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Book of Job

5.10, Trad, 700 ft, 6 pitches, Grade III,  Avg: 3.5 from 24 votes
FA: Rick Sylvester and Ben Read 11/71 FFA: Jim Donini and Rick Rieder 6/72
California > Yosemite NP > Yosemite Valley > Cathedral Spire… > Higher Cathedral Rock
Access Issue: Yosemite National Park climbing closures and conditions Details


This is a burley and sustained, mostly thin hands-to-wide crack system that offers plenty of fun and adventure. Should be considered a must-do for the aspiring 5.10 offwidth climber, even though some of the harder sections were not necessarily offwidth. This route is very overhanging, exposed, and basically wild!

Start with a steep chimney and go up. The second pitch is a sweet 3 to 4-inch hand and fist crack that seems to go on and on. The 3rd pitch involves working up to a thin flake, making some wild moves up and right on it, then cruising thru some 5.10- thin hands, finishing with some squeeze to the belay on a chockstone. Another pitch of 5.10 fingers (we climbed the left of the two cracks) takes you to the crux 5th pitch. This entails a pumpy undercling out a right-trending flake system. This section felt like 10+ to me but I was pretty tired by then.... if you're feeling fresh maybe it's only 10a as listed in my '87 Meyers and Reid guidebook?


Located on the left, overhanging side of the Dictionary dihedral, it starts by firing up the crack system that starts with the steep chimney. Keep going 5 pitches straight up until merging with the last pitch of Braille Book, and follow the descent as for BB.


Bring at least a double set of thin hand to fist sized cams, and perhaps one bigger-than-fist piece. Some finger-sized gear is also nice. Climbers at their limit may want a triple set of cams to adequately cover the sustained sections.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Double fisting through the offwidth roof.  Photo by AJ.
[Hide Photo] Double fisting through the offwidth roof. Photo by AJ.
The overhanging second pitch.
[Hide Photo] The overhanging second pitch.
P3 is Wild and Wide so get ready and pray for the gods of OW/chimneys...
[Hide Photo] P3 is Wild and Wide so get ready and pray for the gods of OW/chimneys...
Top of P2 wonderful crack/face climbing.
[Hide Photo] Top of P2 wonderful crack/face climbing.
Hauling the backpack on P3
[Hide Photo] Hauling the backpack on P3
AJ jamming on the fourth pitch.
[Hide Photo] AJ jamming on the fourth pitch.
Does it look like Braille Book?<br>
maybe ...
[Hide Photo] Does it look like Braille Book? maybe ...

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Bryan G
[Hide Comment] This is one of the best climbs in Yosemite for its length and grade, comparable in quality to Mental Block and The Good Book. The topo in the Reid guide calls the second pitch "2 to 3 inches", but it's more like 3 to 4 inches like the route description above says, so load up on that size. Several large stoppers and even hexes would be useful too. The cracks are very irregular in general and eat up passive pro. We climbed the route in four 50m pitches which worked pretty well. Jun 1, 2012
Alexey Zelditch
San Jose
[Hide Comment] one year ago I was belaying my friend on the top of pitch 4 of Braille Book near the tree {where "Braille Book" and "Book of Job " merge}. Out of the blue the climber appears from "Book of Job " side. Hi, Hi!
Do you know what route we just climbed? - he asked me.
" You just climbed Braille Book- it just 5.8 "- instantly answer I { knowing that Book of Job is way harder and a lot of climbers manage to messed up those routes }
Looking at his reaction - I felt guilty and immediately told him the truth - he was very happy after this - and made same jokes to his partners who was absolutely bummed.

Finally we climbed BookOfJob ourself- and indeed it is stelar root.
With big rack double from #0.3 to #4 + one #5 we made it in 3 pitches linking p1.2 and p4,5.
4 Rappel down to base using rappel ancors "Blinded by the Light " ( 80m rope - or two 50m) Jun 18, 2012
Bryan G
[Hide Comment] If you think you might get Braille Book and Book of Job confused, as I know several parties have, here's a crude top-down drawing to help you out.

Jul 6, 2012
adam winslow
Fort Collins, CO
[Hide Comment] Alexey,
That was me you met at the ledge! I just found your contact info in my phone. That was one of my best days climbing ever. Being on the wrong route and many grades harder than expected makes it such a cool adventure. Glad you went back and climbed the route. I'm planning to repeat it this fall. Jul 27, 2012
Alexey Zelditch
San Jose
[Hide Comment] Adam hi !
We should meet again and climb somethig Jul 28, 2012
Steve Annecone
[Hide Comment] Well now that others have admitted to it, I too was seeking the Braille Book when we stumbled onto Book of Job and decided it must be the one. We had no guidebook and I had only a foggy memory of where BB was. Expecting a 5.8, we had a very light rack with maybe one #3 and #4 Friend as our only big pieces,so lots of leap frogging cams and generally running it out! In addition, I was juice fasting and hadn't had food in 5 days... my partner decided last minute to leave our water at the base so we got a little dehydrated too, and topped out in the dark. At any rate, waaay harder than expected but plenty of fun and adventure! Oct 28, 2012
[Hide Comment] Stop reading now if a more detailed description is not your thing.

