Type: Trad, Alpine, 1200 ft (364 m), 14 pitches, Grade IV
FA: Steve Risse and Bryan Burdo
Page Views: 2,916 total · 34/month
Shared By: Jacob Smith on Sep 21, 2014
Admins: Jon Nelson, Micah Klesick, Z Winters

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Seasonal Raptor Closure at Newhalem Crags March 1st to mid-July Details


Although it is technically the easiest all free route up the east face of Liberty Bell, Nicholson claims it takes one and a half times as much effort as Liberty Crack and for once he's not exaggerating. This route is an adventure – the rock is often poor and the gear follows suit, and aside from the intersection with Liberty Crack, there are no bolted belay stances.

Pitch breakdown
1 - 5.8 R, climb the loose corner system about 100 ft. left of Liberty Crack, there is probably only one truly dependable piece on this entire pitch and the belay stance is awkward.
2 - 5.10, brief wider crack, thinner above; several belay options exist, either stop at the sizable broken ledge or continue up to the base of the offwidth.
3a - 5.10d, thin "cracks" to the left of the offwidth; balencey, technical climbing with mediocre gear, traverse right past the offwidth to a finger crack just out of sight over the arete.
3b - 5.11b, climb the off-width until you can reach the finger crack.
4 - 5.8+, easy handcrack leads to an airy move left, amazingly solid for how exposed it feels, finish up some thin cracks.
5 - 5.10b, large crystals, steep hand-cracks. This pitch might make wearing tape gloves worthwhile for the whole thing. Finish at a big ledge w/ tree anchor.
6 - 5.6, descend slightly and then traverse to just below "The Rotten Block."
7-9 - follow Liberty Crack until roughly the beginning of the final 5.9 pitch.
10 - 5.10a, traverse right (two options, one high and easy, one low and hard, both have a bolt) into a thin crack.
11 - 5.10b, climb up toward the chimney, most of this is a fun handcrack, belay at the base of the chimney with scattered fixed pins. Pitches 10 and 11 can be easily linked.
12 - 5.8+, "Medusa's Roof," exposed but kind of absurdly secure climbing up around a chockstone.
13 - 5.8, up and right from the belay, a right facing corner that starts simple but gets a bit thin and smeary.
14 - "Class 4," scramble to the summit, belay if needed (would be several rope lengths if fully pitched out, but it's mostly class 2-3 past the first 50 ft.

Because of how it intersects Liberty Crack, splitting the route in half is perfectly feasible; if doing this I would recommend starting on Liberty Crack and finishing on Freedom Rider, as it is essentially a direct finish for that route anyways. In my opinion, if they were a little cleaner, the two 5.10 pitches beneath Medusa's Roof would be the best free climbing on either route.


Regular approach and descent for Liberty Bell east face routes.


Standard rack to 3"
Extra small nuts helpful if climbing 5.10d crux
Cams to 6" for 5.11b crux