Type: Trad, Aid, 3000 ft, 31 pitches, Grade VI
FA: FA: Warren Harding, Wayne Merry, George Whitmore, 1958 FFA: Lynn Hill, 1993
Page Views: 262,944 total · 1,766/month
Shared By: Steven Lucarelli on Feb 27, 2007
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


El Capitan is home to numerous classic routes but "The Nose" is the mega classic of them all. Towering nearly 3000' this route offers 31 pitches of superb climbing right up the middle of the wall. Often referred to as the "best rock climb in the world" it is obvious why this route is one of the most sought after big walls in the valley and the world. Most of the pitches on this route are outstanding but with classics such as the "Stovelegs", "King Swing" and "Great Roof" you'll wish it would never end. Although this is a great climb the route is still very demanding, sustained and exposed and not to be taken lightly.
Here are a few tips that might improve a parties chances of success and enjoyment on the route. First if you and or your partner(s) can lead 5.10 solidly this will greatly speed up the amount of time it takes to climb this route as a large percentage of the climb is 5.10 or easier. Second study the topo carefully because there are numerous opportunities to either link or use alternate belays in order to skip pitches (a team of three can also skip hauling certain pitches with some good planning). Unavoidable factors are the number of parties on the route and the weather, both of which can make the route not so classic. For pitch by pitch info and topo's the "Yosemite Big Walls Supertopo" guide book is highly recommended.


This is probably one of the easiest big wall approaches you could ask for. From El Capitan Meadow cross the road and find one of the obvious approach trails which should lead to a clearing. From the clearing you should be able to find a well worn path leading north and slightly west towards the wall. Once at the base of the wall you'll be standing directly under "The Nose". Hike up and left around the foot of the wall until it is possible to traverse back right and you should end up on a nice dirt ledge and the start of the first pitch. This approach takes about 10 to 15 minutes.


Bring two sets of nuts with offsets, one or two sets of micro nuts with offsets and two or three sets of cams from .5" to 3.5". Also bring some micro cams and a 4.5" cam, leave the hammer and pins at home this route goes all clean.


Probably the finest rock climb in the world...I usually start with Pine Line, seems like a "cleaner" haul to the first pitch. Mar 6, 2007
city, state
alpinglow   city, state
Climbed it 9 years ago...great adventure. Do whatever you need to to climb this route. Few, if any, better May 14, 2007
George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
Can be very crowded during peak season. When I climbed it there were seven people sleeping at El Cap Tower, and a similar number at Camp V. Jun 4, 2007
Bruce Diffenbaugh
Bruce Diffenbaugh   Cheyenne,Wyoming
For sure the most famous route in the valley if not the world.Climbing The Nose was a goal for me for years one biggest high lites of my climbing life. Feb 20, 2008
scott morrison
colorado springs
scott morrison   colorado springs
how many days does this take most people. I can preaty much do a 5.10 blind-folded. Dec 17, 2008
Planning to do this route this year in August. I have a couple of questions, if anyone has any beta on this:
1. Do you need a portaledge?
2. We were planning to rappel the route the day before and stash water, food, etc. at our preplanned bivys. I know the whole route is set of to rappel, does anyone know if the rappel route meets up with the main bivy spots (Camp VI, El Cap Spire, etc)? Thanks for the help! Dec 8, 2009
Ben Lepesant
Innsbruck, AT
  5.10+ C1
Ben Lepesant   Innsbruck, AT
  5.10+ C1
I do not think that taking all your stuff up to the top via the East Ledges is a very good idea. Better go a little lighter and quicker...
especially in the August heat going up there + rappelling seems like a waste of energy. And I think its wayyyyyy cooler to do start at the bottom not really knowing whats ahead of you...
but if you do the rappels, you get to Camp 4,5,6 and to Dolt. Not to sickle and not to El Cap tower, at least thats not the way its set up
We did it in August too. 1 gallon per person per day is MINIMUM! Bring more! I was 103 or so in Valley when we did it, and we had a little more as it turned out we were going faster than anticipated. Still super thirsty the whole way.
Fix to sickle, bivy on Dolt the first day. If you do the jardine traverse you can go to camp five. But I would bring enough water so I could also bivy on C4 and then C6 in case I do not get to C5...
From camp 5 to the top are the best pitches. If you are lucky you find water on C6...
have fun, its the best climb in the world. Jan 16, 2010
Jacek Czyz
Chicago, Summit CO; PL
  5.10 C2-
Jacek Czyz   Chicago, Summit CO; PL
  5.10 C2-
I know something about aiding since I did some of the hardest on the wall. Still I think The Nose have A2 at least in three section: below SickleL, Glowering Spot and Changing Corners. Because of complexity it is not easy route. Must be take seriously especially as a first big wall. I see even mountain guides retreat because of slow progress.
It is GREAT ROUTE. Thanks Warren. Feb 11, 2010
Yosemite National Park is internationally known for beautiful waterfalls, clear streams, biological diversity, marvellous granite cliffs, the huge sequio groves. This park has a number of plants like chaparral/oak woodland, lower montane, upper montane, subalpine and alpine and animals such as Bighorn sheep, bobcat, gray fox, mountain beaver, mountain lion, black bear and bat. Nov 22, 2010
I am dumb. My partner and I fixed lines to sickle a few days ago and dropped the extra rope after ascending them the next day. After climbing and in our hurry to get back home, we forgot to pick it up. If anyone wants to clean our litter feel free to keep the rope. Its a pink 70 meter and should be at the base of the sickle ledge rap route. Hopefully it doesn't sit there looking ugly for too long... Jun 15, 2011
FA: Warren Harding, Wayne Merry, George Whitmore, 1958
FCA: Bruce Carson, Yvon Chouinard, 9/1973

