Type: Trad, 1100 ft, 10 pitches, Grade IV
FA: FA: John Salathe, Anton Nelson, 9/1947, FFA: Chuck Pratt, Frank Sacherer, 1964
Page Views: 11,031 total · 138/month
Shared By: Alexey Zelditch on Nov 2, 2012
Admins: M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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Access Issue: Yosemite National Park climbing closures and conditions Details


Classic route with long approach and descend. Time to climb the route depends of your endurance and skills. It shorter than Steck -Salathe but harder and take about the same time. You can link this route with Lost Arrow spire and end up with glorious Tyrollean traverse, but in this case you need to spend one more day to fix ropes from the Rim to the notch, or ask your friends to do that.
My friends Chad Suchoski and Zander Brennen did this route few years ago and wrote nice reports on ST:
I recently climb this route with Zander and think that this remarkable route should be added to MP.
We did route in the end of September with temperature mid 80F and it was in the shade almost all day. Still two liters of water each of us had was not enough.
We used second rope for haling small bag with foot, water and excessive gear.
Reid topo has not many details, but the general line of the chimney unmistakably bring you to the notch.
P1. Start route in the right crack than after 70 ft cross to left crack and ascend 70 more feet to belay ledge. 140ft, 5.8
P2. straight forward 140 ft, 5.9. . We linked p1&2 with 70ft of semulclimbing
P3. Main fetter of the pitch big wide roof 5.9 [left side in]. This roof can be bypassed on left at 5.9 thin cracks and face moves. 80 ft. Belay on Horsman lag or link with next pitch
P4. Safety Valve - first long ow stretch, but not the crux of the route. 120' 5.9
P5. Wide chimney pitch with cracks in left and right side of the chimney. You can use booth #6 on this pitch. 100 ft, 5.9
P6. Was mental crux for me because I read Chad's TR and his description of this pitch:
"next pitch which was a fun finger tieback on the side of the chimney with a little stem across and onto the face where you're supposed to pass a couple bolts and back into the chimney. There were no bolts, but there was a piton. After making the most awkward move in climbing history to gain access back into the chimney, (picture your right foot in a small corner, your right hand on a knob and leaning over a chimney trying to reach the other side of the wall more than 4ft away. Then just letting go of the knob and falling into the wall bridging the large gap with your body. Now turn and lunge for that suspect chockstone [which rolls a bit] and pulling yourself back into the main part of the chimneyÂ…"
I really did not want to do this weird jumping on face and especially back. But there is a way- you just go straight(completely ( ignoring Reid's topo bypass) in the crack and climb flare/ow at 5.10 with good pro #6 . 100ft
P7. Chimney, wide chimney all the way. Rotten to the top of the pitch and in turn of pro- the worst pitch 120 ft, 5.8
P8. Climb increasingly hard chimney to new bolt. Crux - long reach for handhold just after you clip the bolt. 100 ft, 10a
Chad and Zander replaced two old rusty bolts for shining one in 2009, thanks
P9. Pithch Start with 5.10a flare/ow { right side in) . Than from the middle of the pitch you have two options
a) follow the crack system to second upper 10a flare climbing mostly outside
b) enter dip into chimney and bypass upper flare inside. You and your partner need to be small for this variation
P10. Have two option ( we did not find Harding hole) . See also enclosed Zander's topo of last pitch
a) climb 5.9 crack in the corner ( looks like better option), b) but we climbed 5.9 thin hands ( felt harder than 5.9)

Now you on the notch - find first set of bolts on your right in the base of the Spire and go home. Or continue up...


Approach: same way as for Lost Arrow direct starting trail behind SAR base . Or climb SunnySide Bench route as approach and from there hike up the slab to the base of Chimney route.
Descend two options:
1. If you end up the notch - do 8 double rope rappel from Rohrer rappel route ( rappel chart enclosed)
2. If you pre-fix ropes and climb in addition Lost Arrow spire - walk off Yosemite waterfall trail which ended up at Camp4


Double from green Aliens to #2 Camalot. One #3.
Big Gear: We used 2x#6. It probably be about same if take one#5 and one#6. We took #4BigBro and did not use it


Petaluma California
stevecurtis   Petaluma California
Chad recommended this route to me too. I've spent 38 years of climbing avoiding routes like this one. It will take a while for the memory to fade.
Take knee pads. Mine are a mess. The route takes more time than half dome RR. Don't let the moderate grade fool you. After pitch 7, you are half way done. A few notes. We didn't use the recommended belays on every pitch. We didn't run full pitches together either. The first few pitches are easy. Turning the roof on pitch 3 looks like a horror, but it is very easy on the left by way of a finger crack. The top of the safety valve gives you an idea of what is to come. Expect many feet of this type climbing. The OW on pitch 5 is easy. Pitch 6 is odd and wonderful stemming. My partner said that going straight up the OW squeeze was 5.11. Going around right was easier. Pitch 7 (the rotten chimney) is easy, but dangerous and intimidating toward the end. A yellow totem cam might have made it R instead of X. Pitch 8, with the good bolt, is dangerous. Imagine an open flaring green chimney with a bad fall (before reaching the bolt). This stretch was at my limit. After this, more flaring squeeze. Pitch 9 Starts with 70 feet of flaring squeeze. The bolts on the topo are useless, but cams fit in the back. About 70 feet up, tunnel in a tight squeeze, and then back out above chock stones. This pitch is hard. Pitch 10 is pure joy, steep hand and finger cracks.

We took a set of offset nuts from about #4, double cams to #1, and a single "2,3,4,5,6. Seemed about right, and allowed us to make two or three piece belay anchors. Two quarts of water were plenty, but expect to burn 1000s of calories.

The Rap map isn't accurate. However, it is easy to find the anchors. Don't use the anchors out left on the second rap. The good anchors are hidden lower in the chimney (straight down) The only rap station that wasn't straight down was second from the end. Easy to see, 150 ft, and a bit climbers left. A few hanging belays are very uncomfortable. Jun 29, 2015