Type: Trad, 200 ft (61 m), 3 pitches
FA: John Turner
Page Views: 31,058 total · 148/month
Shared By: Lee Hansche on Mar 29, 2007
Admins: Jay Knower, M Sprague, Lee Hansche, Jeffrey LeCours, Jonathan S, Robert Hall

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Description Suggest change

Upper Refuse is an awesome, moderate route with great climbing, great protection, and great exposure for the grade--a true Cathedral classic. One of very few, real moderates on the cliff, this is a perfect first trad climb.

It can be accessed by hiking around from the top along the big ledge. If you are a beginner, you might want to rope up for the last part of the scramble due to the danger of a BIG fall if you slip. Most people climb Upper Refuse after coming up Fun House (5.7) or another moderate route, though as the name implies there is a Lower Refuse which is not nearly as popular.

Pitch 1: (5.3) Start up the ramp on really easy climbing, and keep an eye out for a few good slots for cam placements. Belay at a good stance at a few pins (back em up with gear) at the top of the ramp section.

Pitch 2: (5.5) Choose your own adventure. Go right up a groveling "V" chimney (not hard but not too fun, in my opinion), or from the belay go up and left following cracks to a layback and a few slabby moves (much more fun). These two choices meet up in a gully formation which you follow to another choice. Breaking right up a crack directly to a pine tree ledge is preferred by most; however, you can avoid a little difficulty by continuing up the gully, then stepping right on to the ledge. Belay from a pine tree on a very comfortable ledge.

Pitch 3: (5.5) Two choices again: follow cracks and face climbing straight up above the ledge (this is the usual finish and the one I like better), or if exposure isn't your thing, stick to the corner on the left following a wide, layback crack. Both of these lead to the same ledge at the top where you can go up a short slab to belay from trees. The pins were removed from the top of the climb last season and I think it stayed that way.

The climb can be done in one long rope stretch with a 60m rope. Rope drag can be rough so plan for that in advance. This is one of the most crowded climbs on the cliff, so on a busy day, plan on making a day of it and meeting lots of new friends.

Location Suggest change

Upper Refuse is found on the far right end of the big ledge splitting the left side of the cliff just right of the nice open book of The Book of Solemnity (5.10a). Look for the obvious weakness in the cliff: an easy looking ramp to the summit with a few obstacles. Take care on the approach as the last part of the scramble is a little technical and a fall would be fatal. When in doubt, rope up.

Protection Suggest change

Standard rack