Type: Trad, 600 ft, 3 pitches
FA: Royal Robbins, Jerry Gallwas 1957, FFA: RR, Tm Herbert
Page Views: 3,845 total · 33/month
Shared By: mschlocker on May 17, 2009
Admins: C Miller, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

You & This Route

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A nice route off the left side of the FBT ledge.

P1: The easiest pitch. Cruise up nice cracks up to below the small roof.

P2: The crux. Pull the roof. Here you will learn all about the route's namesake. Well protected but hard. Continue up more entertaining climbing.

P3: Head up a lieback flake and finish up Super Pooper or head left to finish on White Maiden's.

This is how the pitches are in the guide but you could probably do it in 2.


Off the left side of the FBT ledge.


Everything to 3 or 4".


I think combining pitches 1 and 2 is the way to go. It is much more comfortable for the belayer. Belaying below the roof is unnecessary. Plus, do Standup Flake as the approach and you add another star to an already great climb. Jul 5, 2009
Jack Ziegler
San Luis Obispo, CA
Jack Ziegler   San Luis Obispo, CA
probably want a number 4 or two for pitch 3, unless your are comfortable running it out a bit on laybacking

there is an hard/akward mantel on the 2nd pitch to get to the belay, that i thought was harder than the roof.

the roof is fun though May 30, 2010
Chris Owen
Big Bear Lake
Chris Owen   Big Bear Lake  
I think "The Step" is actually on the third pitch, a foot long platform past the undercling traverse? That's how I seem to remember it anyway. Mar 3, 2011
One of the few moderates I haven't repeated until lately. The pitches given in the guide make little sense, the P1 belay would be very short (as noted in the top in the previous guide but redacted out of the current). I would pitch it as follows:

P0: Standup Flake: As noted above a quality approach to the FBT, you will likely move the belay from the tree to below the first pitch. Lots of loose rock, this ledge is like a gold medal trundle run.

P1: From a fairly comfortable belay, climb up to the roof (5.8+). The rock at the roof proper is fractured but there's good gear just above. Pull the namesake and continue up move easier climbing until another short headwall. Another sequence of harder climbing is found, and on the ledge just after, it may seem like a good belay (especially if you've keep a few bigger pieces), but move 15' higher for a better belay.

P2: Climb the wide lay backs above until a nice belay is found. A larger piece comes in handy here, but the climbing never gets too hard. From a ledge with a mountain mahogany, you can go either left (one the WM Finishes) or right. It is a short pitch to the top, but the rope drag would be painful, so perhaps hand a few pieces to your follower as he blasts past you to the top for a short 3rd pitch.

Good climbing that doesn't get done a ton. You'll likely consider it hard for the 5.10a grade. But you can make anything hard right? Jul 24, 2011
Santa Monica, Ca
JaredVagy   Santa Monica, Ca
Beta Tip: Try not to place cams overhead too far on the roof (like I did) or else you will rob yourself of a crucial hand jam. Jul 28, 2011
Linked 1 and 2 as suggested, then fired a full 60m pitch all the way to the summit via Super Pooper. Rope drag was HEINOUS on the last pitch, even with long slings on all pro. I had to pull up 20 feet of slack using both hands to finish the last short 5.7 slab section. Great route, but take my advice and break up the last 60m into two pitches.

At 5.10a, this is a one-move wonder. Above the roof, the awkward mantle mentioned above is probably only 5.9, and the rest of the climb checks in around 5.8. Good for someone breaking into the grade, as the crux is well protected. Sep 30, 2011
Ryan Bracci
San Juan Capistrano, CA
Ryan Bracci   San Juan Capistrano, CA
I highly recommend climbing the Standup Fake route to get to the base of The Step. Once at the tree (belay station) for Standup Flake the start of The Step is a short scramble up and left. I also recommend climbing The Step in 3 pitches from this point as Murf suggests. Once over the second roof set a belay below the flake/wide lieback. Climb the flake and set another belay at the tree. You can then finish the climb either going left on White Maiden or right to finish on the last pitch of Super Pooper. Sep 17, 2013
I had some trouble at the roof, up and down, but once I saw how to do it went down nicely. It all protects pretty well, one #4 useful for the layback finish. Oct 22, 2013
curt sanders  
Done it a few times in the 80s and 90s. Enjoyed it every time. Hung on the roof the first time up. May 4, 2018
Rob Donnelly
Riverside, CA
Rob Donnelly   Riverside, CA
All the comments here are spot on:

  • Approach via Standup Flake
  • The 5.9 mantle is harder than the 10a roof
  • Do it in 2 pitches (from FBT to the fork)
  • A #4 for the lieback

The 10a roof protects better than the 5.9 mantle and is more straightforward. I couldn't do the mantle by staying in the corner due to poor feet. Traversing left a bit made it possible but still hard with bad fall potential with a swing into the dihedral.

There is an interesting looking alternate crack at the start that joins the route before the 10a roof. Aug 21, 2018