental pro May 3, 2012
aaron hope
Walnut Creek, CA
aaron hope   Walnut Creek, CA
I was nervous about the first part of P1 so I brought my offset cams. Didn't really work. The scars are just too flaring or too shallow. I was able to get one red/black metolius in one of the scars, about 15 feet up. But I would give it a 6/7 out of 10. 10 being totally bomber. Unfortunately the cam made the next move harder by blocking a perfectly good foothold! Truth is, the first 30 feet are pretty casual if you are attempting 5.10's in the valley. Sep 9, 2012
Oakland, CA
  5.10d R
Bababata   Oakland, CA
  5.10d R
The first pitch is very heady indeed - no pro for 30' unless you bring offset cams. I didn't and I'm pretty sure that a fall on one of the two half-open and very shallow cams I placed would have resulted in a ground fall. The first decent piece is a 0.75 camalot in a pocket 30' up... Oct 1, 2012
Luke Stefurak
Seattle, WA
Luke Stefurak   Seattle, WA
Anchors have been moved/extended so that you can rap from P3 to P1 with two 60m Ropes. You can also rap from P2 to a separate rap route (three more raps to the ground) with one rope. Oct 15, 2012
Mike Tsuji
Boulder, CO
Mike Tsuji   Boulder, CO
If you're trying to get from 3 to 1 with two 60's be careful! The anchor is right at the end of the 60's and it wouldn't be hard to go off the ends of the ropes if you forgot to tie knots. Feb 21, 2013
Evan Riley
San Francisco, CA
Evan Riley   San Francisco, CA
The first pitch was wet in late march which made it extra sketchy. You can climb the Son's-Serenity link up in 5 pitches with a 70m rope. Mar 30, 2013
Johnny Y
Johnny Y   California
agreed with tsuji, 60m rope + stretch will barely get you from P3 to P1, definitely tie knots and I had to clip myself in above the anchor. Better yet, use the alternate rap route to the left you won't be in the way of other climbers on the route Jun 10, 2013
Just for the record, Chris Jones did not lead the crux pitch on the FFA. Tom Higgins did. Sep 27, 2013
Matt Scheidt
Matt Scheidt   Washington
Climbed this on 9-27 and had a blast. Got to the base of the wall at 6am to try and be the first party on and barely made it, 5 minutes later another party strolled on up with the same idea. Watch out for the crack on p3. I counted 5 or 6 fixed cams in that beast. We rapped on 2 60s from p3 to p1 with no problems. Oct 1, 2013
Dr Williams
  5.11a PG13
Dr Williams   AUSTIN, TX
  5.11a PG13
Interesting name for a route that has no chance for serenity until after it is done. I think that pain management is probably the most important skill on the lower part of the route so that you are able to handle the upper part and the Sons of Yesterday. Try not to kill your toes on the scars. Otherwise it will come back to haunt you later on in the combo. To do one without the other is a crime. Aug 11, 2014
Colin Brochard
Colin Brochard   Austin
Had a blast on this amazing climb for the second time after 3 years. This time I had the sharp end for most of the rig. The prospect of first 30 feet had me a little spooked so I lugged a crashpad to the base. T'was a nice bit of mental pro. I tried to pop a sideways nut in 15 feet up, maybe an offset would stick? I chugged on up to about where the bolt used to be and popped in a red mastercam.

Rapped from the top of sons with a single 70m without too much trouble. (had to rap off the tree mid p2 of sons). Oct 27, 2014
Michael Dom
  5.10d PG13
Michael Dom  
  5.10d PG13
Bring metolius offsets for the first pitch. You will need those c3s for the 3rd.

Did it at night and thought it was one of the most memorable climbs I have done.

