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Routes in Middle Cathedral Rock

Ants Are Fat T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Bircheff-Williams T 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Border Country T 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b R
Bottom Feeder T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13
Cat Dancing T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Central Pillar of Frenzy T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Desperate for Doughnuts T 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Direct North Buttress (DNB) T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
East Buttress T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b A0
Ennui T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c PG13
Exodus T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13
Fall Guy T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Father Time T 5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c PG13
Flakes, The T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R
Freewheelin' T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b R
Ho Chi Minh Trail T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Home Run T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b PG13
Kor-Beck T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Monogamish T 5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a R
North Buttress T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Paradise Lost T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13
Pedestal, The T,TR 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Pee Pee Pillar T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Pee Pee Pillar Left T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Quicksilver T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R
Rainbow bridge S 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Ramer S 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Slip on Slime S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Space Babble T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c R
Spank Your Monkey T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13
Stand And Deliver T,TR 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Stoner's Highway T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b R
Stupid Pet Tricks T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Tapestry T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R
Tears of Joy T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Together Forever T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Walk of Life T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b PG13
Type: Trad, Aid, 1100 ft, 11 pitches, Grade IV
FA: FA: 1954-W. Harding, J. Davis, B. Swift FFA: 1965-F. Sacherer, E. Leeper
Page Views: 42,304 total, 320/month
Shared By: Nick Storm on Feb 1, 2007
Admins: M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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Closures for Peregrine Falcon Protection Details

Description

Fantastic moderate put up in 1954 by Batso and friends. The East Butt of Middle is a mandatory route for those looking to bag one of the fifty classics or for people just looking to get some great views of El Cap from across the valley. Mostly 5.6-5.8, this route ascends the springtime shadow line on the buttress. With an A0 section on the 5th pitch that can be climbed at 10c (slabby but well protected), this route offers a few variations above for those wanting to climb it numerous times or for when it is high season and you may need to pass folks.

The approach is easy, but steep. The descent can be the crux in the early season due to snow in the gully. Other than that it is classic, aesthetic, accessible and fun. Enjoy.

Location

Drive, walk or bike on the Yos Loop Road past Bridalveil Falls, around the base of Middle Cathedral and park in one of the pullouts on the side of the road. Find the climbers trail that leads back toward the formation and slog up about 800 feet to the base of the route. It starts on top of a large offset pillar with oak trees adorning the top (great shade).
Walk off to the SE by following a faint climbers trail and cairns. Drop into the gully between Middle and Higher Cathedral and head back to the Valley floor for a beer and some laughs. Relish the knowledge that you just completed a classic!

Protection

1 set stoppers
1-2 sets cams to 2 inches, optional 3
long slings, extra carabiners
6-7 draws for A0 section

Photos

Used the fish topo - great resource!

P1 - clip piton before pulling roof move.

P3 - The 4th bolt on 50 crowded var. (3rd bolt after Mantel) is quite high to the left - Keep moving up and left!!! Don't waste your time going right!!!

Loose rocks at trees btwn rap 1 & 2. Please be cautious pulling rope!!!

If rapping w/a 70 - last rap station to ground goes far left to get down.
Consider bringing a 70m tag line for raps to save time. I will next time! Oct 20, 2017
kendallt
Tahoe
kendallt   Tahoe
There are hungry critters living at the base that will rip through your backpack (even if it's hanging). If you do leave your pack at the base take a walk around before you leave to look for anything it drug away, and please clean up any mess it made.

