Type: Trad, 270 ft, 3 pitches
FA: Jim Bridwell, Bruce Kumph & Mark Klemens 8/70
Page Views: 6,062 total · 44/month
Shared By: Darko Sarenac on Sep 14, 2007
Admins: M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Yosemite National Park climbing closures and conditions Details


Pitch 1. This pitch is the business. Climb the flare that ends with a hardish (.9) move to a sloping ledge, enter the chimney with some difficulty, move right from the chimney to a thin hand to fingers corner. This exit goes at 10b, but what really gets you is the physical climbing below. Belay at the tree. Pitch 2. Climb some 50 feet to a ledge where you can see a hand crack about 15 feet to the right. Pitch 3 is one of the best 5.9 hand cracks in the Valley. A true jewel.


Start about 30 or so feet to the right of Midterm.

Rappel the route or walk off (rather tricky).


Standard Valley rack with emphasis on thin hands.


I found the flare to be the crux of the whole route. The third pitch is amazing perfect hands. Sep 30, 2008
Fat Dad
Los Angeles, CA
Fat Dad   Los Angeles, CA
OK, I didn't think the flare was the crux, definitely the first pitch; but it sure the heck isn't 5.8 hands like the Meyers guide says. It was too wide for me to fist jam and awkward as heck. I ended up doing a stemmy, liebacky finessy thing to swim past it. Jan 26, 2009
Oakland, CA
Sirius   Oakland, CA
Can be done in two pitches - either belay after the traverse at the base of the hero handcrack on a good stance, or gun for the top from the bolted anchor at the end of p1. Double ropes will help. Jan 5, 2010
Will S
Joshua Tree
Will S   Joshua Tree
First pitch is currently a museum of stuck gear, maybe 4 or 5 pieces total. A hacksaw/chisel mission would really serve it well. May 23, 2010
Alexey Zelditch
San Jose
Alexey Zelditch   San Jose
Just did all Gripper as one ~270 ft pitch . My new 80m rope have same exact length as a route.
But on rappel you still need 2 ropes -80m come 5 feet short off the bolts on top of pitch 1 Dec 13, 2010
Phil Esra  
when the supertopo says one 3-3.5" for pro, best to interpret that as one 3" and one 3.5". A BD #3 and #4, or two #3s, is fine, but having only one piece in that size isn't ideal. Also, when the topo says that the p2 belay takes medium cams "and bush," i think they must be making a joke. It's a sad, bushy little bush. Plenty of other options though--small cams, medium cams, a big nut.

Really cool route. P1 is pretty damn hard all the way through, but not enduro; P3 is rad. Jan 17, 2011
Mark P Thomas
Mark P Thomas   Draper
Start really felt more like sustained wide 5.9 to me compared to other climbs in the Valley. Chimney is not that hard and pulling the roof wasn't as tricky as expected. What got me was the thin flaring crack after the roof 'crux'. At least for me, I couldn't stay secure or get rests, so that part was really tough for me. We linked P2-3 as a very nice long pitch. Definitely don't stop after the first pitch! May 4, 2013
Climber Ryan
Auburn, CA
Climber Ryan   Auburn, CA
First pitch only. Jan 21, 2015
Ryan K.  
The route might be spelled "Gripper", but I'm certain it's pronounced "GRIPPED!!!" Feb 14, 2016
As a bit of history, BITD there used to be a small, black, plastic gorilla in the crack on the first pitch. After you climbed up the handcrack and grabbed the chicken head there was the gorilla staring directly at you with bared teeth! Sep 19, 2016
Ben Kraft
San Francisco, CA
Ben Kraft   San Francisco, CA
P1 can be rapped with a 70m Nov 7, 2016