Mountain Project Logo

Routes in Bubbs Creek Wall

Emperor, The T 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a PG13
Samurai Warrior - Ronan T 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a PG13
What's Up Bubb? T 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Type: Trad, Alpine, 2200 ft, 18 pitches, Grade V
FA: Vitaliy Musiyenko and friends
Page Views: 2,496 total, 86/month
Shared By: SirTobyThe3rd on Jul 20, 2015
Admins: Chris Owen, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

You & This Route

7 Opinions

Your To-Do List:

Add To-Do

Your Star Rating:

     Clear Rating

Your Difficulty Rating:

-none- Change

Your Ticks:

Add New Tick


Long, difficult, high quality climb in a stunning location. One of the best long free climbs for the grade in the State, or in the world, maybe.

Pitch 1: Follow the dike up passing the first roof on the left after clipping a high bolt. Continue towards the flake, lay it back and traverse under the second roof. There is small gear that protects the traverse - purple-blue metolious. Finger size gear could be used later. Pull the roof an continue to the belay ledge. Make sure to use the long slings on this pitch to minimize the rope drag - it won't help with sending the slabby crux 55 meters off the deck. Bring a single rack from thin to thin hands for this pitch. 11b/c

Pitch 2: Step left off the ledge and make several committing moves to the first stance. Climb past seven bolts. Cruz of the pitch is after the last bolt. You could either climb straight up by stepping high, reaching for a shitty sloper and stepping your right foot high onto the dark "knob," (5.11a-ish for tall people?) or stepping down and traversing to the big black knob (5.10c-ish way). 5.10-11.

Pitch 3: Climb straight up the flake to a big stance. Place some hand size gear and traverse left to the prominent dike. Make improbable moves between good stances before traversing left. The crux is the last 30 feet of this pitch. Really technical and powerful to a mantel. After the mantel you transition right using some imaginary holds. Perform one more mantel to reach the belay station. 11c/d.

Pitch 4: The Granite Voodoo Pitch. Hard dead point or a harder static move to a shitty crimp. Clip the first bolt and traverse to the third (do some granite voodoo). Climb straight up clipping the other two or three (the other crux) before continuing to the belay ledge. Call it anything you want from 11b to 12a.

Pitch 5: The Katana. It is sort of like the enduro corner but requires a bit more power and much less gear. 11c

Pitch 6: Step left and mantel the big knob. Climb past the 5 bolts while using the arete, stemming and using every other technique to get to the ledge. Bring small to medium cams to built a belay (either in the flake or on top of the flake). 5.11a or b.

Pitch 7: Layback and jam up in the right facing dihedral (crux of the pitch - 5.11a?), after which you will hand jam and chimney behind a big flake. There will be a nice stance and a wide crack above you. Climb the wide crack (bring a #4 maybe?). You can also protect it in the other crack to your left. Climb to the top of a pedestal and continue up another flake on your right. After reaching the belay ledge clip it with a long runner, downclimb into the OW and stem left to another belay stance for the 11b variation. 5.12 variation is straight above - powerful, pumpy and good.

Pitch 8: 5.12 variation - "The Power Endurance Corner." Climb straight up passing a power - endurance crux past 5 bolts. Continue up the crack which will take finger sized gear at first, will go to thin hands and hand jams and go back down to thin hands in the end. Bring at least a double rack to #1 and a #2. The more gear the better for the upper section - the pitch is a full 60 M, so think about how much gear you will want...
5.11b variation - climb up a cool splitter and pass the roof on the right with a powerful layback. Layback is protected by a BD #2-3 camalots high up in the roof. Climb up a flake (save medium cams for the flake) and do some cool face climbing past 6 bolts to the airy belay station.

Pitch 9: The Key to the Empire. Delicate moves after the first bolt (5.12a crux) take you to the second. Traverse to the belay ledge after performing some more trickery after the 3rd bolt. It took me a while to figure out where the key to the empire is hidden, but there are much better climbers out there who can find it much quicker! Good luck!

