Type: Trad, 6 pitches, Grade III
FA: unknown
Page Views: 8,047 total · 61/month
Shared By: Luke to Zuke on Jul 18, 2008
Admins: Jared LaVacque, L. Von Dommelheimer

You & This Route

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This route is the gem of Archangel Valley if offers great climbing into the 5.10 range. It begins on the right side of the diamond feature directly across from the American Alpine Club outhouse.

The climb begins at the Steve Garvey memorial plaque on the right side of the diamond, although variations exist.

Pitch 1: 5.7. Follow the crack system up and slightly left to a bolted belay. Gear to 3-4 inches will be plenty.

Pitch 2: 5.7 From the anchor move right and clip a piton, follow the crack system upwards to mossy ledge with a bolted anchor, climb past the anchor following a wide crack on the left hand side, continue upwards through a clean splitter crack to a bolted anchor on the top of the diamond. Gear to 3 inches. A walk off exists here. Follow the grassy ramp right to the base of the climb.

Pitch 3: 5.8. Walk to a single bolt at the base of a slab, follow the slab placing gear and clipping bolts until on the arete. Follow the arete passing bolts and gear, continue up and left over dirty moss and grass, to a ledge with a two bolt anchor. gear to 3 inches.

Pitch 4: 5.9. From the anchor climb the beautiful but sadly short corner, top out onto the slab and climb right to an anchor. Gear to 1 inch.

Pitch 4a: 5.10a. This pitch is a variation. Climb right to a small ledge to a wide crack. Clip a bolt that is in an odd spot then muscle your way through the chicken wings. 5.10a, gear to 5 inches, although a 6in cam would be nice to have for the top.

Pitch 5: 5.10. This pitch, like the last one, is excellent. From the anchor scramble to the base of the crack, and climb the wide, steep corner. There is a piton at the top of the corner. Move left into small cracks, and climb over bulges, on the left side of the formation, pass a bolt or two to the anchor. Gear to about 4 inches. There is also a variation here that climbs the face to the left of the crack, there are some bolts, although I haven't climbed it.

Pitch 5a: 5.9. Move your belay to one one of the blocks, at the far right of the buttress look for a very odd, but seemly bomber bolt. Clip and step around the corner to a crack. Climb good fingers to thin hands to a weird anchor.

Pitch 6: Easy Class 5, to 5.10. This pitch is the least often climbed on the route. Multiple variations to top out exist. To climb the original route, hike down and climb the 5.10, walk down to a gear anchor, climb a wide crack, and traverse under the roof passing a fixed pin, climb jugs to a bolt. Clip the bolt and make the crux move, keep your mind in check and climb past 2 more bolts a pin, some slung blocks on thin, hard to protect moves.

Rappel the entire route on one 60m rope.


This climb is on right side of the diamond formation. There are various possible starts to the route. The route begins just to the left of the Steve Garvey memorial plaque.


Gear to 4 or 5 inches


Brian Prince
morro bay, ca
Brian Prince   morro bay, ca
P1 -- 5.8ish. Start left of the Steve Garvey plaque (which is to the right of the toe of the buttress. For those that don't know, this route goes up the 'prominent' prow of the formation across the valley from the outhouse) , and climb face and cracks to a little ledge with a 2 bolt anchor. Starting even further left in a short corner that soon meets up with the other start is possible too.

P2 -- 5.7. Climb straight up and pass some cool cracks. Belay at a big boulder with bolts in it. You should be able to actually walk down to the ground via grass ramp to your right.

P3 -- 5.7. Head up and right on vegetation/slick rock and then back left until you can safely gain the arete proper. Pass a few bolts on the arete until you reach a bolted anchor at the base of a nice, but short, crack in a corner.

P4 -- 5.9. Climb the crack/corner with perfect rock, and find another bolted anchor on the giant ledge. This ledge sits below another nice looking crack with pretty, orange, solid granite (P5)

P4 variation -- 5.10, I haven't done it, but it sounds really cool (look in the picture). Which makes it a shame that these two great pitches are side by side and not on top of each other. Head right at the bottom of the corner to reach it and then up until you are at the previously said anchor.

P5 -- 5.10. Climb up the crack that can be a little wide. Kelsey says, in his guide, that there is a bolted variation to the left. Haven't done it. Heard it's fun. The crack is really fun though. Bolted anchor on top.

P6 -- 5.9ish. Optional to get you on the summit. Walk across the vegetation being careful not to knock down rocks. You can head up wherever looks fun/safe. I'm not sure where it actually goes. We climbed two diagonal running cracks (one for hands and one for feet) around the corner to easier ground. This was fun.

