Type: Trad, Aid, 1200 ft, 12 pitches, Grade V
FA: Chuck Clance, Jeff Altenburg, and Steve Bosque, June 1984
Page Views: 10,069 total · 68/month
Shared By: Andrew Klein on Sep 22, 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


Skull Queen is a good alternative if the South Face is full. The aid is not much more difficult, a few micronut placements on pitch 8 and a few awkward placements on pitch 10. The last pitch is a stellar 5.10c finger crack. Climb to Dinner Ledge via South Face Route and do the Kor Roof pitch. Head right into the slanting crack (the bolt above the roof is for the S. Face route) and follow the rivet/bolt latter (in great condition as of June 2006). It is more or less straight up for 7 pitches from here (Supertopo or the Reid guides are accurate). Most likely will not need for a hammer or pins, and I was able to get away without using a hook either by doing a tricky free move (~.10a) on pitch 10 before the belay. I thought the quality of this route was a little better then the S. Face but they are pretty similar. Cheers, AK!


Route starts same as S. Face. After summitting stay up and right on trail that leads to N. Dome Gully decent.


Standard Free Rack (2 sets of cams including small sizes, 1-2 sets of nuts), 1 #4.5 BD Camalot or equivalent, 1-2 sets micronuts or offsets, 12 rivet hangers for pitch 5, 1 hook. Route relies on a few fixed heads to remain clean (in great shape as of 2006), so you may want to bring a few mid-sized heads and a hammer just in case.
Aaron S
Aaron S  
The supertopo recommends bringing a large cam for the ow and last pitches but I would leave it at home. The ow pitch goes from a #4 camalot size to a full squeeze (too big for a cam) within a couple feet making it worthless. My buddy used it at the start of the last pitch but it didn’t look necessary. The good news is that the ow pitch is pretty easy climbing and is probably just as easy in boots as climbing shoes.

I think this route is underrated in terms of quality and just fun climbing. Apr 24, 2007
A fun route for moderate aid.

Expect several bolt/rivet ladders linking cracks. If the line was continuous it would be classic. May 3, 2010
Jake Dickerson
Lander, WY
Jake Dickerson   Lander, WY  
Just did this route this past weekend and it was alot of fun! A great first wall. The gear beta is pretty spot on, we did it with 1 set of RP's+offset nuts, 1 set of BD nuts, Triples in .3-.5, doubles in .75-4, one #5, 2 rivet hangers, and 2 cam hooks. It would have been nice to have some offset cams. If you don't mind leapfrogging rivet hangers the bolt ladder on P5 goes fast, I think there was a total of 6 bolts and usually 2-3 rivets between bolts. We fixed to P% on the first day and finished on the second.

Here are some updated pitch descriptions after P4 (kor roof).

P5 LOOSE BLOCK ALERT! The very first move right of the belay is off a loose block, i put a .3 in and saw it move, please be careful of parties below. I just reached up high and clipped a fixed nut, a few more small nuts leads to a rivet/ bolt ladder, pretty straight forward.

P6 Kinda dirty but there are penty of spots in the crack to get gear, the anchors are up and left past the trees. You may need to channel your inner childhood and climb trees up to the anchor.

P7 Only spot where you need the 4's and 5. if you are solid on squeeze chimneys you dont need the 5 and leave all the small gear at the belay and free this pitch at 5.8. The short chimney leads to a hand crack up and left to the next anchor, it takes 1-3 camalot and maybe a few finger sized pieces.

P8 All aid at C2. Start up the crack on the left, stand up on a rivet into a small crack requiring a few hook moves, trend right at the bolts, up a thin crack and back left to the anchor.

P9 A few bolts to a thin seam past a few fixed copperheads. trend right to a tension traverse to the final crack to the anchor. A blue totem cam is $$$ here.

P10 Prolly the trickiest aid of the climb. Start up the left crack (inobvious) to gain the main left facing corner with a few fixed nuts. Go up to a ledge up and left to the next crack and a few rivet heads to the next anchor.

P11 Splitter 5.10 crack.

Rap Beta: We rapped down South Face and it was really straight forward. The rap stations are to climbers left of skull queen.

We did this without any beak/hawks or alot of offsets. It was my first wall and pretty straightforward. It will possibly take longer than south face because of more aid. Oct 3, 2016
Everett   Nevada
Fixed heads were fine. One was in an amusing runoff of mossy slime water.

Don't bother with keyhole rivet hangers. They don't fit. Do bother bringing a really thin wire rivet hanger, though. Using a brassy just meant I dropped it and was sad. And Jake's absolutely right; leave your rivet hangers on your ladders and just leapfrog.

Used a beak and probably didn't need to. Did a couple of hook moves and definitely needed to. May 7, 2018