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Routes in Basket Dome

Basket Case T 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
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Type: Trad, 800 ft, 7 pitches
FA: FA: Jim Donini, TM Herbert, 6/1972 FFA: Mark Klemens, Jim Bridwell, 7/1972
Page Views: 2,267 total · 35/month
Shared By: Alexey Zelditch on Aug 15, 2013
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


The route from the base looks jaw-dropping. You guessing about the size of the crux pitch. Is my knee would be in? Can I hand stack?

P1. Strait forward and easy 5.8. Your target big grassy ledge where 1-st pitch in Reid topo start. Probably length of the pitch depends where you finish you approach. It can be Zero [0] if you make horizontal approach to the big grassy ledge, but easiest is to traverse 100 feet lover

P2. (link p1 and 2 in Reid topo ) Stelar 160 feet of hands, wide hands and fists in the corner. You will use all your #3 and #4 you brought. Hard for 5.9.

P3+P4: 80ft +80 ft: We linked them in one pitch . You need double purple, green and red camalots for this pitch. End of p4 has nice thin crack, hard for 5.9.

P5. Crack in the left facing corner. And overhanging because left facing corner lean toward the left. Crack changing size from hands to #4 and than to #5. beginning has better size, but more overhang. First 100 feet sustained hard 4-5"ow with at least 2-3 good rests. Last 40 feet become wider and easier. Crux pitch about 150ft. 5.11b
Save #4 friend for belay at the end of crux pitch.

P6. Up to this point Reid topo was fine. But P6 left me in doubt what we did. From belay directly above was dirty mossy corner with no pro which possible was the route Donini climbed 40 years ago. At the same time clean wide crack leaning 45 degree toward right from belay and looks well protectable , but very hard. And it was no way 5.10. Than it goes vertical hard double crack with some hand jams. We call it second crux 5.11. 80ft.
Edit: my theory that some big blocks of rock fell near the top of p5/ beginning of p6, since 1972 FFA. This made transition to 5.9/5.10 chimney impossible leaving only the choice of 5.11 wide crack leaning toward right from the top of p5.

P7. You have the choice to climb left chimney or right chimney. Topo did not help to make the choice. We climbed right chimney and still not sure did we make correct choice or not. 160 ft, 5.8.
[Edit] After reading Christina TR where they ended up at the same dead end as we did- I think Left Chimney should be taken which make an easier way to the top of Dome.

Climbing eased up
couple more pitches to reach the top of Basket Dome following crack system. We reached dead end on our way, down climb, transitioned left to other crack system and finally reached the top of the Dome

The route has no bolts, no pitons, no slings- nothing can imply that anyone climbed it before you. At the same time most of the pitches have superb quality, but with some dust and dirt falling in your face if you looking up watching your partner. Except some funny sound plates on p3, no loose rock on the route.


Started at Porcupine trailhead. ~5 miles to North Dome. We bivi near the North Dome to save time. Next morning approach to the start of the route took about 2 hours. We took upper approach #2 ( see enclosed pdf)
You can study approach from hi resolution photo.…
It is not very long, but it was confusing even with printouts from the link above. Closer to the base of the route the ledges become very exposed class 3/4 and one mistake and you out forever. In the end of approach we un- flake the rope and tied in.
If you start climbing at 7 am you can be in the shade for most of the route, sheltering from sun behind big left facing corner.


0.3-0.5 C4 single
0.75-#5 C4 double
#6C4 single
+#4 friend
Alexey Zelditch
San Jose
Alexey Zelditch   San Jose
1.FA 6/1972:Jim Donini, TM Herbrt
story about first assent…

2.FFA:Mark Klemens, Jim Bridwell, 7/1972

3.Second free assent :Peter Haan,Ed Ward…

4. Third free assent from Mountain 33 (March 1974.)
"Notable repeats include an outstanding series by Dale Bard who climbed Basket Case (third, all nuts) with Tim Harrison

any more?

and trip report from July 2013:… Aug 16, 2013
Christina Freschl
Berkeley, California
Christina Freschl   Berkeley, California
For a different experience of the route, check out my TR on supertopo.…

I think my partner and I are extremely humbled:) Oct 2, 2013
Alexey Zelditch
San Jose
Alexey Zelditch   San Jose
Christina, I was extremely humbled too.
Do you think I was hallucinating on second crux pitch 6 when I mentioned "vertical double hands"? Oct 2, 2013
Christina Freschl
Berkeley, California
Christina Freschl   Berkeley, California
I don't know Alexey, but it was definitely not a hand crack. I think that a bit of hallucinating is typical for this route. :) We should totally climb together sometime. Are you going to the November gathering? Oct 3, 2013
Alexey Zelditch
San Jose
Alexey Zelditch   San Jose
I made some editing after reading Christina report and add Clint's overlay photos which can explain some route finding problems on the upper part of the route.
And there is no more "double hands crack" on p6 - it is gone!
Christina am planning to be at november Balch camp fest and hope we will meet there Oct 4, 2013

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