Mountain Project Logo
To save paper & ink, use the [Hide] controls next to photos and comments so you only print what you need.

Super Slide

5.9, Trad, 500 ft (152 m), 5 pitches,  Avg: 3.1 from 461 votes
FA: Gene Drake, Rex Spaith, 1971
California > Yosemite NP > Yosemite Valley > Valley N Side > H. Royal Arches… > Royal Arches > Western Royal Arches
Access Issue: Latest updates on Covid and falcon closures. 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.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Ripped anchor bolt on last 70m rappel 11/12/2017
[Hide Photo] Ripped anchor bolt on last 70m rappel 11/12/2017
Finishing the 4th pitch
[Hide Photo] Finishing the 4th pitch
The first bear onesie ascent of Super Slide (?). Henry A. climbing.
[Hide Photo] The first bear onesie ascent of Super Slide (?). Henry A. climbing.
5.9 fingers!
[Hide Photo] 5.9 fingers!
The top of the route, end of Pitch 5.
[Hide Photo] The top of the route, end of Pitch 5.
Matt going for it on pitch 5
[Hide Photo] Matt going for it on pitch 5
manny s. leading up p3 on 'super slide' in yosemite.  photo shot with expired film for that vintage look
[Hide Photo] manny s. leading up p3 on 'super slide' in yosemite. photo shot with expired film for that vintage look
Route Overlay for Super Slide.
[Hide Photo] Route Overlay for Super Slide.
Super Slide
[Hide Photo] Super Slide
Super Slide 5.9 Royal Arches area. Yosemite Valley
[Hide Photo] Super Slide 5.9 Royal Arches area. Yosemite Valley
solid pro placed on 'super slide' in yosemite
[Hide Photo] solid pro placed on 'super slide' in yosemite
Watch out for the huge loose death flake at the base of pitch 3!
[Hide Photo] Watch out for the huge loose death flake at the base of pitch 3!

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Scott Tucker
Tucson, AZ
[Hide Comment] 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
[Hide Comment] 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
Mark Griffin
Boulder, CO
[Hide Comment]
  • 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
[Hide Comment] 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
[Hide Comment] 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
[Hide Comment] 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
[Hide Comment] 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
[Hide Comment] 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
Draperderr, by Bangerter, UT
[Hide Comment] 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
Owen McGrath
Boulder, CO
[Hide Comment] 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
Owen McGrath
Boulder, CO
[Hide Comment] 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
[Hide Comment] 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
Climbing Ivy
NoCo - WY
[Hide Comment] 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
[Hide Comment] 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
[Hide Comment] 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

[Hide Comment] 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
[Hide Comment] 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
Kush Khandelwal
San Francisco
[Hide Comment] 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 R
Carmel Valley, CA
[Hide Comment] 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
[Hide Comment] honestly, an awful climb with only one redeeming pitch. One can blame supertopo for making this route popular. Jul 7, 2016
Alex Souza
Concord, CA
[Hide Comment] 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
Reno, NV
[Hide Comment] 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
Rustam Lalkaka
[Hide Comment] 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

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
Chris and Freda
Reno, NV
[Hide Comment] 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 R
Carmel Valley, CA
[Hide Comment] 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
South Lake Tahoe
[Hide Comment] 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
Helen W
San Francisco, CA
[Hide Comment] The route still definitely has some loose rock. As of 9/22/19 all rap anchors are still in good shape, my partner and I were able to do 5 single-rope raps with a 70. The last rap anchor that you have to scramble down to is somewhat hidden under a bush (you won't see it until you find it). Sep 23, 2019
Gumby King
[Hide Comment] Loose Block! On Pitch 4 (assuming you didn't like Pitches 3 and 4) after the 5.8 traverse move (going left to right) there is a loose block positioned about the pitch 3 belay. It is big and could probably kill anyone under it. Please be careful.

Edit: 4/2021. The loose block is still there

Also, I think the first pitch is more like 5.4 or 5.5. But maybe I'm going the wrong way? Oct 3, 2019
Tim Mansfield
[Hide Comment] From the last set of bolted anchors rap straight down to the tree and then down to the ground with a 70.

Rapping to the ledge on top of pitch two drops you on top of other parties and is full of loose rocks and debris. Oct 26, 2020
Kim Dodge
San Luis Obispo, CA
[Hide Comment] Climbed this 3 days ago. Super fun route! I second what Tim Mansfield said on rapping with a single 70m. No need to rap back to the ledge with all the loose rocks. From the rap rings on the 3rd pitch, rap straight down to the tree, then to the rap rings on the slab, then to the ground. Remember to tie knots in the ends of your rope. Nov 26, 2020