Type: Trad, 180 ft
FA: John Fischer and Jay Jensen, 1971
Page Views: 21,692 total · 153/month
Shared By: Bruce Willey on May 25, 2007
Admins: Aron Quiter, Euan Cameron, AWinters, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

You & This Route

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A must-do classic right around the corner from Pratt's Crack. Follow a huge, clean-cut dihedral, jamming (hands) all the way up to a chimney move or two, then step right on a small ledge to the anchors.


Pratt's Crack Area, on the right side.


Up to 3". Need two ropes for rap.
Bishop, CA
outdooreric   Bishop, CA
The Bishop guide book calls for a 6" piece, but I couldn't find anywhere to place it. Extra 2-3" cams are useful. Jul 12, 2007
Chris Owen
Big Bear Lake
Chris Owen   Big Bear Lake  
Beautiful climb. Small stuff towards the end of the long corner. Aug 25, 2007
jonathan howland
San Francisco
jonathan howland   San Francisco
Re: the 6 inch piece the first commentator didn't place -- it very nicely protects the crux lieback move. Alternatively, or in addition, once you start the lieback (and well above your last gear) you can get 2" piece (gold C4) high and deep in a recessed crack behind the block your hands are on. Jul 3, 2009
Denis O'Connor
Denis O'Connor  
FA: John Fischer, Jay Jensen, 1971 Oct 16, 2009
PumpkinEater   Sacramento
I would suggest carrying the 6" piece to protect the crux layback if, like me, you're trad lead limit is at around 5.10. I thought the layback was pretty committing and a fall would, it seemed to me, smash you back into the dihedral below. Pneumothorax anybody? On the bright side, at the top of the layback there's a jug and spot where you can literally straddle a pillar and have a seat! Aug 17, 2010
Mojave, CA
ACassebeer   Mojave, CA
There are three fixed cams as of 8-28-10.
1. One below the start of the crux lieback. (got stuck when my partner whipped off the crux, she didn't have a #6)
2. One up and to the left of the lieback. (It is possible to actually climb around the crux and do a variation up and left of the flake. I think this piece is from someone else also climbing this variation, 5.9???)
3. There's a fixed forged friend in the chimney if you look for it. You could actually avoid bringing the #4 at all if you trust this piece. (It was also there in 2008 when I led it.)

Also, the crux is not that difficult, but I recommend moving quickly through it. It is not a place you want to be looking to place gear. Aug 31, 2010
Los Alamos, NM
Aerili   Los Alamos, NM
I don't understand why everyone thinks the offwidth layback is "the" crux. It is strenuous, true, but the moves are straightforward and are over relatively quickly. A #6 is easy to place at the very top of the wide part if you stem high, thus making any falls you might take surely clean (non-pneumothorax-inducing).

The crux for me was clearly at the bottom of the route during the ridiculously thin traverse: much harder technically than the layback, not to mention the gear is much harder to fiddle in!

Bring a selection of super small wires and micro-cams. No extra 2s and 3s required (1-2 each are sufficient). I personally did use a #4 above the chimney at the top as my last piece before making the long traverse to the anchors. Sep 8, 2010
Agree with Aerili, technical crux down low, mental crux at the spooky layback. Sep 30, 2010

probably as good as any 10a pitch i have ever climbed. long, great rock, cool crux down low, cool crux up high, good gear, nice belay ledge, great crack climbing.... pretty sweet. Jul 12, 2011
Christina Freschl
Berkeley, California
Christina Freschl   Berkeley, California
A #6 is nice for the layback at the top, but I am a little bit scared by layback. Sep 25, 2011
Hey Gang..... re gear...i have a #5 B.D. ..which is fine for a 6 inch crack.... will this work for the wide lieback?? .. not sure from the comments if you need a piece for a 6 inch crack or a #6 B.D.?
Hate to go buy a huge cam... but dont want to run it out... thanks for any beta..
lou May 16, 2013
Todd Townsend
Bishop, CA
Todd Townsend   Bishop, CA
You'll want a #6 c4 camalot to protect the layback flake, a #5 is too small. Even with the #6, you still need to run it out a little.

I took the ride up there once, when my foot slipped at the very top of the layback. Even though I wasn't really that far above the #6, I still went quite the distance with all of the slack and rope stretch at that point.

Don't worry, it's exciting, but it's a clean fall! May 16, 2013
coolio thxs Todd May 16, 2013
J. Hickok
Salida, CO
J. Hickok   Salida, CO
To Lou and Todd from the May postings: To expand on the topic, I think the OLD BD #5 would likely work as it was larger, but the new BD #5 C4 would not work as it is smaller. A #5 friend does not fit, but #6 friend would. Aug 15, 2013
Peter Valchev
Truckee, CA
Peter Valchev   Truckee, CA
+1 on bringing the #6... the lieback would be pretty scary without it!
Awesome pitch! Sep 4, 2013
erik rieger
Sheridan, WY
erik rieger   Sheridan, WY
A classic one-pitcher anywhere. Leave the #6 at the ground. Dec 9, 2013
GhaMby Eagan
GhaMby Eagan   Heaven
I have a strong friend that has done this route many times take a fall at the crux lieback, which I certainly think is the crux, he hit his ass pretty hard into the corner despite lots of rope stretch. I definately use and suggest the #6 C4.

