Type: Trad, 100 ft
FA: Chuck Pratt and Chris Fredericks, September 1965
Page Views: 7,595 total · 69/month
Shared By: Karsten Duncan on Mar 22, 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


This is one of the finest offwidths in the Valley. Seldom do you find routes of such quality and provenance. Chuck Pratt's revolutionary ascent of this masterpiece remains one of the greatest ascents in Valley history. The climb protects easily with large cams and the crux tends to be the continuous building overall energy expenditure you will have to summon over the route. Good technique is imperative but does not make the route pedestrian.

Begin climbing through fingers in a corner. Climb over a strenuous bulge and immediately reach right for a good rail. Mantle and move around the corner onto a good stance with old slings nearby. I like to set up a belay here to reduce rope drag and allow the belayer to see the leader throughout the rest of the climb.

From here the route is obvious. About 30ft of easy chimney, 30ft of 7inch crack, and 30ft of 5inch crack. 1-2 of the two largest C4s or Friends will protect the majority of the route. BigBros are not necessary. Generally the route narrows as you ascend so keep a few 1-3 inch pieces for the top.


Follow the old road up and left to its end. From there follow a trail up and further left to the wall containing outer limits and crack-a-go-go. Tunnel under a large wedged boulder into the alcove on the right side of the wall. The route starts on the right (south) side of the alcove in a finger crack.

Descent: Since there are no anchors near the top of this climb it is easiest to traverse to the chains atop elevator shaft (single rope 100ft rap). Be careful accessing these anchors.


Single set of cams from 4. to 3 inches. Doubles from 3.5-7 inches. Anchors are 30ft back from the top of the route so an extra rope or very long slings are needed for a TR.

Taping your ankles and various other parts of your body you wish to retain skin on are optional.


Alexey Zelditch
San Jose
Alexey Zelditch   San Jose
The route description above recommended to start the climb as left variation and differ from how is depicted in Reid/ST book. But I did see that other parties started this way from bottom of Cookie Monster , instead of doing first pitch 5.9 Proper. Any advantage of this? How hard this strenuous hand bulge approach pitch? Apr 26, 2010
David Aguasca!
New York
David Aguasca!   New York
I used a couple of hand-size pieces for the approach pitch that Karsten describes.

To belay up your second to the stance below the OW, the anchor takes some more hand-size cams and a medium nut.

For the OW, I used the following, in order: 2ea 6 C4, 1 ea 4.5 camalot, 1ea 4 C4, 1ea 4 Friend (~3.5 camalot size), 1ea 3 camalot, 1ea 1 camalot.

Once past the 7" crack, my partner chimneyed the rest of the route. Seemed strenuous but doable beta, and placing gear would be even easier.

To descend we rapped off the anchors for the Elevator Shaft, then swung over to the P1 anchors for Outer Limits. Oct 17, 2010
Bryan G
Bryan G   Yosemite
There are a couple threads regarding Twilight Zone over at the Taco which make for a good read. You can find some photos of this and other classic OW's as well.

-Road to the Twilight Zone

-Offwidth Tips and The Twilight Zone Feb 9, 2011
FA: Chuck Pratt, Chris Fredericks, 9/1965 Jan 7, 2012
TR: Splashless Leap into Twilight Zone

As for the start (of the approach pitch), we went straight up from the grassy slope below. There was fresh PO (this is spring) on one of the ledges we passed. Save a BD C4 #2 for the very top of p2, although it's perfect hand crack. Nothing smaller is needed there. Mar 24, 2016
David Bruneau
St. John
David Bruneau   St. John  
The 5.9 approach pitch felt very hard for the grade. The crack proper had a fixed line running down it as of 2 weeks ago, providing a nice bail option for those who find themselves running out of daylight and stamina like myself. You fall straight into the sharp flake at the bottom of the business, so bump a #6 cam up that section to lessen the impact. Oct 20, 2016
matt hoffman
san diego, ca
matt hoffman   san diego, ca
As of May 2018 there is a nice fixed line with lockers to provide a toprope anchor. Get on it!!! May 15, 2018