On the chimney variation: A party in front of us dislodged a large flake just above the first tree belay (after knocking down two other rocks...). The flake only shifted and is still up there (as evidenced by my partner still being alive). Be careful of loose rock and I would think twice about following sketchy parties up the chimneys. Oct 9, 2017
Cameron Saul
San Francisco
 
Cameron Saul   San Francisco
 
Some more detail on Vit's comment above re 2nd bolt on 50 Crowded Variation - the hanger is a bit bent, maybe a falling rock. Pictures are on the ST route beta thread. The hanger is still clip-able and looked fine to me. Well protected section with a clean fall, so go for it! May 10, 2017
Vit
 
Vit  
 
Second bolt on 50-crowded P5 var (first bolt of the 5.8 face) is shot. Good news is the next bolt is only 15ft or so up. Oct 12, 2016
Back Again! Been working on this one for awhile and excited to announce the new sit start, it's a moderate one too for those looking to start sit starting multi-pitch routes, this now makes the East Butt V1- 5.9 A0 or 5.10c
- Thank you Aug 21, 2016
GizzardJones
Rancho Cordova,CA
 
GizzardJones   Rancho Cordova,CA
 
awesome day.
sunday morning. started at 5:59am soon as I could put my headlamp away. Only party on the route.
95' day.

70m swapped leads in 6 pitches with 30 feet of simuclimbing to top of pitch 4. we used the 70m topo that has it broken down into 6 pitches. we did the A0 bolt ladder to the right anchors, bypassing the chimneys. (next time)

did the rap route. easy and well thought out to reduce any ropes being snagged. took us 90 minutes to do the rap route with 1 70m. back to the base by 3:45p.m

the approach was easy and well laid out with cairns. no upper sign in the gully that we could find, but pretty heavily marked when to turn right and it takes you to do the base of the climb. prob about 40 minutes.

Thanks everyone for marking the trails and the steller rap route.
anyone know what route that is under the new rap route? its has tons of bolts on it and looks way amazing.

Gizzard Aug 16, 2016
Climbed this route on Sat June 11 and took the standard gully descent (not the newer rap line). Just FYI for anyone doing this, a bolt has been chopped off of the first anchor and you can't back up the single bolt with anything, even if you wanted to leave gear. Jun 13, 2016
Jordan Cannon
Bishop, CA
 
Jordan Cannon   Bishop, CA
 
Amazing climb with great history. Much easier than East Buttress of El Cap with a shorter/less involved approach and descent. We did the entire climb in 6 pitches with a 70m rope and no simul-climbing. Go for the Fifty Crowded variation instead of the bolt ladder, it's more direct and fun 5.10 face climbing. Apr 3, 2016
Joe Forrester
Palo Alto
Joe Forrester   Palo Alto
Great route. Anyone going up and doing the raps should bring a small wrench. Many of the nuts on the bolts on the rappel are starting to loosen up quite a bit. Otherwise, raps are casual with one 60m rope. Mar 27, 2016
Michael Dom
  5.9
Michael Dom  
  5.9
Fantastic climb, this is a cruiser route. The only downside was getting down, My advice is once you get to the top, just skirt the edge of the cliff until you get to the chasm. Then keep following the cairns (if they exist) and you should see your exit strategy. The raps are less than exciting however due to some manky hardware. Dec 13, 2015
Tyler Logan
Mammoth Lakes, CA
  5.10c
Tyler Logan   Mammoth Lakes, CA
  5.10c
With an 80m rope, you can climb this in 6 pitches with no simul-climbing required. I linked 1 & 2, 3 & 4, 5 & 6, and 7 & 8 (Supertopo pitches). Pitches 9 & 10 might link, but it would be extremely close.

If you take the rappel descent, an 80 meter allows you to link together at least a couple of the rappels. Nov 3, 2015
Vit
 
Vit  
 
Rap route beta: First anchor is on the P10 ledge, about 40ft climbers left from route. From there rap about 20m to broken blocks (climbers) left of tree. Next rap is about 20m, again trending (climbers) left. All of the subsequent raps can be linked easily using two 60m ropes with clean pulls. Total number of raps when linked this way: 6. Oct 4, 2015
Colonel Mustard
Sacramento, CA
 
Colonel Mustard   Sacramento, CA
 
Per the comment above, I found the route pretty equivalent in terms of difficulty to EB of El Cap. I rec'd it on that basis to a couple who had just got off this one, anyway. Certainly, this is a better quality climb.

