Type: Trad, Alpine, 1200 ft, 9 pitches, Grade IV
FA: Warren Harding, et al
Page Views: 16,291 total · 112/month
Shared By: Alex Shainman on Jun 25, 2007
Admins: M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

You & This Route

53 Opinions

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Access Issue: Yosemite National Park climbing closures and conditions Details


Considering the rock quality in a couple sections, a few insecure moves and the wide crack, that would be a burly solo! I can't decide what is more sick...Peter Croft's onsight solo or Walt Shipley's after doing the route roped and knowing what to expect!!

The route is exciting and physical and a must do for the High Sierra tick list.

Pitch 1: 3 options...Center option is a groove to a roof (slightly loose) (9+, 115').

Pitch 2: Easiest free version is to step down and traverse right on the lower crack approximately 20' where its possible to move back up to the upper crack at a good jug in between. Clip a pin and wiggle up to a roof. Fun finger/hand crack changes to a lieback to a sloping ledge where you can go left or right to end on the upper ledge with multiple 3rd pitch options (10, 200').

Pitch 3: If on the right side of the upper ledge...Go up a flake to a broken left facing corner and a piton belay on a ledge (8+, 120').

Pitch 4: Pick the easiest run out path to the corner chimney (which you don't really chimney, stay outside) (7+, 110').

Pitch 5: Hand and fists in the corner to a 6-7" OW/stem over a bulge passing old bolts. Continue up the 7-8" OW/Squeeze with a lonely old bolt to a a good ledge (10, 150'). #3 and #4 BigBro's may be nice.

Pitch 6: Go right on the ledge and up the obvious left facing corner with two bolts. At the second bolt make a wild traverse right to the finger cack groove with a squeeze finish to a jumbled ledge (10-, 190').

Pitch 7: Move right and up a bizarre corner system with a strenuous lieback. Follow broken rock to a sloping ledge under a flared goove (9+, 190').

Pitch 8: Up the groove and follow the natural weakness for a 190' pitch (5.5).

Pitch 9: 200+' fourth class loose grooves to the summit.


Approach from the back of Sawmill campground on a nice trail and past the Carnegie Institute. Still on a trail, trend left and up the creek drainage. Crossing talus and snow, aim for the natural rock tongue-weakness which borders the snow up to the skyline of the left edge of the east face bowl. Follow the ridgeline to the north on a worn trail all the way to the notch/view of the awesome south face of granite (stay on the trail). Drop your packs and descend the mostly solid gully. The route starts at a point left of center on the main wall. Locate the "Goodrich Memorial", a plaque bolted to the rock in a right facing corner up and right of the route's first pitch.

Descent from the summit is quick and simple thanks to cairns and built-up steps followed by a worn trail down soft dirt which leads back to the descent gully/notch and your packs.


Nuts/hexes, 3/4" cams to 8" tubes, runners, 60M rope.


I thought this was a better route than Red Dihedral on The Incredible Hulk. Pitches two through seven are all quite good.

I thought following P1, which I followed, was the crux -- wet, loose, freezing and not overly protected.

We had a 4,5 & 6 C4 Camalot. The 5 & 6 came in handy, the 4 was basically dead weight. If you're really concerned about weight, you could leave the 5 at home, but I strongly recommend having the 6 which, if you're willing to walk it along as you climb, protects most of the harder wide parts of P4; otherwise, your protection for the last 100+' of this pitch will be a few 1/4" bolts, most of which are about 50 years old.

We found the SuperTopo pitch lengths to be consistently short.

The approach from the east is easy to screw up at several points. The correct notch from which one descends from the summit plateau can be hard to identify. We incorrectly interpreted an obvious saddle about five minutes walk south from where we'd gained the plateau as the notch; while this way we went was easy, it probably added at least 20 minutes to our approach. From the base of the route we identified what was probably the correct descent: it is pretty close to the summit, one can see the entire SW Face route from it and it faces north. Jul 3, 2007
Oakland CA
caughtinside   Oakland CA
supertopo pitch lengths were definitely short. We took a 4 and a 6 camalot, no 5, and that worked well.

The corner to chimney after that .10b traverse pitch was a sleeper crux!

I led the first pitch in late August of a light snow year and the first pitch was a little wet but not bad, .9 felt about right and pro is decent. Aug 21, 2008
Nick Stayner
Wymont Kingdom
Nick Stayner   Wymont Kingdom
We carried a double rack from blue TCU-#3 camalot, and a #6 friend (the big one), which was placed twice. The four and the five camalots are unnecessary (yes, they really are, despite the offwidth). The bolts are better than one would think, possibly retros from the 70s or some other bygone era? Physical, demanding day. The first pitch, even in mid-August, was still soaking and probably the worst pitch I climbed in the High Sierra all summer. Have fun!
Wonderful route. Sep 8, 2008
Luke Stefurak
Seattle, WA
Luke Stefurak   Seattle, WA
We had a double rack from Purple TCU to #2 Camalot and then a single #3, #4 and #6. As Nick noted the #4 was not needed and we didn't miss the #5. The #6 was nice even though the 2nd part of the O/W was at least 8" and too big for a good placement.

The bolts are old Star Drives with awesome ring piton hangers... My partner clipped them but I doubt they would hold a fall and should be replaced.

Approach beta can be found here:
dreaminvertical.com/2009/09… Sep 21, 2009
a 70 meter rope seemed to be a natural fit for this route. we used a hand drawn topo copied from the reid and falkenstein guide, and were on top in 7 pitches. 3 pitches were full 70 meters. a really, really, fun route.

