Type: Trad, 5 pitches
FA: Barnes, Wuhrmann, & Nelson - 2002
Page Views: 9,495 total · 64/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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Access Issue: Yosemite National Park climbing closures and conditions Details


Greg Barnes once told me that he named this climb "Blown Away" because of the high winds the FA team encountered on the arete of the final pitch, and also because that was their reaction to the fact that such a fine route could be found unclimbed in Tuolumne in 2002. I think the name is also fitting because of its proximity to Bombs Over Tokyo, but either way, Blown Away is absolutely classic.

P1: Climb the first pitch of West Crack. 5.9.

P2: Climb through the roof of West Crack's second pitch, then continue up the OW for a ways before departing the crack and moving left at a bolt to a bolted belay. 5.8.

P3: Climb a splendid rising traverse pitch across the beautiful face. This pitch passes ten bolts or so and generally aims for a ledge on the left margin of the wall. Be careful to follow the right line -- there is another route (Weenie Roast) that intersects this one and you don't want to stray onto it. Belay on this ledge with gear and a lone bolt. 5.9.

P4: Climb the incredible, exposed arete with gear and bolts up through the hanging dihedral. Belay at bolts over the roof.

P5: An easy romp to the top.


Standard rack, draws.
susan peplow
Joshua Tree
susan peplow   Joshua Tree
This route is such great fun!

When climbing the second pitch of West Crack, don't get caught up in the endless crack that is upon you or you could climb right past the anchor. Just as the 4" crack provides you with a secondary 2" crack in the back look left for a bolt protecting a 6' traverse over to the 2 bolt belay of Blown Away.

Pitch 4 provides excellent, fun and easy climbing using fantastic knobs. The description states there is a bolt in the dihedral, it is actually a fixed pin which is hanging out somewhat. Not knowing what evil may lurk up there I placed a large nut below the pin for additional protection. Above the pin you can place a 1.5" in the slot above. (no worries if you only have larger cams...they will fit there too just a bit higher). The dihedral is short and provides very positive moves. Extremely fun. To avoid rope drag & poor communication to belayer, use bolts just above (and left) vs. running it out to the summit.

Thank you Greg, Karin & Rachel. Nice addition to TM!!

~Susan Sep 16, 2007
Greg DeMatteo
W. Lebanon, NH
Greg DeMatteo   W. Lebanon, NH
I stared at this line for 4 summers figuring it would go and never doing anything about it. Kudos to Greg for making it happen! Apr 16, 2008
Tyler Logan
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Tyler Logan   Mammoth Lakes, CA
On the dihedral pitch (#4?) there are bolts that continue on the arete. Not knowing much about the route, or that it leaves the arete and tackles the dihedral, I kept following the bolts. I quickly realized that there was no way I could be on 5.8 terrain and reversed the moves. Anyone know what this route/variation is? Apr 16, 2008
Ken Trout
Golden, CO
  5.9 PG13
Ken Trout   Golden, CO
  5.9 PG13
Pitch Three can be made much safer to follow by using an alternate belay. Don't finish the pitch-three traverse. From near the last bolt, move up, past more bolts to a double-Fixe'-ring anchor. This is a mystery anchor never mentioned in the beta for Blown Away. Belaying your second from this higher location gives the follower a top-rope for the final traverse, across an uprotectable section, to the single bolt ledge. There are other traverse/follower issues on pitch three, but the only dangerous part was the final bit.

I tainted the totally-free ascent by lowering off, sort of a diagonal tyrolean-clean. Faster and less toe-torture, but a taint. However, clipping into the belayer's side of the rope with a draw also protects the leader accross the traverse, so they can downclimb unsullied. Once everyone is clipped into the single-bolt anchor, untie and pull. I was a little surprised by how not-good the bolt's back up gear was, so we didn't bother. Nice ledge though.

At first it seemed the alternate belay was part of Weenie Roast, but it doesn't fit. Nice new bolts, unusually good pro up to the rings(for a 5.11c, R), and the anchor location differs from WR in my 3rd edition copy of Reid & Falkenstein. Perhaps a bigger difference than can be caused by an inaccuracy of topo scale. Jul 21, 2008
Tyler - the bolts going around the arete onto the overhung face is a very exposed 5.11 variation, which is actually the line of our FA. The 5.9 dihedral was way mungy looking and we thought that was the finish for Bombs Over Tokyo, so I went around the corner and up the face (yes, Karin & Rachel both thought I was nuts). Unfortunately, a big block that seemed to be attached actually wasn't. When I realized it was coming off, I held it in and we double-triple-quadruple checked that no one was below (lots of screaming "ROCK!" as well), and then chucked it. After the block came off the crux moves went to 5.11a/b or so instead of 10c ish - dang it! Not sure who actually bagged the FFA of that section, Austin Archer was going to do it but I think someone else grabbed it (that's when he had that finger injury where he was taping his fingers together). I need to replace/move the first bolt on the variation (a 1/4") to the left. We checked out the dihedral, did a bit of scrubbing, and realized it was way easy and cool. Then we added a number of bolts to the traverse pitch and the arete lower on that pitch, since the route all went at 5.9, and we needed replace most of the bolts anyway since I was using 1/4". Actually I missed one, I still need to go back and replace the first bolt after crossing Wienie Roast.