For a semi-adventurous linkup option, I would propose Supertopo pitches four and five (using the 5.10a 50 classics option). It is very nearly 70m of climbing, but you want a lot of slings because rope drag could be a killer due to the traversing nature. I didn't place any pro after the last bolt on pitch five because of the drag, but it is pretty easy climbing there. Also, back clean or extend everything you can.

Also, protect your follower on the pitch 6 "friction traverse" section if taking the 50 Classic variation, I think a lot of people go into this with a huge pendulum set up for them by the leader. It makes it much more exciting than the lead.

The raps are seemingly endless with a single 70m. Sep 29, 2015
We did the rap descent from the top of pitch 10. It took about 1.5 hours. The rap descent seemed much more straightforward than the beta in the supertopo thread suggested. That thread talks about pulling a 4th class move while on the first rappel to get to the second rap station near a fir tree. We found the second rap station pretty much straight below the first rap station. Maybe I am missing something, but it sounds like someone may have added a new rap station. Please correct me if I have this wrong.

We did the regular route. For what it's worth I found this route substantially easier than the East Buttress of El Cap, which is probably the other main Yosemite grade IV 5.9/5.10 classic. The East Buttress of El Cap seemed to have more sections of sustained 5.9 climbing. Sep 3, 2015
Ferisimo Kilpatrick
Austin, Texas
 
Ferisimo Kilpatrick   Austin, Texas
 
A wonderful climb for a hot summer day. We jumped on around 1:00pm when it was nearly 90 degrees and never stepped into sunlight. In fact, it felt relatively cool thanks to some light wind.

Gear Beta for Regular Route: Single set of nuts. Doubles from .3 to 3" camalots. Also had a #0 and #1 C3s for the small P7 bleay (nothing bigger than .3 fits). Supertopo only recommends gear down to .5, but my doubles of .3 and .4 helped a lot. And you really couldn't build a sufficient anchor at P7 without the smaller gear. Also, a #4 camalot would be helpful for the wide section on P8, but not necessary.

The rap route is great. Look far to the left (skier's right) on the first rappel from P10 for the set of chains hiding on the arete. I have no idea why anyone would prefer the Kat Walk descent!? Aug 29, 2015
ChuckSchick
San Francisco, CA
ChuckSchick   San Francisco, CA
Do I suck or is the original route really sandbagged at 5.7? It protected really well for a chimney but it was a serious grunt-fest. Aug 24, 2015
J. Manning
Seattle, WA
 
J. Manning   Seattle, WA
 
Climbed as party of three with two ropes. Super fun route with lots of laybacking. Rapped from top of ten per previous comment, did first two raps as singles then double raps to the ground, very clean and let us skip a couple fully hanging rap stations. May 19, 2015
In my comment above, I refer to a new rap route. There was a comment before mine with details, which seems to have been removed. I am not sure why, or whether there was a good reason.

Details are in this SuperTopo beta thread. Specifically, start with reading this comment. Feb 19, 2015
ACassebeer
Mojave, CA
  5.10c
ACassebeer   Mojave, CA
  5.10c
+1 for using the "new" rap line that begins at the P10 belay. The only tricky part is that the first rap is 30 ft down and 50 ft to climber's left. You can just barely see it on the arĂȘte when you're at the P10 bolted anchor. From there the raps are straight down. We found it easy in daylight, but it may not be trivial in the dark. Oct 27, 2014
Anfarwal Vr
Denver, CO
 
Anfarwal Vr   Denver, CO
 
IF YOU'RE RAPPING OFF A TREE WITH TAT AND RAPPEL RINGS AROUND IT YOU'RE IN THE WRONG PLACE. GO BACK UP AND KEEP HEADING LEFT TO THE GULLY. We took the catwalk on the descent and wound up following the trail down through the manzinita bushes to a tree with some webbing and rap rings on it and made the mistake of using it to get down to the gully. It was one of the scariest rappels I've ever done, and here's why:

First, if you have a 60m rope, you're hosed. With a 70m we barely made it to some of the next rap stations and only bc my partner was tall enough to barely grab the anchor (while I had to hang onto the tree with a triple sling anchor while we slipped the rope through my belay device). Second, the rap stations are super scary--tat tied to teeny bushes covered in ants (which we backed up with a nut and a sling), more tat tied to a large boulder that's not attached to anything....

