Type: Trad, 600 ft, 5 pitches
FA: Dale Bard & Bob Locke - 1975
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Shared By: Josh Janes on Sep 21, 2006
Admins: M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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Access Issue: Yosemite National Park climbing closures and conditions Details


Ascending the steep, forboding, north face of Drug Dome at a surprisingly easy grade, OZ is a thing of beauty. Its pitches forge their way upwards to a striking right-facing dihedral and involve much interesting climbing. I usually pronounce it "ounce" but sometimes I slip and say "Oz." When I'm feeling posh I say "oh zee."

P1: Begin at a little flake system well right of the huge dihedral above. This flake system intersects a low roof. Some tricky small gear protects this pretty well and gains a long left-angling flake/crack. Follow this to its apex and belay. 5.10a.

P2: Perform a tricky move up off the belay, then step left and climb past three bolts and a difficult hand traverse on slopers (crux). This reaches a rest stance. There is one more difficult face passage past a few more bolts before the climbing eases. Climb up cracks and ledges to a belay on a sloping ramp that leads directly into the long corner. A long pitch, 5.10d.

P3: Climb the awesome, overhanging thin hands corner. This pitch is soft for 10c and has many rest stances. It is steep and amazing however. Belay below the huge roof that caps Drug Dome.

P4: Climb out left past a few bolts, around the arete, then up easy terrain to a belay below the summit. 5.9. Or, better yet, do the Gram Traverse!

Excessive gear for the dihedral really isn't necessary as there are enough constrictions and pods to fit a varity of equipment. Keep in mind that OZ and Gram can be chilly and windy.


Standard rack. A few extra thin hands pieces.


Beware of the sleeper first pitch. 5.9 in the "old" guide...

A spectacular route. Mar 6, 2007
Boston, MA
Dennis   Boston, MA
There are rap rings on top of P3 and P2 (don't recall about P1). We climbed the first 3 pitches and double rope rappelled back to the base. Very convenient to do it this way. Jul 2, 2008
Andy Laakmann
Bend, OR
Andy Laakmann   Bend, OR  
As good as it gets.

P1 seemed safe. Just go up to the end of the starting crack, place a nut, and then downclimb back to the traverse. Once done with the short traverse, another nut is available in the other crack. You might want to save a #3 camalot for the last 30 feet to the anchor.

P2 was well protected but definitely tricky 10d granite face climbing. Great stuff!

P3 seemed a touch soft to me as well - but damn was it good!!! I expected lots of #1 camalots based on the various guidebook descriptions, but the business turned out to be green and purple camalots. Next time I'll bring triple #0.5,#0.75, and #1 camalots. and save one of each for the final steep section.

P4 was fun and airy. Watch out for the death blocks after you turn the corner.

We continued on to Hobbit Book - a highly recommended linkup. Next time we'll do Gram as well. Once topping out on Hobbit Book, we just walked South and picked up the Muir trail back to the Cathedral Lakes parking lot. A very simple descent provided you have a car shuttle or similar.

My rack next time: set of nuts, set of small cams, 3x#0.5, 3x#0.75,3x#1,2x#2,2x#3 camalots. Jul 20, 2009
Tyler Logan
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Tyler Logan   Mammoth Lakes, CA
I agree with Andy that the corner pitch is soft for the grade. The footholds are quite good. The 3/4" pieces seem to be the ones most frequently called for. While you can get bigger gear in occasional openings, this size would be the easiest to place when you're pumped. I'm bringing three .75 C4s next time. Oct 11, 2009
Chris M
Hailey, ID
Chris M   Hailey, ID
One of the best. Grades felt acurate- it was cold and windy though. Saved green camalots for the top due to the hype and wished I had placed them lower and saved purple for up high. Oct 13, 2009
Tyler Williams
Flagstaff, AZ
Tyler Williams   Flagstaff, AZ
Pitch 2 was definitely the butt kicker on this climb. Once done with that the corner was pure pleasure. No need for more than doubles of finger size if you keep your eyes open for other possibilities. Feb 11, 2010
trying hard
Sierra East Side
trying hard   Sierra East Side
Approach: Mellow approach, you can go left at the base of the talus field and straight up over boulders to the climb, or walk the path around the right and it hooks back into the base of OZ, Left is a little more convenient in my opinion.

P1. Committing Moves off the ground until about 15 feet up where you make your first placement. Very fun climbing through the first 10A moves or couple moves over a tiny roof/ bulge. You can mantle or just keep moving your feet up and climb right through it. Then follow the easy crack up and left to the nice belay that is fixed.

