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Routes in Royal Arches

1096 T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Adrenaline T 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Age of Industry S 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Arches Terrace T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R
Arches Terrace Direct T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Arete Butler T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Astro Spam T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Benzoin and Edges AKA The Testes Squeeze T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b R
Demimonde S 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Double Trouble T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Endorphine S 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a PG13
Face Card T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Fine Line T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Firefingers S 5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a R
Greasy but Groovy T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b R
Hershey Highway T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Krovy Rookers T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Maxine's Wall T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Mid-Life Crisis T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Move Like a Stud T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b R
Peruvian Flake T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Peruvian flake right T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Poker Face S 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Rambler, The T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b R
Royal Arches T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Royal Arches Alt. Start - Crack T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Royal Flush T 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Royal Perogative T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Rupto Pac T,S 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a PG13
Serenity Crack T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b PG13
Shaky Flakes T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c R
Sons of Yesterday T 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Super Slide T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Surf Nazi T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Surplus Cheaper Hands T 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
Texas Chainsaw Massacre T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c PG13
Trial By Fire T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Unnamed 5.3 T Easy 5th 1+ 3 I 5 M 1c
Unnamed Chimney T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
Violent Bear It Away, The T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Y Crack T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Type: Trad, 6 pitches
FA: Tuttle, Davol, & Depasque - 1986
Page Views: 51,252 total, 375/month
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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Closures for Peregrine Falcon Protection Details

Description

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.

Sons of Yesterday is the flawless continuation of the climb.

P4: Depending on where you belayed, climb a long pitch of easy terrain past a short steep section of 5.10a thin hands to an airy belay perch on a small tree.

P5: A long pitch of 5.9 in a right-facing corner. Belay at bolts.

P6: Steep 5.9 jamming through a little roof. Belay at bolts.

P7: A wild pitch of 5.9 "walking" along a leaning crack leads to a final stretch of 5.8 fists to an anchor. A sweet pitch.

Begin double-rope rapping from here, sometimes on the route, sometimes just left of it, or (preferable) use a recently established rap route to the right of the route which can be descended with a single 60m rope to the top of Serenity Crack.

Protection

Standard rack. Include a wide hands piece.
Marco Munizaga
Oakland, CA
 
Marco Munizaga   Oakland, CA
 
If doing the rap route from the top of sons, veer right and do short raps. I messed up and missed the second rap station. Not fun. Here's a helpful pic: Oct 30, 2017
King Tut
Citrus Heights
5.10a
King Tut   Citrus Heights
5.10a
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.

supertopo.com/rock-climbing…

See the overlay in the link above. When you near the top of Serenity Crack instead of going to the ledge with the dying tree that gets you to the top of those rappels there is now 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 Sunset Ledge sends you down MoF completely separate from all parties on Serenity and would also serve as an excellent rap route from Serenity as well to avoid the cluster. It starts on the lip of Sunset Ledge 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 anchor, then another new anchor on a dike/ramp to get you to the top of the first pitch anchor of Maxine's Wall/Firefingers and from there to the ground.

All raps from Sunset Ledge 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 go to Clint Cummins for most of the effort on this project.

ps. VVV see below overlay (thanks Marco) for important Beta for the rap route. You must be on the correct rap route to safely get down with a 60m rope. Don't rap to stations on Daughters Direct or Awahnee Buttress as the rope won't reach stations after that! Take 2 ropes if you any doubts about how to successfully use this rap route. Oct 10, 2017
King Tut
Citrus Heights
5.10a
King Tut   Citrus Heights
5.10a
A separate rappel route has been added and should be used to avoid multiple parties rapping on each other and further damage to the trees. Only a single 60m rope is needed to get to all the way to the ground at the base of Serenity crack.

Further re-routing of the route's fixed anchors is being considered and comments are being solicited at the link posted above.

(*edit see below for final overlay of rap route).

supertopo.com/rock-climbing… Nov 17, 2016
kendallt
Tahoe
kendallt   Tahoe
The rappel line to the right is nice, there's almost certainly going to be parties below you that you won't have to rappel through if you use this line.

Given that there is an independent rappel route, if someone removed the rappel rings from the line of ascent I would not be sad. Even better would be if it continued to the ground without crossing Serenity crack.

It's worth noting that you have to climb the last 5.8 "optional" pitch to get to this line. There's only one bolt on the pitch and no other gear so it probably has a section of 5.7R but it's no big deal if you did the first pitch of Serenity.

Great climb. Sep 24, 2017
Rude Boy
San Francisco, CA
 
Rude Boy   San Francisco, CA
 
It only gets better the higher you go! The left leaning 10a crack on the penultimate pitch can be walked up with slight lieback technique. So fun and easy if done this way. Easiest 10a ever! Mar 14, 2017
Got broiled on route. Trip report here. Nov 28, 2016
King Tut
Citrus Heights
5.10a
King Tut   Citrus Heights
5.10a
Please join a discussion about adding a separate rap route and possible moving of belays to minimize damage to the trees on route:

supertopo.com/climbers-foru… Oct 14, 2016
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
  5.10a
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
  5.10a
P1/2 and P3/4 can both be linked for a 3-pitch outing on this one. Take some extra red/yellow camalots if doing so, however. Oct 2, 2016
Mike Holley
Boone, NC
 
Mike Holley   Boone, NC
 
Minus the gut shuddering flatulence caused by a stomach bug I attained somehow in Camp Four the route was super stellar! Got a little windy up there,wink wink, but seriously bring a layer even on hot days. Apr 27, 2016
JJ Foley
San Francisco, California
JJ Foley   San Francisco, California
Did the linkup this past weekend. For my money the first pitch on Sons is the hardest pitch on the climb. Some insecure thin hands that is a bit steeper than anything lower on Serenity.