What's worse is that every party that day wound up using that scary rappel, and it's a wonder nothing came down.

So if you see tat around the tree, turn around. Or better yet, aim for the new bolt anchors after pitch 10. Oct 13, 2014
Dr Williams
AUSTIN, TX
  5.10c
Dr Williams   AUSTIN, TX
  5.10c
Be careful about the thousands of ants. I took the time to flick or blow each individual ant off of the rope and luckily never got stung. It seems that all pitches belayed from a tree are affected. So watch out and plan for a delay in order to keep from being stung (especially if you are allergic to them). Aug 11, 2014
Dr Williams
AUSTIN, TX
  5.10c
Dr Williams   AUSTIN, TX
  5.10c
Awesome route. My favorite 5.10 (so far) in the valley. We used the face moves instead of the bolt ladder which really made the route great. Great views of El Cap and the valley. Aug 11, 2014
To reiterate, the rap route is solid. 12 raps with one 60m rope. Not a hassle at all, especially if you simul rap it. I highly recommend this descent. Jul 23, 2014
Dan Brockway
Boulder
Dan Brockway   Boulder
Did the 12 pitch rap route with a single 60 M rope. Some of the stations were essentially hanging belays but the rope easily reached each station. There is a big loose block about 20 feet above about the fourth rap station. It is easy to avoid but you can put your feet on it. I have done the walk off and that is a hassle to but I think it is a toss up of what is easier. I do agree skip the last pitch and walk over to the rap station left of the belay. Then rap to bolts on the arete. Then down the face to the left of the climb. You do not want to rap the route. The new rap line goes down the face to the left of the climb. Be careful but it is not bad, just a lot of raps. Jul 14, 2013
The new rap route is good, to do it, you should skip the last pitch given in the Supertopo (no big loss, it is mostly a pine needle grovel) and just walk up and left from the top of pitch 10 to the first anchor. We didn't catch this and did some tree rapping shenanigans. Jul 14, 2013
Sam Ritchie
Boulder, CO
Sam Ritchie   Boulder, CO
tl;dr; Great route! lost my iPhone on the kat walk. Please shoot me a note if you find it :)

Did this route over the weekend. Perfect conditions, though maybe a bit hot for the amount of water we brought. We used the updated Fish topo with a single 70m rope - make sure to continue up past the tempting huge ledge on p5 to the pin farther up, or you won't quite make the final tree on the final pitch.

On the way out, skidding around in the dirt of the kat walk, I tore the back pocket of my pants and dropped out the black iPhone I'd been using for a topo. I'm sure it's lost forever, BUT, if anyone here tracks it down, you'd be my hero forever. My email is sritchie09 at gmail dot com. Jun 24, 2013
Jeff Witt  
 
Been up a couple times int he last month. As per SuperTopo, linking P1&2 and P3&4 w/60m rope is pretty reasonable. From there you have three choices; the Original line (Chimneys out left after the 5.9/P5), the Normal Route (traverse up & right from the belay at top of P5), and the 50 Crowded Var. (right from top of P4). The Original Route is a bit burly/run-out, but great training for future wide pitches (NE of Higher, Steck-Salathe). The Regular Route is perhaps the most enjoyable (5.9 move + A0 or 5.10c), and the 50 Crowded Var. is a little tricky & thin (small cams & extend), plus a bit run-out through the 5.6/5.7 face above. Good climbing though.

A couple notes to augment the SuperTopo. It is worth trying to skip the belay at the top of P7 - it takes pretty small gear to back up the pin there, and is a small stance. You can reach top of P8 with a 70m, or there is a good belay just about 30 feet above the top of P6 belay, then you can reach w/ 60m.