FFA: Lynn Hill, 1993 Jan 21, 2012
Scottsdale, az
  5.9 C2
Sayfe   Scottsdale, az
  5.9 C2
We were the last party that climbed the nose using warrens old original bolts. As we were climbing it, a party was behind us changing all the bolts ( metolius donated bolts to replace)...
Great climb. We fixed up to sickle ledge on Sunday. Jumared up on Monday morning, and topped on wednesday by noon. I have the slide, and will put them on FB. One of the best climbing experiences... Specially the stove leg cracks, the Texas chimney, the king pendulum, the big roof.... Fun,... Apr 19, 2012
so this might be a stupid question but i was wondering why the nose is only rated a 5.9 on here i always thought climbs are rating but the hardest moves in them which would make the nose's great roof and changing corners at least .13 and up...?? and why is it only a C2...??
---thanks tito Nov 19, 2012
Denver, CO
SteveZ   Denver, CO
Hey Tito, not a stupid question if you don't know :). In theory the 5.9 refers to the highest level of mandatory free climbing (that which is not aidable). You could certainly climb it at 5.10 C2 or 5.12 C2 or just free at 13+/14- too. This is how aid ratings work, same is said for the C2 part, it's the hardest aid on the route. Only C2 because the gear is pretty straight forward, just awkward/not quite perfect at a couple points. That and you can do it with clean gear alone (hence the "C"). Nov 20, 2012
Thanks steveZ i was thinkin about that way the other day but this really cleared things up for me, hopefully gonna be there within the next year to do my first trad free climbing, but in addition to the climbing does anyone know the situation on the garbage in the rock? I heard it is a big problem, disrespect to our big walls, i plan on saving money and going there to clean on my own time and was just curious if its still a problem?

Thanks: Tito Nov 29, 2012
oh and another thing well i'm thinkin i just recently began buying trad gear i really like the idea of tricams so i got a set of 6, just curious what a good overall rack should consist of, i realize each situation may require different peices but i was just looking to start a good rack...??
Thanks: Tito Nov 30, 2012
Rack. Set of nuts. Set of Metolious offset cams, Double set of cams from blue metolious to #4BD Camalot (be ready to walk the 4 for a long time too). Triples in .75/1/.5 are awesome to have. No hooks/camhooks were used.. Mar 18, 2013
Great route. Few people know that the name comes from the Gogol short story. A man loses his nose, only to find out it had been baked into a loaf bread and subsequently masquerading around town as a local official. Jul 23, 2013
Nate Flynn
United States
Nate Flynn   United States
To add to Rex's comment, Ron Kauk said that el cap's legend in the Indian locals was of two bear cubs that climbed up to escape a winter storm. Aug 8, 2013
Nate Flynn
United States
Nate Flynn   United States
I climbed around the base of pine line below the nose and found many parties roping up. I would love to climb the nose but it's hard to beat crowds, any idea on when's the best time to do it? Aug 8, 2013
Robbie Brown
the road
  5.9 C2
Robbie Brown   the road
  5.9 C2
If you don't have offset nuts or cams don't sweat it. It was nice having 2 00c3s and a few small nuts. This is truly the best rock climb in the world! I only place about 3 nuts on the whole climb also... Go light, get it right! Aug 16, 2013
I'm looking at climbing the Nose in a couple years, but I'm curious about the belays and bolts. Is the majority of the climb bolted, or is it mostly with trad gear (nuts, cams, etc). Secondly, do the majority of belay stations have bolts, or are there a significant amount of hanging belays or areas that require you to build your own anchor system?

