Trad, 1000 ft, 9 pitches, Grade IV,
Avg: 3.9 from 17
FA: FA Dan McDevitt 1999 FFA Lucho Rivera 2012
> Yosemite NP
> Yosemite Valley
> Leaning Tower Area
> Fifi Buttress
Yosemite National Park climbing closures and conditions
Yosemite National Park has yearly closures for Peregrine Falcon Protection March 1- July 15.
Always check the Yosemite website Peregrine Closure page at nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/…
for the most current details and park alerts, and to learn more about the peregrine falcon, and how closures help it survive. This page also shares closures and warning due to current fires, smoke, etc.
Thanks to the efforts of Lucho Rivera this Dan McDevitt route now goes free. This route is very sustained and difficult. Each of the first six pitches is burly in a different way.
This is a newer route, freed in 2012, so it is still there is still a little foliage and some loose or hollow rock on a few pitches. This does not really detract from the climbing since this route follows an incredibly steep line with amazing belay ledges after every pitch.
P1 - 5.12- 35m Climb a short dihedral and then make a hard move left to a good stance below the main corner. Work up the corner passing another crux section with thin pro. When the crack pinches out stem and do some ninja moves to get to a crack out left. Follow this crack as it arches to the right to the belay.
P2 - 5.11 30m Layback up from the belay until you can step right to a parallel crack/corner. Follow this briefly before stepping back left into the main corner. Follow sweet knobs until the corner pinches back out. Employ some trickery to get through a short boulder problem to another good stance. The crack pinches out but the geometry creates a perfect edge for laybacking. Romp up to your hearts content stepping right around a large block. Keep laybacking until you can mantel up onto the spacious belay ledge.
P3 - 5.11 35m Follow the obvious wide cracks up and to the right. A few tricky layback moves get you past the first of many hollow flakes. Step back left into the corner with difficulty and layback up past another scary section of blocks. It is possible to get good gear out left. The next section presents two options. You can go straight up the corner (more difficult) or quest out right (more exciting) and then hand traverse back across. The fear factor goes down but the pump clock goes up as the angle kicks back on the last 20 feet to the belay. Traverse way to the left with heel hooks and a good amount of air under your feet.
P4 - 5.12 35m Place some high gear and make a cruxy move right to clip a bolt. Use your granite voodoo and houdini up to the finger crack. Power up the short crack to a good rest in an alcove. Regain your composure and punch it up a long flared section of fingers and thin hands. A kneebar can keep the pump at bay before you move past a couple of large chockstones into a flare. Thrutch up and pull one more tricky section when you exit the flare. A few easy moves leads to a big tired ledge with a mess of bolts. I belayed on the right bolts and used the bolts on the left when we rappelled.
P5 - 5.11 25m Traverse about 10 feet right from the belay and clip a high bolt. Climb down around the corner and then mantel a dirty ledge and reach back around the corner to clip a second bolt. (It is also possible to face climb past these two bolts and then flip around the corner). Eventually you will chimney and stem up inside the corner with difficulty until your fingers fit in the steep crack. Pull back around the corner to hand crack which leads to a good stance. Step left and climb up a short dihedral. Fun moves lead to another awesome belay ledge on the left. A short but surprisingly challenging pitch.
P6 - 5.12+ 25m The Crux! Move down and left from the belay being careful with some fragile rock. A few thin moves get you established below a tips crack in a corner. Crimp and finger lock up the crack keeping your core tight . A few good holds give a momentary reprieve before a final tricky move exiting the crack. Recover as best you can and attack an exciting face climbing sequence on holds that all face the wrong ways. Clip a fixed pin (currently missing as of 2017) and hand traverse across to the belay.
We rapped from here. A 70m rope gets you down. From what I understand the remaining pitches are still high quality just easier in grade. If you have an 80m rope or two ropes you can skip the P5 belay on the way down.
P7 - 11a Follow flakes up wild looking rock directly above the belay.
P8 - 10d
P9 - 10d
I plan on going back and will update the description later on.
Per Dan McDevitt (FA) - The upper pitches of this route are quite good also. If you go to the top, there is the option of walking down (30-45 min.) from top of route, do short uphill to beautiful summit, look for cairns to the south, then wrapping around to the west. it is fairly well marked. no raps, but a little 3rd class.
This route starts from a nice flat area on the traverse ledge across Fifi Buttress. The Vortex is on the right and Final Frontier is further along the ledge. Scramble 30 feet up to a flat boulder below the first corner.
All belays are bolted and setup for rappel.
Double Rack from 0 C3 to #1 camalot. Single 00 C3, and #2, #3 and #4 camalot. A #4 friend also works instead of a #4 camalot.
A third set of finger sized pieces, especially thin fingers are useful!
getting pitch 1 dialed
Lolo follows the awesome crux pitch.
Stanley cruising pitch 4
Ben at the final crux of pitch one.
Following final layback of the 2nd pitch of Romulan Freebird
Lucho doing the traverse on Pitch 5. Dan McDevitt Photo
Romulan Freebird topo by Lucho
Looking up at the third pitch of Romulan Freebird
Lucho on ffa