Ken - that anchor you used is the original anchor I placed on the traverse (shown as an optional belay on the Supertopo) - probably 100 feet left of Wienie Roast! While belaying from it I spotted the obvious-from-above traverse over to the ledge. We went to the ledge and set up an anchor from the crack and way-manky-looking 1/4" buttonhead with old rusty SMC hanger. Then we fixed a line down to the very nasty anchor above the crux pitch of Bombs Over Tokyo, fixed the second line to the ground (backed up to the upper gear anchor), rapped, then returned with rebolting kit and replaced anchors and fixed beefier lines (Roger Brown helped on the rebolting of Bombs once we fixed the good lines). We still core-shot an 11mm static while replacing on Bombs. At the crux we unknowingly replaced a never-redpointed variation (Bombs Under Tokyo) and didn't replace 4 of the bolts on the totally-impossible-looking aid bolt-ladder. Turns out that ladder is what Bachar freed - yikes!

Friends of mine climbed up from that original Blown Away traverse anchor up to the roof, then right, and finished on the 5.9 headwall crack of Wienie Roast. They said 5.9 and not too bad.

We also climbed the crack straight up off the Bombs/Blown Away anchor to the headwall, then traversed left to the finish dihedral (it's 5.9 or so, kind of breakable rock on the traverse). This is probably the original finish of Bombs Over Tokyo (Vern Clevenger couldn't remember), although there's a chance it goes up the overhung crack through the headwall (looks hard, memorable, and there are knobs that look like they'd break, so it may be unclimbed). Obviously Clevenger or Bachar could have climbed the 5.7/8 knobby arete onsight, blindfolded, in flip-flops, so there's a chance that the bolted arete section is retrobolted since those guys may have romped up it instead of the crack off the belay. Feb 13, 2009
Andy Laakmann
Bend, OR
Andy Laakmann   Bend, OR  
Great route, and destined to become a mega classic. The P3 traverse is all safe for the follower except the final 10' to the anchor. You want your follower to be solid on 5.9 for those final moves. The dihedral move on P4 is fun and is way easier than the 5.8 roof starting P2. One #4 is really all that is needed to safely protect the wide crack before moving left to the bolt and the anchor. Jul 20, 2009
PumpkinEater   Sacramento
A big pendulum fall awaits the follower after the last bolt before the 3rd belay. You can place a green C4 (I used a red Link cam about halfway contracted) in a horizontal slanting rounded-edged crack. This makes things much safer for the follower. Jul 23, 2010
trying hard
Sierra East Side
trying hard   Sierra East Side
I love the name of this climb for a ton of reasons.

Its relation to bombs over tokyo. The FA story of the winds. And when your watching someone climb it they start in the middle of the crag, then slowly move left until they are out of sight behind the P4 dihedral and it looks as if they literally got blown away, blown off the rock.

The knob traverse is classic and the P4 dihedral is so epic! Aug 6, 2010
Lana dude  
All time favorite. Considerably more varied than sticking with West Crack the whole way up. Apr 29, 2013
mark felber
Wheat Ridge, CO
mark felber   Wheat Ridge, CO
My partner led P3 and called it 5.8, which I thought was about right. I led the P4 dihedral and thought it was 5.8. If the second is insecure on the P3 traverse you can always sacrifice a sling and carabiner at the last bolt to prevent a nasty swing.

This is an excellent route, combining the best part of West Crack with some fun Tuolumne knobs. The dihedral is good, too. Jul 31, 2013
Davis, CA
csproul   Davis, CA
Couple of notes:
The belay at end of P3 only has one bolt, but there is a gear placement right next to it.
There is a newish looking pin in the crux of P4. It is nice to have since the gear below is just ok and you make a move to get up to the good placements in the dihedral.
I didn't see the bolts at the top of P4 but there was a great horizontal crack at the top of the dihedral.

This a fantastic route and I think the crux is still the start of West crack. There isn't really anything harder than 5.8 on the rest of the climb. Maybe a 5.9 move on the slab pitch, but it is near a bolt for the leader and maybe a bit of a swing if the follower should come off (if the leader places a piece of gear between the last bolt and the anchor). Aug 3, 2014
after reading all the comments, I was a bit disappointed-- definitely not a classic. I would agree that this is a more interesting way to finish up West Crack.

Climb feels more like 5.8, and is super-well protected... Jun 22, 2015
Jason Albino
San Francisco, CA
Jason Albino   San Francisco, CA
Having climbed West Crack separately, if variety is your thing this climb has a bit of everything! The rising P3 traverse on knobs has outstanding position, as does the improbable-looking but easily-conquered P4 roof.

Overall although I really enjoyed P3 of West Crack as well, the combo of route variety and position on P3-P4 make Blown Away my favorite of the two climbs. Just wild.

Note for the standard rap-off from DAFF top: the slings that used to provide an initial short rap down the final bolted rap are no longer there as of July 2016. We just walked down to the bolted rap on the slabs, but those not enjoying a few exposed steeper slab moves to that rap station may want to re-add slings to the top tree. Jul 14, 2016
Matt N
Santa Barbara, CA
Matt N   Santa Barbara, CA
Bomber yellow MC placement after last bolt if you want to be nice to your follower. 4' sling recommended for drag, though.

Great route. Sep 16, 2017
Hobo Greg
My Van
Hobo Greg   My Van
As far as a sustained and varied climb goes, this is all time. Didn't find it to be scary at all following the traverse, it's solid and the bolts are great. Arete pitch is sooo good, that dihedral felt like cake despite it looking like hard! Jun 20, 2018