Lastly, what is the best setup for sleeping on the side of the cliff? What gear do I need to purchase? Thanks! Dec 19, 2013
Jason Scott Heacock
Milford, NH
Jason Scott Heacock   Milford, NH
This may seem a little redundant from SteveZ and Tito's comments but I would like a little clarifying on the grade for The Nose. Is the free climbing 5.9 or a lot harder (5.12-5.13) I am able to climb trad up to about 5.11 and have The Nose on my bucket list now, providing the difficulty is within reach.

Thanks Feb 5, 2015
Steven Lucarelli
Moab, UT
  5.9 C2
Steven Lucarelli   Moab, UT
  5.9 C2
5.9 is the hardest "mandatory" free climbing on the route but if you can climb harder then that's up to you. Feb 23, 2015
Denver, CO
Lucas   Denver, CO
Airy belay below the great roof.
youtube.com/watch?v=UxNyyrN… Mar 24, 2015
Gina E
Gina E  
Here is a trip report I wrote about climbing the Nose this past fall. It may be helpful/fun to read if you're planning to climb it.
Climbing The Nose on El Cap May 15, 2015
Eric T.
St. Augustine, Florida
Eric T.   St. Augustine, Florida
As of July 8th, 2015 there was still a good bit of blood on the ledge just above Camp 5 from the unfortunate incident in May. It made for a sobering belay. If you don't know about the incident, you can read more here: climbingyosemite.com/portfo… Jul 30, 2015
Ken Cangi
Eldorado Springs, CO
Ken Cangi   Eldorado Springs, CO
Odd that The Nose is a free climb with several free ascents and is listed here as an aid route. Out of respect for Lynn's enormous effort to free the route, and also for those who have freed it since, The Nose should be recorded here as what it is (5.14a). It is no longer an aid route, regardless of how many people pull on the gear to get up it. Aug 27, 2015
Doug Hemken
Madison, WI
Doug Hemken   Madison, WI  
Odd that anyone would refer to the Nose as a free route. Out of respect for Warren Harding and his partners, who first found, pioneered, and ascended this route, it should *always* be referred to as an aid route. Everyone who has "freed" it since has used aid in their initial ascent of the route. Aug 27, 2015
I climbed the Nose in 1974 at age 20. During our climb we were the only party on the route for a slow ascent of five days. We had limited aid experience and I had never hauled a bag until after I led the first pitch. We eventually figured it out. There was an American Alpine club meeting during the month I spent in the Valley and both Warren Harding and Chuck Pratt were there. The good old days. Mar 31, 2016
Mike Holley
Boone, NC
Mike Holley   Boone, NC
Dreams Transcending!! The Force is strong with this one! Dream it up and make it happen, overwhelmingly worth the effort!! SOo stoked to have had the opportunity to climb this route with a wonderful friend. Three years of prep, four days to climb! Sent April/2016! Yehaww!! Apr 27, 2016
Alex Wyvill  
Best experience of my life. Climbed this as a team of four in three days (plus a fix-to-sickle half day). No parties on the route because of the sweltering late June heat. Detail TR with photos can be found at goodlooksandcamhooks.wordpr… Jul 23, 2016
Pretty sure my partner and I did a first ascent sit start to the route, it's really good, a couple of hard moves to a rest and then just 2995 more feet to go, I would now rate The Nose at a reasonable V6 5.8 C2
-Thank you Aug 21, 2016
Gina E
Gina E  
Here is a trip report for a NIAD run this summer- sinkerjams.com/2016/09/12/t… Sep 12, 2016
Erik Sloan  
The Nose is the greatest! 28(if aid climbing) or 30(if free climbing) pitches of mind-blowing fun!

