Type: Trad, Alpine, 1500 ft (455 m), 12 pitches, Grade III
FA: First 7 pitches: J. Bennetto, R. Cox 85. To the top: R. Cox G. Wolkoff 92.
Page Views: 26,136 total · 156/month
Shared By: Dru B. on Aug 14, 2009 · Updates
Admins: Mark Roberts, Mauricio Herrera Cuadra, Kate Lynn, Braden Batsford

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Large Rockfall Details


This is the link-up of the lower half of Yak Crack with the upper half of Reality Check. It is consistently 5.8 to 5.9 on the cruxes for most of the pitches, and combines the good rock on the lower pitches of Yak Crack with the quality upper climbing of Reality Check while missing out the hard and runout crux of the latter route.

There are various ways to start - don't try directly up the lower corner as it blanks out and is hard. One way that works is to solo up corners (5.2) to the ledge and block below Reality Check start then traverse left to the bolt belay at p. 1 of Yak Crack.

P1 - make 5.7ish moves left from the belay up a flake to gain the hand crack on the front face of the flake (small pro). Climb 5.6 crack to a belay out right at bolts near a pinnacle on the arete. ~55m

p2 - climb crack to a bolted stance just above trees, belay standing on an impressive krummholz. 5.6 60m rope stretcher. can split this pitch in two at a slung tree half way up.

p3 - climb crack to top of pinnacle (Lunch Ledge), belay 10 feet higher at bolts on higher ledge. 35m 5.6

p4 - climb sometimes crumbly rock left at first, then up and right (some pro behind flakes and a fixed piton) to a bolted stance. 35 m 5.7. can link 3& 4 with 60m rope and long slings on gear to avoid rope zigzags.

p5 - an obvious vertical wall can be climbed via a corner on the left side (5.8) or a series of face holds to a vague hairline crack on the right (5.8+) past a bolt that wasn't placed on the first ascent and first showed up in the mid-2000s, then follow cracks and ramps up and right to a bolted belay 50m

p6 - move right from belay and climb a left facing 5.8 corner for about 10m then step right around arete at big hold (can also step right of corner at bottom but you miss out on the cool layback). climb up flakes, pass tree, up to two overlaps at a roofy feature. place gear then move thru overlaps into crumbly, easy groove, climb to bolt belay c. 55m 5.8+ (junction of Yak Crack and Reality Check)

p7 - You are now leaving Yak Crack for Reality Check. Climb up 5m from the belay on rock resembling oatmeal, then move left on a solid horizontal dyke until you encounter many flakes. undercling left, then up at end of first flake, climb more flakes to highest undercling at roof. move left (5.9) awkward under roof, to corner "Cave". there is a possible belay here under roof on a fixed nut and piton. HOWEVER, despite topos, it is best to go right here on to the arete of the cave and climb up about 10m (5.9 face) to a big ledge with bolted belay on the right. this avoids the spelunking tunnel thru the flake done on the FA which is awkward with a pack on, and avoids belaying on sketchy fixed pin and nut tied off with a single webbing chunk. ~50m 5.9

p8 - traverse ledge (top of through-flake) to a bolt belay on left. 30m 3rd class.

p9 - climb flake and ramp up and left, then back right a bit for a pitch ~40m 5.8, two bolts once the good crack ennds

p10 - supposedly one of the two 10a pitches. face climb up 3m to a bolt, move up and right 3m to another bolt, then back left and up 5m to a corner (bolt on left arete) climb right of the corner up the face on dishes and flakes then move up and right on a nebulous line past more bolts and gear under flakes to a bolted belay on a small right facing corner/ramp (cant see belay until 5m below it). ~45m, easy 5.9 face, total of 5 bolts on the pitch plus gear. Can easily get into 5.10a terrain with lackluster route finding as the most direct line is not the easiest one.

p11- climb up flake above belay and either climb directly where it goes right, or move left and up good cracks on the face, to a ledge. above this is a low angle slab with 3 bolts. originally graded 9/10a by the FA party, subsequent ascents have cleaned holds on the slab of lichen making it more secure - now feels like an 5.8/9. belay at bolted stance on ledge above. ~40m 5.8/9 this is where you would rap from if you planned on rappelling. It's **much faster and more enjoyable to walk off than it is to rappel though.**

p12 - 4th class up low angle slab (no pro) for full pitch to trees above. 45m 4th class. Can escape into trees lower down to the left if you want to. easiest way off is 10 m traverse hard left to the lowest trees, but there is more bushwacking this way.

From here, hike and scramble up towards the top, pass the subsummit on the right side on a good ledge (exposed).

When you reach the col between the subsummit of Yak and the main summit, there is a double bolt belay with rap rings which can be used to rappel 50 m down to the meadow, on a waist-high cliffband facing east, on the south side of the col. this rappel is very helpful when there is still snow in the col, and irrelevant once the snow has melted.


You can rap the route but it is better and faster to walk off down the backside.

In early season there may be a problematic steep snowpatch blocking the walkoff at the base of the subsummit-true summit col. You can rap past this with two ropes or descend it in approach shoes using a nut tool as an ice axe.


Full rack to 3" with doubles to triple cams in the finger size (blue, yellow, orange TCU). Generally bolted belays.