P2. Crux pitch for some. If your a 10D face climber you will be so pumped on this pitch. Beautiful slopers and crimps. The first crux is just after the belay, you get on a little ledge then have to figure out a very nice crimp sequence to a long reach out left on a fancy little knobish thing. 2nd crux is a tiny little bulge at the top of the sport section of this climb and requires delicate climbing. Continue up a short crack to the base of the main dihedral for P3 and build your anchor here. Takes .75, 1, and maybe another smaller piece so make sure you don't use to many bc you will need them on P3. The face climbing requires 8 or 9 quick draws and a micro nut placement in the middle.

P3. Beautiful crack dihedral. Focal point for this climb looking up at it. Requires some endurance but the feet become so perfect to stem off. A classic for sure! The anchor is at the top of the crack before the Gram Traverse. There are two bolts but one is loose, so use the crack left of it to help make a safe anchor.

P4. Traverse out left on hard to find crimps and feet on two sport bolts. Turn the corner, takes a great cam placement. Move down and left to a arete. Climb over the arete on the left then clip a sport bolt. Once clipped move up one easy climbing to finish the climb. Belay up and then either traverse out left on 4th to walk off or go straight over the top.

Best climb I've done in tuolumne. ( Great link up from on the Lamb. If you can climb 10D you have to do the Gram traverse, and consider finishing on Hobbit Book. Did the link up of On the Lamb, OZ, Gram Traverse to Hobbit Book in 12 hours moving at a medium pace. Aug 6, 2010
gregory huey
Irvine, CA
gregory huey   Irvine, CA
Onsighted while climbing with Ed Henicle on our first day in the Meadow - Sep-3-2010. The 10d crux (face-climbing on crimpy knobs) pitch is very well-bolted - its almost a sport/gym route - probably would be 11a in our gym. Super-topo says the dihedral takes lots of 1 inch cams - not the same as BD #1. You want alot of #0.5 BD C4s (purple). I'd say protecting the start is PG13 (with G being 100% straightforward). We decided not to do Gram Traverse though - trad-leading at my limit under supposedly large loose death blocks didn't appeal to me, so we did the standard finish. However, there are some loose holds on the standard finish also. After one (blindly) turns the arete, while stepping down, two holds present themselves - they are as loose as they are positive & inviting. Avoiding them makes the move harder than one would have initially expected. The walkoff isn't too difficult, but try to do it in the daylight.

A great first day in the Meadows! Sep 12, 2010
San Francisco
tallmark515   San Francisco
Did OZ to Gram Traverse. Best multipitch route I've done to date anywhere! Varied and sustained 5.10 climbing. the Gram Traverse was AWESOME and well protected, however the follower should be a confident 5.10 climber.

I agree that the .10c crack pitch felt soft as compared to other valley .10's, the stems are secure and almost every move is a rest through the steep section.

Use your .5 and .75 BD cams sparingly, if you only have two of each, walk them when you can and don't waste gear on the easy section of the crack (bottom part). Sep 27, 2010
e Dixon
Durango, Colorado
e Dixon   Durango, Colorado
P2 & P3 are gems. P2 felt kinda tricky with interesting and varied face climbing that was well bolted. P3 seemed kinda cruiser for 10c, absolutely stellar corner with bomber gear. Agreed that #.5 & #.75 Camalots are the meat of it. Jun 17, 2011
leeds, ut
fossana   leeds, ut
I found #0.4 and #0.5 Camalots to be the most useful in the dihedral. Used only 1 #0.75 and 1 #1. Jul 12, 2011
Andy Laakmann
Bend, OR
Andy Laakmann   Bend, OR  
Climbed it again and modified my gear list. The belay below the corner needs #1 and #0.75 camalots - it is hard to make nuts work.

So, my revised gear list for next time:

2x #3 (p1)
2x #2
3x #1s (one for the belay)
4x #0.75s (one for the belay)
and as many #0.5 camalots as I can carry :)
1x set of small cams
1x set of nuts

Seriously though, this thing will take an endless number of #0.5 camalots in the top third of P3, so bring as many as you need to feel comfortable. Sure you can make other things works, but if you got em - bring em.

SPOILER ALERT - After the 10d P2 crux, when you are under the bolt, continue moving left... NOT up to the bolt. I made the mistake of going up this time and it didn't work out so well. Jul 28, 2011
Ranger Matt
Yosemite NP
Ranger Matt   Yosemite NP
First moves on the first pitch were the most heady for me. Some delicate face climbing with only a small came behind a suspect flake to keep you from the ankle breaking fall.
Route gets sun around 1pm (in August). So a late start isnt a bad idea.
Two thumbs way up!! Love the name of this route, needless to say we honored the name at every belay. Aug 18, 2011
1Eric Rhicard
1Eric Rhicard   Tucson
.4 camalot is good and the Metolius orange which is a little smaller than the purple camalot. Run it out on the lower angle section of the dihedral if you are worried about not having enough cams.

