Type: Trad, Alpine, 600 ft (182 m), 5 pitches, Grade III
FA: Reed Cundiff and David Hammack, 10/1/60
Page Views: 1,269 total · 9/month
Shared By: Chris Wenker on Jul 20, 2009
Admins: Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski

You & This Route

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A loose route that links chimneys and shallow gully systems up the southeast face. Interesting for its historical precedent maybe more than the quality of the rock or the actual climbing. This was apparently the first route up Yataghan (Kline 1970:26, 42). Pitches described here are mostly split out according to Hill's guide (1993:140-14), which actually has a good narrative description, although his photo topo isn't too helpful.

P1: ~5.6, 75 feet. Poor rock. Climb a deep chimney to a nice ledge on the left.
P2: ~5.7-, 125 feet. Poor rock. Continue up the chimney, trend right past the top to a belay on a sloping broken ledge. One fixed pin.
P3: ~5.7+, 140 feet. Poor to fair rock. Proceed up the shallow gully above, past a big hollow flake on the right. At the top of the gully, traverse left and climb to a ledge with a prominent fir tree. Rope drag can be a killer.
P4: ~5.7-, 110 feet. Poor to fair rock. Hill's guide outlines a right and left option; we took the one to the right. Head slightly right from the ledge, up a blocky shallow dihedral; traverse left at the top, pass a bolt (see photo), and belay at the right side of the Lunch Ledge. The left option also looks fun.
P5: ~5.7+/5.8-, 170 feet. Excellent rock; great exposure. Kline describes this as three pitches, and Hill says two (which it probably was, back when they used shorter ropes). Easily done in one with a 60m line. Up slightly right, then left toward the little tree, and fire for the top. Two fixed pins. Many people probably better know this last section as the final pitch of The Happy Gnome, but Cundiff and Hammack got it first.


As on the normal Yataghan approach, proceed to the gully between the Frog and the Yataghan, where the huge chockstone forms a nice bear cave underneath (this is the chockstone that must be rapelled during the descent). You must ascend the gully above this chockstone to get to the base of the climb, and getting up there might require a short technical pitch around the chockstone (schedule accordingly). Once above the chockstone, walk about 100 feet up the gully to the base of the first pitch, up the prominent red chimney on the left.

Descend the standard walk-off and final rap, as described on the main page. Alternately, Kline says that, from the Lunch Ledge, "one may descend by a traverse across the South-west Face on wide ledges and then rappel when the ledges peter out."


Single set of nuts. Double cams in fingers to thin hands, and single cams above that to a #4 C4. Gear needed for all belays, or sling trees on top two pitches. A few fixed pins, and some historic bolts, along the way.