Type: Trad, Alpine, 2200 ft (667 m), 17 pitches, Grade IV
FA: Dave Nettle, Peter Croft, Brandon Thau
Page Views: 8,743 total · 116/month
Shared By: Luke Stefurak on Jul 22, 2015
Admins: Mike Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Vicki Schwantes, Justin Johnsen

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Always check SEKI road conditions and peregrine closures Details


This is one of the longest and most spectacular climbs that I've done in the Sierra. Valkyrie delivers stunning position and pitch after pitch of varied and interesting climbing. The exposure on the second half of the route makes you feel like you are climbing on El Capitan. The first ascent team did an amazing job connecting the physical crack sections with tenuous slabs and face climbing. These bolted pitches prove to be the cruxes of the route. Competence in wide climbing is a must for the numerous offwidths and chimneys.

P1 – 5.8 – 60 feet - 1 bolt
From the toe of the buttress climb up easy slabs getting gear when possible. A few tricky moves getting to and moving past the bolt. Belay at two bolts at a good ledge.

P2 – 5.10c – 190 feet – 3 bolts.
Step down and traverse straight right from the belay. Pass one bolt and keep traversing past a second bolt. Climb discontinuous cracks to the base of a roof. Climb a nice handcrack passing a second roof and continue up the crack system as it trends to the right. Traverse further to the right that seems necessary and spot a high bolt on the slab. Climb past this bolt, crux, to a two bolt belay on a nice ledge.

P3 – 5.10c – 175 feet – 4 bolts
The topo suggests moving the belay but we did not find this necessary. Clip the oddly placed low bolt and go questing up the easy face. Get some gear and traverse left to a shiny bolt. (There are some old bolts up and right for a different route, avoid these!) Make a tricky face traverse to an old bolt on the arête. Follow spaced bolts up the arête until you can step right past another bolt and gain access to a bushy crack system. Climb the bushy cracks, sometimes cruxy, to a semi hanging belay with two older bolts and one good one. A fun pitch despite the greenery.

P4 – 5.10d – 150 feet – 2 bolts
Climb the splitter cracks above the belay spacing out those hand sized cams. As the crack narrows, pass an old bolt, and keep climbing. A body length or so higher switch cracks to the right to gain a good hold. Clip a new bolt and make a cruxy face traverse to a two bolt belay at a wild stance on the arête. Amazing position here!!

P5 – 5.11b – 125 feet – 3 bolts
Turn up the power and figure out how to get over the roof at the start of the pitch. Easier but airy climbing past two more bolts leads to a good rest before the final crux. Clip the last bolt and traverse left to gain another crack system. A few hard moves lead to perfect fingers (with bushes of course) and then eventually a stunning hand crack. Belay at a sloping stance with two bolts.

P6 – 5.10a – 75 feet
Traverse straight left to a very cool pair of holes that also serve as pro. Climb up cracks that slant back to the right. Cruise up to two bolts at the base of a chimney. A short and fast pitch. With a 70m rope you could link this with the next, it might be possible with a 60m…

P7 – 5.10c – 125 feet
Charge up the obvious chimney, it’s easier than it looks. Near the top the crack pinches down and you are faced with some cruxy moves. Once out of the crack some face climbing leads to a ledge with two bolts.

P8 – 5.11a – 180 feet - 5 bolts
This pitch has some tricky route finding. Step left from the belay and climb up less than awesome rock and then traverse right to a ledge directly above the belay. From here you can probably see an anchor way up and right with lots of tat. This is OFF ROUTE and only used for rapping. You want to climb a hand crack in a corner in darker brittle rock above the ledge. Climb up until you locate a single old bolt (which can be backed up). Step right onto a sloping ledge and spot a good bolt directly above. This bolt allows passage to a left leaning ramp feature. Climb this, tricky, for 50 feet until another bolt is reached. Climb onto the face on the right and try hard passed a second bolt. I found this move to be reachy. Glory laybacking leads to a two bolt anchor.