Pitch 1: Do some easy pull-ups on a low-angle pedestal just to the right of the wide crack at the base of the route. Then do some nice hands as you meet up with and angle into the main corner, and end at the base of a small chimney where the rock starts to get steep! 5.9ish

Pitch 2: The business. You can stem/face climb for a bit at the beginning, but pretty soon you have to confront it: a very-irregular (many pods) 2-5" overhanging crack, with most of the action around 3-4". Given the crack width and the steepness, it's fortunate you're on Higher Cathedral Rock (think the namesake holds on Braille book), otherwise this would not be 5.10. There is a crack to the left towards the end which takes thin hands gear, and this endurance pitch finally ends on a ledge at the base of a chimney. 5.10

Pitch 3: Totally wild. Scoot up an easy chimney (there are flakes inside you can use for protection), and then chimney out horizontally underneath a large off-width roof! Huge footholds and good protection (C4 #5/6) calm your nerves at the base of the roof as you plan your strategy…Once you’ve surmounted the roof, easy chimneying leads to 5.9 squeeze, which is followed by a couple bulges (fingers/thin hands) to a belay on top of one of the bulges. The crazy exposure makes the OW roof hard to grade accurately, but the bulges are probably 5.10a/b-ish.

Pitches 4&5: Move up and left into a 2 corner crack system. You climb up finger and hand bulges (5.10a-b) in the left of the corner cracks, again using the conveniently-featured rock. Especially on pitch 5, be careful as the left side of the crack where you’re pacing protection is rotten in places. Finish up climbing out through the hand-jam/undercling flake, which is only 5.10a but does have a healthy bush growing right in the middle.

As Alexey said, pitches 1&2 link nicely, and pitches 4&5 link with some rope drag.

When I do this again, I will bring one each C4 #5 and #6. While the 6 might only be used on pitch 3, it will definitely help keep the pulse down for the crazy roof moves. May 20, 2013
San Francisco
[Hide Comment] Incredible route!!!! Did this in three long, slow pitches. Linked 1 & 2, 3 & (part of)4, (part of)4 & 5.

Rapped off Blinded by the Light anchors, 3 double rope rappels to slung block at top of first pitch of Braille Book, then one more rap to the ground (4 total).

With the exception of a short section in the 5.9 squeeze chimney, gear is great the whole way. We brought triples of hand to fist sizes which was helpful when linking pitches. Brought one #5 and one #6. If we do it again, I would probably leave the #6 at home and bring up a second #5. However, the #6 was helpful with the OW roof crack, but not necessary (you can actually go up behind the roof and place a #4 pretty high up and deep in the crack). May 23, 2013
Dustin Stephens
[Hide Comment] Spectacular route!! 5 is nice to have at the roof crux. Pitches 1 and 2 link pretty easily, I think we did it in 4 pitches with linkage. Best multipitch route in the Valley in hot weather! Jul 23, 2013
Darshan Ahluwalia
Petaluma, CA
[Hide Comment] Fantastic route! The Don Reid book gives it one star, but it is at least 2 of 3 stars. Would be three stars if it did not have that ledge with all the poop and the bush growing out of the crack on the fourth pitch.

We did it in 7 pitches (the last two are shared by Braille Book), got to the top of Higher Cathedral Rock and walked off.

This is a physical and steep climb. There is a lot of chimneying, squeeze, offwidth, hand jamming, stemming, and huge bucket holds. Of the 7 pitches 4 of them are 5.10.

Completely shaded and sheltered, great for hot weather. Aug 30, 2015
[Hide Comment] While at the base, I found out that I left the BD #5 at car. Partner kindly offered me the option to bail, but I couldn't do that after that approach (I'm not a fast one when it comes to talus field). I was happy to find that the roof moves protected well with a #4. After turning the roof, according to my partner (because I forgot already), I placed protection in the small crack to the right of the OW where a #5 could be handy.

I don't know if everyone knows where Blinded by the Light is as I can't find the route in any of my guidebooks. If you plan to rappel, here is the beta: After P5 of Book of Job, you merge with Braille Book on the big shelf at the top of its P4. If you look down on the face, you can see the rappel anchor below you. You have two options there:
1) down climb the 5.5 hand crack for about 15-20' to the anchor chain. I belayed my partner down while he plugged three pieces in, and I then down climbed it.
2) climb up P5 of Braille Book to the tree, and rappel from the tree to the anchor chain.

But of course, you can then also top out and walk off from there too. May 16, 2016
Rude Boy
San Francisco, CA
[Hide Comment] For pitch 3 big stuff I used 2 #3's (if you can call them big?) and 2 #5's. I had 2 #4's with me that I dragged all the way to the top of the pitch. The slot in the roof protects perfectly with a #5. You could use a #6 further out but why if you have a #5. As someone else mentioned, this route is very physical! Linked pitches with a 70m as others describe.

wear long sleeves for the OW or this happens.........

Oct 24, 2016
San Jose
[Hide Comment] This climb is a true 5 stars climb you must get on it.
Protection is great all the way. We have used the double #5.
With a 70M and double rack + triple hand size you should combine p1-p2 and p4-p5 there is no drag at all.
it was funny to pull on the bush on top of p5 :D not sure if that's part of the routes.
The approach/decent is not that clear as it involves some bush walking. Oct 26, 2016
Dave Meyer
[Hide Comment] On pitch four I surfed one of the boulders that (I thought) was fixed in the squeeze chimney for about a foot before it got stuck again. Tread carefully. Oct 1, 2018