Type: Trad, 350 ft, 2 pitches
FA: Dave Hampton, Barry Bates, Matt Donohoe (July, '70)
Page Views: 910 total · 12/month
Shared By: Bryan G on Oct 15, 2012
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


The Center Route is a fun climb, perhaps not quite as classic as the Left Side or Steppin' Out, but close. It will test your crack technique at all sizes from thin hands to squeeze chimney and requires a bit of a hefty rack if you want to sew it up.

Pitch 1 starts just to the right of the 11c thin crack/seam "Rocket In My Pocket". For the first 30ft you have two options. A squeeze chimney on the left, or a hand crack and knobs just to the right. Neither way is difficult. This will lead to the base of a 5.7 offwidth. Struggle up this until it becomes a chimney. A tree (sometimes with ants) blocks your path at the top of the chimney. Monkey through the tree and follow easy cracks up and left to a large ledge.

Pitch 2 we did as a real rope-stretcher. Again there are a couple different ways to start. The goal is to reach the obvious arching thin-hands splitter on the face just above. A direct approach is somewhat difficult and perhaps not that well protected. I chose to climb up a corner around to the right and then downclimb an easy ramp back down to the left. I did all this without placing pro so I could flip the rope around the corner and had my second follow up the direct start.

The thin hand crack is the crux, and how cruxy it is will depend on the size of your hands. It's over quickly in any case. Follow a left facing corner until you near the roof and then traverse over to the right (try to traverse low). A hanging belay could perhaps be established below the roof if you want to reduce rope drag. Above the roof is a nice splitter that quickly widens from hands to offwidth (10a/b) and then squeeze chimney. There is a nice bolted belay at a stance out on the arete to the right, near the top of the chimney. This gives you the cleanest rappel. Otherwise continue all the way to the top of Steppin' Out (which will make it a 70m pitch if you start from the big ledge atop "pitch 1").

To descend, rappel with two ropes. It is possible to rappel Steppin' Out with one 70m if you stop at a sort of bogus anchor at a dying tree just below the roof. Make the final rappel down Rocket In My Pocket from a bolted anchor (one good bolt, one bad).


Pro to 6" including extra .75"-1.5"


Pro to 6" including extra .75"-1.5"


- No Photos -
Bryan G
Bryan G   Yosemite
Although it deals more with the Stoneman Meadow Riots than it does with Independence Center, this Supertopo thread by first ascentionist Barry Bates is rich with Yosemite history and worth a look.

Yosemite Riots and the First Ascent of Independence Pinnacle Oct 15, 2012
Alexey Zelditch
San Jose
Alexey Zelditch   San Jose
Sloan even not able to copy properly information from for other sources, like mountain project or else , because he was in hurry. The book is garbage except of photos. But successful garbage in term of how many people got it. Feb 5, 2017