Type: Trad, Aid, 2000 ft (606 m), 19 pitches, Grade VI
FA: Dave Bircheff, Phil Bircheff, and Jim Pettigrew, 1976 FFA: Tommy Caldwell, Beth Rodden, 6/2000
Page Views: 99,357 total · 503/month
Shared By: Michael Schneiter on Feb 21, 2008
Admins: Mike Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer Ski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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Description Suggest change

Lurking Fear is the easiest aid climb on El Capitan. The aid is straight forward and the free climbing is excellent. The entire free climb checks in at 5.13c (FFA: Tommy Caldwell and Beth Rodden). Despite the moderate grade of this route, it doesn't see nearly as much traffic as The Nose or The Salathe. There is a fair amount of terrain that can be free climbed at a moderate grade and the aid on terrain harder than that tends to be mostly C1. The vast majority of the route seemed to haul easily. The SuperTopo warns about bad hauling on the upper pitches but we didn't find anything overly difficult or frustrating. There are few, good natural ledges on this route for bivying, besides Thanksgiving Ledge. The top of the route features seemingly endless slabs hence it is also popular to rap the route. This route is a good candidate for wall climbers looking for their first El Cap route. It would be difficult to give pitch-by-pitch beta so consult a topo such as the Yosemite Super Topo book.

Location Suggest change

Lurking Fear is on the far left side of El Capitan. Hike to the base of the wall, as you would for the Nose, and then skirt the base of the wall, hiking up the long slope beneath the face. The approach feels long, particularly when carrying a haul bag and comparing it to the Nose. It makes you realize how big El Cap is, as you traverse underneath a lot of rock on your way to Lurking Fear. There is a few hundred feet of 3rd and 4th class ledges to negotiate, shortly before the start of the route. It is probably advisable to haul bags or fix lines on some of these sections. The start of the route is about 100 feet from the corner of the buttress and starts in a left-facing corner.

Protection Suggest change

Double set of nuts, including small nuts. Triple set of cams up to red Camalot and double set of cams to old #4.5 Camalot. A selection of basic hooks, cam hooks and rivet hangers. Can also bring few heads in case any are missing.