Sep 26, 2009
leeds, ut
fossana   leeds, ut
This was the most sustained route I've done in the Sierra, as Jon O'Brien would say, full value. Jun 18, 2012
Eric and Lucie
Boulder, CO
Eric and Lucie   Boulder, CO
We got seriously sandbagged on the approach to this route: I think most people should expect between 4 and 6 hours carrying full gear for this route as a team of two... Aug 6, 2012
trying hard
Sierra East Side
trying hard   Sierra East Side
Linking pitches is key. This is a quick send if you link. Alternate start on pitch one was about 10c. Stoked to have a "6" on multiple pitches. Jul 14, 2013
Just did this route on June 29th. It was a really low snow year. Pitches 1 was of course wet, but so was a short section of the off width, pitch 4. And most of the traversing pitch and chimney, pitch 5 and 6. Trip report here - ianmceleney.com Jul 7, 2014
Katiebird Lambert
Bishop, CA
Katiebird Lambert   Bishop, CA
Patrick O'Donnell and I just climbed this on 8/23/14. What a beautiful route! It's standard fare for the Sierra and Yosemite (really). So, if you are used to some wetness, airy climbing, wide handling and linking pitches then this route really isn't bad. In my opinion its "SUPER FUN CLASSIC "! The old bolts are beautiful pieces of work. We brought a #6 and found it handy. We also had a #4 but it is not necessary. No #5 and I never had the thought about wanting it either. Aug 24, 2014
The most physical route I've done in the Sierra. The OW pitches felt harder than those on Keeler Needle, which are similarly graded at a higher altitude. A #6 can be walked through much of the 5.10 OW pitch 4, clipping bolts/pins as you pass by. Beware the 3rd and 6th pitch 5.8 squeezes! A very proud climb. At least 3 different guidebooks give this route a grade V rating, so be prepared. "Only 9 pitches, AND you can link some, this should be quick!". I thought this would be the easiest of the "Big 4", as it was my last, but I felt it actually was the hardest. Certainly the steepest. Sep 2, 2014
Pitch 1 is (mostly) dry as of 9/7/14. This was a full value route. We did it in 8 pitches, taking 9 hours. The pitch 2 crux is short and well-protected, and it is quite possible to, ahem, uh, stem through the 10a offwidth bit (which I followed). We brought doubles through #3 C4, plus a green big bro and #6 C4. I also threw in extra yellow and orange Mastercams and was happy to have them for building belays as pitches 2-7 (as we did them) are all rope stretchers. Fun route that never lets up. Sep 8, 2014
eric schweitzer
Bend, Oregon
eric schweitzer   Bend, Oregon
Older high sierra guidebooks for this route have less detailed information for where exactly the start is. The tatty anchor on a ledge up above the memorial plaque is NOT what your heading for! That is a bail anchor, and the numerous crack options that lead to it are a bit sketchy and might earm some poor sap his own memorial plaque someday. Start substantially left of the plaque (100 feetish). A 60 M rope is adequate but prevents linking. Jul 12, 2015
recommended rack: nuts, blue alien, doubles green alien to #2 camalot; single #3 camalot, #6 camalot.

Recommend climbing it in 7 pitches with a 70M rope.

The first pitch is serious-- even in the midst of a serious drought it is still wet, covered in slime, hard to protect and loose.

The next four pitches are awesome crack climbing.

The difficulty eases considerably for the final two pitches. Aug 17, 2015
Ben Ricketts
Salt Lake City, UT
Ben Ricketts   Salt Lake City, UT
Awesome route. Lots of real deal climbing on it and steep! Key beta in the route description for pitch 4. Don't be an idiot and climb inside the squeeze. I speak from experience on this one. Aug 16, 2016
Nelson Day
Joshua Tree, CA
Nelson Day   Joshua Tree, CA
Max Rausch
Portland, OR
Max Rausch   Portland, OR
Incredibly fun, hard and sustained. A few notes-
-A lot of snow on the approach. Icy and steep enough in the morning that crampons would have made it go a lot faster. But not necessary. Coming down in the evening we were able to ski in our approach shoes!

-Upon summiting the 'plateau,' we failed to walk up hill to the gully, and instead, walked to the left and down. We took an easy water run off gully down and to the right, with some mild bush walking, and eventually traversed over to the route base. I don't think we lost much time by doing this. 5 hours total to base.

- P1, we took the middle 5.9. Felt easy and decently protected. The regular start was dry, but filled with 20' of grass.

-The off width. I discovered after falling out of it, that you can in fact stem a large portion of it.

We took doubles of .3-2, a single #3, #4 and #6. Could have done without the #4. Never wanted a #5. Aug 20, 2017
Neil Rankin
Winston-Salem, NC
Neil Rankin   Winston-Salem, NC
One of my favorite days climbing. Pitch 2 is long and pretty sustained, and I ran it out at times mostly because of its length. The OW pitch felt strenuous and had me out of breath but wasn’t anything crazy. The two pitches after the OW pitch were my favorites on the whole route. Conness is a special peak. Dec 30, 2017
Natalie Nicole
San Francisco, CA
Natalie Nicole   San Francisco, CA
Took 4 hours to the base, including some misdirection and repacking gear for the climb at the plateau.

P2 is SO good! Stunning rock and great movement, absolute classic.

Those who are not fans of squeezes can at least be rest assured the mandatory squeeze on P6 is protectable by a #6, which you have to bring for the offwidth anyways.

Oh and a hard-earned lesson: the critters in the area will eat your backpack and hiking pole grips. Don't leave anything you care about at the plateau. Jul 16, 2018