Type: Trad, 1000 ft, 14 pitches, Grade IV
FA: Jay Smith and friends
Page Views: 8,601 total · 130/month
Shared By: SirTobyThe3rd on Oct 14, 2013
Admins: Aron Quiter, Lurker, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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An under-rated classic. If this climb was in Yosemite there would be lines of people waiting to get on it daily. Many pitches could be linked with a 70 meter rope, and multiple link ups with other climbs are possible.

Pitch 1 and 2 – 5.11. Start up the face below a roof, just left of the crack system in the corner. 80 ft – 5.10c. Than a short 5.11 pitch on bolted slab. Traverses to climber’s right and shares the first belay with first pitch of Sands of Time. It is also possible to climb Sands of Time or link these pitches into one with a 60 M rope.

Pitch 3 – 5.10c. Start up the lie back in a left facing corner. Reach around the corner, clip a bolt, make a traverse into the neighboring left facing corner and make several more thin moves to a belay station.

Pitch 4 – 5.10b. Climb up and left below a roof. Place some protection which does not look too encouraging behind a thin flake. Do a hand traverse on a dike for a few moves to a belay station a little further left. Taller people could use a “hole” as a good rest stance. Pitches 2 and 3 link with a 60M rope.

Pitch 5 – 5.10b. A LONG and very sustained lie-back corner. No moves harder than 5.10b, but not many easier.

Pitch 6 and 7– 5.9. A needed break from sustained climbing. Ascend up the left facing corner and traverse into another left facing crack system to the left. After a step across it is possible to belay at a base of another corner. It is logical to link these pitches since next corner is fairly short.

Pitch 8 – 5.11b/c  bolted face/slab. Had two cruxy sections. One lower (5.11) on the pitch and one higher (5.11b/c) up. After you are done with face climbing traverse left under a roof to a bolted belay station. Don’t forget to place some pieces here to protect your second.

Pitch 9 – 5.10d. Undercling and lie back a left leaning roof. Stemming provides you with needed rest for placing protection.

Pitch 10 – 5.11. Money pitch. One of the coolest pitches you will ever climb. Lie back up a LONG corner. At some point the corner will pinch closed and you will be forced to stem and palm your way up to decent jug. Sustained pitch does not let you off the hook till you make final moves to a belay station.

P11 5.10b - 75 Step right and slab and layback up the arete. A close belay is necessary here since blowing it would put you back on the ledge. Follow a series of delicate moves on small knobs past spaced bolts. Once you reach a good foot rail tall climbers will be able to reach straight up and pull up to victory. For shorter climbers the best option is to travese left on small footholds until you can reach a crack that leads to the ledge above. Another exposed belay with two bolts on top of the East Tibetan Tower. It is possible to rap straight down from here to the base of P10.

Can rap the route from here with two 60M ropes, continue to the top, or link it to Karakoram Highway and Rastaman Vibrations.

Pitch 12 – 4th class. Traverse right on War Lord Ledge.

Pitch 13 – 5.9. Climb up a left leaning crack/dike to a two bolt anchor.

Pitch 14 – 5.8. Climb face/slab to a bolt and up to a ledge. Continue up the series of right facing corners to the top. Ascend 4th class to the top of formation.


Starts on the left side of Hourglass Buttress and ascends just left of “Sands of Time.” Approach from the road takes about 20 minutes.


Double set of cams from small to BD #2. Single BD #3 is sufficient and BD #4 is VERY optional. Three cams of smaller size .3-.5 would be useful for long lie back. Medium and small nuts are very useful.

Route has bolted belay stations, and can be rappelled with two 60 meter ropes!
Tzilla Rapdrilla
  5.11 PG13
Tzilla Rapdrilla  
  5.11 PG13
followed Eric Perlman and another major Cali local of this route about 10 years ago. The route is everything is cracked up to be and more. The Hidden Wall was great too. Nov 16, 2013
It should be known that this all-time classic was established by Jay Smith and company and was originally named "High Times". Many years later 2 alternate approach pitches were added and the entire climb re-named. I think it would be appropriate to refer to the original name on this site as a sign of respect for the first ascentionist.

Oh, and pitch 10, the one referred to as the "money" pitch, goes at .10d. One of the best pitches of corner climbing around! Nov 26, 2013
J. Albers
  5.11 PG13
J. Albers   Colorado
  5.11 PG13
Your comment about the original route name seems fine Ryan (my old topo lists it as High Times as well), but I would have to disagree with you about the pitch 10 corner going at 5.10. I know some awfully strong climbers who think that pitch is solid 5.11. Nov 26, 2013
Redonkalous fotos and TR here:
Silk Road to Karakoram Highway - SuperTopo Jan 31, 2014
Karsten Duncan
Sacramento, CA
Karsten Duncan   Sacramento, CA
Overall a great route that lives up to the hype. I found the face/slab sections very difficult but the rest very reasonable.

Would have to say pitch 10 is hard 5.10 but is one of those kinds of climb where knowing a specific technique is key. The crux section of this pitch is made pretty pedestrian if you have good stemming technique and easily 5.11 if you don't. Jan 3, 2015
Dmitriy Litvak
Pacifica, CA
Dmitriy Litvak   Pacifica, CA
Mind blowing climb! The crux pitch 10 is just incredible. The crux for me was the face move 2 pitches below. I could not figure out what to do there. Pulled on the draw to get through.

