Type: Trad, 150 ft
FA: FA: Russ Warne, Dave McFadden, and Steve Roper, December, 1959 FFA: Chuck Pratt, Herb Swedlund, 1960.
Page Views: 37,933 total · 250/month
Shared By: Salamanizer suchoski on Oct 11, 2006 with updates from Eric Chow
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


Start up and right of the main church bowl area. This is the classic double crack seen from the road. One of the best 5.8's in the Valley.One pitch ends at a sloping ledge. Rap from the bolts on top.


Cams .5"-3" Optional 4" piece.
Josh Hibbard
Los Angeles Area, CA
Josh Hibbard   Los Angeles Area, CA
This is a very fun climb and very popular. The second pitch was more enjoyable for me all around. A must do if you are climbing in Yosemite and can't make it up the big walls (like me...). Mar 26, 2007
M. Morley
Sacramento, CA
M. Morley   Sacramento, CA  
Pitches 1 & 2 can be linked into one fantastic 195' pitch. Jul 21, 2007
Oakland, CA
Sirius   Oakland, CA
Agree with Mike Morley - much better climb done as one pitch. Jul 23, 2007
Concord, CA
RockMonkey   Concord, CA
Doing it in one pitch is the way to go...just remember to trail another rope (2 - 60M are needed) for the rappel. Sep 18, 2007
armand rollice
rancho cucamonga
armand rollice   rancho cucamonga
Did this in one pitch. The hand crack at the top is awesome. the view is breathtaking! Feb 27, 2008
vincent L.
Redwood City
vincent L.   Redwood City
In order to reach the actual bishop's terrace, and the good little aid crack that goes through the roof of bishop's terrace, go directly right from the anchor atop the bishop's terrace route. Then head up an easy crack to gain the right side of the terrace. From here the terrace slopes down to the right.

What i used to do, is do this second pitch as I described, and then rap off the anchors that are on the far right side of bishop's terrace. Here you only need one rope to rap to the ground. Something to think about if you only have one rope, or if there is a party anxious to start up the route and you do not want to make them wait further by rapping the route. Mar 2, 2008
Boulder, CO
tooTALLtim   Boulder, CO
How do you call this one of the best 5.8's in the Valley!?!??! This is nowhere on par with Nutcracker. Jun 9, 2008
Just a fantastic crack! Aug 7, 2008
Chris M
Hailey, ID
Chris M   Hailey, ID
Do it in one pitch Oct 17, 2009
Ian G.
Ian G.   PDX, OR
I've seen not one but two people get their knees stuck on this climb and have to be rescued. Apparently they let blood pool in the upper leg which subsequently perma-cammed the knee in. It looked really painful. Feb 9, 2010
bergbryce   California
I also recommend doing it in one pitch. The hoard of people at the base will appreciate that ;-) While it's a fun route, I didn't find it mind blowingly good.
I would recommend taking some big gear. I only had one 3" and wish I had a 4" as well. Apr 21, 2010
Wesley Ashwood
Squamish, BC
Wesley Ashwood   Squamish, BC
I had a #4 camalot with me and used it. Though you could probably get away without it. Aug 2, 2010
Scott Reed
Bozeman, MT
Scott Reed   Bozeman, MT
Great route. Use gear sparingly on the lower, easier sections to assure you have pro for the upper portion of the climb. Sep 18, 2010
"Use gear sparingly on the lower, easier sections to assure you have pro for the upper portion of the climb."

What Scott said. When done as one pitch (which is fantastic) and leading near your limit, be sure to keep some gear for the end or you will be facing some exciting climbing above protection...ask me how I know :) Oct 17, 2010
Ken Trout
Golden, CO
Ken Trout   Golden, CO
FIRST ASCENT: Russ Warne, Dave McFadden, and Steve Roper, December, 1959.

FIRST FREE ASCENT: Chuck Pratt, Herb Swedlund, 1960. Feb 1, 2011
Mark P Thomas
Mark P Thomas   Draper
It is not necessary to use the alternate start to do the 5.7 OW variation, despite how it appears in SuperTopo. The alternate start sucks in several ways compared to the standard start. I don't see any reason to use it unless you're climbing with a 50m rope. Feb 7, 2011
Rodger Raubach  
Marvelous crack climbing; spectacular! Solid at 5.8. Takes all the pro you would ever need--or want. Mar 14, 2011
Ryan Justen
St. Paul, MN
Ryan Justen   St. Paul, MN
This is one of the best climbs I've done. Nice sustained 5.7ish climbing with some 5.8 moves.