Pitch 10: The Double Dike pitch. Appreciate the exposure of the belay stance, step right (cruxy), mantel to the big stance and perform another bolt protected crux before pulling a roof. After the roof the climbing gets easier and much more fun. Follow the dikes to the belay ledge. 5.11a.

Pitch 11: Climb up the dike past the first bolt (crux) to the second bolt (at the roof). Extend the sling to avoid the rope drag. Traverse under and pull the roof following another dike to the belay station. This pitch is not very difficult but run out. 5.10a

Pitch 12: Step down from the belay ledge and traverse right before climbing up and clipping the first bolt. Traverse right and mantel into the groove (crux). Continue up the groove past a few roofs. Bring a single rack from tiny to #1 camalot. Built a belay with a finger size cam and the first bolt after the second roof, or link with the next pitch if you have a 70 M rope. 5.11 b/c?

Pitch 13: Do the layback and get into the crack. Continue up passing a bush and traverse right under the roof (small gear). Mantel to the belay ledge. 5.11

Pitch 14: This is the last bolted belay and a last chance to bail. Climb up a wide crack in the corner (protects by #3-5 BD camalots - I did not bring the #5 for it. Single #4 worked, for me, but some may want it?). Transition to laybacking and fun, airy stemming past some bolts to a roof which will take tiny offset nuts/gear, maybe. Layback up another flake and pull the cruxy overhang before reaching the belay ledge. Built the station with fingers-medium sized gear - BD 0.5s would be bomber. 5.11-

Pitch 15: Step left and climb up a crack to two bolts. Pass the second bolt (crux) and traverse up and left to a bushy ledge. Go up and right on this bushy ledge, get some small gear in and step right to a dike. Clip the bolt and climb straight up the dike. Go straight up the blocky terrain choosing your best line and belay somewhere under the giant overhang. 5.10+ or 5.11-

Pitch 16: Continue traversing up and right, under the giant overhang. Follow the path of least resistance for a full rope length. Most will want to simul climb some. 200+ feet (5.7 ish) to wherever you feel like belaying

Pitch 17: Go straight up to some crack with unprotected face/flake which leads up to the bulging cracks. Place some hand sized gear and pull the bulge. Chimney and climb past a bushy ledge to an obvious overhang with a handcrack going through it. Pull the crux bulge (5.10) and belay somewhere after another bushy ledge (200 ft+).

Pitch 18: 4th/low 5th. Climb and scramble left and up following the path of least resistance. Stop belaying wherever you think it is suitable for your comfort level.

Descent: hike up and traverse towards the Charlotte Dome. Once you are past the slabs drop down into the drainage hiking straight towards the Charlotte Dome. Angle down and left for over a thousand feet till you reach the "trail" that people take to climb the Charlotte Dome. If you are completely lost, don't panic and descent all the way to the creek. Follow the path of least resistance down along the Charlotte Creek. You will either see the cairns or will hit Bubbs Creek. Intersection of Charlotte Creek and Bubbs Creek is where the camp is! Congratulations, you have earned tour dinner!!!


The route starts about 200 feet east of the Samurai Warrior. Follow the approach directions as for Samurai Warrior, but continue east and scramble a 30 ft 4th/low 5th class section. Before reaching the two big trees and bushes look up at the wall and you will see a prominent dike. You will see the first bolts next to the dike - congratulations you are at the base.

If BAILING from the route, make sure you have two 60 M ropes unless you want to leave gear. Most stations are equipped with rap rings and new bolts.
  • You can rap from the top of pitch 13, but you will have to reverse the traversing pitch 9. It is possible to rap over from top of 10 to the top of 8, but HARD. Leader must clip the second bolt and the first bolt with a draw and tie off the rope for the follower in case it is hard for them to get over.
  • Watch your ends rapelling from top of 13 to top of 11, I am not sure you can make it all the way. If not, pick a bolt and leave a leaver biner?
  • There is a single bolt intermediate rap station for rapelling from the top of the 7th to top of the 5th. Two 60s will not reach, a 70 and a 60 will reach all the way, if you equalize them.
  • You can rap from the top of 5 to the top of pitch 3 with two 60 M ropes.


