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Routes in Royal Arches

1096 T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Adrenaline T 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Age of Industry S 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Arches Terrace T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R
Arches Terrace Direct T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Arete Butler T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Astro Spam T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Benzoin and Edges AKA The Testes Squeeze T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b R
Demimonde S 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Deviltry T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c PG13
Double Trouble T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Endorphine S 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a PG13
Face Card T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Fine Line T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Firefingers S 5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a R
Greasy but Groovy T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b R
Hang Dog Flyer T 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
Hershey Highway T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
King Snake T 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Krovy Rookers T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Maxine's Wall T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Mid-Life Crisis T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Move Like a Stud T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b R
Permanent Waves T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b R
Peruvian Flake T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Peruvian flake right T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Poker Face S 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Rambler, The T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b R
Royal Arches T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Royal Arches Alt. Start - Crack T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Royal Flush T 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Royal Perogative T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Rupto Pac T,S 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a PG13
Serenity Crack T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b PG13
Shaky Flakes T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c R
Shining, The T 5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b
Sons of Yesterday T 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Super Slide T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Surf Nazi T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Surplus Cheaper Hands T 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
Texas Chainsaw Massacre T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c PG13
Trial By Fire T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Unnamed 5.3 T Easy 5th 1+ 3 I 5 M 1c
Unnamed Chimney T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
Violent Bear It Away, The T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Y Crack T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
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Type: Trad, 500 ft, 5 pitches
FA: Gene Drake, Rex Spaith, 1971
Page Views: 19,204 total · 134/month
Shared By: Euan Cameron on Feb 1, 2007 with updates from Zachary Moon
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


1. Climb the groove 5.2, into a 4th class ramp, follow this and then some dirty climbing up on a large ledge and build an anchor in the thin finger crack in the middle of the ledge.

2. Climb directly up above the belay until a delicate rising right traverse (no pro) allows a good crack to be gained. Follow this, until you can scramble under a tree onto a ledge and belay.

3. Follow the ledge left and then climb good cracks up to a hanging bolt belay. This is the first of 3 good pitches.

4. Continue up the crack system until an obvious step right can be made where the cracks continue up to the belay.

5. This last pitch is a good one. This climb saves it very best to the very last few moves. Climb up until a nice finger crack allows progress up and onto the belay.

Descent is via Rappel. Rappel to the 3rd belay. From there Rappel to a tree with a rappel slings, and from there to the bottom. These rappels need double ropes.


Located on the left hand side of the Royal Arches Area. 200' up and left from Serenity Crack.


standard Trad rack 1-2 sets nuts, 1-2 sets cams.
Scott Tucker
Tucson, AZ
Scott Tucker   Tucson, AZ
If you traverse to the left end of the ledge at the end of the 2nd pitch and belay from there, you can run the 3rd and 4th pitches together with a 60-meter rope. This lets you skip the hanging belay, which you will discover on the rappel down is a very uncomfortable place to hang out. Better to skip it if you can. May 2, 2007
Oakland, CA
Sirius   Oakland, CA
A good, fun romp that has some very loose rock, particularly on the last pitch before you gain the clean splitter. Careful what you pull on, I almost dropped a basketball sized chunk onto my belayer before gingerly putting it back in place.

Agree that linking the first two off of the ledge (also covered in loose rocks) is the way to go.

Great route in spite of the patches of loose stuff, and perfect if you're pushing into the grade. Stays in the shade behind the Ahwahnee Buttress until late morning. May 31, 2007
M. Morley
Sacramento, CA
M. Morley   Sacramento, CA  
make for an incredible 180' pitch! Jul 20, 2007
M. Morley
Sacramento, CA
M. Morley   Sacramento, CA  
Correction to the Supertopo: the bolt anchor indicated atop P1 (p. 123) is gone. Instead, build an anchor in the 5.7 thin crack to the left. Sep 9, 2007
Mark Griffin
Boulder, CO
Mark Griffin   Boulder, CO
  • combining pitches 1&2 (60m rope) gets you to the goods faster. Saw no sign of the p1 anchor so just kept going. A 60m rope barely makes it to the first tree on this ledge. Bring some runners if combining these two pitches.
  • agreed that the hanging belay at top of p3 is uncomfortable. Wish we had linked with p4.
  • DO THIS ROUTE! It's so money.
Jul 22, 2008
TinCrow   Ca
We were able to link Pitches 1&2 with a 70 meter rope. We also shifted the belay over on top of pitch 2 and Linked pitches 3&4. From the top of pitch 5 we rapped w/ 2 70M ropes to pitch 3 anchors, then 1 more rap to the gully you started the climb in.(requires some down climbing 20ft')
I lost my wedding ring at the base of Supe Slide or Trial by Fire. Its a silver ring, let me know if you find it. Thanks Dec 2, 2008
Steve R.
Oakland, CA
Steve R.   Oakland, CA
Great climb! P3,4 and 5 have some great crack. I would not recommend the alternate 5.8 start (Trial by Fire). I don't think the couple of parties in front of us would recommend it either... Jun 20, 2009
Steven Sheets
Livermore, CA
Steven Sheets   Livermore, CA
I did this for the second time & led every pitch. Linking p3 & p4 really makes it one of the funnest pitches I've done in a good while. Quality climbing. The 5.9 at the top reminds me of a shorter, lower angle version of the splitter absolutely free. Wish it was longer. Jul 27, 2009
Sarah Kate
Seattle, WA
Sarah Kate   Seattle, WA
Objective hazards: The red biting ants that caused us much misery on the East Butt of Middle Cathedral Rock are all over the two lowest rappel stations. Try to avoid squishing them at any costs since, we hypothesize, the noxious smell causes the rest to swarm.