Descent -- Rap the route until you can walk down the grass ramp. Random rap anchors are everywhere. Off the route and on. Jun 2, 2011
ozman   CO / NM
If you like crack climbing, pitch 4 and 5 are great. The variation to pitch four on the right is a burly offwidth too. This makes for a great day climbing. Jun 27, 2011
This route is one of the most popular and classic routes within Hatchers Pass. Upper 2 pitches are the best, and are rated 5.10. Lower pitches are 5.8ish.

There are two other pitches near the upper pitches. Bestiality is a wicked short offwidth to the right. (bring one or 2 #5's). To the left, there is a 5.10 bolted line. Jul 9, 2011
Richard Shore
Richard Shore  
Brian's description above is spot on. The route is equipped with bolted rap anchors set for a single 60M rope. The last few splitter pitches are short but excellent! Rack I'd bring next time - 1/2 set nuts, single set of cams to 4", doubles 0.5 & 0.75 camalot for the 5.9+ 4th pitch corner. Jun 28, 2013
Pitch 5 has a right variation that is not listed in the guide or here online. After climbing the short perfect corner or the OW move right. After moving right look hard for a strange and hard to find bolt. After clipping the strange bolt step into the void while using hard to see holds. Climb into a crack system and belay at the top of the crack climb. This pitch is fun if you don't feel like climbing your way up the 5.10. I think this pitch is 5.9. Jun 13, 2014
Tim Cox, Nick Graeser and I started via True Grit 5.10a, after deciding we did not have gear for Festoon. They don't own any stoppers and I did not bring any gear to Alaska. We did Tic Tok 5.8 and the true first pitch couple days previous. Wandered up easy rock to top of second pitch from top of True Grit. 3rd pitch long but easy. 4th super fun crack/corner, too short! 5th steep fist/offwidth/wide hands crack/corner, but also short. Traversed way down right around corner/arete to start 6th. Climbed up left of small roof through lichen encrusted crack/loose blocks to fixed pin below roof. Big holds at roof enable an easy clip of newer bolt above, then super fun moves over roof and above past another fixed pin to another newer bolt. From here I could see the summit, but there were no more bolts, only a thin seam about 15 feet above and a fixed sling on a loose looking block another 15 feet above that near the summit. The climbing looked easy, but the rock was super encrusted with lichen and moss and slightly damp due to typical Alaska weather. Not having any small stoppers for the thin seam above cinched my decision to retreat. Tim tr'd up to the high point and agreed retreat was best. Overall a great alpine Alaskan adventure route, but someday the route will fall to the boulder field below, as just left of the route has already. Aug 3, 2014
Kevin Downie  
Just a reminder to bypass 1st set of anchors on Pitch 2. We forgot this advice that was given in the guide; From this 1st set of anchors you will need about 70 meters of rope to get to the base of pitch 5.

The 5.9+ is at the top of our lead skills, we could have used some doubles of the smaller cams on pitch 4. The crack takes nuts well, but it more enjoyable for the follower pulling cams rather than fighting to remove the nuts. May 28, 2015
L. Von Dommelheimer
L. Von Dommelheimer   Anchorage  
The third pitch on this was "cleaned" in 2015 by party unknown. The cleaning exposed many loose blocks and made the section to the pitch 4 anchor much less secure. Sometimes leaving moss in place on less continuous faces is the best practice. Jun 22, 2015
Jim Med
Bellingham, WA
  5.10a R
Jim Med   Bellingham, WA
  5.10a R
The 4th and 5th pitches are nice crack/corner pitches- the jamming can be facilitated with good stemming. We had one #3 and one #4 and protection was no problem (moved the #4 up once on the 5th pitch). The last, 6th pitch, way over to climber's right across the loose, grassy gulley, is another story. This pitch seemed to me way out of character compared to the other pitches in that it had quite a bit of loose, insecure feeling rock, poor protection, and ABUNDANT, thick lichen on the face above the roof- the small holds are just barely clean of vegetation, and there is not much pro above the new bolts- I wiggled in some marginal thin cams in the seam Bill mentions in his comment, then climbed the face to the right of the long, dangling purple runner- ostensibly hung to provide some pro for the final slab moves. Definitely a nervy pitch. Possibly the second/worst dirtiest alpine pitch I have climbed on rock, after the Guano Chimney on the North Face of the Grand Teton. I'm also new to alpine rock around Hatcher Pass, so maybe this is par for the course. I'll explore other options to this last pitch in future ascents of Toto! Maybe this pitch is cleaned up more later in the season? Beautiful setting! Jun 3, 2016
C. Williams
the Climber Cave
C. Williams   the Climber Cave
The 6th pitch "slab of tears!" Classic for a completely different set of reasons. The conditions you found are not uncommon on lesser traveled pitches in the Hatcher area. Jun 3, 2016
Mat Brunton  
There are a couple stuck cams in the 5.9+ pitch 4 crack that seem reliable for clipping, so if you're carrying doubles in the 5.-.75 range you'll really be able to stitch it up! Jun 24, 2016