Double rack to #1 camalot. Single camalots from #2-#4. More gear is optional. #5 camalot is very optional.
Went there late May.
Here is some approach beta:
The hike to camp is easy: huge trail and mostly pretty flat.
From camp, continue along the trail for less than 10 minutes. You get to a place where you are straight below the wall, after a short bit up through trees and bigger boulders, a scree slope leads up to a slab. This was wet when we were there and it seemed insane to go straight up it. We did some gnarly but short bushwhaking on the left of this. Towards the top of the slab we roped up and crossed to some 4th class terrain that leads to another short bit of climbing which takes you to the base.
Unfortunately the route above p10 was a waterfall, in the morning, p1 and p2 were running with water as well. So no climbing for us. Go later in the season if there is snow up there...
The route looks stellar and I will be back. Jun 26, 2017
+1 on linking those pitches. Intermediate belays do suck. For linking, you need a 70M rope. In case of 6 and 7 you can also stop on the block below and do a mini pitch to the belay ledge, that would eliminate a shitty belay stance. If you stop short of anchor though, pitch 8 is also about 58M! You won’t be able to get to the belay on top of the pitch if you start below the anchor and have a 60 M rope. So a short pitch to the belay would be required unless you have a 70 and link (best choice).
Disagree on the WEATHER. I spent 30 days over months of june july august september and october in Bubbs Creek. It is USUALLY perfect on the wall in the shade during the summer months. By the time you get to the pitch 7 and 8 there would USUALLY be breeze, like always. I honestly climbed in a tshirt above pitch 9 only once, and was not hot. Alix climbed the route during a major heat wave that passed through CA. When I was driving through Fresno that weekend it was 108F! If the forecast for Fresno is below 100F, I’d say it should be good temps. Basically, check the weather! The wall tops out at just below 10,000 ft, gets sun in the morning (earlier in the season more shade, later in the season less shade). It is much cooler on the wall than in the Bubbs Creek drainage.
Also, as far as thunderstorms go...I spent a lot of time on the wall with 20-30% of thunderstorms predicted by NOAA. What I noticed is that high peaks to the West and to the South would collect the clouds and it would USUALLY not rain on Bubbs Creek Wall, which was nice. But the upper pitches seep after thunderstorms and early in the season. When they do seep, the route is still very climbable because the seeping is in the groove, which is mainly stemmed. There are sections where you climb straight in, but it works out unless it is some severe seepage. When I did the FFA the seepage was fairly severe but it worked out.
Great route, glad I put the time (A LOT OF) into it, hope many more people like the thing. Jul 31, 2015
alix morris
Estes Park, CO
  5.12a PG13
alix morris   Estes Park, CO
  5.12a PG13
Holy Shit. Just got done with this beast of a climb - beautiful, bold, and sustained. What a line! I haven't climbed anything this sustained in my life. The first half is shmoozy granite wizardry on thin face and the second half is old school Yosemite burl flare with a lot of spice. Just think, p2 of Silent Line but harder with less gear. This thing just never lets up.

Some good things to know -
Link pitches 6+7, the intermediate belay sucks.
Link pitches 12+13, intermediate also sucks.
p10 seemed impossible to get to the first bolt for someone my height (5'6) or REALLY hard, much harder than the grade of 11a.
p12-14 were all seeping and quite frightening! It seemed a bit spicy to lead with some decent runouts on wet, seepy terrain.

I think I need to do the Rostroman to have the endurance to pull 14 pitches of 5.11 + 12a in a ROW.

ALSO - We did it two days ago 7/29 and it was HOT as BALLS. I recommend going in the fall or spring for prime conditions.

Jul 31, 2015
A beauty! Varied and sustained climbing with few (if any) pitches easier than 5.10. Upper pitches retain water during the early season, but don't wait too late because this south facing route will be baking by mid-summer. Technical slab/face + heat = grim. Needles quality rock with Whitney Portal-style climbing, linking discontinuous crack systems by way of improbable yet incredible face sections and some thought-provoking slab. Bring a comfy harness and stiff shoes - many steep/hanging belays. Well protected - also goes at 5.11A0 if your a punter like me and can't pull some of the .12 blankness. Jul 20, 2015