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Welcome to Courtright

5.9, Trad, Alpine, 700 ft, 5 pitches,  Avg: 3.7 from 21 votes
FA: Herb Laeger & Greg Vernon, July 1985
California > Southern Sierra > Courtright Rese… > Power Dome > W Face


This is a stellar route that follows a prominent black streak near the center of Power Dome. The 5.9 cruxes are well protected but there are some big runouts on 5.7 and easier terrain, making this route a bit more challenging than A Little Nukey. For approach information, see the A Little Nukey page. (Approach option #2, rapping in on the dome's left flank, is by far the best option btw).

To find the start of the route look for a super obvious 90-degree angled roof/corner about 150ft up. There is a horizontal white dike crossing this feature and a large vertical black streak running down the wall to its left. Welcome to Courtright more or less follows the left side of this black water-streak.

Pitch 1: Start at a smaller black streak to the left of the largest black streak that reaches the approach ledge. It's 5.4 solution pockets up to a small ledge about 40ft up. Above the ledge is the first bolt which protects a couple 5.7/5.8 moves. Climb up and left on more easy terrain to a flake (mediocre pro here) and then climb up to a dike. Traverse right on the dike (5.6 R) to a bolted belay anchor.

Pitch 2: Climb up and right past a couple bolts to a bulge. Pass the bulge (5.8/5.9) and then pass one more bolt before climbing up and left on juggy 5.2 to a bolted anchor at a stance atop a flake/ledge.

Pitch 3: More excellent face climbing trending slightly right, but mostly straight up. There's some 5.9 in there but there are several bolts (5 I think) on this pitch. Belay at another bolted anchor at a small stance on a dike (there is an off-route anchor about 40ft to the right of this one, next to a flake)

Pitch 4: Follow the left-most black streak straight up past two more bolts (the first one is good, the second is a rusty 1/4"). The climbing here is lower angle than the pitches below and is mostly easy 5th with a few moves of 5.6 or 5.7 in there.

Pitch 5: Climb straight over the bulge on buckets and solution pockets (fun!) and then follow more buckets up the black streak to the top.


Pro to 1" and a half dozen quickdraws. Tricams might be useful for protecting some of the pockets and reduce the runouts on easier terrain (but they won't help for the 5.6 runout at the top of the first pitch).

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Tyler following up on the 4th pitch.
[Hide Photo] Tyler following up on the 4th pitch.
Welcome to Courtright - topo
[Hide Photo] Welcome to Courtright - topo
Following up the 3rd pitch
[Hide Photo] Following up the 3rd pitch
mother daughter team on the last pitch
[Hide Photo] mother daughter team on the last pitch
Looking down at the belay from above the steep section on pitch 2.
[Hide Photo] Looking down at the belay from above the steep section on pitch 2.
Ron Hudson on final pitch
[Hide Photo] Ron Hudson on final pitch

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Eric "Pig" Varley
Nipomo, CA
  5.9+ R
[Hide Comment] Great route description, and the topo picture is accurate. The runouts on this route are definitely no harder than 5.7. When in doubt, get high feet, step up, and a good hand hold will be there. The hard moves are the crux on pitch 2 and the few crux moves on tightly spaced bolts on pitch 3. If you can climb Nukey, and don't get pysched out on runout terrain, this rotue is a must do. Nov 5, 2012
Red Rock, NV
[Hide Comment] A few tricams will cut down the distance between some of the bolts, but often not on the harder sections. Fantastic route. Aug 23, 2016