There isn't a bolt like it shows in the topo on the first pitch. Dec 13, 2015
Jordan Cannon
Bishop, CA
Jordan Cannon   Bishop, CA
Amazing climb! First two pitches can be a bit wet in the spring but still climbable and the crux third pitch is dry. Definitely follow up with Sons of Yesterday for an amazing day of splitter 5.10 Yosemite climbing Apr 3, 2016
Mike Holley
Boone, NC
Mike Holley   Boone, NC
Hot Dang, the first 40 feet of that first pitch threw me for a psychological mind bender! The route was what I like to call a "Crux Dog", mental crux down low on the first pitch and physical crux up high on the final pitch and nothing but smooth Grade A wienerschnitzel in between! Apr 27, 2016
For those worried about protecting the bottom of the first pitch, totem cams work really well in the large boxed-out pin-scars... Jul 7, 2016
King Tut
Citrus Heights
  5.10d PG13
King Tut   Citrus Heights
  5.10d PG13
The completely separate Rap Route is now entirely finished starting from the very top of SoY (you must finish the easy slab) all the way to the base of Serenity with one 60m rope. See the overlay image on the Supertopo site (not yet resized for posting here), but now instead of going to the ledge with the dying tree that gets you to the top of Serenity Crack there is another station to the right that allows a short rappel to the next station right above Mother of the Future (crack line to the East of Serenity crack) on Sunset Ledge.

This station on eastern Sunset Ledge sends you down MoF completely separate from all parties on Serenity and serves as an excellent rap route from that route as well to avoid the cluster. It starts on the lip of Sunset Ledge above and east of Serenity (clearly visible and safely reachable) and then has a short first rappel to a good stance, uses an established anchor on MoF, then uses a Pigs in Space/Firefingers anchor, then another new anchor on a dike/ramp and then to the top of the first pitch anchor of Maxine's Wall/Firefingers and from there to the ground.

All are done easily with one 60m rope or in 3 rappels with two ropes. It will save some wear and tear on the trees, rapping on top of other parties on SoY and Serenity and you only need one 60M for the entire Serenity/Sons day.

Biggest thanks to Clint Cummins for most of the effort on this project.


ps. Beware the "sucker" anchor on Daughters Direct (look at the overlay linked closely) as going to this anchor with one 60m rope will lead to an epic. The SoY rap route is further skiers left (not advised to simul rap as it traverses). Using the Daughters Direct anchor can leave you stranded with one 60m rope. If you hit the proper SoY route it goes wide to give safe pulls avoiding flakes and tress. Also, be mindful that some of the raps are 95' so tie a knot in your rope! :) Oct 14, 2017
Nick Pinto
Carbondale, CO
Nick Pinto   Carbondale, CO
Huge props to Tut and crew for completing the rap route. We used it yesterday and found it to be easy to follow and had all clean pulls. I can only imagine the clusters rapping through such a busy route, the separate line is clutch.

If you'd like a taste of what to expect on P1, check out "Aid Route" on Swan Slab, which also features pin scars, painful feet, and offset placements. Fun stuff. Oct 22, 2017
Izzy Nawfal
Redondo Beach, CA
Izzy Nawfal   Redondo Beach, CA
I'll echo a couple previous comments. Although runout, the first pitch isn't that bad. You can mitigate the runout considerably with some totems. Jan 2, 2018
Vincent Gallegos
  5.10d PG13
Vincent Gallegos  
  5.10d PG13
If it is swarming with people, the 5.11 finger crack "Adrenaline" down and left is a really cool variation to link into the first pitch and kill some time hanging on small nuts :). Feb 25, 2018
Rigel B
San Francisco
Rigel B   San Francisco
repeated this Saturday and on the rappel was able to remove the fixed wire from the crux that I think had been there since the Fall Apr 16, 2018
Rob Coleman
Seattle, Wa
Rob Coleman   Seattle, Wa
Despite how ugly P1 is, it's a fun climb. Everything is super secure, but the toes are a but unhappy after. P3 was super fun, expecially the crux. Beware the cam graveyard in the first third of P3, there's at least 3 that have walked back in there.

Two 60m ropes just barely make it from the third anchor to the first, so 2 raps down. Apr 19, 2018
Nicole Yu
Los Angeles, CA
Nicole Yu   Los Angeles, CA
For P1 runout purple/green offset works perfectly. P3 hand and then finger is so so good. Nov 23, 2018