Gear: We saw three mangled metolius cams (orange and yellow) on the top pitches. We did it on camalots and had no issues (bring doubles on the .5s and .75s and plan to bump), but if you climb on metolius, just be wary. Jul 28, 2009
John Ely
John Ely   DC
Note that in late Sept 2009, there was a lot of rock fall in the area. We planned to top rope the face climb after our rappel, but got to the bottom and discovered that some 150 pounds of grapefruit sized granite chunks had hit both our packs and cut up our open rope bag. The route seems safe after the first, ground belay, be be careful at the beginning. Oct 13, 2009
Mark P Thomas
Mark P Thomas   Draper
Great linkup with Trial by Fire to avoid the boring approach pitch. Lower section is a bit dirty & forgettable but the final 5.9 section is SWEET!

P4 & the belay above was pouring with water when I did the route this May. P5 was dry at the crux though. Sunshine did manage to burn off the water on the route.

On Trial by Fire my second noticed a grapefruit-sized rock fall near him and it was NOT from a climber above. Jun 7, 2011
Anyone have any beta on rapping the route with a single 70M rope, stopping at the anchors on pitch 4 on the way? Jan 10, 2012
Climbed on 1/15/11. Beautiful, and totally worth the two boring first pitches. 1st anchor bolts are gone. Pitches 3-4 linkup beautifully. Crux on P5 is spicy wide fingers for a short while at the very end. Otherwise very manageable, and rather soft for valley 5.9. Jan 17, 2012
Ryan M  
Did this route twice over the summer of 2012 and it was great!

Just a word of advice, while pulling the rope from the first double rope rappel, out line snagged on a sort of knob directly plumb from the top anchors. I'm not sure if this is dumb luck but this happened on both occasions, being especially obnoxious since my we had to climb to unstick the rope each time. In the future I will probably rap to the top of 4 first to avoid this. Apr 19, 2012
Cimbing Ivy
Cimbing Ivy   Reno-Tahoe
climbing with a 70m, totally recommend linking P1+P2, P3+P4 and P5 as a single and climb as 3 long pitches! mellow climbing with sweet sections of clean splitters (albeit too short like a tease). i'd say no single move of 5.9 on the entire climb - it sure feels a full number grade easier than Dream Easy just to put it out there.

rappelled with a single 70m (5 raps) with no problem: on your 3rd rappel, you rap back to the tree at the base of P3, then walk across the ledge to the tree on top of P2 to set up the next rappel. your 4th rap takes you down to the huge ledge where you scramble down to skier right for a set of (rather new shiny) anchor with quick links. from there a single 70m takes you down to the ground (go climber left to reach the uphill ground. if you rap straight down, you would be 2 meters short and end up on some 11c slab. tie knots for safety!) happy single rope climbing :) Mar 22, 2014
The new shiny anchors that Climbing Ivy mentioned are the anchors for a new direct start to Super Slide. Start about a hundred feet down hill to the right of the normal start of Super Slide. There are two starts, left is 5.8 and the right is 5.10a with two bolts. For the left start take pro: thin cams .4" to 3" . Same for the right, but add a 3 1/2" and 4"" piece. Climbs mostly nice cracks to the big main ledge on top of the first pitch of Super Slide. This start avoids the 4th class regular start and is more consistent with the climbing above. Between the two starts is a short bolted slab that is probably 5.11? and goes to its own anchor 70' up. When rappelling, this anchor makes it easy to get off of Super Slide with a single 70m rope with out having to swing to the side as Climbing Ivy mentioned.

