Type: Trad, 1200 ft, 9 pitches, Grade IV
FA: Glen Denny, Wally Reed July 1962, FFA Bob Kamps, Wally Reed August 1963
Page Views: 3,590 total · 28/month
Shared By: john durr on Jul 25, 2009
Admins: M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Yosemite National Park climbing closures and conditions Details


Inverted Staircase is a beautiful obvious line. The climbing is pretty good, but not great. Mostly moderate cracks with two hard pitches.

Pitch 1 & 2 climb cracks just right of the big arch, aim for an obvious small roof in a right facing corner that marks the first belay. Surmount the fun roof then moderate climbing to the corner. 5.8/5.9

Pitch 3 & 4 climb the corner above, moving onto the face midway through pitch three to avoid the chimney then head back to the corner to belay. The next pitch goes up the nice corner to the top right side of the pinnacle. 5.7/5.8

Pitch 5 is thin friction and small hold face. Go down and out right a ways to a bolt. Just past this is 5.10 face with good swing potential for your second. Ascend a loose pillar, I placed several micro-nuts here. The hard face climbing above past two bolts is well protected. 5.10b/c

Pitch 6 is usually wet midway through, but fun liebacking and unclinging is had before the wet and the corner above is stellar. Plan on aiding on a couple cams to pass the wet. 5.10-

Pitch 7 follow this route up and left aiming for a moderate thin double dihedral then belay at a small tree. 5.8

Pitch 8 with a bolt leads straight out right to a easy ramp. 5.10a briefly

Pitch 9 is a little spooky makes a traverse out right past a loose block, a dihedral 5.8 and over an easy roof to 300' of easy ground.


This route is about 200 meters left, (east) of the Regular Route. Find the start by looking for an obvious roof in a right facing dihedral that marks the first belay. This is just a bit right of the huge left facing corner/arch.

To descend, walk to the top then go down the south-southwest buttress, usually marked with a couple cairns. This is steep, long and painful in rock shoes.

This route would be difficult to retreat from without leaving lots of gear.


Bring a standard rack of small stoppers through 4" cam. Emphasis 0.5-2". Micro-nuts can be useful for pitch 5. The 4" cam is pretty handy, but probably not necessary.