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Routes in Church Tower

East Arete T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
Wrong Arete T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13
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Type: Trad, 7 pitches, Grade III
FA: some hapless soul
Page Views: 455 total · 9/month
Shared By: Doug Hemken on Jun 13, 2014
Admins: M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

You & This Route


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Access Issue: Yosemite National Park climbing closures and conditions Details

Description

The wrong place to start the East Arete, which it joins at pitch 2 of that route.

We began maybe 50 feet up from the toe of the northeast arete. From the approach trail/gully, wander right around the corner and up a step. Scenic, moss-covered ledges line the arete to your left, and a low angle, dirt filled chimney will be above you. Head up that. Where there is a horizontal break, head right and around another corner. Belay at the base of a slope strewn with freshly fallen rock. Why would anyone continue up from here?

Pitch two picks its way up through recent rockfall to the base of a solid-looking wall. The worst pitch of a bad route.

Head up and left under a light-colored roof. Pro is sparse. At the left end of the roof, wind a little further left until you can make your way up to a large tree, with a trunk growing horizontally along the rock. Squirm between the tree and the rock until you can stand on the tree trunk. Pity your partner with the pack. Then a couple of nice! moves take you around a corner to the right, to a small stance with good gear and a small pine tree (just in case you are still thinking of bailing).

Pitch four. Head up a shallow right-facing corner above you. There is an ancient piton here, festooned with moss-covered bail-tat. Get in a couple of pieces and fire on past. That was probably the crux. Continue up and right to a notch in the ridgeline, and step through. Congratulations, you are one pitch up the East Arete!

Continue up the remaining pitches of the East Arete, which is what you meant to be doing anyway.

Location

Begin not far from where the approach trail runs along the northeast base of Church Tower

Protection

Where there is pro, it is generally under 2 inches.

Approach shoes might be a better choice than rock shoes for the first two pitches.

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