Type: Trad, 600 ft, 5 pitches, Grade II
FA: Kevin Worrell, George Meyers, Roger Breedlove, 1973
Page Views: 2,718 total · 40/month
Shared By: stuart.h on Sep 24, 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


This is one of my favorite slab climbs in YNP right next to Quicksilver and joins up with it at its fifth belay station. We did both Quicksilver and Freewheelin' for a nice Gr V day.

This area is known for rock fall, wear a coconut protector.

Pitch 1 is 5.7 & 165ft. If it feels runout, this is a good time to bail as it only gets harder. Start in a right facing book and face climb up to a bolt. Arch left into a short crack that leads to bolt anchors.

P2 is couple of 5.9 moves both crack and face. From the first bolt above belay ascend a crack to the right. As crack ends, leave it heading left and up to a bolt, faceclimbing to an alcove

Pitches 3,4, & 5 are 10b face
P3 starts with a short traverse right from belay, then head up towards the "crystals band" passing through its left edge to a bolt. At the next bolt traverse left to a bolt (10b)then to a crack and belay.

P4 Leave the crack going up to the right into a small crack. Leave top of this small crack, bolt, followed by 10b, then to belay bolts.

P5 Move left to bolt, then up to horizontal crack. Go up towards a couple of bolts then downclimb left(10b) to the base of a left facing book. This short book is then followed by a 5.9 face to bolt anchors.

P6 is 5.7, no pro, and we rap from here rather than continuing.

Rappel the route.


Find Quicksilver then move right to find another right facing book. It is left of some orange streaks which marks a sport climb called Cat Dancing


Full rack


Bryan G
Bryan G   Yosemite
Here is a really good (and quite humorous) account of the first accent by Roger.

I thought the hardest section to lead was getting to the second bolt on pitch 2 - a tricky 5.9 traverse (and probably harder than 5.9 if you're short). All the rest of the difficult climbing is very well protected. Major runouts are 5.7 or easier. I linked pitches 2 and 3 in order to skip the piton belay (one of which i could remove by hand), but this leads to rope drag on the bolted traverse at the end.

This is one of the best climbs of it's length and grade in Yosemite. Stoner's Highway is only better because it's longer.

Also the climb to the right of this (up the orange streaks) is Stupid Pet Tricks, not Cat Dancing which is 3 routes over. Oct 8, 2014
Oakland, CA
Sirius   Oakland, CA
And here is some old-school beta from Largo on how to train for the legendary (and legendarily fearsome) MCR leads:

Per the second ascent of Freewheeling, I don't remember the first pitch having any pro whatsoever. It didn't seem all that horrendous for one reason: We'd spend hours traversing and climbing around at the base of Middle in order to get used to the rock. Many, many times we'd go crack climbing and on the drive back from the Cookie or Arch Rock or El Cap or wherever we'd stop by Middle and spend an hour or so traversing. After about fifty of these sessions you learned just how far you could go on the orange, white, grey and black holds, what your boots would stick to and not stick to, and you developed a certain style of cross presuring and mantling off finger tips and so forth--stuff that worked well on Middle and nowhere else.

This gave us the confidence to go for big runouts and keep the lid on because there was nothing you'd find out on the lead that you hadn't seen in one form or another during the traversing workouts. Sometimes you'd have like six guys, some 30 or even 40 feet off the ground, just meandering around and getting the whole thing dialed in. The reason for this was that there were sections of the harder routes like Space Babble and Black Primo where you couldn't afford to fall.

That's why stuff up to about 5.10b (probably 5.10c/d in the old EBs) had very sparce pro. They guys who put in the time traversing knew what they could do. I think what made this climbing so interesting is that it was far more mental than gymnastic--especially so on first ascents. It was much more a confidence game than a bouldering fest.

From this thread: supertopo.com/climbing/thre… Jan 23, 2015