Type: Trad, Aid, 1300 ft (394 m), 9 pitches, Grade V
FA: Gabriel Mange, Luke Smithwick, Richie Copeland (April, '14)
Page Views: 1,630 total · 17/month
Shared By: Bryan G on Jun 16, 2016
Admins: Mike Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer Ski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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Description Suggest change

This is a pretty good route up the center of the main face of Lost Brother. Not much in the way of loose rock, and the middle pitches are really clean. The summit is cool and affords you an uncommon vantage point to look at Taft Point and the surrounding area. The Yeti Mating Ledge is a sweet bivy. There are two plush spots and a third marginal spot. Maybe bring a ledge if you have more than two in your party. The route gets morning shade and goes into the sun in the early afternoon. The main detraction is that there are lots of big ledges on the lower portion of the route, so it takes a while before you start to feel like you're off-the-deck.

Approach: Park at a turnout around 0.8 miles after the El Cap Bridge road meets S Side Dr. Hike up through the forest toward Lost Brother. It's not really that long of a hike, just annoying because there isn't a trail. Once you reach the base, skirt to the right and find the approach pitch (look for a bolt down low). There may be a fixed line, otherwise climb a 5.7 crack on the left, or 5.9 crack on the right. Once on the terrace, hike to the left passing a spring (you can fill up water here). After passing both large pines and reaching a clearing, head up to the base. The first pitch is the double crack system with an oak tree near the top.

Pitch 1 - Climb the cracks, starting in the right and then moving to the left. Free climb through a tree (ants!) and through a little bulge then follow the trough to an anchor on a ledge. This is the only pitch I placed the #4 on, so you could maybe leave it at the anchor if you are rapping the route. C1 with lots of free climbing.

Pitch 2: Climb the corner through some large and annoying bushes. Keep to the left until you reach a big ledge system with the anchor. This pitch would be a nightmare to haul. C1 with lots of free.

Pitch 3: Easy face climbing leads up to a right-facing corner. Aid the corner to an anchor. I only nailed once. This is a short pitch and you should link it with the next one. C2/A1.

Pitch 4: Another short pitch up the right-facing corner system. There are two rivets. The second one is in a weird location and I didn't use it. Instead I did some free climbing further left. Only nailed once on this pitch. Belay at an anchor on top of a little pillar. C2/A1.

Pitch 5: Follow the line of rivets up the face. Bring some sort of a wrench so you can adjust the nuts on the bolts. Some of the nuts were tightened all the way down to the wall and I couldn't unscrew them with my fingers, so I ended up putting the wire hanger directly onto the nut itself. Sometimes I'd have to do this for three rivets in a row. Kind of scary. There is also a bathook move in there somewhere. After the last rivet, tension traverse left, free climb up to a stance and then reach back right to start nailing a beak seam. You could probably skip this cruxy nailing and just free climb to the bolt at 5.10+/5.11 R. After the bolt, one more beak placement gets you to a short bit of free climbing and the anchor. Most of the route went pretty smooth, but this pitch took me well over 2 hours to lead. A2+.

Pitch 6: Climb a flake w/ a 1.5" crack to a sloping ledge. Scramble up to the left corner and aid a low-angle slot. At the top, mantle onto a little shelf and traverse right to the anchor. C2.

Pitch 7: Two aid bolts above the anchor lead to a left-facing corner/ramp. Make a couple beak placements to gain a small shelf and then aid the C1 crack out the little bulge. The rest of the pitch is free climbing on shattered rock, with hands, fists, OW, and liebacking. There are several protection bolts. This pitch ends at the Yeti Mating Ledge. A2- and lots of free.

Pitch 8: From the left end of the ledge, clip a bolt and tension around the corner to a short section of free climbing. Then a bit of heads-up nailing gets you to a huge detached flake. Aid the right side of this feature with cams and then do a mix of aid and free up the dirty crack system. Aid out a dirty overhang at the end, then free a low angle trough to the anchor. A2.

Pitch 9: A super long pitch up the dirty left-facing corner and slab. Very low-angle with the exception of a step/overhang in the middle of the pitch. To pass this, simply free climb though the overhanging slot. Not C1 like the topo shows, I don't think you can aid it, but it's easy. Just above this overhang, avoid the bushwhacking by traversing left and climbing an easy white flake to the top. My 70m rope didn't make it to the bolted anchor, but I was able to create a natural anchor at a huge boulder. All free at 5.7.

Scramble up a short gully to reach the summit. To descend, reverse the route. Pitch 9 I did in two rappels, using the bolted anchor at the top and a small tree just above the step. When rapping pitch 5, you will need to do a tension traverse to reach the anchors on top of 4. Pitches 3 & 4 can be linked on the way down as well.

Protection Suggest change

Cams: 2 each from micro to 2.5", a single #3 and #4.
Beaks: 2 small, 3 med, 2 large.
Couple small and short arrows.
Single set of nuts.
Wire rivet hangers and wrench.


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