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Routes in Swan Slab

5.6 Chimney Above Grant's T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Aid Route T 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Bay Tree Crack T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Bobcat Crack T,TR 5.1 2 6 II 7 MD 2a
Claude's Delight T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Funge on Munge T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Goat for it T,TR 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Grant's Crack T,TR 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Hanging Flake T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Lena's Lieback T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Oak Tree Crack T,TR 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Oak Tree Flake T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
Penelope's Problem T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Penthouse Cracks T,TR 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Pin Scar Seams T 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c
Seamilicious TR 5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Swan Slab Chimney T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
Swan Slab Gully T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Swan Slab Squeeze T,TR 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Ugly Duckling T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b R
Unknown Arete T,TR 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13
Unnamed Crack T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Unnamed Crack (the other one) T,TR 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Unnamed Face Route TR 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Unnamed Thin Crack TR 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Unnamed flared crack / boulder problem TR 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
V-Crack T,TR 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
West Slabs TR 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
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Type: Trad, 2 pitches
FA: Joe Oliger & Steve Roper April 1961, FFA: Lloyd Price et al 1967
Page Views: 3,780 total · 27/month
Shared By: Will S on Mar 29, 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


This was originally a practice aid route and was initially freed in 1967 by Lloyd Price et al. There are conflicting accounts, but some claim this was the first 5.11 pitch freed in the Valley. Although current guides give it .11b, it was rated .11a in the 1982 guide, and rated .10d by Bridwell in his seminal article "Brave New World" published in Mountain #31 in 1973. Either way, it was an early example of freeing old aid lines and was at the outer edge of difficulty when it was freed. I've seen this route shut down more than one "5.12" sport climbers.

The business starts right away with a fingery crux on shallow boxy pins scars to a long reach to gain a small flake, then a jug out right. This initial section is bolt protected. Once through the crux, the easy pin-scarred, right trending crack continues to a bolt anchor/rap station at half height. Above this, the second pitch is fingers in pin scars with the occasional hand jam. A short .10a crux reaching between pin scars is encountered near the top. The climb can be done in a single pitch with a 60m (barely).

If you are not up to the boulder problem start, it's worth yarding through on bolts to climb the crack. Otherwise, careful footwork and finger strength will see you through. Having a long reach doesn't hurt either.


Left of Lena's Lieback and right of Oak Tree Flake, starting in front of a tree at obvious shallow pin scars on a slab leading to a long splitter hand and fingers crack about 15' off the deck. The cleanest, best looking crack line on Swan Slab.


Std rack to hands. Three bolts to start the first pitch


Oakland, CA
Sirius   Oakland, CA
Bring thin gear for the second pitch - I was glad to have micro nuts. Mar 6, 2008
The opening crux is SLIPPERY! The pockets are mostly good and the jug after the second bolt is just fine. The crack was really fun! Most of the gear was plugged into large pin scars. The topo says the 1st anchor is easy to miss. I scoffed at this but then found myself enjoying the crack so much that I suddenly looked to my left and noticed that I had almost climbed past it! Oct 19, 2008
Kyle Joe Turner
Santa Rosa, CA
Kyle Joe Turner   Santa Rosa, CA
Great climb to do at the end of the day. The start is crux, but if aided its not too bad. As criscokid said, it really easy to get into the crack and miss the first belay. The climbing goes pretty fast and its a great spot to practice some technique. Watch out for the tourists. Small pro works well. Dec 15, 2008
Will S
Joshua Tree
Will S   Joshua Tree
So you aided the crux, but you downrate it? How does that work exactly?
I've done this route, free, 3 or 4 times. And unless you're maybe 6' or taller, this would be a ridiculous sandbag at 10d. Sep 7, 2010
Josh Cameron
Josh Cameron   California
Super fun climb. I aided through the crux, which helps if you're taller. The crack up to the 1st anchors was good, but the section past the anchors is classic! Jul 19, 2011
Patrick Mulligan
Reno, NV
Patrick Mulligan   Reno, NV
The start of this climb is redonculously slippery. When its hot and in the sun, forget it. The upper crack is interesting fingery climbing on pin scars. There often seems to be a line, but the route is really just OK. Dec 8, 2011
M. Morley
Sacramento, CA
M. Morley   Sacramento, CA  
Both pitches can be combined into a single ~190' pitch. Feb 6, 2012
Mark P Thomas
Mark P Thomas   Draper
A narrow single & double length sling (e.g. dyneema) is helpful for aiding the knob on the lower section. The second pitch didn't have pro I felt good about falling on! I think if I had brought offset cams or especially offset nuts it would have been solid, though. I never really noticed much of a crux in the second pitch, as it was so sustained throughout. Mar 5, 2012
When I climbed this route two days ago, at the second pitch shortly after the anchors, I encountered a nest of hornets in the right side crack. They caught me by surprise and we had to bail since they were buzzing angrily around their nest. Be sure to check for the nest! You can see it before getting into range. Jul 22, 2012
Ryan K.
Ryan K.  
I agree with Mark on bringing offset cams/nuts for the second pitch. I didn't see a need for micro nuts. Apr 10, 2014
Seeing what I have here, I'm feeling pretty proud of my flash of this route back in the fall of 1980. I think that historic Bridwell article was titled: "The Innocent, the Ignorant, and the Insecure" and it was in that article where he first proposed the addition of letter grades (a-d) to better classify hard climbs. It is a very important article, and in it he provided a list of "Standard Routes" for each grade in each genre of climbing, such that a .10a thin crack like Sacherer Cracker was clearly different than a 5.10a face, like Maxine's Wall, first pitch. Mar 30, 2015
Chad Lawver
Yosemite Village, CA
Chad Lawver   Yosemite Village, CA
As of 6/22/16, there is a bees nest in the crack on the second pitch. Its small, but they're bees....and they sting. I took the bee whipper. Jun 23, 2016

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