Amazing climb. First pitch runout on Serenity is not bad, just move with confidence. This past weekend it was wet and seeping but still was not too bad. Feet are painful but good. Love those fingers on the third pitch!

We did the linkup on one 70 and just had to do a couple more intermediate raps from trees with tat on Sons. Mar 28, 2016
Bryan G
Yosemite
Bryan G   Yosemite
Re: Matthias

The Ahwahnee Buttress route (10d with some aid) is a separate line predating Serenity Crack and Sons of Yesterday, although this whole section of cliff is also often referred to as the "Ahwahnee Buttress". The two routes cross paths and share some belay ledges but are otherwise independent. Ahwahnee Buttress has sunk pretty far into obscurity and I imagine that if you returned today you would find it nearly as vegetated as you remember it, if that's what you climbed.

books.google.com/books?id=D… Dec 15, 2012
Matthias Holladay
Shiprock, Navajolands
Matthias Holladay   Shiprock, Navajolands
I think when we did this years ago, it was called the Ahwahnee Buttress, and while we took it to the top, it involved lots of gardening to get pro in as well as jams.

The "F.A.'s" must've cleaned the thing up extensively, cause it sure looks like a lot different since I was last on it... Dec 15, 2012
King Tut
Citrus Heights
5.10a
King Tut   Citrus Heights
5.10a
Some notes on ratings: They are hand, finger and foot size dependent which anyone with Yosemite experience will tell you. Serenity crack was originally "bench mark" 5.11 when first freed (by guys with thick fingers and kletter shoes) but settled down to 5.10d when that was finally established with EBs (the first friction style slippers) and clean pro that is yes, easier to place than pitons on lead. Over time things change as well due to a normal cycle of rock getting better in the short term (generally cleaner, better beta, loose micro flakes and lichen wear away etc) and then get worse in the long term (holds get polished, chalk caked etc).

The varying opinions on ratings for Sons reflect that. The second pitch is clearly 5.10a if you have larger hands/fingers and know the beta for the OW bypass (lieback to a balancy high step. save a 1" tcu for a perfect placement in a splitter out left once you get established on the knobs),and use stems for rests etc. Your one 4" Friend can also be used to protect this section too as well as the top pitch and is worth having, imo. If you think this pitch is 10B go do Gripper, Midterm or (*shudder*) Ahab and re-assess. As posted above if you have thin fingers and uber sticky slippers Serenity is as light a 10d as there is in the Valley. Your mileage will vary on other size cracks higher on the route particularly when your feet are not as happy in those same gym slippers or you are finding insecure jams.

The last pitch has new Beta (walk the plank). When first done it was only envisioned as straight forward thin hands with your feet on the slab. Now that the feet are even better on the slab (lichen/flakes cleaned up) the thin hands at this moderate grade (5.10a) is to be enjoyed. Plus, anyone making it this far should not have a problem. But climb it however you please of course and pass your stoke to others.

Go for the top as the supposed "runout" to the bolt is trivial friction and the route is complete when linked to Awahnee Buttress (technically it is an easier variation to this route). The old bad bolt that was there has been replaced and it is perfectly safe. However bring a shovel if you go for the rim via AB or maybe someone will further clean out other perfect cracks up there (Xanadu, 5.8) that would make the finish to the top truly brilliant and a great approach to Crest Jewel.

best

ps Please go for the top of SoY up the easy slab and use the new rap route to the east that starts from the last ledge (pine tree now gone but there are separate bolted anchors all the way to the base of Serenity only needing a 60m rope) to avoid congestion at the trees and resulting damage. Overlay of the rap route posted below. Aug 19, 2012
Colonel Mustard
Sacramento, CA
  5.10a
Colonel Mustard   Sacramento, CA
  5.10a
Agreed, Daniel. Although, maybe it's a hand size thing. I thought the crux pitch on Sons was very cruiser 10a, but my female climbing partner (with obviously smaller hands) thought it was harder than that. Although, Tallmark sums up that pitch up as thin hands/off fingers? I kinda remember some wide jams too. I guess I have to re-climb this route! It'd make sense the wider bits on Sons would seem harder while the 10d would seem feather soft to the skinny finger set. May 2, 2011
Daniel Trugman
Los Alamos, NM
  5.10a/b
Daniel Trugman   Los Alamos, NM
  5.10a/b
Really great route. The last pitches in particular are a joy to climb. I do disagree, however, with some of the above sentiments that the crux pitch on Sons (P2) is comparable in difficulty to the crux of Serenity. While it's true that P2 of Son's is solid at the grade, it's definitely no harder than 10b, and is probably closer to 10a. Sustained but not "enduro" because there are plenty of rests.

