Type: Trad, 3300 ft, Grade VI
FA: Thomas and Alexander Huber, 1998
Page Views: 188,699 total · 1,465/month
Shared By: bheller on Sep 23, 2008
Admins: M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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Access Issue: Yosemite National Park climbing closures and conditions Details


Freerider is the Astroman of the new millennium. This route is climbing at its finest. The route follows complex crack systems up the southwest face of El Capitan. Essentially it is the Salathe wall with a few variations used (pioneered by Alex Huber) to avoid the numerous 5.13 crux pitches first freed by Paul Piana and Todd Skinner in the mid 80's.


The first 10 pitches of this route are often independently completed as a separate route and is known as Freeblast-5.11. A good description of Freeblast already exists on this site under the El Capitan base routes heading.


One set micronuts and nuts. One purple metolius, doubles from blue metolius to #3 camalot (with 3 orange metolius/.5 BD), one #4 camalot, one #5 camalot, one #6 camalot, and one #6 friend. 23 alpine style draws.
George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
Check out Clint Cummins' web page for history, beta and topos for this route, and other long Yosemite free routes. He has recorded free ascents of this route up to #32 in June 2008. Sep 24, 2008
Scott Bennett
Scott Bennett   Michigan
Has anyone tried the Teflon Corner lately? I've heard from many folks that the bolted "Huber" variation has lost a key hold, and is now much harder (mid-13ish?). Was this the bolt line to the right of the dihedral? Are there any variations to the left? The corner itself is still 12d, I guess... What sort of style is it?

Thanks in advance,

PS- Any beta on the "Scotty Burke" OW? I've seen the Monster and have an idea of what to expect (ughh...), is the SBOW harder? Nov 16, 2009
Morrison, CO
Monomaniac   Morrison, CO  
The Teflon Corner is insecure ninja stemming. Its the dihedral left of the Huber Variation. The pitch actually wanders all over the place, and veers way left, below the teflon corner, before jogging back right to an optional belay right of the Huber Variation. Nov 16, 2009
bheller   SL UT
The Huber variation boulder problem did experience some breakage... a large breadloaf like sloper broke off. It is probably solid v7 now. It can still be done, its just it may require a very commiting dyno and not offer a clipping stance before you soar. The Teflon corner is a water polished dihedral that requires crazy palm stemming and body english. Don't be afraid of it- once I chalked my palms REALLY well, I freed it right off... I did feel like I was going to fall the whole time though. I remember a lot of backstepping and dropkneeing in the smears. After it was done it felt like one of those things that is impossible to rate.

The SBOW is harder than the monster in my opinion, but it is not as long and sustained. We found the trick was to lieback out of the crack for a section low on the route, and then try to swim back into it for the difficult slightly overhanging section of about 15 feet or so.

Best of Luck! Nov 23, 2009
Scott Bennett
Scott Bennett   Michigan
Thanks for the beta, can't wait 'til spring in the Valley!

One more question: how is the Round Table ledge as a bivy, comfy for two? Nov 30, 2009
FA: Alex Huber, Thomas Huber, 1998 Jan 21, 2012
Evan Stevens
  5.12+ PG13
Evan Stevens  
  5.12+ PG13
I went up with 1 #6 camalot...it worked but was scary! Really tipped out in a few sections. A #6 friend and/or valley giant is recommended.

Round table is a good hang, but i wouldn't want to bivy there for 2 folks. The block is big but really slopey.

Seems the preferred sending style is how my partner and I approached it. Rapped in with a few days of water/food and stashed at the alcove. Then climb in 1 day to the alcove. Next day climb through the crux and fix back to the alcove with 1 60m and 1 70m rope. Then jug and fire to the summit. That final day is like doing the Uwall to Roman Chimneys in Squamish...burly day!

Finish off by rapping back down and getting your stuff back. It is almost entirely at least 2 bolt anchors and chains to rap the route now. Really straight forward and takes about 3-4 hours. Rapping the salathe headwall is wild! Clip in on the way down or bounce like mad! You can rap the freerider variation, but then you need to swing over to Sous Le Toit. Rapping the route, you can also stash food/water on the round table and the block for your last day.

Please please please pack up your trash and even take some more on your way down. My partner and I filled a stubby haul bag with other people's waste!

message me if you want a full beta spray down on tactics, I was given a ton of info before venturing out and it helped a ton.

We did the Teflon corner. Try it a few times, it was absolutely hopeless at first, but then it just clicked. Nov 24, 2012
Boulder, CO
NateB   Boulder, CO
vimeo.com/52653452 Dec 3, 2012
skinny legs and all
Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania
skinny legs and all   Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania
Following Michael Reardon's onsight free solo of Romantic Warrior (5.12b) at California's Needles, he hinted of possible intentions to do a ground up, onsight free solo of Freerider. I for one think that he had a chance of accomplishing this feat. To even consider this is audacious to say the least. Reardon was in my opinion the most talented free soloist until Alex Honnold came on the scene, surpassing even John Bachar and Peter Croft, which is saying a lot. Because of Michael's untimely death, we will never know what might have been possible. Jan 10, 2014
Kelley Gilleran
Sacramento, Ca
Kelley Gilleran   Sacramento, Ca
Honnold completed the free solo of Freerider today.

nationalgeographic.com/adve… Jun 3, 2017
1Eric Rhicard
1Eric Rhicard   Tucson
Time to change the gear selection to no rope stoppers or cams, just two big nuts! Just absolutely amazing Alex Honnold! Jun 4, 2017
It took me a while to interpret the mysterious FA info. Thomas and Alexander Huber are known as the "Huberbuam" in Bavarian dialect, which translates to "Huber boys". So the FA credit should go to "T. and A. Huber" (or, if you must, to "The Huberbuam"), but certainly not to "Huber Baum". Oops, just saw that Osprey already said that in 2012, but it didn't get corrected. Apr 4, 2019
Vicki Schwantes
Sacramento, CA
Vicki Schwantes   Sacramento, CA  
FA corrected. Apr 9, 2019
bheller   SL UT
Huber Baum was an intentional joke that was infused with meaning...thanks for dumbing that down for the masses:/ Apr 9, 2019