Type: Trad, 150 ft
FA: Chris Falkenstein and Don Reid, March 1974
Page Views: 6,143 total · 51/month
Shared By: Rob Dillon on Jan 31, 2009
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


Trial by Fire is the obvious trough-looking crack splitting the slab on the way up to the start of Super Slide. At nearly a full (old-school) ropelength, it provides a through introduction to the kind of grunty, meat-and-potatoes climbing that is so frequently encountered in the Valley. As such, it is worth seeking out on its own, although a nondescript second pitch links it into Super Slide. This would turn the latter from a casual romp into more of a half-day affair. Most people will expend more calories getting up the deceptively low-angle groove of Trial By Fire than on the alleged 5.9 business of Super Slide. Strong likelihood of seasonal wetness.


V-slot in slab uphill and to the left a couple hundred yards from the Royal Arches route chimney. Looks like 4th class, right?

Rap with two ropes, or continue. A 1-rope escape is possible from trees on the terraces below Super Slide (bring webbing).


Don't skimp on the bigger stuff. Bolted anchor.


M. Morley
Sacramento, CA
M. Morley   Sacramento, CA  
If you have the time or inclination after climbing Trial by Fire, try top-roping Demimonde (5.11c) off the same anchors either with 2 ropes or possibly a single 70m. Jan 31, 2009
Jacob Krenn
Breckenridge, CO
Jacob Krenn   Breckenridge, CO
FA was Chris Falkenstein and co. Feb 18, 2009
Osprey Overhang   ...
Chris Faulkenstein hates offwidths. I asked him if that was why he put the chains in before the climb was really over. He said the chains were put in by whoever put up the face climb next to it (Demimonade .11c). If you want to finish the climb, continue past the chains to where it meets up with the Ahwahnee Buttress and Super Slab. Then rap down the fourth to the left.

FA: Chris Falkenstein, Don Reid, 3/1974 Mar 14, 2010
Mark P Thomas
Mark P Thomas   Draper
Harder than it looks! Bring a gear sling (for convenience) & wide gear (I placed 2 #4 & #5 4CUs & 1 #3 that barely worked). 2nd pitch linkup to SS is fun and not too dirty. I found it reasonable to step left from the chockstone left and cross a face to a crack system to bypass the first 'roof'. At the second 'roof' I cut left and found a tree with rap slings and enough spare rope to get to the base of P2 on Superslide in one pitch.

I highly recommend linking this route up with Super Slide for a nice long climb with a lot of variety.

I'd say that based on the other 5.8 wide stuff I've climbed (and my one experience with a 5.8 flared chimney), that this is a 5.8 & not a 5.9 if you know the technique for flares, OWs, and squeeze chimneys. Jun 7, 2011
I was expecting this climb to be slippery and burly but instead found it to be surprisingly secure and fun. A single 70 meter rope is enough to rappel from the chains.

Marc Volland posted that Falkenstein told him that the chains went in along with Demimonde. But that's odd since the 1987 Meyers guide shows those two bolts as a 120' rappel -- four years before Demimonde was born. Oct 17, 2011
As for protection i used a #3 and #4 BD Camelot. There are a few chockstones (2?) that can be used for protection. THe #3 helps get you through the first 15/20 ft. The #4 can be walked almost the entire rest of the pitch.

Pretty stout for 5.8 I thought, even though i consider myself a decent OW/Squeeze/Flare climber. Jan 15, 2012
Bergen, Norway
Custer   Bergen, Norway
115 feet. Exactly enough to rap with a 70 meter rope. May 29, 2012
San Francisco
Mareko   San Francisco
When you're not really a chimney / offwidth climber its great for training and it's low angled. Think inchworm. Grovel and squeeze your way up. We use two #4 and one #5. Sep 17, 2012
Steve Gade  
2nd Pitch has some sweet dirt jams with good pro. I will go this way to climb Superslide from now on. Jun 18, 2013
Alexey Zelditch
San Jose
Alexey Zelditch   San Jose
How "dirt jams" can be sweet? Jun 21, 2013

THIS SUCKS!! I saw it whilst on the way to the base of Super Slab, thought oh i'll just walk up this instead of the bogus SS start. NOT!! Want Beta? If you are doing it right it hurts and you're grovelling!! This is good intro to the wild and weird world of valley OW, and this one is easy!! OUCH!! Jan 20, 2015
Supertopo suggests nuts and cams down to .75. I have no idea where you would place anything smaller than a #3; I actually placed a #2 just below the anchor which ended up being unnecessary. I used (1) #5, (2) #4, (1) #3, and a large grey hex. You might also bring a couple of draws to clip into the slung chock stones, there were two when I climbed it; FYI the cord/slings looked a bit suspect. Really cool climb and would be great practice for harder chimney/offwidth type climbing in the Valley. Nov 8, 2015
Rude Boy
San Francisco, CA
Rude Boy   San Francisco, CA
I climbed this fucker a while back. WYDE! awkward and sandbagged. I remember only needing 1 #5 to keep pushing up. Nothing else really. Mar 14, 2017
Robert Shortt
San Francisco, CA
Robert Shortt   San Francisco, CA
This route is the definition of type 2 fun. Just do it! I used exactly (in camalots) one #2, one #3, two #4s, one #5. As mentioned before, draws for a couple chockstones. You can always walk and bump your gear and you'll feel secure. I feel like this is the perfect way to literally get into valley OW. At the chains I tension traversed right into the corner and took some sketchy, mungey, crumbly way up to Super Slide. Any beta on a better way to link into Super Slide would be awesome!

Beta: Mostly left side in for me. For the ~30' or so of the crux section: high left foot jams, right foot heel/toe cam, right palm pushing down. Some fists at the beginning, but very little hand jamming after that. Jun 1, 2017
Matt Glue
Boulder, CO
Matt Glue   Boulder, CO
Nice little easy climb. Only gear needed is one or two #4s, a #5, and some long slings. You can walk the cams the whole way and sling a chockstone once in a while. Can take a #2 at the top, but it's not really needed at that point. Oct 18, 2017