Type: Trad, 250 ft (76 m), 2 pitches
FA: Dale Bard, Bob Locke, Claude Fiddler & Allen Bard, 1976
Page Views: 15,821 total · 85/month
Shared By: Josh Janes on Sep 21, 2006
Admins: Mike Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

You & This Route

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Tuolumne is not a destination for flawless crack climbs, but there are a few notable exceptions, Blues Riff being one of them. This pitch would be classic no matter where it would be. Originally rated 5.11d, it has since been down-rated to as low as 5.11b, but although the crux is brief, it is probably solid 5.11.

Most climb only through the second pitch and then rap with double ropes.

P1: Begin about 100' right of the obvious crack system of Phobos at a section of friable rock protected by a new bolt. This short pitch was changed significantly in recent rockfall, but is still climbable at 5.10c. Climb up to the first bolt (a small cam helps), then reach left and crank through the roof on large, flexing holds -- be very careful about what you pull on here! Continue up a short, ugly hand crack to a nice ledge below the second pitch. Belay from some fixed slings and possibly a #3 Camalot.

P2: Step up onto the face above and ascend it past a bolt to a stance. Have a few medium wires or finger-size cams ready, and then climb up the finger crack (crux) to an obvious sharp horizontal "rest" jug. Continue up the beautiful thin-hands crack to a final wide section (#3 Camalot) to a bolted anchor. It is possible to rap from here with two 60m ropes, or one can continue up the wide flake to the summit and walk off.


Triples in hand-size cams, doubles in fingers, and one or two #3 Camalots.