At the start I climbed the little arete to the left as I watched a guy make a big reach there the day before. My partner said it he didn't have to make a big reach. Either way I wouldn't want to fall so have your head together. Jul 24, 2012
Don't belay at the chains at the top of the second pitch, instead continue up another twenty feet to the base of the dihedral, Its far more fun to climb the corner with no junk to start off, the extra .75. 1, and nut aren't needed for the pitch so won't take up space on your harness. Also if you are quick, go mid afternoon, take two ropes and go to the top of the third and rap twice, quick, easy, no crappy fourth pitch to mar the otherwise great route. Feb 23, 2013
Golden, CO
gumbotron   Golden, CO
Double fat fingery and small hands cams seem fine to me, a few extra nuts or even a hex would eliminate the need for triples in the purple/green camalot sizes. Jul 28, 2013
B.S. Luther
Yorba Linda, CA
B.S. Luther   Yorba Linda, CA
Great route. Kept goin' up Hobbit Book and it was so worth it, fun climbing, great summit. Jul 27, 2015
P2 BETA: On the ledge right after the belay a rock which can be seen in the pitch 2 photo (under the OZ photos), has fallen off the ledge. This makes it so it is no longer possible to clip the second bolt from the ledge, and although there is a bomber #3 at your feet, you must make several committing moves on slopy holds off the ledge before you can clip the bolt. To make it worse there is a nasty ankle breaking ledge to land on if you blow the moves. If you are not super solid on 10d face I would suggest bringing a 3' stick from the woods to stick clip the second bolt. I found the first pitch to be very straight forward (not PG13), however I would say that gaining the second bolt on pitch two is now PG13. Jul 27, 2015
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
Linking this route through to Middle Earth is a great run, and much more consistent in grade and nature of the climbing than linking to Hobbit Book. I'd advocate for that option if you want to continue in the 5.10 range. The climbing on Middle Earth is still quite good, though admittedly less traveled. Aug 12, 2015
amazing route. Much better to finish on gram than to do the final pitch of oz.

Gear beta-- doubles green alien to #3 camalot + an extra 0.5 camalot was sufficient for both oz and gram. Andy Laakman's gear beta would let you aid the route...

I would recommend finishing pitch2 at the large horizontal ledge, ~10feet below where supertopo recommends. It's a better stance and it avoids using the money-sized cams in the anchor. Aug 16, 2015
Jason Albino
San Francisco, CA
Jason Albino   San Francisco, CA
Not much to say about this iconic Tuolumne route that hasn't already been said, but here goes!...

  • The 10d pitch will go a lot easier if you have a higher-than-average wingspan - this will allow you to reach hard left for a good crimp to get through the first crux at the bolt. In general, working this section high-to-low seemed to go easier than the standard traversing logic of "always stay low". After that, ascending more or less straight up gets you to the second crux, the mantle, which I personally thought wasn't too hard for the grade if one has good lock-off strength on crimps.
  • The 10c corner pitch (definitely the money pitch for me), has a somewhat hidden stem rest about 2/3 up right when you really need a break from the pump, before the final bulge (I totally missed this, while my second spotted it). Look carefully for the little feet on the opposing walls about 4 feet before the bulge (easiest to establish the right foot first, and then the left). It's notable in that the rest of the feet on the main part of the corner are sub-optimal in terms of stemming edges. This would probably be a difference-making rest for the onsight/redpoint if 5.10c is an upper trad grade for you (as it was for me).
Sep 4, 2015
Los Angeles, CA
kipp.fo   Los Angeles, CA
P1 is not sleeper/unsafe. Definitely don't fall but the move isn't particularly hard or scary.

Gear: we had 5 .5's and 4 .75's and this made the dihedral much more enjoyable-just plugged and kept going up the beautiful pitch without worrying too much about gear management. We also thought the regular 10a finish out left was extremely enjoyable. It is exposed and provides great views of the meadows and domes in the distance. Incredible route!! Sep 17, 2015
Todd Graham
Sierra Eastside, CA
Todd Graham   Sierra Eastside, CA
A must-do classic. My favorite day was to simul-climb On The Lamb left to right, drop down and do Oz to the Gram traverse, then finish with a simul-climb of the Hobbit book. Absolutely amazing climbing. Jan 27, 2016
Max Rausch
Portland, OR
Max Rausch   Portland, OR
Finally got tired of staring at the poster on my wall of Lonnie Kauk soloing this route and I sacked up and sent this thing last week. P1 wasn't too big of a deal. Definitely a little spooky, but secure. Don't use your #3 too early or you'll have to run out the last 20 feet to the belay.

