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Tantalus Wall

5.11c C0, Trad, Sport, Aid, 600 ft, 8 pitches, Grade IV,  Avg: 3.3 from 8 votes
FA: Peter Croft, Craig Thomson 1982
International > N America > Canada > British Columbia > Squamish > Chief > Tantalus Wall
Access Issue: Illegal Camping Details


A distinctive crack line from the base of the Tantalus wall using french ethics. 1st pitch: 11C. Take the left hand crack to the impeccable Yosemite Crack. Classic Ofwidths take you to the top of the 3rd pitch (10A). Easy 4th to Tantalus ledge (5.8). A small finger crack leads to the cedar tree (11B). Use AO bolts Tensioning to the base of the headwall crack system (11A+4pa). Climb two 5.11's to the top of the headwall. Gear to 4 1/2" for the hand cracks and ofwidth.


Scramble up the bullethead gully right below the Yosemite pinnacle.


Gear to 4 1/2" for the hand cracks and ofwidth.
Some bolts.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

No, a ledge isn't required at all. It's just more fun.
[Hide Photo] No, a ledge isn't required at all. It's just more fun.
Jon on pitch 6 of the superb piton scarred finger crack.
[Hide Photo] Jon on pitch 6 of the superb piton scarred finger crack.
No, a ledge isn't required at all. It's just more fun.
[Hide Photo] No, a ledge isn't required at all. It's just more fun.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

[Hide Comment] We took a BD #4, #5 and #6 for this climb along with the standard doubles and extras in finger sizes. A #6 should almost definitely be included in the rack for this climb. You could probably leave the #4 at home and bring 2 x #5s and maybe 2x #6s.
The whole route is a burly number (possibly a sandbag) featuring razor-thin pinscars for your fingers (possibly good locks available for small-fingered ladies). Don't go up there expecting .11c Crime of the Century finger locks unless you know how to aid efficiently with slings lol.
Also, the crux of the .11b corner pitch below the headwall involves some difficult off width action which you probably won't hear about otherwise. Hence having an arsenal of #5s and #6s for the second to carry when not needed.
Awesome position. May 3, 2016
[Hide Comment] I desperately wanted a #6 on the 3rd pitch Yosemite offwidth. Would have been good fun instead of extreme stress! Jul 26, 2018
RyderS Stroud
Liming, Yunnan Province, CN
[Hide Comment] This route is a sandbag, in my opinion. The two 5.11b cruxes are wildly different in difficulty. The lower .11b is way harder than the upper one. Stout .11 or even .11+. I felt as worked on the crux pitch as when I tried Japanese Gardens at Index. But who knows, maybe I'm just "veak." The guidebook description is also odd, listing the entire route as .11a A0, even though the accompanying topo lists two .11b crack pitches.

If you're interested in more beta, I added it below. If you want to keep the adventure going, stop here!

P0: Scramble up dirty ledges to the right of Freeway. You can rope up and do a short 5.6 pitch, but there may be a fixed line there (there was 08/2018). At the dirt ledges, look out left for a 2-bolt station.

P1: .11c or .10 A0: Slippery moves off the ground lead to a techy, weird face sequence to gain a sloping ledge. Not exactly a great warm up, even if aiding. Nature's coffee, I guess. Follow a finger crack up to a tree stump with a bolt belay.

P2: 5.10: Full-on OW for your dollar. If the first pitch did not wake you up, this one will. Climb up and right off the belay through steep terrain to gain a long OW. Endless #5-#6 crack will work you for nearly 40 meters. Right when you are about to hate everything and take, the OW relents into a weird slot chimney. Wiggle your way up to a ledge and belay off a huge slung block. You can back things up with some strategically placed cams. This pitch would benefit from a bolt anchor.

P3: 5.8: Follow dirty, left-facing corners up to the Tantalus Ledge. Belay on gear at a long, down-facing crack. You can move the belay 20 feet/6 meters left to prepare for P4. There are some small trees to belay from for P4.

P4: wicked stout 5.11: The opening sequence is described as a "hands and fists crack" in the Squamish guidebook. It is actually another offwidth, unless you enjoy insecure liebacking. Climb wide terrain past 2 pins to gain a small roof with a big, down-facing horn. Surmount the roof with a flared, right-leaning finger crack. A series of hard moves will bring you to a stance with an old angle piton. Insecure, flared jamming straight up will bring you to a bolt belay above a tree stump. Definitely a sandbag for .11b...

P5: .11b: Continue up the finger crack from the belay. This pitch is much shorter than the last. Some insecure, technical finger locks and smears will allow you to transfer right to the most outrageous tree belay in Squamish. Relax and enjoy the wild position! Bolts above the tree.

P6: .12a free or .11a A0: Another kick in the pants. This pitch will feel hard after all the pitches you just climbed. Stem off the tree to gain a right-traversing bolt line. The bolts will lead to 2 shallow finger cracks. Balance-y locks will get you up to a small alcove. Follow easier terrain above in a wider crack to a bolt anchor out right on the face.

P7: .11a: Follow cracks up and right from the belay to where the crack system peters out. You will see some old, homemade bolts (possibly from the original Beckey aid ascent in the 60s?) trending up and left. We found them sketchy, and our carabiners didn't work with the eyelets, anyways. Instead, make some tenuous face moves to the right to join up with the Cerberus dike. Follow the dike up and hard left on some cool face climbing to meet up with a big sloping ledge beneath a small bulge (Cerberus merges with Tantalus here). Follow the shrinking dike over the bulge and hard right until you reach the top of the wall. You can stop short at bolts and belay your second or continue on for 10-ish more meters and belay off a tree at the top of the wall.

Descent: Standard descent from the Chief to link up with the backside hiking trail.

Gear notes: We found single #5 and #6 to be enough, though it is spooky to be in very long OW with only 2 pieces of gear for ~30 meters until you can sneak in more gear. If you think you're gonna dog the OW, you may want to consider an extra wide piece. Offsets are nice for the flaring finger cracks. Small nuts are nice. We brought both small nuts and RPs, but didn't use the RPs. If you are going to get worked on the hard fingers climbing (like me) bring a smattering of extra TCUs or X4s. Aug 10, 2018
[Hide Comment] The offwidth has cracks in the back so you definitely don’t need a #6 (unless you want to toprope the whole thing then a single #5 and #6 would be sufficient). For the rest a single rack from micro to #3 and doubles from #.4 to #1 with a set of offset nuts for the thin sections. May 27, 2019