The Nose is a long, complicated route that is climbable in several different, equally awesome, styles:

1. Pure Free Climbing - 5.14a. People often point out that there are only seven pitches rated 5.12a or harder on the Nose (only 7 out of 30!), but that doesn't mean that the rest is easy. Heck the first four pitches all have short, slippery sections of hard 5.11 that regularly spit off 5.13 climbers. And sure it gets more splitter after the first four pitches, but the exposure (and the wind!) cranks up and most folks find even the Boot Flake, a mere 5.10c, too much to free climb. To free climb the Nose is badass!...and there is a reason why only a handful of people have done it. Stats: .0000001% of all Nose climbers

2. French Free - 5.10 C1+. If you can free climb solid 5.10 multi-pitch in the Valley, like you can knock off East Butress of El Cap (awesome for getting the descent dialed, too ;), Serenity to Sons of Yesterday, Northeast Buttress of Higher Cathedral, Steck/Salathe, and maybe Freeblast, with little challenge, then climbing the Nose in three and a half days (half day fix to Sickle, first day to El Cap Tower, second day to Camp 5, third day to the top) in a french free style (free climbing half or more of most pitches and just pulling on pieces through the more difficult sections) should be easy enough. Stats: 10 - 15% of Nose climbers

3. Traditional Bigwall Style - 5.8 C2. For most of us, despite talking a good game, the aiders come out about 15 - 20 feet up the first pitch. The Nose is incredible, but it is not easy. I have climbed the Nose over 20 times and there are 5.9 pitches that I have not freed completely. Everything is harder with two ropes and lots of gear on you! That said, the Nose is awesome at this grade, and it should be encouraging to all climbers that with good physical fitness, you only have to climb 5.8 to climb the Nose! Despite how much practice aiding you did at your home crag, and how many triathlons you just competed, climbing a warm up route - with the partner(s) you intend to climb the Nose with - like South Face of Washington Column, The Reg on Half Dome, SW Face of Liberty Cap, or West Face of the Leaning Tower shortly before your Nose climb will greatly tune you into the mountains and how you can thrive on them. The Nose in this style will take you four and half days to climb - a half (to three quarter) day fixing to Sickle, day one to Dolt Tower or nearby, day two to Camp 4, day three to Camp 6, Day four to the summit(maybe with time to walk down, but why rush - enjoy a night on top!) A fair number of folks tell me they wish they had done the East Buttress(5.10c) of El Cap before climbing the Nose, so they would have had the descent dialed, and could relax more on top. Stats: 60 - 70% of Nose climbers

4. NIAD (or NIADL - NIAD in daylight) - 5.10 C1+. Climbing 28 pitches in a day, with a casual 10 - 15 minute approach and a mellow 1 hr descent, is ridiculously good. But don't kid yourself that it is better than bivying on the route - it's awesome, but shorter lived ;). Onsighting the Niad is pretty rare. Most folks practice for the Niad by climbing the first third of the route, to Dolt Tower or Eagle Ledge, which allows you to understand how to get through the traversing lower bit efficiently. Then it's good to climb South Face of Column, SW FAce of LIberty Cap, or Reg on Half Dome, in a day to get ur systems more dialed. Stats: 10 - 15% of Nose climbers

I'm currently working on a mini-guide to climbing the Nose, hope to be done in the next month (if it ever stops snowing, lol). You can check in with me about the guide at erik@yosemitebigwall.com

Woot Woot!
Erik Sloan
RockclimbYosemite.com - Yosemitebigwall.com Mar 6, 2017
Erik Sloan  
(My goal is to one day open a Yosemite Climbing School where you can rent any of this gear that you don't own)

Here is my 2017 Nose rack for Traditional Bigwall Style:

(1) Blue Alien ‘Revolution’ or Totem Basic
(2) Black Totems
(2) Blue Totems or Totem Basic Green
(3) Yellow Totems or Totem Basic Yellow
(3) Purple Totems or Totem Basic Red or .5 X4
(3) Green Totem or .75 X4
(3) #1 Camalots or Red Totem
(1) Omega Pacific Link Cam size #1
(1) Omega Pacific Link Cam size #2 (or bring an additional #1 and #2 Camalot or Totem Red and Orange)
(2) #2 Camalot or Orange Totem
(3) #3 Camalot
(2) #4 Camalot

