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Routes in Calaveras Dome

Fallen Angel T 5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Fine Line S 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
King Kong T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Layin' On The Hands T 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Medicine Man T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c A0 R
Mighty Joe Young T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Mr. Stiffy T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Old Smokey T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Sands of Time T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Schizophrenic Dike T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Silk Road (High Times) T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c PG13
Wall of the Worlds T 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b PG13
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Type: Trad, 1000 ft, 11 pitches, Grade III
FA: unknown
Page Views: 19,318 total · 169/month
Shared By: Rick D on Jun 26, 2009
Admins: Aron Quiter, Lurker, Refuge Jared, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

You & This Route


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Description

Pitch 1 climbs through some funky wide stuff, 5.8. Has big bolted anchors.

Pitch 2 goes through a roof to a bolted ledge. Fun double-crack jamming up higher in the slot and sweet face climbing over the roof characterize this pitch.

Pitch 3 ends at a big ledge above.

Pitch 4 is a short pitch w/ chimney.

Pitch 5 reminded me of an upgraded version of the p3 finger crack on West Crack in Tuolumne. Has bolted anchors at top. One more pitch to the twelve o'clock ledge.

Pitch 6 reminded me of various sections on Crying Time Again in Tuolumne.

From the 12 o'clock ledge, you'll want to move the belay up onto the small ledge above you. There is a brush-filled ramp that heads up and right and then walk back left across the ledge to belay below a white flake.

Pitch 7 (variation going up West Tibetan Tower) is a long pitch of mostly 5.5 and 5.6 with some 5.7 moves up a corner. Anchor in less-than-great rock.

Pitch 8 up East Tibetan Tower is a 5.8 squeeze chimney. Somewhat hard to protect and stays tough for quite a ways. Eat your food, Tina.

Climb up the flake about 20 ft, place some gear and then make a cruxy traverse right. There is a slopey softball sized knob which I used as a handhold. You are aiming to get to the small corner/flake up and to the right. The first couple moves are the hardest (5.9) but it stays somewhat sustained in the 5.8-5.7 range higher up. Don't blow any of the moves or you will take an ugly swing back into the big flake below.

At the small corner you can get a solid .5" TCU. Climb straight up the face to another small left facing corner. The gear here is tricky (micro cams help) and the stances aren't very good for fiddling with gear. Climb to the top of the corner and then follow a dike up and left. From here you just wander up the face, taking advantage of the numerous knobs and features. There is no gear however, so don't blow it in the upper regions of the pitch or you will crater on the ledge 150' below. I found a way through that felt about 5.6, but there is potential to make it harder if you don't route-find correctly. Even at 5.6, it feels sort of "out there" as you pinch slopey knobs and smear your feet while looking at a death fall. The pitch ends at a ledge/ramp that diagonals up and to the left. Gear anchor.

From here, we got off-route for the next two pitches so I can only speculate at pitches 9 and 10. Pitch 9 looks like it wanders across the face up and right to belay beneath the big left-facing corner above. It also looks like another ass-puckering pitch of 5.9 face, like the previous one, or possibly even worse. Pitch 10 climbs the left facing corner, with probably some chimney climbing. The topo calls it 5.8 and it doesn't look bad. This will take you to War Lord Ledge.

The variation we did was actually quite nice and I recommend it. From the top of p8, wander up about 40ft of easy face climbing to a bolt. From here you follow a line of bolts along a dike that angles up and to the left. Probably 5.8. Some of the bolts are a bit rusted, but they're fat ones and the hangers are nice and fat too. Belay at a bolt anchor above the dike. Pitch 10 continues following the bolted dike with a section of 5.9 near the end. This will take you to War Lord Ledge. The dike (and bolts) continue on, and this is probably the best way to finish the climb, but we were pressed for time and decided to just finish up the moderate final pitches of Sands. But first a 5.0 pitch along War Lord Ledge is necessary to link up with the top of p10 of Sands.

Pitch 11 climbs up a left facing corner to a ledge. Traverse along the ledge to the right and then climb up the right side of a flake to a small ledge at the top of the flake. 5.5 maybe.

Pitch 12 follows the obvious dike above the ledge through the low angle and lichen covered face. There's no pro, but only the first couple moves are maybe 5.6, and then it turns to easy 5th/4th class. From the top of this pitch you can unrope and 3rd class it to the top of the dome.

If you walk over to the far left side of the ledge you will find some wrap anchors that drop you into silk road which you can wrap to the base of the route. NEED 2 60 METER ROPES! Or you can stay on route through 5 more pitches of run out slab climbing. We climbed two more pitches up the right side of Tibetan towers which is found on the left side of 12 o'clock ledge. The first pitch is easy 5.6 and second is dirty 5.8 chimney. The top of the second is really dirty. You will find wrap anchors for silk road at the top of Tibetan tower which you can take to the ground, or you can link back to the original route on war lord ledge which heads right.