Lastly, the left hand 5.10a to 5.9 variation at the top of the route, exiting the 5.7 groove on the left, I found to be really enjoyable and maybe some of the better climbing on the route. I'm lost with the grades though - I would describe this section as a 5.8 move into the finger crack out of the groove and climb up past a flake to the tree, then above to a 5.8 move steeping left (5.10a in SuperTopo), then up the right leaning crack - a 5.7 layback (5.9 hand traverse in SuperTopo? - seems easy). Belay off the trees above, and look for an easy traverse around the bulge right from the upper big fir tree.

Have Fun! Oct 15, 2012
Johan
San Francisco, CA
 
Johan   San Francisco, CA
 
Bailing beta: My partner are I started up this early on August 4th, but rain and thunder were moving in when we were on pitch 7 of the Supertopo 50 crowded variation, and while waiting at the piton belay at the start of pitch 8. From our position we were blind to the approaching weather from behind MC, and with the rock soaked (the rain having moved beyond a smattering), the thunder giving us the willies, and the prospect of a hairy descent down the back of MC (which would be our first time doing it), we bailed.

The Supertopo says that it's hard to bail after the P4 station because of the traverses. I would like to report otherwise. We had 2x60m ropes, and were able to bail down fine doing P7+6 in one rap from the piton (new and shiny, looked really solid, backed up for the first climber, but leaving gear might be a good idea), then a slight diagonal across pitch 5 from bolts, and from there P4+3 and P2+1 rap easily from bolts down to the ground. Total gear left: 1 locking caribiner on the piton at the top of P7.

A french party behind us also bailed off the 10c variation about 20 minutes before us, leaving a gear anchor somewhere before the traverse over to the 50 crowded variation before joining into the bolted rap stations.

Climb safe! Aug 21, 2012
Em Cos
Boulder, CO
Em Cos   Boulder, CO
Climbed this route a few weeks ago, somehow we were the only party on the route all day and had a blast.

If you are short, and your partner is less short, get them to lead the bolt ladder pitch. (unless you are freeing it) I am 5'3" and even following that section involved some serious shenanigans. Lucky for me, my partner is 6'4". At least it made it very easy to decide who was getting which pitches. Jul 4, 2012
hot mama erin
mar vista, ca
hot mama erin   mar vista, ca
Dang Andy! Lucky you! We did this the previous Sunday and it was SO crowded (about 7 parties)!! We ended up toping out in the dark, not finding the descent till the next morning... yes... that's right a chilly yet stunning full moon bivy a top middle cathedral. Beautiful!

Climb was awesome though! Descent was wet... But the views are exceptional. Even in the chasm next to higher cathedral I was still oohing and ahhing. Amazing!

FYI: Some rockfall occurred on the route at the top of pitch 2 (belay #1 if you linked pitches 1 & 2). A chunk of rock fell from the corner next to where the 3rd pitch begins. It was dislodged by the belayer who stepped there and tumbled down the face. Be careful as I was sitting in that exact spot only moments earlier when I heard the crash from top of pitches 3/4. No one was injured. :) Oct 16, 2011
Andy Laakmann
Bend, OR
 
Andy Laakmann   Bend, OR  
 
No ants, bees, snow, or other parties on a beautiful Friday in October = no complaints.

We did the 50 Crowded variation. Linked P1/P2 and P3/P4. It seemed like linking the rest would just make for bonus rope drag and some uncomfortable belays - YMMV. We brought a #4 and could easily have done without it. I had an extra #1 and #2 which wasn't neccessary, but was nice a few times.

Pleasant climbing. Spectacular views.

Descent: The kat walk all the way to the gully is well marked by cairns and very straightforward. Just stay on the cairned trail until you bump into Higher Cathedral :) We did one rap at the start of the gully (a 70m allows you to skip the chockstone station) and then another rap down lower. The bolted rap anchors sucked, as advertised.