Offset Cams:
(1) Blue/Black Alien or .1/.2 X4
(2) Blue/Green Alien or Totem Basic
(2) Totem Basics Green/Yellow & Yellow/Red or Aliens

(1) ea Dmm offset alloy #7 - #11(med & large sizes only)
(1) ea Dmm Micro #3, (2) ea #4, #5, #6

(1) Moses (Narrow) Camhook


(8) Camp Nano 22 ‘Alpine Draws’
(6) Camp Nano 22 Express 11cm draws
(4-6) Dyneema shoulder length slings


(7) Camp Nano 22 (for parties of 3, add 7)
(6) lightweight locking biners

Lead Line : 9.8 – 10.2m x 70m
Haul Line : 9.4 x 60m (old lead line is perfect)

Shoes: TC Pros (comfy)

Hauler: 1 ea Petzl Protraxion
1 ea Petzl Microtraxion (backup in case you drop the hauler, and you can use it as a backup ascender if climbing in a team of 3)

Ascenders: (1) ea Petzl Ascenders (both you and your partner should have a pair of ascenders)

Haulbag: 1 Large (7500cu) Mar 6, 2017
Erik Sloan  
As of Fall 2016, you can rap from Sickle Ledge with one 60m rope. The goal is to get the rap route from Dolt Tower set up for one 60m rope rapping in early spring 2017. It gets very windy on the Nose, and folks spend so much time on the lower part of the route dealing with second ropes that are blowing around, that these new rap stations should be super useful. There have also been numerous rescues due to stuck ropes. These new rap stations will alleviate some of the congestion from people slowing down to deal with a second rope, whether they are teams that are fixing to Sickle(have the second jug with the extra ropes in a pack!) or those that are doing a Dolt Run to practice, and will allow people to climb safer and more efficiently through the lower part of the route.

If Fixing Ropes from Sickle: You no longer have to tie your ropes together and pass knots - you rap down 190' to the first anchor, another 190' to the second anchor, and then 197' to the ground. There are anchors in between these stations for one-rope rapping.

Pros of Cons of Fixing Ropes to Sickle as opposed to hauling right from the base of Pine Line ledge:


1. You don't have to bring all of your stuff when you start, and can remember things you might need during your initial climbing (very, very huge - if you are not super experienced with bigwall climbing this alone is probably reason enough to fix to Sickle).

2. You get to try out the climbing and exposure of El Cap without the commitment. Fix down from Sickle and take a hot shower and eat a pizza - you'll be twice as stoked!

3. Allows you a day to see which other parties are starting the route, and how their progress is going, without being stuck behind them.


1. Fixing to Sickle means having to bring a third rope, to rap down, so if your partner is not sturdy enough to jug with a pack with two ropes in it (you lead with one rope, other two ropes go in the pack with water, wind jackets, and snacks), then you are just making more work, more hauling, just to get the ropes fixed so you can haul some more (I'm saying that you will have to haul a small bag with two ropes to Sickle Ledge, just to rap down and haul your big bag from the ground to Sickle Ledge). This is a pretty big con, and I would recommend any teams that weigh less than 115 lbs to consider if it would just be easier for them to haul from the ground, and continue climbing. (of course, you can pretty easily meet up with another party that is also fixing to Sickle, and agree to share their third rope (You would fix your two ropes down from Sickle, but just use their third rope to reach the ground), and then you only have to climb with two ropes like normal and can have all of the benefits of fixing to Sickle above).

2. You have to deal with the jockeying for position that is the reality that there are normally many parties trying to climb the Nose. When you haul right from the ground, you are on the wall, and you will quickly find a pace and rhythm of ascent that keeps you a pitch or two above or below other parties. It is common for people to share fixed lines from Sickle - so seeing one set of lines is no guarantee that you might jug up to Sickle after fixing and only find one party there. The last years have seen big traffic jams on the lower part of the route, around Sickle.

In the future, having fixed ropes from Sickle, in season, that climbers maintain but can use anytime, might go along way toward mitigating the congestion around this part of the route.

Erik Sloan
Rockclimbyosemite.com - Yosemitebigwall.com Mar 6, 2017
Erik Sloan  
There have been some changes to the Nose route/topo (Bigwall routes are always evolving) over the years. Reading the description at the top of this page I understand now why folks might still be using the outdated Supertopo topo, and not our more current one.