One short single rope rap to the top of West Tibetan Tower and then four double rope raps to the start of the route IIRC.

Leave adequate time to find the rap anchors on War of the Walls, if that's the way you're descending. We ended up heading straight to them by pure luck, but there were times as we headed down the increasingly steep slabs that I was questioning if we were going the right way. It's not very obvious and the drop off below you gives the feeling that you're walking off the edge of a cliff.

Location

Climbs up the left side of the hour glass buttress. Starts just to the right of silk road.

Protection

Standard rack to 4.5" plus nuts.
DJ Reyes
Northern Nevada
DJ Reyes   Northern Nevada
This is one of my all time favorites. The finger crack on the fifth pitch is money! I've heard that the Silk Road Rap has been upgraded since I did the route in the early 2000's. Jul 13, 2010
Aerili
Los Alamos, NM
 
Aerili   Los Alamos, NM
 
This route description is somewhat sparse.

Pitch 2 is not "the" crux of the route. Also, going left at the start does not bypass the 5.9 move (it's just more and longer 5.9 and offers bad rope drag as you get higher to boot). Fun double-crack jamming up higher in the slot and sweet face climbing over the roof characterize this pitch.

Pitch 5 reminded me of an upgraded version of the p3 finger crack on West Crack in Tuolumne.

Pitch 6 reminded me of various sections on Crying Time Again in Tuolumne.

Pitch 7 (variation going up West Tibetan Tower) is a long pitch of mostly 5.5 and 5.6 with some 5.7 moves up a corner. Anchor in less-than-great rock.

Pitch 8 up East Tibetan Tower is a 5.8 squeeze chimney. Somewhat hard to protect and stays tough for quite a ways. Eat your food, Tina.

One short single rope rap to the top of West Tibetan Tower and then four double rope raps to the start of the route iirc. May 16, 2011
Bryan G
Yosemite
Bryan G   Yosemite
Not much info on the upper pitches of the route, so here's my beta:

From the 12 o'clock ledge, you'll want to move the belay up onto the small ledge above you. There is a brush-filled ramp that heads up and right and then walk back left across the ledge to belay below a white flake.

Pitch 8: Climb up the flake about 20 ft, place some gear and then make a cruxy traverse right. There is a slopey softball sized knob which I used as a handhold. You are aiming to get to the small corner/flake up and to the right. The first couple moves are the hardest (5.9) but it stays somewhat sustained in the 5.8-5.7 range higher up. Don't blow any of the moves or you will take an ugly swing back into the big flake below.

At the small corner you can get a solid .5" TCU. Climb straight up the face to another small left facing corner. The gear here is tricky (micro cams help) and the stances aren't very good for fiddling with gear. Climb to the top of the corner and then follow a dike up and left. From here you just wander up the face, taking advantage of the numerous knobs and features. There is no gear however, so don't blow it in the upper regions of the pitch or you will crater on the ledge 150' below. I found a way through that felt about 5.6, but there is potential to make it harder if you don't route-find correctly. Even at 5.6, it feels sort of "out there" as you pinch slopey knobs and smear your feet while looking at a death fall. The pitch ends at a ledge/ramp that diagonals up and to the left. Gear anchor.

From here, we got off-route for the next two pitches so I can only speculate at pitches 9 and 10. Pitch 9 looks like it wanders across the face up and right to belay beneath the big left-facing corner above. It also looks like another ass-puckering pitch of 5.9 face, like the previous one, or possibly even worse. Pitch 10 climbs the left facing corner, with probably some chimney climbing. The topo calls it 5.8 and it doesn't look bad. This will take you to War Lord Ledge.

The variation we did was actually quite nice and I recommend it. From the top of p8, wander up about 40ft of easy face climbing to a bolt. From here you follow a line of bolts along a dike that angles up and to the left. Probably 5.8. Some of the bolts are a bit rusted, but they're fat ones and the hangers are nice and fat too. Belay at a bolt anchor above the dike. Pitch 10 continues following the bolted dike with a section of 5.9 near the end. This will take you to War Lord Ledge. The dike (and bolts) continue on, and this is probably the best way to finish the climb, but we were pressed for time and decided to just finish up the moderate final pitches of Sands. But first a 5.0 pitch along War Lord Ledge is necessary to link up with the top of p10 of Sands.

Pitch 11 climbs up a left facing corner to a ledge. Traverse along the ledge to the right and then climb up the right side of a flake to a small ledge at the top of the flake. 5.5 maybe.

Pitch 12 follows the obvious dike above the ledge through the low angle and lichen covered face. There's no pro, but only the first couple moves are maybe 5.6, and then it turns to easy 5th/4th class. From the top of this pitch you can unrope and 3rd class it to the top of the dome.

Leave adequate time to find the rap anchors on War of the Walls, if that's the way you're descending. We ended up heading straight to them by pure luck, but there were times as we headed down the increasingly steep slabs that I was questioning if we were going the right way. It's not very obvious and the drop off below you gives the feeling that you're walking off the edge of a cliff. Oct 25, 2011
mpech  
great moderate climb, with a good amount of variety.

