Type: Trad, 80 ft
FA: Eric Beck, Steve Roper, mid-1960's
Page Views: 7,071 total · 47/month
Shared By: caughtinside on Jan 22, 2007
Admins: Aron Quiter, Lurker, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

You & This Route

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Farley is an obvious right facing lieback flake, just uphill from Scheister. starts as easy fingers and thin hands, and develops into a physical lieback.

Most people only do the first pitch and lower/rap off the bolted anchor, but you can continue up the wide chimney.


Just uphill from Scheister and Blue Velvet.


cams. .5 camalot to 3 camalot. You can place a #4 camalot, and a second #3 would be ideal.


Fun route. There's good stances to rest and place gear every 6-8 feet. Be sure to use them, otherwise you'll get super pumped. Feb 20, 2010
Los Alamos, NM
Aerili   Los Alamos, NM
Everyone got me all riled up about this route's "physical-ness," "hard 5.9-ness" etc. It is not hard for the grade and it did not seem strenuous to me either. And I'm not really that strong...so let that inspire you if you have any doubts! Mar 2, 2010
Salt Lake
T_jones   Salt Lake
Only 3 stars? This is one of the most obvious and gorgeous lines on the east face. It's not a hard 5.9 but super classic! Sep 15, 2010
So San Francisco
beachplus4   So San Francisco
This is a great and very fun line. It is very straight forward, which can be good or bad depending on the climber. Bottom line if you are there DO IT!!!! Nov 14, 2010
Jason Ogasian
South Lake Tahoe
Jason Ogasian   South Lake Tahoe
One protection bolt replaced on last pitch in 2011 thanks to support from the ASCA.

safeclimbing.org/ Oct 15, 2012
Truckee, CA
Nick_Cov   Truckee, CA
I was warned that it is pumpy and physically demanding, but it really isn't. Good stances and slabby. I only brought one #3 and one #4, definitely not enough. Would have much rather had two #3s... Dec 9, 2012
Reno, NV
BruceB   Reno, NV
Just wanted to echo Nick_Cov's comment. It looks intimidating and pumpy from the ground, but there are quite a few good stances to rest and place gear. There's a surprising number of good holds on the flake itself, and good footholds on the right face. Two #3's and a #4 work great thru the top section.

After Leading it, I did TR it only lie-backing the whole thing - now that is pumpy! May 2, 2013
Rocklin, Ca
mattymck   Rocklin, Ca
This is actually a three pitch route, although I am sure lots of folks only do the first. The third pitch was fun, but heady as I remember it. Only one or two bolts on the knobby wall section in a 60ish' span. May 8, 2013
Gordy Ainsleigh
Auburn, California
  5.9 PG13
Gordy Ainsleigh   Auburn, California
  5.9 PG13
This is not a climb to be taken lightly. One climber has already died on the first pitch. The crack gets too wide for placing ordinary protection from a layback position, so if a climber misses the tiny foothold shelf on the outside of the flake halfway to the xenolith, and doesn't stop to stick a piece deep into the narrowing recesses of the crack, it becomes a run for the xenolith, with a groundfall to the shelf far below a very real possibility.

Also, you really should try the whole route. Taking the knobby traverse 5.7 variation on the 3rd pitch will have you doing Spiderman imitations right above the lip of the Grand Illusion roof, with nothing but open air between you and the main drag of the hamlet of Kyburz, far below.

AND...when you get to the top of the 5.7, don't take the anticlimactic slog to the right or left along the seam of the huge summit boulder, followed by an even more anticlimactic walk up the backside to the summit. Instead, take one of the two direct finish variations that I bolted in the early 90s. The 2-bolt 5.10b that I called "Farley Mowat" goes straight up from the finish of the 5.7, on the left side of the gully going down to Grand Illusion. A few steps to the right, directly above the Grand Illusion gully, is the 1-bolt 5.10a "Never Cry Wolf". I fell on that one before I put in the bolt, and as my last pro was at my feet when I started up, it was a dandy fall, complete with an A-C separation of my shoulder and nearly going off the Grand Illusion roof. So clip my bolts and enjoy a thrilling finish to a great climb.

When you get to the top, look for the belay bolts I placed so that you can be secure against a partner's fall, a definite possibility on either of the direct finishes. Nov 3, 2013
J. Albers
J. Albers   Colorado
Whoa, whoa there Gordy. There is absolutely no reason that you should be risking a ground fall on Farley. You can sew the first pitch up top to bottom. Even at the top where it gets wide, if you brought something big you can place it.

I actually don't think Farley is all that great of a route, but I would hate for someone to miss out on it because of your description. Nov 3, 2013
Sara Ann
Sunnyvale, CA
Sara Ann   Sunnyvale, CA
I was a newish 5.9 leader at the time, and was super intimidated by this climb, but onsighted no problem! Plenty of stances to place pieces. Nov 7, 2013
Darshan Ahluwalia
Petaluma, CA
Darshan Ahluwalia   Petaluma, CA
We climbed this today and made it to the summit in three pitches (could be done in two). The lower crux section of pitch 1 was not super burly nor lacking good feet as I was expecting it to be per the supertopo guidebook description. Fantastic route, get on it!

Pitch 1: 200ish feet. Climb the layback crack (5.9), continue up the chimney and yet still continue in the right-leaning layback (5.9+) to the base of another chimney. Belay here, in the double cracks at the base of the chimney. (The upper layback section--just below the mentioned belay--includes another crux and makes for a very continuous and long 5.9+ pitch! Be sure to bring enough gear if doing it this way.)

Pitch 2: 100ish feet. Climb the chimney, then up an easy slab/4th class to the base of a corner. Climb up the corner, moving left on the face to surmount the overhang/roof. Once in the corner and above the overhang, look to the slabby face on the right. This is the knobby wall. One bolt protects this 40 foot wall. Clip the bolt and climb up the face to the horizontal crack, belaying here if rope drag is horrendous, or continue up the last pitch: 2 bolts to the summit (40 feet, 5.10-). May 4, 2014
Crimper E6
cheltenham, UK, SW is the BEST
Crimper E6   cheltenham, UK, SW is the BEST
watch the rope drag on the last pitch - E25a for the Brits (ie feels scary!)
bring 2 x70s and abseil off the chains 20m to the left at the top break. Half way point being a hanging thread on the arete. Oct 21, 2014
Sam Cannon
Salt Lake City, UT
Sam Cannon   Salt Lake City, UT
I placed my #4 down low and had to bump my #3's a few times in the second half. You could definitely use 3 #3's and the #4 if you're wanting to sew it up. Fantastic route! Apr 27, 2015
Sean Sullivan
Boise, ID
Sean Sullivan   Boise, ID
Fun climb, well protected and, (as many have already said) not too physical or lacking in footholds. May 4, 2016