1. The 11a variation to the left of the first pitch (believed to be the original first pitch of the Nose, as climbed by Harding), is now the first pitch of a new, bottom-to-top free route (5.13d, 38 pitches), and is well bolted (as is a second pitch(5.9, five bolts) to the popular Pine Line which is right below this first pitch. There is a new anchor 10'/3m down and left of the 1st pitch anchor on the Nose for this variation pitch. This could provide a convenient way for Niad or other parties to pass people on the first pitch.

2. New anchor 15' above Sickle Ledge. The pitch off Sickle Ledge, 210'/62m, has always been tricky for bigwall parties (meaning those hauling bags) because folks tend to bring a 60m haul line, which comes up short right as the leader is trying to do the last moves (steep 5.9+), to the belay. This new anchor allows you to haul your haulbag to a slightly higher anchor (best if you just do it when you are hauling to Sickle - so don't haul to Sickle and then do another 15'/5m haul, just climb up to the higher anchor (3rd class) and haul to there instead). Now the pitch off of Sickle is a manageable 190', and folks are having less epics there.

3. Bolted anchor at the base, and end, of the Lynn Hill Traverse pitch. Two pitches before Camp 4, in the notoriously loose 'Grey Bands,' is the Lynn Hill Traverse pitch. The belay used to be one bolt and small cams but is now two bolts. Climbers scoped and developed this variation to the original Nose route because of the ubiquitous loose rock in the entire, four pitch Grey Bands section. This is a much better way to climb toward Camp 4, and these newly bolted anchors allow more options for parties, who tend to get congested in this area. Before, folks who climbed this variation had to climb the wrong way up and right, 15'/3m, to a bolted anchor at the end of the pitch. Now there is a two bolt anchor right at the end of the Traverse, which also makes the super traversing next pitch to Camp 4 a little more straightforward.

4. Old Belay re-established belay Great Roof. For a while in the 90s and 2000s the belay for the GR was a bolt and two fixed pins at a horn right below the corner that leads to the roof. The bolt is still there, and can be used by Niad parties looking to pass, but the old belay 10'/3m below this spot, which is a nice stance ledge and is the original belay, has been re-established with three good bolts.

5. Belay below the final bolt ladder reduced in size, new bolts added for belaying higher, towards the end of the bolt ladder. While the Free Nose climbers still build a belay at the top of the final 10c crack off the Wild Stance (because the free route through the bolt ladder is wandering and stout), there is no longer a spread out belay there but instead there is one 50' higher up the bolt ladder. This helps the top-out pitches flow much smoother as now you do a longer, 135'/42m pitch off the Wild Stance, and then a short pitch to the anchor below the summit, instead of a short pitch off the Wild Stance (awesome hang), and then a long pitch over the bolts and around the slab (which is always windy and difficult to communicate through).

Yosemitebigwall.com - RockclimbYosemite.com Mar 7, 2017
Erik Sloan  
Lowering Out is probably the most important new skill, after jugging, that climbers need to learn for the Nose. This is an old video I shot on the first pitch of Zodiac, so similar to the Great Roof lowerouts as far as steepness. Most of the lowerouts on the Nose feel easier than this because they are on lower angled ground, so it is easier to move around - you are not just completely hanging like I am in the video.


RockclimbYosemite.com - Yosemitebigwall.com Mar 9, 2017
Erik Sloan  
There is a Niad (Nose in a day) anchor thirty or so feet before Sickle Ledge that is confusing people. Here is the first page of the Nose topo:


Erik May 12, 2017
Seriously Erik? You're going to (or already have) added at least 20-30 bolts so that people can rap from dolt with 1 rope. You've got to be kidding me. It won't really save time since you will have to do twice as many raps and pull and throw twice as many times. If you can't manage double rope rappels you shouldn't be up there. It will take forever to do that many 100 foot rappels. Just leave well enough alone. Stop dumbing things down and just leave the wall alone. It's not your cliff it belongs to everyone and no one elected you to speak for the community, most of whom disagree with your ethics. May 24, 2017
Bailed off Dolt on 6/11/17 due to weather. Planned on doing a 3 day ascent. We left 2.5 gallons of extra water and a liter of yellow Gatorade free for taking! Water was in 3 liter Arrowhead bottles. There was another party that bailed off Sickle the day earlier and left 2 gallons of water (in 2 litter soda bottles). Best of luck and hope another party takes advantage of all this extra water. Jun 12, 2017
Wenatchee, WA
Jplotz   Wenatchee, WA
Kevin, we took full advantage of your water offering two days later. Thank you! (We packed out the empties). Sep 15, 2017
Erik Sloan  
It's busy fall climbing season in Yosemite right now, so lots of folks going for the Niad and Niadl (and some even talking about the NNiad - the Naked Niad, lol).

