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Olga's Trick

5.10d, Trad, 150 ft,  Avg: 2.7 from 3 votes
FA: Rik Rieder, Mike Breidenbach and Drone Stephens (1972)
California > Yosemite NP > Lower Merced Ri… > p. Reed's Pinna… > Reed's Pinnacle
Access Issue: Yosemite National Park climbing closures and conditions Details


This is kind of an obscure route that is totally worth doing. It's up and left of the Iota and a bit of a pain to get to. If it were in a more visible location it would probably get climbed all the time.

The guidebook shows a 5.9 pitch starting just left of the Iota which leads directly to the base of the main crack. I've not done this approach pitch and it's probably not worth it. To reach the base of the real climbing, scramble up and left of the Iota as you would do to access the big chimney behind it (and the start of the original Iota route, a great 5.4 caving adventure). Before you reach the chimney behind the Iota, you will see a nice looking crack up a left-facing corner. This is Olga's Trick.

The climb starts up a somewhat dirty chimney and then turns a bulge into the excellent corner. The crack varies from hands to fingers and eats up gear. I thought the crux was a thin section about half way up where you crimp some sidepulls out on the face for a move or two before getting more fingerlocks. The guidebook puts the crux at the steep thin hands section at the end just before turning the roof. Above, claw your way up some munge-filled grooves to the top of the cliff.

The rap tree depicted in the topo has since died, fallen over, and is now perched somewhat precariously near the edge of the cliff. Someone seems to have improvised a solution by cutting off a length of their rope to tie off and extend another tree about 25 ft back from the edge of the cliff. This is backed up by a stopper behind a flake. Rappel from this anchor with two ropes to reach the ground. It is also possible to make two rappels with one rope, stopping at the anchor for Danger Will Robinson (10d). This is a cruddy 2 bolt anchor (backed up by a nut I added) just below a roof.


Lots of stuff from thin to 2".

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good photo by Mark Thomas. Route looks clean and interesting
[Hide Photo] good photo by Mark Thomas. Route looks clean and interesting

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Alexey Zelditch
San Jose
[Hide Comment] Classic route. A lot of nuts placement. Tree distinct cruxes. Ruff rock for the hands and fingers.
Take bolt kit to make good anchor at the top.
150 feet, 80 meter rope did not make it. We also use intermediate rappel with old bolts. Jan 2, 2014