Personally, I'd avoid doing this route until later in the season the gully was snow and (mostly) water free. Even in October our ropes got somewhat wet on the first rappel. I imagine in early to mid-season it is a waterfall, and snow in the gully would be somewhat epic I imagine. Oct 15, 2011
Steve R.
Oakland, CA
 
Steve R.   Oakland, CA
 
Great climb! A little crowded on a Wed in the middle of June but we were all going at pretty much the same pace so things worked out.

Part of what kept things going well was linking P1/P2 and P3/P4

Stoked to do the bolt ladder (at A0) and a stellar lieback to roof move. Next time I'll probably check out the supposedly equally stellar 50 crowded variation.

Beware the descent. We didn't end up as far up the gully between Middle and Higher as we should have to start the raps. We found a rap route which took us down 5 or 6 raps through ant infested trees and crusty webbing. Added the couple pieces of webbing we had where totally necessary. When we were halfway through the raps, the party behind us was already scrambling down the gully. We didn't end up with an epic descent, just spent more time getting close with biting ants than necessary... Jun 18, 2010
Cory Harelson
Boise, ID
 
Cory Harelson   Boise, ID
 
Fantastic climb with pitch after pitch of mostly mellow but fun climbing. We used a 70 meter rope and did the climb in 6 pitches per Russ' topo above. The topo was spot on! Thanks Russ!

Regarding the descent, it was straightforward but slow and wet. We didn't have any trouble locating the rap anchors, even in the dark. We walked the cat walk all the way to the gully between mid and upper cathedral, then went down the gully. Every time we arrived at a cliff, there was a rap anchor right there. Although they were easy to find, they were also a bit sketchy. One of the rap anchors consisted of two rusted bolts that wiggled like loose teeth, and the hangers on both bolts were smashed completely flat from rockfall, so it was impossible to replace the somewhat worn looking webbing connecting them together. Fortunately there was a third bolt that looked good, but was missing a hanger. We were able to cinch a wired stopper over this bolt and equalize this to the other sketchy anchor, which made me feel a little better on rappel.

Overall it was an awesome day on a great climb with good friends, so the descent was totally worth it! Jun 7, 2010
WadeM
Golden, Co
 
WadeM   Golden, Co
 
The descent rap is pretty tough to find. I have never gone from the top of the gulley. I usually rap off a tree then to more raps. 4 total I believe, where two ropes are required. I found the descent topo on the beta section of supertopo.com...heres the link supertopo.com/rock-climbing… Jun 6, 2010
Chris M
Seattle, WA
  5.10a
Chris M   Seattle, WA
  5.10a
With a 70m rope via the 50 crowded variation, we did the route in 7 or so pitches. The route is very moderate with only a few crux 10a moves, so if you are compitent, you could cruise it. Beware of slower parties as this route is very popular Oct 17, 2009
We left the car at 6:30am and got stuck behind a hopelessly slow and sketchy party. We spent most of the day waiting at belays and barely finished the raps before dark, and to make matters worse the sketchy party dropped a cam and several rocks. Also, we were crowded from below by agro parties even though we were doing our best to tailgate and try to pass the slow party, who refused requests to pass.

I recommend a #0 C3 or equivalent for the 50 Crowded variation. I didn't bring one and took a big fall.

Most of the climbing is quite mediocre, with lots of sandy holds and loose flakes. I would not do this route again unless the crowds magically cleared out for a day. There is plenty of better quality climbing in the Valley. Oct 9, 2009
John Wilder
Las Vegas, NV
  5.10c
John Wilder   Las Vegas, NV
  5.10c
I thought that the Original Route was super classic and really made the route- nothing like having to work for your reward!

I really didnt think that the chimneys were run-out on it, even with a smaller rack than the Taco recommends (we had one #4, two #3s), but bring a crapload of slings if you want to link either of them together.

