Type: Trad, 2700 ft, 15 pitches, Grade IV
FA: Hannah North, Tom Harper, Tom Malzbender
Page Views: 14,491 total · 135/month
Shared By: Tyler Williams on Feb 11, 2010
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


Every Tuolumne climber has eyed the huge face of clouds rest. Then, one day I found a description on the internet of an awesome sounding route right up the middle. With 2700 feet of 5.9ish climbing, it sounded too good to be true. Finally in 2009 we went out and did the route and it has become one of my favorite climbs in Yosemite.

Tom Harper had a great topo here: (deadlink)myweb.cableone.net/tomharper/FTTopo dot html
My Favorite Things topo

The pitches are almost all 55-60m long, ending in two beefy bolt anchors, and the "official" ratings are:

1: 5.5
2: 5.8
3: 5.8
4: 5.7
5: 5.7
6: 5.7
7: 5.8
8: 5.9
9: 5.9
10: 5.7
11: 5.10a
12: 5.9
13: 5.7
14: 5.8
15: 5.9

I think these ratings are slightly soft, but considering the amount of climbing, you need to be solid at the grade to make it happen in a day.

With a 6 mile cross country approach, 2700 feet of climbing, 1200 feet of 3rd to the top and 7 miles back to the car, it is a burly, rewarding day.


All anchors have two bolts. Almost all the pitches require a 60m rope. The first 10 pitches can be rapped without leaving any gear. There are bolts here and there, but it is mostly trad gear, with emphasis on small to finger size.
Tyler Williams
Flagstaff, AZ
Tyler Williams   Flagstaff, AZ
Awesome route! We were about 19 hours car-to-car.

We did this route in mid-June and pitches 2, 3, and especially 8 had water running down them. we just dealt with it on pitches 2 and 3, but pitch 8 was a real river and we ended up doing a cool alternate route involving a 5.9 hand crack to the left of the belay to a hand traverse right. I recommend it even if the water isn't flowing. That pitch was the first time I had ever placed a cam in a river.

Some might consider a few of the pitches runout, but it is always on fairly easy ground. Feb 11, 2010
Marc Squiddo
Mountain View, CA
  5.10a R
Marc Squiddo   Mountain View, CA
  5.10a R
Did this route and found it very fun and a great car to car adventure.

As previously noted, we too found pitches 2 and 3 wet. We were able to climb/friction around it. One important point. On pitch 3 the first bolt off the belay was nearly impossible to clip. To make matters worse, it is smack dab in the middle of a water flow. My guess, rocks beat the hanger down.

Suggestion would be the next person planning on doing this climb bring a new hanger and wrench. AT the very least bring a quick link. Not even a BD Oz made it through the hanger and allowed a decent and secure clip. Aug 15, 2010
Tyler Williams
Flagstaff, AZ
Tyler Williams   Flagstaff, AZ
We clipped the bent bolt by girth hitching a nut through it. Not ideal, but better than nothing. Aug 25, 2010
Bill Lawry
New Mexico
Bill Lawry   New Mexico
Much thanks to Hannah North, Tom Harper, and Tom Malzbender for their effort in establishing it.

8/11/2016 edit: The rotten sling has been removed from the bent bolt (first bolt) on pitch 3. One good way to protect with it would be to thread the wire of a nut up through the hanger, and then clip it from above with a locker which blocks it from being pulled back through. Last, clip the sling / rope by first pushing the nut up the wire to expose the lower end loop of the wire ... maybe adjust the nut that way before leaving the belay given that the stance for clipping the bolt is a little insecure. Aug 3, 2013
Did this in Sep. 2012 - after much slab traversing back and forth and soloing some sketchy terrain, finally got on the route at the top of P6 (above the two-bolt anchor, at the base of the 5.8 hand crack). If I were to do it again, here is how I'd approach it - take the airplane gully all the way down to the river, locate the "Golden Boulder" (big golden boulder on the valley floor) - the route is straight above the Golden Boulder - just climb up the slabs the path of the least resistance. I know it adds up vertical footage, but trust me - it's way faster than traversing wet slabs and bushwacking for a couple of miles. You can ask Tuolumne rangers about the airplane gully - it's the gully directly below the Olmstead Point. The fourth class slog after the last pitch was rather long. Aug 26, 2013
leeds, ut
fossana   leeds, ut
We climbed the route on 31 Aug in very low visibility conditions with the smoke (couldn't even see the canyon floor) and had no absolutely no issues in finding the start of the route using the beta and photo on summitpost, which involves a long slab traverse that starts above the Pywiack Falls. The only thing to add is that there are two circles of bushes at point 5 that mark the start of the route (somewhat obscured by trees in the photo).

Sep 1, 2013
Route is unaffected by the 2015 rockfall. Photos of the rockfall show that it fell off to the side of this line. This route follows a narrow spur between two huge gullies which funnel the 4000' face - the only "safe" spot for a climbing route on the wall. All bolted anchors are in great shape. Nice long moderate route on high quality stone. Aug 8, 2016
Steven Sheets
Livermore, CA
Steven Sheets   Livermore, CA
We found finding the start rather confusing. No cairn marks the start anymore & hiking around there doesn't exist any obvious natural line to go up. We did a couple pitches--I think--to the right of the route but never found any anchors & found unappealing climbing above us. Being short on time and not wanting to climb a wandering, runout route by headlight we bailed. I'd suggest having a GPS and getting the coordinates for the start if you do make this long hike. Sep 4, 2018