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Paradise Lost

5.10a PG13, Trad, 1000 ft, 7 pitches, Grade III,  Avg: 3 from 7 votes
FA: Ray Jardine, Rik Rieder, 6/72
California > Yosemite NP > Yosemite Valley > Cathedral Spire… > Middle Cathedral Rock
Access Issue: Yosemite National Park climbing closures and conditions Details


A fantastic mix of face and thin cracks. Less strenuous than Stoner's Highway. The route weaves it way up thin features. The protection is generally adequate with a slight runout on the 5.7 traverse off the first set of bolts P1 or half way up P1, depending on how you do it. Overall, this is one of the finest 5.10a routes that Yosemite has to offer.


Just left of the DNB.


Nuts and cams. I think I used a couple micros down low.

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Paradise Lost
[Hide Photo] Paradise Lost
Start of P6
[Hide Photo] Start of P6

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Fat Dad
Los Angeles, CA
[Hide Comment] This a great but underrated route. The runout nature of pitch 2 (pro for which used to consist only of a hammered in stopper) will keep most people from progressing further. I'm sure someone out there knows if that the pro on that pitch has been remedied. Maybe not 4 stars, but definitely 3.5. Jan 8, 2014
Salamanizer suchoski
Janesville Ca.
[Hide Comment] What do you mean by "remedied"? Jan 8, 2014
Tony Lobay
[Hide Comment] If by pitch 2, you mean the from the top of the 5.7 crack on the first pitch, you are putting in RPs. If by pitch 2, you mean starting further up from the end traverse, then there are a couple bolts that were added to a route that crossed this line. Feb 2, 2014
Bryan G
[Hide Comment] The bashed nut on pitch 2 was replaced with a bolt. A new climb starts on the face to the left of the Pee Pee Pillar, climbs directly up to share the second pitch of Paradise Lost, and then continues directly up where PL traverses right on pitch 3. Some new bolts have been added and also the position of the belay anchors has been changed. If you're looking at the topo for PL in the Reid guide, these two pitches will seem confusing.

For the first pitch, don't stop at the bolted anchor on the left side of Pee Pee Pillar, instead traverse out left onto the face, clip a bolt then climb up to a new 2-bolt anchor. For the second pitch continue up and left past some flakes and small corners (there's at least 1 lead bolt, don't remember if there are more) then past some pitons in a corner to another new 2 bolt belay. Don't stop at that anchor though, traverse straight right for about 40 feet to another 2 bolt anchor under a roof with a mostly-detached flake a couple feet below it. You are now at the top of pitch 3 of Paradise Lost. The Reid topo is very accurate for the rest of the route.

The anchor at the top of pitch 6 and the lead bolt on pitch 7 haven't been replaced and are still 1/4"ers. You can skip the old belay by linking 6 & 7, just make sure you extend your gear on the pitch. From the top of pitch 7 you can either rappel the route, or continue up DNB. Oct 20, 2014
Tony Lobay
[Hide Comment] Just did the route yesterday. It's an outstanding line - better than Central Pillar or the first pitches of the DNB. (I had previously been to the top of 2.) Probably better for someone with experience leading in the valley - tricky to find pro, but safe.

To not get your second killed on the multiple traversing pitches the leader should belay the second on the trailing line as well as the lead. Otherwise there is a big potential swing on pitches 3, 4, and 5.

Pitch 2 protects pretty well. There are a couple bolts and a few heads. Like Bryan said pitch 2 can finish at the belay bolts before or the other bolts after the 40' traverse. I stopped before the traverse. If the rope isn't feeling draggy, then do the traverse. Half way across the 40' traverse you can get in a blue/green offset alien and/or an RP. Be careful of that huge flake. It won't land on you if it goes, but it could squish someone on the ground. Maybe someone will trundle that thing some day when they are 100% sure the bottom is clear (even then it might hit some bolts on the way down).

Pitch 3,4 are great!

Pitch 5 (the .10a traverse pitch): the anchor at the top is 3 sketchy 1/4" and a nut. It might be easier to belay 30' up after the traverse on a ledge (natural anchor). That pitch got really draggy even with extended gear. Oct 30, 2014
[Hide Comment] Tony! Hey does this thing go to the top of thirsty spire or do you break left on the Power Reed ledges? Jun 11, 2017
Tony Lobay
[Hide Comment] You can go either way. It meets up with the DNB two pitches below Powell Reid. You can exit off Powell Reid Ledges to the U-Shaped Bowl. I had to do that once in a storm - the overhangs do look improbable but it can be done. The Powell Reid exit takes you to the top of East Buttress. Or you can continue up the remainder of DNB. When we did Paradise Lost, we just rapped down from the top of the last pitch where it meets DNB. Jun 12, 2017