If you are rapping off of 12 o'clock ledge-- there are rap anchors present, but they are difficult to see (brown colored). They are found directly above the gully, on the left side. There is no need to sling the small tree to rappel. Jun 15, 2014
Justin Johnsen
Sacramento, CA
Justin Johnsen   Sacramento, CA  
It seems Rick has left the building, does anyone want to adopt this page?

In the meantime, I've added much of your helpful comments into the main description, Aerili and Bryan. Aug 20, 2014
Salamanizer suchoski
Janesville Ca.
 
Salamanizer suchoski   Janesville Ca.  
 
That's too much info IMO.

Anyway, I've got plans to re-vamp the entire Cal Domes page and add dozens of routes, pics etc... I just need to find the time. One of these days I suppose. Aug 21, 2014
Climbed 8/30/14, first Cal Dome route and a great intro.

Pitch 1: Funky 5.8 climbing, got early morning sun. Can belay at the low set of anchors (visible from the base) or at the set about 15-20 meters above those, with a 60m rope.
Pitch 3: Next pitch felt greasy and insecure in the sun, two different lines, we took the line lookers left up the crack to a weird slab step over move.
Pitch 3: Move the belay up the easy slab and around the corner to the base of the obvious crack/chimney. Be careful as you do this, as there is lots of loose stuff on the ledge before you go around the corner that is easily knocked loose.
Pitch 4: Short 5.9 chimneyish pitch. THe opening moves getting into the crack were the crux. Above the first .9 hands bit as the chimney widens there is not much good gear. Belay at the end of the right leaning ramp (there is some fixed tat here, back it up)
Pitch 5: Awesome finger crack, no way is this 5.7, try 5.8 or .8+. A money, money pitch.
Pitch 6:Looked like a ton of diff options here, we ended up traversing all over the place to get to 12 o'clock ledge, there are several bolts lookers left if looking up from the belay, but my partner felt this way looked more difficult than lookers right.
Rapped Silk Road from here, it was just too hot. Would be easy to top rope the sickness of Silk Road on the way down. Sep 3, 2014
Justin Johnsen
Sacramento, CA
Justin Johnsen   Sacramento, CA  
Edit away, CS! I haven't even been out there yet personally. Looking forward to teasers until I get time to visit it myself. Sep 9, 2014
csproul
Davis, CA
csproul   Davis, CA
Comments on pitches 7-10: as per the comments here we moved up off of the left side of 12 o' clock ledge and started the right facing corner. It was a 5.6ish pitch to the base of the chimney, on the right side of Tibetan tower. The next pitch (8)was the chimney itself. The start and chimney was ok but the rock at the top of the chimney was terrible, with lots of loose dangerous flake to get up to the tree (there are bolts climbers left on top of the tower). I would not recommend finishing the chimney as it is pretty dangerous, so there must be a better exit before hitting the loose rock.

We tried finding the right diagonaling dike described above (p9). I found one that looked similar, starting from a two bolt anchor, eventually going up and left to another 2 bolt anchor, but there were no protection bolts. The gear was very thin, mostly micro-stoppers and a 0/00 Metolius. About 5.8 but I found it exciting with the limited small gear that I had. The next pitch (our p10)was about 5.9, leaving the 2 bolt anchor and passing two bolts in the next 40-50 feet and then wandering up lower angle, but lesser rock quality to a two bolt anchor at the left edge of Warlord ledge. These 4 pitches seemed off-route and/or part of another route, but as I have never seen the original topo, I can't say where they were in relation to the original route. May 4, 2015
I feel that the above comments jarble up things a bit for getting to the top...

From 12'oclock ledge you have several adventures options. To start you can rappel from the 12 o'clock ledge on the climbers left side into the top of silk road's pitch 7(two ropes always). Or you can choose one of the three options listed above A)Up the Tibetan Tower and Rap Silk Road(two ropes) or continue up Silk Road 5.9 B) Bold run out vision quest face climbing up the center to the top C)5.7 Corner of Green Sponge(note: from the top of this corner you can travers left to the Tibetan tower on a left trending ramp 5.5?).Note that all options leave you the option to 4/5th class to the top via (route A& B)Warlord Ledge or (route C)Green Sponger ledge.

A #5BD is nice to have for the very little bit of wide. May 16, 2015
Ney Grant
Pollock Pines, CA
Ney Grant   Pollock Pines, CA
I would not recommend the rap to the climber's left at 12 O'clock ledge (the brown bolts). The party ahead of us got their rope stuck twice and we got our rope stuck there as well. Not even the knot, but the rope itself gets pinched. Then a mini-epic ensues in climbing and unsticking it... One of the topos shows you can instead go right to some anchors, or climb easy cracks on the left up to the top of a tower and rap from there. Sep 23, 2018

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