From the meadow we have witnessed a few King Swing failures over the last few weeks - most spectacularly one by a Niad team attempting the Double King Swing. I would recommend not planning on doing the Double King Swing unless you are climbing the mountain in eight hours or less, meaning your second will have very few things on them. Also, if when you get to the King Swing the second is really tired, consider changing your strategy as the King Swing is pretty athletic, even with climbing shoes on. Smaller, lighter people struggle more on the KS.

What duh Double King Swing?
The Double King Swing is an athletic trick that allows both climbers to do the King Swing on a Niad, because you don't have to worry about the haulbag(s). It's cool, but difficult, and was never intended for folks who were bringing backpack's and wearing approach shoes while following (which is 99% of us Niad climbers, lol).

Check out this awesome Tom Evans photo of the Double King Swing. Strenuous! Sep 26, 2017
Yannick Gingras
On the road, mostly Southwest
Yannick Gingras   On the road, mostly Southwest
What size gear would one need to protect the Texas Flake Chimney more than with the single mid-pitch bolt? Oct 27, 2017
Russ Walling
Overlord @ FishProducts
Russ Walling   Overlord @ FishProducts
What size gear would one need to protect the Texas Flake Chimney more than with the single mid-pitch bolt?

Something like 34.7" cam Oct 28, 2017
Wenatchee, WA
Jplotz   Wenatchee, WA
What size gear would one need to protect the Texas Flake Chimney more than with the single mid-pitch bolt?

How about a Bosch and a couple more bolts.

Actually, if you're absolutely desperate for another way up Texas Flake, there is a line of hangarless bolts that run up the west arete that you could probably sling with wires for an even scarier lead. Nov 3, 2017
Erik Sloan  
I'm still working on my Climb the Nose book, likely printed for 2019, and am always interested in talking to folks before or after they climb the route. If you email me at erik@yosemitebigwall.com, I'm happy to share the text version of the book, and my latest topo.

I put together a survey for Nose climbers:

What is the longest route you have completed in Yosemite before climbing the Nose? The hardest? What’s the longest route you have completed anywhere? The hardest climb anywhere(outside)?

(Northeast Buttress of Higher Cathedral (5.9+) is probably the best Yosemite climb to test your readiness for the Nose - it is a long day, but if you can do it and still have a decent attitude at the end of the day, the Nose will be great - of course you will need some more skills like jugging, hauling, and aid climbing, but from a toughness perspective the NEB is probably as hard a day as you will ever have on the wall)

How many Grade IVs or Grade Vs did you climb before attempting the Nose your first time?

(Even if you and your partner climb 5.11 trad in your tennis shoes, you should do an overnight climb to see work through the unique logistics / challenges you will face on El Cap - South Face of Washington Column an Mar 15, 2018
Alex Temus
Alex Temus   Utah
Full video of Brad Gobright & Jim Reynolds breaking the speed record on the Nose - October 2017.