P9 – 5.11c – 140 feet - 9 bolts
Ditch the whole rack minus a .75 camalot and a double length runner for the start. It’s possible to climb straight up from the belay or place a piece and climb up around to the left through crazy crystal rock. Both ways have fragile rock and are run-out on easy terrain. Regardless, gain the first bolt and then traverse right to a no hands stance below the business. The bolting is a little funny here, so it helps to back clean one of the draws. Fire the crux past two closely spaced bolts and run it out up a seam to a high bolt. Traverse straight right on very thin features to another bolt. Layback up a sealed crack passed the final bolt to a hanging two bolt belay. I lowered back down to back clean the last two bolts so that the second is protected for the traverse.

P10 – 5.10b – 100 feet
Climb the obvious chimney/OW above the belay. Hope you go correct side in, I didn’t and suffered. Trend right to a big ledge and then climb fragile rock to get into a big chimney reminiscent of Texas Flake on El Cap. Belay at two bolts on top of the flake with spectacular position. A short but potentially strenuous pitch.

P11 – 5.10b – 100 feet
Step right from the belay and quest up cracks in an interesting chimney feature. It seems like can be wet sometimes. Be careful of rock quality and go up higher than you think until you can traverse right onto the very featured face. Look around for the pin (hammered straight down into a crack) and then make a very exposed traverse to the right. Once you made it across the void belay at one bolt and a big cam at the “Valkyrie’s Perch”. Another super comfortable belay that overhangs the steep face below. WOW!

P12 – 5.10c – 140 feet
Swim up the wide crack above the belay that narrows as you get higher. Once the crack pinches out step left and continue up more cracks. A little bit of face climbing at the end of the pitch deposits you on a nice ledge in crazy orange rock with two bolts. This is the last easy place to rap from, even though the next belay is bolted.

P13 – 5.11c – 125 feet - 1 bolt
Rated 5.12 by the FAists this pitch feels much easier, especially for taller climbers or ones inclined towards bouldering. Clip a high bolt and down climb to a hold in the middle or the face. Work your magic to reach the corner/crack out to the right (crux!) Finish up the crack as it turns into hands and then wider. Step right around the corner to a great ledge with the last two bolts on the route.

P14 – 5.10d – 150 feet
While this is only 5.10 it may feel harder than the previous pitch. Traverse to the obvious wide crack and grovel up for what seems like eternity. A slab is reached where you need to step right to gain another crack. Don’t try to go around the corner here. Climb up this steeper crack until it’s end and make a tricky face move to the right to gain a ledge. Climb easy terrain until you can find a large block that can be used as a belay.

P15 – 5.10b – 150 feet
Climb more or less straight up from belay to gain a right facing corner with a finger crack to the right. These are much easier than they look and allow access to a bushy ledge. Locate a detached flake and climb it, spooky, to gain a nice hand crack in a corner. (It’s not quite the splitter the topo suggests) Step left midway up the crack and face climb onto a good ledge. Climb an easy squeeze chimney to a belay on a bushy ledge below a nice corner.

P16 – 5.10c – 100+ feet
It seems like there are many ways to climb this pitch. I followed cracks for 30 feet and then face climbed left around the arête. Continue up on super cool holds to reach a horn out right. Place some gear (lots of slings on this pitch) and then step right around the arête. There is a small roof here and you can either go right or left. I think right is the best way to go with some steep climbing on great holds. Once over the roof belay as high as possible.

P17 – 5.10a – 100+ feet
Depending on where you belayed this pitch could be as easy as 5.6. I belayed in a vertical thin crack ona steep wall and still had to do a bit of tricky climbing. Traverse right from the belay and make a few hard moves in a finger crack to gain a ledge continue up until you reach the slab described in the topo. Scramble the slab until met with talus. Belay whenever possible.


This route is on the South Face of Angel's Wings. The start is on a leaning buttress.

Descent is down a gully on the West side of Angel's Wings. It is possible to rappel the route from the top of pitch 13 with two 60m ropes. Anchors are bolted, and most have some tat/biners. If rapping you will want to update the tat.


Doubles from Green C3/Purple Metolius to #2 camalot. Singles #3, #4, #5 camalot. Single rack of nuts.