All in all, a great route- no bees or ants to speak of. Sep 12, 2009
Sarah Kate
Seattle, WA
 
Sarah Kate   Seattle, WA
 
ANTS! ANTS! OMIGOD, ANTS!!!!!!

We pitched this out in 8 to keep ahead of the hoards behind us. On guidebook P3/our P2, the pitch with the incredible flake system to incredible corners, there was a huge nest of biting red ants. My belayer and I both got swarmed, and when I say swarmed, I mean thousands. And no, neither of us were on anything. If you squish them, it emits a noxious smell, and our theory is that this makes the colony swarm, so avoid squishing them if possible.

For SHORT PEOPLE: if you are short, like me (5'3") the bolt ladder is not a ladder and involves rather a lot of regular climbing, albeit well-protected. Make your taller partner lead the damn bolt ladder. Jul 28, 2009
Doug Hemken
Madison, WI
 
Doug Hemken   Madison, WI  
 
No bees on the Original Route. A worthwhile variation after you have done the Classic variation a time or two. Jun 9, 2009
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
  5.10c
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
  5.10c
I'll tell you one thing- if you do the route, do the more modern version, not the origional version with all the chimny climbing. 250' of chimney, very little of it aesthetic...
A few parties followed my partner up into that line and got to fixed gear or a stump and BAILED!
I think they were the smart ones- they retreated to the "50 classics" version and climbed something more fun.
Also, the reccomended rack in the Supertopo book is pretty much wrong for the chimneys unless you like big runouts.

As for the rumors in camp 4 that the chimneys are full of bees... they might have some, but none that bothered us. Jun 1, 2009
Matt Desenberg
North Berwick, ME
Matt Desenberg   North Berwick, ME
Was looking forward to doing this route for several years, and it's every bit as good as I'd hoped. Quality climbing the whole way. Definately combine P1 & 2. May 3, 2009
M. Morley
Sacramento, CA
 
M. Morley   Sacramento, CA  
 
Climbed this again yesterday as six rope-stretching 60m pitches, involving a wee bit of simul-climbing and a couple of hanging belays. A 70m would allow you to climb the route comfortably in 6 pitches with more options for good belays. Aug 23, 2008
mschlocker
San Diego, CA
 
mschlocker   San Diego, CA
 
Descent still snowy early May. We brought an extra rappel line and it was nice to have.

Carabiner posts referred to by my SuperTopo guide appear to be missing. I found one on the first small leg of a trail leading up much west of the parking lot that likely won't help anybody. The second leg of the trail is confusing since a tree appears to have exploded across it. May 13, 2008
Alexey
San Jose
Alexey   San Jose
We climbed this route on Saturday, April12 probably one day before you Dennis - and set up four additional rap stations plus to 3 existing one. Descend took about same time as a climb.
I would wait until may

Alexey Apr 17, 2008
426
  5.10c C0
426  
  5.10c C0
A superb slab challenge to the 5.10 slab leader, even for a budding one. Safe and smeary! Look around closely if yer stumped. Don't let yer guard down until you clip the anchors, after the crux is tricky and sequential! Channel your inner Sacherer...

Go right for the last pitches! Apr 14, 2008
TBlom  
Not that you should, but the top of the pedestal is a pretty sweet bivy if you want to beat all the other climbers to it in the morning. Finding it in the dark was a royal beeatch (10 years ago). It's nice not having to trudge up there in the morning, and you get a bit more rest. Watch out for flamboyant, ego fed, speed-climber/guides trying to beat you on the 50 crowded variation with their clients(in approach shoes, the bastard!). The guide beat us to the belay, but his clients sucked and we ended up still 1st party all the way up.