I brought doubles from .5 to 3 with one #4 (optional 3rd #2) C4's. Bring lots of slings for down low.

One pitch is really fun! (60m rope works fine as long as you trail one for the rappel) May 18, 2011
From the anchor, one 70m rope barely reaches (tie knots!) the big tree you see about 30ft up the route. I've done it twice and the rope pulled clean. A 3rd class scramble reaches the ground. Dec 29, 2011
Jan Tarculas
Riverside, Ca
Jan Tarculas   Riverside, Ca
Just did this climb this past Monday in one pitch. Had doubles in .5-3, one #4 and set of nuts. Climb takes nuts really well, use long slings at the bottom and save one #2 after the double crack up top, which is a lot easier than it looks! Excellent climb! Aug 8, 2012
Andy Weinmann
Silver Spring, MD
Andy Weinmann   Silver Spring, MD
Beautiful line. Did this on 15SEP2012 and there's a #3 BD Cam fixed at the bulge below the twin cracks.

Also, if you don't wanna take a #4, I used an offset yellow/blue master cam in a pin scar on the face to the right of the OW...right when my #3 woulda been nearly tipped out in the OW. Bomber. Sep 17, 2012
Mike Holley
Boone, NC
Mike Holley   Boone, NC
Amazing Introduction to The Valley Crack climbing!! By far one of the best 8's I have ever done! A Total Must do!! You Can just reach the rappel with a 70 meter if you stop about 20 feet off the deck on a huge ledge, but you will surely need two if your using 60's.

Do It!!!! Oct 24, 2012
Sara Ann
Sunnyvale, CA
Sara Ann   Sunnyvale, CA
Don't take the offwidth up and right of the small roof unless you're sure you can climb it without getting your knee stuck... Much more fun to exit the left side of the roof straight up!

Take a number 4. Nov 28, 2012
All up in yo bidniss.
TacoDelRio   All up in yo bidniss.
Trailed a 200ft static behind me (followed my buddy). Rope ended about 5ft above the ground, so from anchor straight down to the start is about 205".

Fixed #4 C4 up there.

When throwing ropes for the rapp, try to throw climber's left of the route. There is a huge flake down climber's right that eats rope. There is a big tree near it. Feb 13, 2013
Kirk B.
Boise, ID
Kirk B.   Boise, ID
Run out the rope. It's The Way. Perfect fit. Feb 22, 2013
This route was a good reminder to me that Yosemite 5.8 is different than 5.8 elsewhere. Although, we climbed Nutcracker earlier in the day and struggled much more with this route.

Straight-in hand jam section was pretty short and the wide cracks were tough for me as a yosemite neophyte. Apr 29, 2013
Ryan N
Bellingham, WA
Ryan N   Bellingham, WA
BEWARE, if you only bring gear to 3", be prepared to runout offwidth for 8-10ft. I suggest that you bring 2 #3, and 1 #4 camalot in addition to a regular rack. Jun 16, 2013
Landon McBrayer
Salt Lake City, UT
Landon McBrayer   Salt Lake City, UT
Set of nuts; doubles to 3"; 1 #4 C4. Easily rappelled with one 70m to the half-dead tree that is plumb-line below the anchor. 3rd class scramble from there to the deck. A great pitch. Apr 25, 2014
trying hard
Sierra East Side
trying hard   Sierra East Side
Used a 70 meter rope, led in one pitch. Rapped to the tree. ***There is a down climb right in front of the tree that is really mellow if you want it saves a rappel.*** May 22, 2014
Dr Williams
Dr Williams   AUSTIN, TX
A good short 5.8 crack route that is good for a warm up and to get ready for bigger (and harder) Yosemite routes. Can easily be done over and over again to work on technique. Aug 11, 2014
Done in one pitch, you will need:
a regular assortment of nuts (nothing below a #8 stopper...if I recall)
then double #1, 3, 4 Camalot
and triple #2.

Drop those nuts in all over the lower portion of the route, saving the cams for the meat higher up.