We could not find any rap anchors at the top of the dome. Left slings and rings on the tree and on the belay bolts lower. The 2 60's ropes do not reach the lower anchor. We down climbed.

As of March 15,2015, 3rd pitch is soaked. We went on Sands of Time for that pitch.

Thank you for the new bolts! Donate to ASCA! Mar 16, 2015
Gargano   Arizona
To reduce rope drag on P8:

Clip the 5th bolt with a long sling and traverse right to clip the 6th bolt.
Then climb back and unclip/backclean the 5th bolt.

This takes a good amount of drag out of the system and makes the final undercling traverse to the anchor a lot smoother.

(P8 per the topo posted above in the photos) May 11, 2015
Max Tepfer
Bend, OR
Max Tepfer   Bend, OR
This route is Mega! Awesome corner climbing interspersed with intricate face climbing on perfect rock. Get on it!

Gear: Double rack is completely adequate as long as you have and use stoppers. The #4 got used on the 5.9 pitch and that was it. Probably best left at home. I took triples of 0.3-0.5 up the crux corner and finished with an absurd amount of gear on my harness.

Grade: The two face cruxes are for sure harder than anything else on the route, but despite what's been said above, I'm pretty good at stemming and was still working hard to hang on through the corner crux. At no point did the word pedestrian cross my mind. The second face crux (Pitch 8) is way harder for shorter people.

Raps: There's a bomber two bolt anchor at the tree at the top of the last pitch and rappelling from here with two ropes was cake. Using the MP's pitch breakdown from Tree anchor: (all raps are w/two sixties)

Rap Pitch 14 to top of 5.9+ dike
Rap to top of Pitch 11 (10b arete)
Rap to ledge/anchor at the base of 5.11 corner/Pitch 10
Rap to top of Pitch 7 (5.9 pitches)
Rap Pitches 6 and 7
Rap to ledge at the base of Pitch 4 (10b 'hole' pitch)
Rap to ground. Sep 15, 2016
Silas Miller
Conway, NH
Silas Miller   Conway, NH
Pitch 10 of this gem route sticks in my mind as a breakthrough moment in my life that keeps pushing me to find that nirvana, often found just over the limit of what you thought possible.

Early in my climbing career, Sam Skrocke casually sent me up this route. I remember climbing at what I thought was my limit towards the bottom of pitch 10, only to find the crack gone half way up. Trial by fire learning to stem. I remember palming the rock, well above a small nut when I lost what little balance I had, and in slow motion peeled away from the corner! Probably my first lead fall. Super fun! I was hooked and this pitch has sparked a life long love of climbing, in particular, stemming! Sep 8, 2017
John Goddard
  5.11 PG13
John Goddard  
  5.11 PG13
Wonderful climb! Had it to ourselves on a clear Sunday in October. A few notes/thoughts:

As of October 2018, there are hornets about three quarters of the way up pitch 5. We went out right to a 5.7ish handcrack at the end of the pitch to avoid them.

There hasn't been much said about the last 4 pitches -- I was expecting a run to the top after pitch 10, but I actually found pitch 11 and pitch 14 pretty stout for their respective grades. Each involved spicy starts over ledges, and the first bolt on pitch 14 was about 10 feet right of where I wanted it. Could of course just be my lack of skill on granite slab. Oct 11, 2018
Joe Forrester
Palo Alto
Joe Forrester   Palo Alto
Spectacular line. Such good climbing, with considerable variety.

Just a couple of comments.

The second pin listed in the topo on P10 (the awesome upper dihedral) is now gone, it came out with gentle finger pressure (11/12/18). I didn't have a hammer with me so couldn't replace it. There is small gear all around the pin though...

By November the route is in the shade all day.

The two 5.9 pitches can be linked with a single 70. Saves you a gear belay.

There isn't really anything PG-13 about this route. Any hard climbing is protected either with a bolt or with good gear 2 feet below you, particularly with modern thin gear. Nov 13, 2018
Austin Donisan
San Mateo, CA
  5.11 PG13
Austin Donisan   San Mateo, CA
  5.11 PG13
I gave a PG13 rating for the 40' 5.5 runout after the last bolt on P14. Maybe I missed something? Nov 14, 2018
Lake Tahoe
almostrad   Lake Tahoe
At risk of sounding like an old grump, both this route and WOW were covered in tick marks from top to bottom on 11/16/18 when I took a buddy up for his first time. Please brush your ticks, and most of all, have fun! This thing is as good as it gets for the grade anywhere.

Joe - Thanks for the heads up on the second pin, I swore to my partner there used to be 2 and I was about to owe some beer without your confirmation.

Also, from the top of P3 (per topo on this page), there's an alternate P4 that takes a killer splitter called Blaze. 12-, 2 or 3 bolts, the rest of gear. Pull up and right from the P3 anchor, clip a few bolts through the crux to gain the crack. Takes you to the ledge at the top of the first mega corner. Dec 10, 2018