Type: Aid, 2300 ft, 17 pitches, Grade VI
FA: Walt Shipley, Troy Johnson
Page Views: 3,282 total · 45/month
Shared By: Ben Lepesant on Jan 19, 2013
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


Excellent route. Sustained A3, it adds up towards the end. In terms of danger, the crux is p4, the Coral Sea. It's best to link this with p3 for a 190' pitch. Other cruxes are the Wing, which steep, and Golden Nipple, a slabby pitch at the end.
Mega classic nailing on several pitches. Feels fresh. I don't think there is more holes on the hard pitches than there were on the FA(?) At least for the Coral Sea this is obvious from the original topo.
Every pitch stands out in some way.
The only ledge is after p2. Every anchor is good.


south east face, start between Highway to Hell and El Cap Tree. Start by climbing up a tree and get on the wall after 20 feet where there is a jug/ledge on the wall. best start of any el cap route i'm sure!


a full aid rack. pins, hooks, beaks, a couple heads in case, stoppers, cams to 4 inches.


Russ Walling
  5.9 A4
Russ Walling   www.FishProducts.com
  5.9 A4
I don't think there is more holes on the hard pitches than there were on the FA(?)

Yeah, it got defiled early, like on the second ascent. Right after the Golden Finger of Fate, exiting the chimney a bat hook ladder was drilled around a scary bit of nailing. Fucking sad.

Trip report here:
fishproducts.com/topos/nati… Sep 25, 2013
Russ Walling
  5.9 A4
Russ Walling   www.FishProducts.com
  5.9 A4
Here are some of my notes from an early 90's ascent:

Notes on the route:
Excellent location and honest hard nailing made this fine route an instand classic. We went from the ground to Tree Ledge and then fixed to the ground. When I jugged up the fixed lines, our top line (also our main lead line) was sawed through by about 1/2 from grating on an edge about 40 feet down from the ledge. From this ledge we fixed the 5.9 pitch to get to the base of the "Coral Sea" pitch.
The Coral Sea a fine piece of work with a bunch of hooking, some loose stuff, and then a mile of #1 heads and hooks to the belay. A really bad fall is available if you skate at the crux, and it is a ledge fall so be heads up.
The next pitch is a 165' job that will take all sizes and goes pretty fast. We fixed from here back to the Tree Ledge Bivy and then did one big haul all the way to the top station the next day. To do this you will need an extra long haul line (260') or pass a knot.
Moving on up the route..... at the 9th belay, while starting to move up the anchor to go out on lead, some of the belay pins fell out. Expando would be the word for this action. This same flake later "closed up" and crushed a TCU flat.
Pitch 10 is nice and fairly technical with a clanger fall back into a corner if you blow the heads after the tension traverse.
Take a look behind "The Golden Finger Of Fate" and tell me what is holding this 200 ft. high feature to the wall.
Pitch 15 is a strenuous dihedral that takes a bunch of heads, but you really got to work for them. It is awkward, and if weather is a factor, it will run with water, which will then freeze up the entire corner, making for a dreary day.
Pitch 16 starts out on some blades and then goes to hooks and heads up a groove. This pitch also runs with major water during a storm, as we saw first hand, right before we got plucked from the rim by Mugs Stump and Dan McDevitt. Thanks boys. Sep 25, 2013