For the stellar dihedral I placed 2 #1's, 3 #.5's, 2 #.75's, 1 #3, and a .4 way up high. About half way up theres a bomber pod that the #3 will fit in. I found that lie backing was much easier than stemming.
Jun 24, 2016
Aaron Formella
Atascadero, CA
  5.11a PG13
Aaron Formella   Atascadero, CA
  5.11a PG13
My two cents on ratings: p2 5.11a, p3 5.10b

p1: start has several options to reach the left arching crack above:
1 - climb left seam up to small shrub and place 00 purple Metolius in pod then traverse right on tenuous face climbing to the left arching crack.
2 - do same as above but down climb and make traverse lower with easier face climbing. Requires running out or back-cleaning initial part of arching crack.
3 - Boulder up right seam off ground directly under arching crack.

p2: there is a 3' stick on the first ledge presumably used for stick clipping the reachy bolt (someone must have read the previous MP comments). Put a #3 or #2 C4 or large tricam near feet on ledge and make a couple committing moves to clip the reachy bolt. Very sequency and tricky face climbing but great fun!

p3: belay at base of this corner takes bomber #1 C4 and red #13 BD stopper. Looks like there was a two 3/8" bolt anchor here that was chopped and patched. Plenty of stemming rests. The entire pitch could be led on nothing but 0.5 C4s or knuckle sized cams. Just an outright stellar and fun pitch.

p4: awesome and scary exposure on initial traverse left and safely protected by bolts. I didn't find a piton as indicated on the Supertopo. A small nut out to climber's right protects easy slab runout near end to top.

Climb is exposed to sun in afternoon and evening.

Fun and classic climbing, great views, wild exposure, and short, easy, enjoyable approach and descent. A must do route! Jul 27, 2016
Ben Eskildsen
  5.10d PG13
Ben Eskildsen  
  5.10d PG13
The first pitch is definitely not to be underestimated as it involves non-obvious 10a moves right off the deck with questionable/no protection for the first ~12 feet.

I followed this route on Sunday Sep. 3rd and witnessed a probably-bone-breaking accident on the first pitch while waiting at the base. A young woman started leading and tried to place a 0.5 BD cam behind the fractured flake to the right of the blunt arete but it was definitely too big as I could see the lobes of the cam sticking out of the rock from >20 feet away. From what I overheard, the leader before her had placed a cam in the same spot, and then climbed the arete to the left (if she opted for this cam size/placement because the group before her had as well then they were definitely facing down the same dangerous outcome). However since she was too short to reach this placement from the starting ledge she had to make a few stemming moves before she could reach the crack and then, being committed to the climb, decided to try climbing the right side crack/flake instead of downclimbing and doing the arete to the left. I didn't say anything about her placement as she already seemed nervous and it was so obviously shallow that I don't think her or her belayer could really believe it would hold a fall. I honestly expected that this situation would turn out like every other dangerous climbing situation I have witnessed and the climber would just not fall making the (lack of) protection irrelevant, and so I idiotically just continued watching instead of helping her belayer to spot. She slipped making a big move to the chalked up rail popping the cam out from behind the flake. She fell probably 6 feet to the ledge and then bounced to the right of her belayer and landed HARD on her side on a large rock another 4 vertical feet away.

It didn't look like she had hit her head or neck in the fall and she was conscious throughout. She said it hurt to breath and based on how she had landed she likely broke a rib or her collarbone. She was able to navigate the boulder field back to the trail without assistance, and then some hikers came through who seemed knowledgeable in first aid and had her improvise a walking stick to help stay upright on the short trail back. I did not see her again but I hope she recovers quickly.

As for the start of this climb, I would not trust any of the placements my partner and I considered. I fiddled with a 0.4 BD cam in the same spot but the whole flake sounds suspect and I wouldn't trust a cam there. My partner led it off a small nut in the seam near the arete, but it appeared that a sideways force would have caused it to slip out. Plus no placement of any strength would prevent hitting the ledge anyway. It seems like the safest way to lead this pitch is to climb straight up the arete using the good, high feet to reach the chalky rail. Once there you can stem out right and get a better piece in the main crack above. Multiple spotters recommended, or if you just have one spotter, they should stand more to the right as the downward slope of the ledge seemed to cause the woman to bounce off it that way.