My favorite pitches of the day were the last two: crazy-fun 5.8 hands and the awesome "walking-the-plank" traverse. Feb 18, 2011
tallmark515
San Francisco
 
tallmark515   San Francisco
 
A great route, the last two pitches (especially P5) are spectacular.

Linking Pitch. Easy simulclimb from Serenity belay to the bolted belay. Mostly 4th class and a few easy 5th class moves.
P4. 5.10a mostly thin hands and off fingers, lots of great rests
P5 & P6. Linked both pitches with a 70m rope. A fantastic 200' mega-pitch! Killer splitter hands on P6. 5.9
P7. 5.9 walk up the crack, super fun! Apr 11, 2010
Aerili
Los Alamos, NM
 
Aerili   Los Alamos, NM
 
I agree that Victor's beta on pitch breakdown is more accurate than what is given here by the original route poster.

I also agree with Sirius' summation of p2 (or p1, however you choose to look at it). Mar 25, 2010
jhump
  5.10-
jhump  
  5.10-
In late-May 2009, I witnessed a scary near miss by a party rapelling below me. They were rapping from one of the trees on the first hard pitch of SOY. They were using 2x60 meter ropes. They were simul-rapping, with a hard diagonal to the right, attempting to reach the top of Serenity Crack (the anchor just above the 5.10d). One of them, who was not wearing shoes, was down in the gulley and nearing the anchor, suddenly slipped. He rocketed across the face and whipped out of sight, landing in trees and banging his hip hard on the rock below. He took probably a 100 foot swing and hit hard. His partner then decided to take the same swing to get to his hurting partner. I yelled to them and they said they were OK. They descended from trees and other anchors to the ground.
This scenario seems like it could happen to others. In fact, Supertopo warns of it on their topo. The solution for me is to make a few short single rope raps, while diagonaling right, to avoid the big swing. Be careful out there. Jun 28, 2009
If you are climbing this with a 70 meter rope, you can do the climb (the Sons pitches...) in 2 rope stretcher full 70m pitches if you belay from the bolts right before it gets steep--you then climb above the 2nd tree to the next set of anchors--this is exactly 70 meters. Then combine the next 2 to the top! This way you can do the linkup in 6 pitch total (on of which is a transition pitch between the top of serenity (just after the 10d hands) and the steep start at Sons. Mar 31, 2009
Jordan Ramey
Calgary, Alberta
 
Jordan Ramey   Calgary, Alberta
 
The entire route (SOY) and Serenity crack can be rapelled with a single 70 meter rope with an extra rap off the low tree on P2 of Sons. Mar 21, 2009
Sirius
Oakland, CA
 
Sirius   Oakland, CA
 
The pitch Victor's talking about above is, I think, the best pitch of the day. The slammer hands of the last pitches are fun, and the Serenity pitches are great - but the first real pitch on Sons is long, varied, steep, and sustained. It takes all sorts of pro, all sorts of movement, and makes you draw deep into your quill of techniques for fingerlocks, thin hands, sidepulls, balance moves, crimps, high-steps, a fist or two, and plain old endurance.

A classic 120' of Yosemite climbing.

Just because you get through the feather-lite 3 moves of ".10d" below does not mean that you'll waltz this pitch. My opinion: this is the lead you want to on-site; let your partner have those slammer hands up top. May 11, 2008
I just climbed this last weekend and it seems that the pitch description above is a little off.

The easy linking pitch between Serenity and Sons (officially pitch 1 of Sons) ends in a 2 bolt anchor right before the going gets steep again. From there the next pitch is 120' feet to the second tree which has a pin and bolt anchor ritht above. This pitch is sustained 5.9/10a thin hands to fingers and I felt it was overall harder than anything on Serenity Crack. (All the parties we met agreed with that assessment). From here its hand jam heaven to the top. Apr 11, 2008
Paul Hunnicutt
Boulder, CO
  5.10a
Paul Hunnicutt   Boulder, CO
  5.10a
Some of the best hand jamming I've done in the Valley. You will want a #3 or 4 cam for the finish after the .75 camalot traverse. I didn't have anything and had to run it out to the anchors. Not bad though. Amazing climb. Try to get there early in the morning as the crowds will be there all day long. You can rap this along with Serenity with one 60m rope, but you will have to use some intermediate rap stations along the way (for example the tree right after the 5.6 section anchors). Combine the last 2 for a super amazing pitch. Oct 22, 2007
Brad G  
The last pitch of this climb is absolutely fantastic! Great exposure high of the deck. Sep 24, 2007
Darshan Ahluwalia
Petaluma, CA
5.10a
Darshan Ahluwalia   Petaluma, CA
5.10a
Pitch 6 and Pitch 7 can be combined very easily with a 60 meter rope and lots of slings. Done this way, this is the best single pitch of climbing on the entire Serenity/Sons adventure. Save your big cam for the very top of pitch 7. Apr 5, 2007