- Eric Gabel Mar 26, 2014
Mike Holley
Boone, NC
Mike Holley   Boone, NC
Super fun alternative to its very popular neighbors! Rope solo'd it with a 70 meter rope and a single rack (double BD 1's) and was completely dandy. Decided to do the "Trail by Fire" off width variation which added a great start to an already awesome climb. The two 5.6 pitches after "TBF" were a little meandering and "so-so" climbing but fun nonetheless. It adds three more pitches making for a fun full day in the sun! The last ten feet of Super Slide are worth all the work! SUPERRRR!!!!! Sep 12, 2014

This is a really strong way to break into "real' Valley cracks. Good exposure, great gear, and a slow grade climb 7-9. AND you get to watch and listen to people pulling their first 10.d on Serenity, which just makes you want to do it! Jan 20, 2015
Truckee, CA
Nick_Cov   Truckee, CA
Linked 3 & 4 made for a fun long pitch. Thin hands up top were perfect for my girlfriend, not so much for me. We rapped the route with 1 70m. May 1, 2015
As folks have pointed out, it's entirely possible to rap with a single 70. On the last rap though you will find the anchors of the 11c slab single pitch sport route below you to use for the last rapple. This allows you to descend all the way to the ground avoiding the 4th class downclimb Oct 26, 2015
Max Rausch
Portland, OR
Max Rausch   Portland, OR
Climbed this last week. Likely the most fun I've ever had on a moderate 5 pitch route. Combining pitch 3 and 4 is definitely the only way to go. Made it car to car in just under 3 hours. (We simul rapped). The 5th pitch finger crack might be a little hard for some if you're not accustomed to valley 5.9 fingers. I would suggest leading Grants Crack 5.9 on the swan slab for a good comparison. Jun 18, 2016
honestly, an awful climb with only one redeeming pitch. One can blame supertopo for making this route popular. Jul 7, 2016
Alex Souza
Walnut Creek, CA
Alex Souza   Walnut Creek, CA
The link-up of pitch 3 and 4 made for one of the most enjoyable rope stretching pitches I've climbed. Soooo good. May 14, 2017
leo qiu
Davis, CA
leo qiu   Davis, CA
Just did this on June 15 2017. Found no anchor at pitch 1. We looked all over for it. Could someone double check for me if i am correct! We wanted to use only one 70m rope, ended up having to have one person lowered off to the trees right below the ledge at Pitch 1. Tree anchor seems to be in good shape as of now.

When link with 5.8 off width, make sure you go left if you want the 5.6. Right side would work, though it is a bit harder. Jun 15, 2017
M. Morley
Sacramento, CA
M. Morley   Sacramento, CA  
Leo, see my comment below from Sep 9, 2007. Jun 16, 2017
Rustam Lalkaka
Rustam Lalkaka  
We did not place anything larger than a BD 1 the entire climb. Leave the big stuff in the car. 3+4 linked with a 60m with a few feet of simuling.

The rap was a pain in the ass. There is some loose rock above the lower tree that could conceivably get knocked onto the start of the route. Be careful. Sep 28, 2017
Natalie Nicole
San Francisco, CA
Natalie Nicole   San Francisco, CA

Yesterday my partner and I were setting up the last 70m rappel (as per Climbing Ivy's instructions) when one of the anchor bolts ripped out. We used the nearby bush tree to set up a backup with a cordelette and a biner, but with the coming rainy season, someone who has the know-how and tools should definitely go up there and replace the anchor bolt. My partner and I were really shocked it came out, and thankful neither of us were fully relying on it! Nov 13, 2017
As a followup to Natalie’s comment about the rappel bolt pulling, note that the remaining bolt hanger is starting to spin. I don’t know that I would put too much faith in that remaining bolt... Thank you, Natalie, for the webbing and biner backup! Feb 10, 2018
Max Rausch
Portland, OR
Max Rausch   Portland, OR
Beware: If you take the rappel line to the left of the route, the tree is filled with super pissed off red ants. May 3, 2018
Ben Taggart
San Francisco, CA
Ben Taggart   San Francisco, CA
While following P2, I was climbing in the corner directly below the tree on the ledge with rap slings and unexpectedly pulled off a toaster-sized block that could easily have taken out the leader of the party below me if had been only a bit closer, as well as injured anyone at the base. Be careful of loose rock on this route, especially the first 2 pitches!

Descended with a single 70m in 5 raps - down the bolted stations to the ledge at the top of P2, down to the P1 ledge from the tree, and then back down P1 from the bolted anchor skiers right. All anchors in excellent condition - the comments below must have inspired someone to replace the rap anchor. Oct 10, 2018

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