Type: Trad, Sport, 300 ft (91 m), 4 pitches, Grade II
FA: Ed Webster, Bryan Becker, Leonard Coyne
Page Views: 1,675 total · 13/month
Shared By: Phil Lauffen on Jun 28, 2010
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC

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Access Issue: 2020 Seasonal nesting closures Details
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Over the Rainbow has a beautiful position, traversing over the top of the monstrous roof on the west face of North Gateway Rock, then firing straight up the awesome looking face above before reaching the top of that inspiring red ridge. The description in D'Antonio's book says the route offers "great position and good climbing on somewhat loose rock."

Change the words "somewhat loose rock" to "horrifying chossy sand" and you'll gain a more accurate description, if of only the first and second pitches. I cannot say anything for the remaining pitches because we did not get that far.

Pitch breakdown:

1)The climb traverses straight left from the belay on Rainbow Bridge for a pitch of "5.8". This is the only pitch we climbed of this route, because the movement was only slightly more difficult than Rainbow Bridge, rated 11a, but contained more loose rock on 70 feet than I have ever seen combined on all the routes I have climbed.

This pitch is a nightmare. Traverse left easily for 20 feet before clipping your first piton in a hollow sounding flake. Make some 5.9ish moves to reach the second piton, and then imagine how to gain the third piton with footholds crumbling away to dust. Spirit yourself past these difficulties and two more pitons to a wonderful, solid jug (the only one). Ponder the 10 foot runouts between remaining pitons and make your way past massive flakes held on with fairy dust, availing yourself only by using the smallest edges for your hands and sandy slab for your feet.

Finally reach the two piton belay with many bail slings (including ours). Laugh at your partner as he sketches across and knocks grapefruit-sized flakes down, because only you know the desperate plight he is immersed in.

And try to do this without ripping one of the many loose flakes to the vastness below, likely hitting a boulderer in the process. These flakes ranged in size up to approximately 30 lbs.

If you've had enough fun at this point, it is completely possible to rappel straight down with 1 60m rope. A 50m rope would not make it.

2) From what we could see of this pitch, it resembled the last pitch, only worse. Make your way up and left on depressions resembling holes dug by a child on a beach then washed by five waves. All of this appeared to be coated by a layer of dust that is already having quite the bacchanalian in your lungs.

From D'Antonio's guidebook: "Continue left past 7 fixed pins to a 2 piton belay.(10c)" If the last pitch you did was only 5.8, you are in for a ride.

The remaining descriptions are completely based off D'Antonio's guidebook.

3) Go straight up to vine ledge. 11 pitons (11a)
4) Head right on easy terrain to Pot of Gold (5.8). Summit.

Scramble down some ledges until you can walk south and downclimb tourist gully.

I apologize for not finishing the route and therefore presenting a complete description of the climb. In all, this posting is kind of wankish and lame-sounding. I only hope to dissuade people who are not prepared for the full adventure from climbing this route. If you would like to post a complete route description, email me your information and I will replace mine with yours.


Climb Rainbow Bridge. Look left. See the pitons? That's your line.


All pitons, of the usual Garden variety.