The feet at the lieback suck in my not so humble opinion, but I also suck at liebacking. I find that going out left when halfway up the lieback is easiest, but I also have a 6'7" wingspan. . . Jan 16, 2014
Phil Esra  
The thin crack at the bottom is pretty hard for the grade. Takes nuts well. The main crack is easy and fun. I brought (and used) a #6. The lieback is strenuous and plenty hard enough, but you can get a good cam immediately before it, and the fall would be clean for a long, long way. Next time I wouldn't bring it.

The easy chimney moves above the lieback are really fun! Followed by a fun, exposed traverse to the chains. May 27, 2014
Melissa Thaw
Livermore, CA & South Lake…
Melissa Thaw   Livermore, CA & South Lake…
I agree that the lie back section isn't the crux, but i placed a #6 (not that spooky with a 6). I thought the thin section lower was harder - transferring over into the corner. I placed a micro-nut and some tiny offset cams, which was helpful for me. May 28, 2015
Jon W
Bishop, CA
Jon W   Bishop, CA
If you jam the OW section instead of liebacking, you can bump a 6 and then get a finger piece in above before pulling over it, not runout at all. The fist stacks definitely make it a harder climb though. Jun 7, 2015
Benjamin Chapman
Small Town, USA
Benjamin Chapman   Small Town, USA
John Fisher and Jay Jensen. Taken before their time. RIP. Jul 24, 2015
Jeff G.
Jeff G.   Lyons
Amazing pitch. I personally would not lead this without the #6 friend. I had one and was really glad to have protection on the burly lieback moves up top. Sep 29, 2015
What a classic climb! This one meets all the criteria: beautiful setting, impeccable rock, fun and diverse moves, and what a summit! This is not one to be missed.
Technical crux is down low, physical crux the layback section. Good pro to be had before both and on the route as a whole. Leave the #6 on the ground and get on this beauty! May 31, 2016
Cha Tate
Saint George, UT
Cha Tate   Saint George, UT
I agree with Jeff G. I did not bring a 6 cam, and if I did it again I probably would. I also agree this is not 10a, more like 10c. The route can be rapped with a single 70meter rope (I did) but it involved tensioning off the single bolt (out on the left wall from the start of the layback) while on rappel. Then walk the ledge to the anchor of ecstasy, clip in and tension back to the bolt to retrieve your gear. Then a single rap will get you to the start ledge where easy down climbing leads to the ground. If you want to avoid the down climb, rap from the ecstasy chain to a mid way anchor on an old aid line where one more rap will get you to the ground. Then try to avoid the trees when you pull your rope! Jul 6, 2016
Daniel Vakili
Los Angeles, CA
Daniel Vakili   Los Angeles, CA
5.10, you can place bomber #1 below the crux, and bomber #3 during. No #6 needed, even if you fall it seems to be a clean one. There are rap anchors directly above, but the anchors to the right make for better pics. Rapped with a single 80m Apr 15, 2017
Many if not most would be happy to have the #6 Apr 16, 2017
The BD #6 is super useful for the lieback. If I were to go again I'd take extra small pieces (2x red and yellow C3s or equivalent); all the hard parts were on very thin sections of crack, especially the low thin crack. Jul 9, 2017
Oak Park, CA
Sean   Oak Park, CA
led with a 70 from trailside base all the way to the shared anchor with Queen Of The Heartbreaks and Eclipsed (not to the slightly higher newer rap anchor closer to the dihedral) with about 15 ft to spare. a 60 might req a lil simul but not a big deal since the initial diagonal scramble and the diagonal finish to that anchor are both very easy. didn't need to trail a 2nd rope up, but left a 60 at base. once both on top, one person fixed 70 to rap down its single strand, joined 60 to the end of 70 for topside partner to uprope and to rap down via the two joined ropes. the 60 strand also long enough for that rap down to trailside base with about 5 ft to spare

to clarify any confusion from a prev comment, Ecstasy is the arete located to climber's right of Pratt's Crack, and Queen Of The Heartbreaks and Eclipsed are the face and arete to the right of Sheila Jul 30, 2017
Blurie .
San Diego, Ca
Blurie .   San Diego, Ca
  • *Gear betas**:

no need for triples of 1",2",3" size if you're comfortable with the long 5.9 glory hands in the middle. I would've brought triples of C4 .3 maybe to protect the crux finger crack and before the lieback. Sew up the vertical portion of the crux finger crack because when it jogs horizontal for the crux its verrrrry thin (purple 0 metolius at the widest). 6" piece was nice to have but there is gear about 6' lower without it. Lieback is burly but quite short just dooo it! Dec 31, 2017
I am the latest Sheila casualty. I peeled off at the upper crux and took a pretty good whipper. I sprained my ankle pretty bad and had to retreat. I lowered off a nut just below the crux and left a second nut much lower that I couldn't clean without a tool on the lower. Two mid-sized nuts and single biner for the next party. If the next party is willing to send me all the gear I left behind as a momento of my 60-70ft whip it would be much appreciated. If not, please enjoy them! Amazing climbing until the point when my smears failed on the layback. I'll be back to with a #6 as soon as the ankle heals. I can't recommend this line enough! May 14, 2018
60-70' ?????? May 14, 2018
Joey Maloney
Los Angeles, CA
Joey Maloney   Los Angeles, CA
I'd say it goes at 10b, due to the length of route. it is a sustained 10a with a few nice rests, but the legs always seem to be working. Bringing a #6 would make the 2nd crux a little less heady. This grade shouldn't deter anyone who is new to the grade to give it a try. Oct 29, 2018