Type: Trad, 400 ft, 4 pitches, Grade III
FA: John Bachar & Dave Yerian, 1981
Page Views: 24,501 total · 194/month
Shared By: LeeAB Brinckerhoff on Sep 2, 2008
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


P1-5.11c/.12a Head up the ramp at the left end of the B-Y ledge for a ways, then climb easy knobs up to the base of the prominent black streak, reach from the horizontal to clip a bolt. V3/V4 boulder problem, and all that that implies about the grade, gets you established above the bulge, clip another bolt. continuous 5.11- climbing gets you to a left facing flake that would take a .75 camalot, I believe. Follow the flake to the anchor. Relatively well protected, though pounding into the slab would not be pleasant.
P2-5.11a Steep right off the belay and clip a bolt, no factor 2 falls. Look up, compose yourself and set off on through the slightly overhanging sea of knobs passing 3 bolts in 120' on the way to the next anchor. One of the BEST pitches ANYWHERE, if this was on East Cottage and had 6 bolts you would have to wait in line all day just to get on it.
P3-5.10d Less steep that the previous 2 pitches with hard moves right off the belay and again the last 10' before getting to the horizontal. Traverse right about 30' to the next anchor, using stoppers and thin cams to protect the traverse.
P4-5.8/9 Climb the flared, knobby, lichen covered (doesn't pro real well) crack to its end and a 1/4" bolt. If you have the luxury of an old, old Tuolumne guide book then you will see that it says to traverse right into a left facing corner, I instead headed straight up from the 1/4" bolt on terrifying flaky way more runout slab climbing to the top. Needless to say I don't have a very good description for the end of the route.

  • I would recommend rapping after the first 3 pitches as it did not seem that the top got done very often and it saves you from having to carry shoes for the descent.
  • I really felt that the first pitch involved a V3/4 boulder problem and one other person I talked to that had lead the pitch agreed, perhaps the first pitch is actually 5.12a, but for now I'll leave it at 5.11c since that is so much better than the original 5.10+ rating.
  • If you can get through the first pitch the second should be doable.
  • The bolts are beefy, not 1/4"ers (until the 4th pitch) and the 2nd and 3rd pitches have bolts pretty much right off the belays, so perhaps R/X or even R is more appropriate or maybe E5 6a. . . I think?
  • The second pitch is a true standout


Facing Medlicott Dome it is on the right hand side and follows the very prominent black streak all the way to the top. The route begins just to the left of four or five shorter bolted sport routes.


6-8 QD's or slings, stoppers and cams to .75 camalot for the first 3 pitches, full rack to #3 camalot if topping out.


LeeAB Brinckerhoff
  5.11c X
LeeAB Brinckerhoff   ABQ, NM  
  5.11c X
I guess there are two ways to view it, there is the story of Scott Frye? hanging at the belay cowering while Shipoopi broke a knob off and started to barn door on the 3rd pitch before the horizontal. The other side is that I know someone, who while they probably did not belong on the route broke an ankle taking a 60+ footer for a second time, on the second pitch I think. Mar 4, 2009
john strand
southern colo
john strand   southern colo
I believe the f'a was '81 NOT '87 Sep 29, 2010
Andrew McLean
Eldoorado Springs, CO
Andrew McLean   Eldoorado Springs, CO
Cool short film of a recent onsight:

vimeo.com/14878084 Nov 10, 2010
LeeAB Brinckerhoff
  5.11c X
LeeAB Brinckerhoff   ABQ, NM  
  5.11c X
I like the belay anchor on top... Nov 10, 2010
Adam Brink
on the road
Adam Brink   on the road
What is the aspect of the climb? Does it get sun or shade in the summer? Would it be doable in July or too hot? Feb 16, 2011
J. Albers
J. Albers   Colorado
Medlicott more less faces west; thus you get shade in the morning hours. If you cruise it early, then summer is probably fine. Otherwise, the best time of year is fall when the temps cool down a bit.
EDIT: Adam, you should also keep in mind that the mosquitoes can be brutal up in Tuolumne until the snow melts and things dry out a bit (usually by late July to early August depending on the snow year). Feb 16, 2011
LeeAB Brinckerhoff
  5.11c X
LeeAB Brinckerhoff   ABQ, NM  
  5.11c X
One thing is for sure, it will be less crowded than the gash. Wear long-sleeves and pants to combat the mosquitos. DEET is always effective too, if you are into that, in my experience the herbal stuff is worthless. Once you are on the walls the mosquitos leave you alone for the most part.

If it is really too hot in Tuolumne you can always head to Mt. Conness, Speed of Life, Third Pillar of Dana, etc. Mar 2, 2012
Jon Clark
Philadelphia, PA
Jon Clark   Philadelphia, PA
I have to disagree with one point in Lee's otherwise excellent description. I strongly not recommend rapping after climbing the first three pitches. The final pitch is part of the experience. The climbing is not trivial, nor is it easy. If you rap after pitch three you'll rob yourself of a full ascent. The summitt is pretty cool BTW. Sep 10, 2013
if you rap after pitch 3, it doesn't count Dec 26, 2015
Job van Hemert
Job van Hemert   Hilversum
Totally agree with John Clark. Definetely top out! The dirty crack is not much fun, but protects very well, bomber Gear and is actually fun in a way, type 2. And the 5th pitch is cool, traverse right indeed, to get over the little bulge and then just wander trough the sea of (huge!) knobs, with one or two tie-offs and a cam. The summit is Totally worth it with a beautiful lake on top!

Summer is fine! Just before the sun hits the wall around 12.30.

Not much musquitos in june at Medlicott dome at all!

First pitch is sort of scary, but easy and halfway to the first bolt is a bomber knob tie-off! Second pitch is brilliant, runout but not very dangerous unless you hit your belayer. Third pitch is most dangerous i think, reaching the second bolt is very runout (like 15 meter?), but no reason to fall there. 4th is safe, 5th runout ofcourse but no problem.

Totally go for it if you have few grades margin..! Or be very bold i guess.

One tip I think might make a difference in case of a fall: in the 2nd and 3rd pitch give the belayer a long leash to the first bolt, right above the anchor, and a back-up leash to the belay so he or she can give you a soft catch in case...

Dont forget to read the first ascent story!


Cheers, Job Jul 9, 2018