If you want to do another "5.8" crack, head over to the Left Side of Little John for some more of that old school, full value, no BS Yosemite crack climbing...and make sure to haul along those #4 & #5 Camalots...just sayin'... Mar 31, 2015
Alex Motal  
Climbed this in 2013. It's a great route but we got our double fisherman's stuck in the crack on the rap down. I would suggest using an overhand knot for a double rope rappel. Also, a number 4 is helpful on this route. Apr 13, 2015
Max Rausch
Portland, OR
Max Rausch   Portland, OR
Potentially my new favorite lead in the valley. Forgot to bring a #4 with me and ran out the entire off width section. (Almost pee'd myself.) Did it as one pitch at dusk and got a fantastic sunset from the top. If you want to feel safe, bring a #4, maybe even a #5. If you want to scare yourself, bring neither. Jul 9, 2015
The large tree at the ledge you can repel to has fallen down and is now on the groumd, supported by 1 or 2 smaller trees, with the base end up. A little sketchy. Feb 10, 2016
Chris D
the couch
Chris D   the couch
Oh my goodness, this is an amazing route. As I followed the last 40 feet, I couldn't help but chuckle, both at the beauty and improbability of such a steep crack going at 5.8, and at the thought of all the people who have probably come to the Valley and made this their first lead, just to get an idea of what 5.8 in Yosemite means. Ha! They'd have been better served trying their hand at Harry Daley. The second half of this route is burly sustained 5.8. What a beautiful climb! Sep 27, 2016
Chad Lawver
Yosemite Village, CA
Chad Lawver   Yosemite Village, CA
If anyone finds an iPhone 5 by the base, that would be mine. A message if you find it would be much appreciated. Thanks! I'll remove this in a few weeks if it hasn't been found.... Sep 30, 2016
Good News: As of Dec 2016 we added a station for one-rope rappelling. So you only need one 60m rope to climb the route. The rappel station is straight down from the anchor, 95 feet, about five feet to the right of the crack as you climb up.

Awesome Climb!

RockclimbYosemite.com - Yosemitebigwall.com Mar 8, 2017
Rude Boy
San Francisco, CA
Rude Boy   San Francisco, CA
If you want a little adventure do the next pitch after topping out on the double cracks. Continue up the corner to the roof and then skirt along the wall under the roof to a bolted anchor/rap station. Easy but mostly unprotected. 1 rappel with 2 60m ropes and you will hit the ground.

Apr 24, 2017
Julius Elinson
Boulder, CO
Julius Elinson   Boulder, CO
I can confirm the new rap station has been added and has some nice shiny new bolts -- thanks Erik!

However, we had a single 70m which gets you just a bit further down to a big ledge directly under the anchor. From there, it was a straight-forward scramble down to the base. No need for the hanging belay & second rap. Apr 24, 2017
Nicole Golden
Melbourne, FL
Nicole Golden   Melbourne, FL
Thanks for the new rap anchors, hopefully this will help with clearing up some of the traffic. Jun 2, 2017
Sergey Shevelev
San Francisco, CA
Sergey Shevelev   San Francisco, CA
There's also alternative start to the right of the original one (that is, to the right of the tree ledge). I personally feel that it is spicier than the original and has brief OW section (which actually has good hand holds inside the crack, so you don't have to use OW techniques) and short hand traverse on good holds. It may deserve to be added as a separate route since you technically can finish it at the rap rings (step to the right to reach them) after just this first pitch. Nov 20, 2017
If you don't have a #4 Camalot to protect the wider section, you can still protect it by placing a smaller cam into the narrower seam/crack on the right side of the wide section. I placed a grey alien (I think it corresponds to .4 camalot) into a good slot slightly above an old piton (with a completely destroyed eye hole). Apr 15, 2018
John Hayes II
John Hayes II  
Try to climb this in one pitch (200'). There is a 5.7 move in the beginning, then it is easier, and then the second 100' is excellent 5.7 with some sustained 5.8 at the top where you'll want to have saved your larger cams, 2-4".

YUM Jun 19, 2018
Devin Bishop  
Actually find the new(ish) rap anchors just create confusion and more shenanigans. Watched two parties climb this route simultaneously - one belaying from gear halfway, the other belaying from the rappel anchors after climbing the 5.7 alternate start from the right. Both converging on the same upper crack. Never saw this kinda B.S. before the bolted rap station appeared. What’s so hard about trailing a second rope, especially at Yosemite where it’s fairly common? Oct 9, 2018
Martin Kunz
Martin Kunz  
Recommend to bring 3 x 2", 2 x 3" and 1 x 4" when climbing it in one pitch (and not into running it out). I set a lot of nuts lower down to preserve the cams for the second half. Wonderful route with perfect hand cracks and the perfect amount of spiciness for me. Dec 13, 2018