Also really helpful if you're trying to piece together all the pitches on the route before you go climb it! Apr 27, 2018
Question on the king swing. Is there a safe way for the second to repeat the swing rather than doing a lower out? My thought is this. The leader does the swing to eagle ledge and sets up a “top” belay for the second rather than fixing. The second cleans the route to pivot point. He leaves a sacrificial QuickDraw and lowers back down and does the swing like the leader. Any safety concerns? Is the draw necessary or would feeding the rings be okay? The risk I see is if the bolts happen to blow you have no protection May 27, 2018
Steven Lucarelli
Moab, UT
  5.9 C2
Steven Lucarelli   Moab, UT
  5.9 C2
Chris, that's definitely a very inefficient way to get through the King Swing but I'm assuming you are asking because you want the follower to get to experience the swing as well? The main issue I foresee with your system is that the rope running from the leader up to the anchor might be in the way of the second during the swing. Also when you make the swing you enter the corner above Eagle Ledge, so you might have to lower down to the ledge with a directional? An alternative solution (my preferred method) which is faster and also skips hauling one and a half pitches, is to make the King Swing and then then back clean all of your gear up to the pitch 17 belay. Then continue leading up pitch 18 back cleaning the lower portion of the pitch to avoid rope drag and make the pendulum to the intermediate belay on pitch 19. Haul the pig from here and your follower just needs to lower out (or swing) from the top of the Boot Flake. Additionally you can skip another one and a half pitches of hauling by leaving the pig at the intermediate belay on pitch 19 (make sure the pig is hanging from the anchor with a fifi held upright with a prusik) and climbing up to the pitch 20 anchor. Your follower will then clean pitch 20 and you continue up pitch 21 and haul the pig from the top of pitch 21, avoiding all the trouble of hauling the rest of pitch 19 & 20. Hopefully this helps. May 27, 2018
Erik Sloan  
Chris - you lower off the anchor for the KS, so you follower wouldn't have to leave a quickdraw. The chains would be fine, and Steven's suggestion that the rope would be in the way doesn't seem likely (also, 99% of people don't come in above Eagle Ledge, so don't know what that comment is about). The main issue is your partner would first have to lower the haulbag down to you, and drop the haul line, but that's no big deal really, if you have energy for all this. May 28, 2018
Erik Sloan  
I've made a new topo that lists the pitch by pitch gear requirements, which has been super popular with Nose climbers this year. You can get the topo, and the text content to my forth coming Climb the Nose book, by buying my $9.95 ebook at yosemitebigwall.com. Been looking good up there this season! Sep 21, 2018
Erik Sloan  
I've made a new two page spread explaining the East Ledges descent in detail. It will be in my new books, but is also available online at yosemitebigwall.com/logistics. Sep 22, 2018
Erik Sloan  
Some folks have commented that the somewhat loose blocks that make up the Wild Stance, seem a little more loose. Most climbers are able to avoid using the loosest blocks easily, as you are just doing a 5.3 move or two to the anchor there. Be careful in that section, and double check that your ropes are not running unnecessarily over a loose block (it is easy to put a piece to the left of the anchor that will keep your lead line away from the blocks). Oct 15, 2018
Erik Sloan  
Nearly all parties now climb the Nose in 28 pitches, instead of the older 30, or 31, pitch topos that we used before 60m ropes became standard. Would be awesome to see the description of this climb changed to reflect this (because people endless strategize about how they would break up the days on the route, so thinking about three less pitches makes that a tiny bit easier ;) Oct 15, 2018
Dom R
Bend, OR
Dom R   Bend, OR
Just got down from doing the nose in 3 days from the ground (no fixing to sickle) and some feedback I’ve thought of regarding inefficiency of other parties/areas of improvement for myself that others may find useful while planning for this route are as follows. First I believe that dialing in your transitions and rope management may be the single biggest thing that could help save you time. We passed/watched quite a few parties that were building weird anchors and always doing things differently etc. the nose has bolted anchors from top to bottom and all you need to do is pre tie two quad style anchors and then when you get to the anchor you just clip it in and do what you need to do. Recognize how to keep your haul line and lead line from tangling, and learn how to do the revolving door technique with a carabiner to move ropes in and out of each other. Practice hauling on other routes beforehand. Saw a lot of weird hauling up there that didn’t look fun. Do some shorter walls that are technically harder than the Nose. I found The Prow to be really good because it’s sustained aiding at a level that is more difficult than anything on the nose. Also hauling the last couple pitches is more difficult than any hauling on the nose. Dial in your lower outs and techniques for following traversing terrain. The nose has gobs of traverses on it and you can waste a lot of time in that terrain if you don’t know what you’re doing. I find when following easier low angle traverses over towers and stuff it’s sometimes easiest to just throw the gri gri on and self belay while French freeing. Also free climb as much as possible. We didn’t free that much, but a mix of French free/free/aid goes a long way to efficiency. If you think you’ll be aiding the 5.8 glory hand crack on the stovelegs, you may want to reconsider your route choice.
I’m no expert, but these are my reflections on the trip and I feel may be more helpful than “you need a set of offsets for the nose” because though that may be true, if you’ve never placed an offset before going up on the nose, just having it isn’t go to do much for you. Oct 27, 2018