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The Phoenix

5.13a, Trad, 130 ft,  Avg: 3.8 from 8 votes
FA: (TR) Ray Jardine and John Lakey, April 1976, FFA (Lead) Mark Hudon, May 1978
California > Yosemite NP > Lower Merced Ri… > k. Cascade Area > Cascade Falls - Upper
Access Issue: Yosemite National Park climbing closures and conditions Details


"The Phoenix" sits high on the wall, west of Cascade Falls.
This awesome crack is the first 5.13a recorded.


From the west side of Tamarack Creek Bridge, 2 miles west of Hwy 120/140 junction. Walk down to a flat area, cross a stream and continue to the brink of the cliff, rappel to the base of the crack.


Small to 2.25".

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

The Phoenix
[Hide Photo] The Phoenix
Hidetaka Suzuki, 1987<br>
photo by bob gaines
[Hide Photo] Hidetaka Suzuki, 1987 photo by bob gaines
Ray Jardine on The Phoenix (5.13a), Yosemite Valley<br>
Photo by George Meyers
[Hide Photo] Ray Jardine on The Phoenix (5.13a), Yosemite Valley Photo by George Meyers
Bill Price leading "The Phoenix", 1981.<br>
Photo by Blitzo.
[Hide Photo] Bill Price leading "The Phoenix", 1981. Photo by Blitzo.
Toprope shit show!  Photo: Steven Donovan
[Hide Photo] Toprope shit show! Photo: Steven Donovan
View of the climb in its entirety from the belay.<br>
Photo by Jeanna, '08
[Hide Photo] View of the climb in its entirety from the belay. Photo by Jeanna, '08
Jake Ramsey TRing The Phoenix.  Photo: Steven Donovan
[Hide Photo] Jake Ramsey TRing The Phoenix. Photo: Steven Donovan

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Karsten Duncan
Sacramento, CA
[Hide Comment] It also has some interesting looking piton-scar chipped holds. Apr 2, 2007
[Hide Comment] True, the chipped/beat-out pinscar pockets are a shame. the route would be quite a bit harder without them. Apr 10, 2009
[Hide Comment] They're so nice and smooth for your fingers, though!
Also, ants can sometimes provide a miserable experience at the belay 'stance', as can failing to bring a belay seat of some sort. Apr 18, 2009
Bryan G
[Hide Comment] Supertopo thread, including some great photos of the second ascent… Mar 17, 2011
Jason Antin
Golden, CO
skinny legs and all
Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania
[Hide Comment] Ray Jardine purposely chipped holds to make the first free ascent, it just is not discussed often. Also, Jerry Moffatt was the first person to flash The Phoenix in 1984. This was at the height of his training for and traveling to hard cracks around the world, before he took up sport climbing. Apr 8, 2013
Fat Dad
Los Angeles, CA
[Hide Comment] It's odd this page has a pic of Ray Jardine on the FA (1977) but then reports Mark Hudon as doing the FA a year later. Jan 18, 2014
Adam Brink
on the road
[Hide Comment] Didn't Mark Hudon do the second ascent, not first? Jan 19, 2014
Jon Rhoderick
Redmond, OR
[Hide Comment] I believe Jardine yoyo'ed it or hung dog it and claimed the FA? Hudon led it without cams placing all gear on lead, and partially dislocated his shoulder on the ascent. Feb 1, 2014