We tried to free the 10c part, but gave up when guide dude was trying to pass us, French free to the rescue! Apr 3, 2008
Ben Strohmeier
Las Vegas, NV
Ben Strohmeier   Las Vegas, NV
I also did a variation that goes left up top to a 5.10 friction traverse to as nice angling offset crack rather than the scary flared grooves Dec 14, 2007
Nate Furman
Salt Lake City, Utah
 
Nate Furman   Salt Lake City, Utah
 
I did the .10a face variation out to the right of the bolt ladder in June and it was awesome! Airy and technical. Oct 5, 2007
trundlebum
Las Vegas NV
trundlebum   Las Vegas NV
In discussing rating:
In the old "Meyers yellow book" it is rated 5.10c
If you look at the topo the only thing over 5.9 is the bolt ladder.
(which is short, low angle and easily 'batmanned' without aiders)
The only 5.9 (in the Meyers book) is the move over the small roof above the bolt ladder to gain the 5.6 crack for the second half of the pitch. However there are many 5.8 pitches above, a few that might actually be contested as having enough gusto to be considered 5.9.
I think 5.9 A0 is an appropriate rating.

I completely miss the point of Rob Dillon's comment?
"Come on Stormy, the FFA was in 1961 at .10c! Do we really need to call this 5.9 AO?"
Is this implying that basically everybody that climbs, flashes .10c frictiony, face?


When I did this route I was really looking forward to freeing the bolt ladder. But my partner and I simul' climbed to the bolt ladder and made such good time I didn't want to kill the rhythm with dicking around trying to get a clean, onsight of the bolt ladder. I suppose the crux would be up around the 4 or fifth bolt as that is where I started "yanking, and standing on stuff", alpine aid style.

We had left camp 4 around 6am and were back by 4 pm that included hoofing it over there and back. It was midweek late September (78'). We never saw a sole, with the exception of a party doing the first few on "central pillar". At that time the bolt ladder was spooky old 'star Dryvn' bolts, with (as I recall) these funk arse aluminum strap, hangers.
(I guess Ed Leeper had not used his newly created hangers to retrofit the ladder)

But all in all, I would have to say, "those were the days" one of the best routes anywhere, anytime. ;) Sep 5, 2007
M. Morley
Sacramento, CA
 
M. Morley   Sacramento, CA  
 
Consistent, moderate, incredibly fun climbing plus incredible views of El Cap make this my favorite Valley climb to date. Easy to combine P1 & P2, P3 & P4, P10 & P11 with a 60m cord to make for an 8-pitch route. Jun 26, 2007
Nate Furman
Salt Lake City, Utah
 
Nate Furman   Salt Lake City, Utah
 
That's a sweet topo! Thanks, Russ! Feb 5, 2007
Russ Walling
www.FishProducts.com
 
Russ Walling   www.FishProducts.com
 
Here is a link to a free updated topo to do the route with a 70 meter cord.
fishproducts.com/topos/yost… Feb 4, 2007
Yeah, but does a Fifty Crowded Climb really need the additional mobbing this rating invites[not that it's a big secret or anything]? You can't even get on the thing until midafternoon anyhow... Feb 3, 2007
Nate Furman
Salt Lake City, Utah
 
Nate Furman   Salt Lake City, Utah
 
Generally I think it's appropriate to go with the traditional rating for a climb, so IV 5.9 AO seems right. Feb 3, 2007
George Bell
Boulder, CO
 
George Bell   Boulder, CO
 
My impression is that the majority of today's parties free this, but I'm not hip on the current Yosemite scene. It is well protected and it would seem that most parties that can lead the 5.9 crack can free the bolt ladder, or at worst hang on every bolt.

I must admit I aided it the first time I climbed it, but that was because of tradition and we thought we couldn't lead 5.10 face. Then the second time I freed it and it seemed quite easy. For sure do not take aiders, the bolt ladder is quite short. Feb 2, 2007
Nick Storm
Lander, WY
 
Nick Storm   Lander, WY
 
Sorry Rob, I had my facts wrong...I went and changed it. As far as I know, modern concensus is IV 5.9 A0 or 5.10c, although I have also seen it listed as III 5.8 A1 or 5.10-. Regardless, great route no matter how it gets rated. Anyone care to comment. Feb 2, 2007