Type: Trad, 170 ft, 2 pitches
FA: Mark Chapman and Kevin Worral, 1975
Page Views: 2,120 total · 23/month
Shared By: Lou Hibbard on Nov 1, 2011
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 climb has an ugly beginning and end but a stellar middle.
Pitch 1 A short approach pitch the guide book lists as 4th but is harder than that. Ugly and loose.
Pitch 2 A hollow sounding flake to start, then sustained good rock. Next are a couple of offwidth pods with a crack in the back. Sustained. Get one rest right before the crux. An optional intermediate belay to an ugly finish with more loose flakes.


Appr. 1/2 hour approach from Bridalveil Falls Parking area. If you have Reids guide note the photo of the Watchtower. To the left of Leaning Tower.
Rappel the route.


Standard rack. Extra 1/2 to 2". Bring at least one #3 camalot size, maybe two.


Alexey Zelditch
San Jose
Alexey Zelditch   San Jose
the best way to approach the Thief is to follow Leaning Tower approach trail from Bridaveil parking lot. As soon as you approach via talus the base of the wall, skirt the base down to Watchtower (Leaning Tower approach continue up).
We found that it is easier to approach Thief from right side of Watchtower [ book show 4th class aproch from left]. You climb class 4, easy 5 ( next time I will rope up for this) basically to the base of Megaforce and than do one short rappel down to the base of The Thief.

For average and smaller hangs crux on the Thief can be at the very beginning of the climb when reaching main crack system from the base. At the top of p1 new shiny bolts now, and second pitch can be avoided. The route itself is so good- that it is OK just to go there for this one pitch, since not much good climbing around. Aug 7, 2012
Hey climbers

I don't usually comment here, but whoever wrote the route description must've botched the approach and groveled up the slot between The Joker and The Thief. It's more direct, but a better, cleaner, smarter way is to the right and then a short down climb to the start of the pitch. Casual to 3rd class.

As for an ugly finish? The photo looking down at the splitter crux is taken from the belay, That IS the finish. I think that says it all.

There is no second pitch or continuation on loose flakes, or Mark and I didn't do one on the FA.

One of the best single pitch thin cracks in The Valley. Apr 18, 2015
Lucas Barth
Yosemite, CA
Lucas Barth   Yosemite, CA
Super nice climbing. Worth the hike. A 70 meter rope will definitely work, and probably a 60 meter. We had an 80 and it was more than enough. Approach on right side. This was loose and maybe 5.6 at hardest. Then a short rappel of a slung chockstone on the left side to get to the start of the climb. When descending there is a tree where you start the route that has slings and quick-link to rappel to the ground. Gear placed: red c3, .3 camalot, double .4 camalot, single .5 camalot,Triples of .75 and 1 camalot were nice, doubles #2, single 3 camalots. May 13, 2018
Jake Ramsey
Yosemite, CA
Jake Ramsey   Yosemite, CA
Definitely harder than a 3rd class downclimb If approaching from the right. Lucas’s beta is spot on. If you don’t want to rap off the shitty slings around the boulder bring an extra #3 and #2 and rap off these down to that start then grab them on the way down after finishing the climb. Pretty mellow for 5.10d if comparing it to other Valley thin hands/off fingers cracks. This is a really great climb though. May 19, 2018