Barring this experience, the rest of the climb is incredible. The 10d pitch is super fun sport moves that are well bolted except for the first bolt off the ledge traverse (the second bolt on the pitch -- mentioned in other comments here) which is committing to get to but not outrageous. The corner pitch is absolutely wild as well. My partner led it off a single 0.5 BD (the other was in the anchor), two 0.75s, two #1s, and two sets of nuts in that size range (as well as a few smaller and larger placements in the lower, easier portion). There are solid stemming stances practically throughout so a heavy rack of cams seems like overkill (though to be fair I did not lead it and so only had to remove the nuts from these stances, not place them). Sep 5, 2017
Saying I led it on two sets of nuts in that size range is a bit misleading, since BOTH 0.5-equivalent pieces (DMM #8 and its offset sibling) were in the anchor below. Definitely not repeating that mistake again! Everyone recommended belaying at the ledge a few feet below the corner in order to save the relevant size pieces but I must have found the wrong one since it seemed like it *only* took 0.5 size gear!

Single 0.4, doubles 0.5-1, single 2, and a set of nuts (make sure you have the knuckle sizes, DMM size 7 and 8) is a reasonable rack for a confident leader. You can place a 3 but I didn't bother to. Space the gear at the start since you don't need it and make sure to save one of your 0.5 size pieces for the last 20 ft!

Regarding the first pitch, I think Ben covered most of the important points. There are many different ways to approach the climb and I think some are significantly harder than others! I favored the direct line up the blunt arete and I know others I have talked to take the left crack into an unprotected traverse, but both options are definitely PG13. Small nuts might offer some piece of mind for a shaky leader (I think RPs or even HB offsets might have been useful). The 0.4 C4 placement to the right is a bit meatier but in what I thought to be rather suspect rock.

Best wishes to the injured party, hoping for a quick recovery. Sep 5, 2017
Josh Lowy
Sacramento, CA
Josh Lowy   Sacramento, CA
Quality climb.
P2 felt HARD for the grade, but for my second Yosemite climb, I can't be one to talk. Definitely was tricky to read where to go during the second P2 crux.
P3 was fantastic, we brought quad BD .75s (green) but I wish I had swapped one of them for a third .5 (purple).
Gram traverse looked incredible from the top of P3 but we didn't have the guts or gusto to attempt it. Sep 10, 2017
Neha Khurana  
This climb was really beautiful and also really challenging for me! The first pitch is serious - I placed a marginal 0.4 C4 at the crux but likely would have pulled with a fall. A committing move. The second pitch was undoubtedly more difficult at 5'1". I could not reach the knobs to get off the ledge (before bolt 2) and a lead fall would have been consequential. I found the mantel to be soft for the grade but the face climbing to be harder than 10+. The dihedral is incredible - save your 0.5s for the top! Jun 13, 2018
Natalie Nicole
San Francisco, CA
Natalie Nicole   San Francisco, CA
P1 - This was definitely one of the times I wish I hadn't read the MP comments beforehand. After reading Ben Eskildsen's comment about the woman's accident, I approached the first pitch with trepidation. In fact, it was what mostly preoccupied my mind as I was making those initial moves, that, and potentially falling. Once I cleared my head, it went fine. Moral of the story - keep calm and carry on.
P2 - I followed this route two years ago and found this pitch difficult. Coming back as a stronger climber, having climbed many routes in the Valley and elsewhere, I still found it hard! At 5'2 I had to literally jump for the holds near the second bolt. This pitch for shorter folks is reachy, and with a follower's pack pulling you in the opposite direction, not exactly a walk in the park despite being essentially a sport pitch with its bolts and fixed gear.
P3 - With continuous options for pro (save those 0.5's for the top half) and rests if you look for them, found this to be a friendly lead.

If you're a fan of traverses like I am, I would highly recommend finishing up on Gram. P4 on Oz is fine, especially if you're looking for a quick finish, but getting on Gram adds a whole nother character to the day, with some pretty cool moves. Jun 18, 2018
kevin deweese
Oakland, Ca
kevin deweese   Oakland, Ca
P4: Loose block under the roof around the corner right before the downclimb. Not an issue but spooky to pull on for a second. My partner apparently found a bomber hold on the roof to avoid doing the 1-2' downclimb at all, but I didn't see this so YMMV. Supertopo shows you walking along the ledge past the bolt and starting up after the ledge rises up a bit, I found that you start the "5.8/5.9" face climbing immediately after you pass the bolt. (Lol that the traverse off the anchors for this pitch are "5.10a" (felt harder) while the face climbing after you turn the corner is "5.9" (felt easier) Jul 30, 2018