Type: Trad, Aid, 1500 ft, 12 pitches
FA: Richie Copeland, Erik Sloan (May 2012)
Page Views: 499 total · 12/month
Shared By: Bryan G on Oct 11, 2016
Admins: M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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Access Issue: Yosemite National Park climbing closures and conditions Details


This is located on the bigwall at the back of the Camp 4 amphitheater, not the smaller cragging destination down and left. The approach is straightforward. Hike all the way up to the top of the Camp 4 talus field, mostly following the gully system on the left. There is a very tall tree at the back of the amphitheater, the climb starts about 200ft left of this tree. There is an accurate topo in Erik's bigwall book.

Pitch 1 (5.7) Start in a chimney behind a bay tree and climb easy cracks up the left side of a buttress to reach the "Camp 4 Balcony".

Pitch 2 (5.9 A0) A couple tricky moves are required to get off the deck. Then climb up and left across the slab with a few bolts to reach a grassy corner. One more bolt gets you to a grassy ledge.

Pitch 3 (A2+) Scramble up and left, then start aiding the crack. At a rivet move left into the seam and do a few tricky aid moves. Continue up to a wide flake which can be liebacked. Avoid a very loose block at the top as you step left to the anchor.

Pitch 4 (C1) Rap or lower to the left over a tree and through some bushes. Scramble up to a bolted anchor, climb the corner, then move left to a steep hand/fist crack. Climb the crack, tunnel through an oak tree, and belay at the anchor on the big ramp. A bivy site can be found about 30ft to the left. It's sort of sloping but it's ok for 1 person, uncomfortable for two or three.

Pitch 5 (5.9 C1) Scramble up the ramp, then aid/free the corner until you can transfer into the clean handcrack out right. Aid out the left side of a small roof to reach the anchor.

Pitch 6 (5.7 C1) Aid the crack up and then arch to the left into the main corner. Climb though a couple bulges and then scramble to the top of the "Tower to the 99%".

Pitch 7 (5.8 A2+) Climb the short handcrack, then traverse left to another shelf. Straight off the shelf is some tricky aid, and then continuous arrows, large beaks, and micro cams lead up to a mantle onto a shelf with another anchor.

Pitch 8 (5.8 A2) Continue aid the thin crack to a little roof with weird rock. Make a free move to clip the bolt, then at the second bolt penji left and do a series of mantels to get into a low angle groove. Aid this (having lots of micro cams comes in handy) to an anchor below the overhang.

Pitch 9 (A1/C2+) Aid out the right side of the overhang. One of the steepest, cleanest, and most fun pitches on the route. Some thin flakes in the middle of the pitch is the crux. Belay on a slab up top.

Pitch 10 (5.8 C2) Free climb up past a couple bolts to gain a left trending ramp. Mix of free and aid lead up through a tree, then aid a short overhanging crack to an anchor on a slab.

Pitch 11 (5.7, C2+) A weird pitch with a couple different options. Traverse 25ft left from the belay then climb up easy terrain past an overlap and a couple bolts. The original route goes WAY out left to scramble up some gullies and then cuts back right on a ledge system above the huge overhang. A more direct (but still pretty shitty) option is to clip the 3rd bolt up and right, tension right to some easy terrain leading to a little alcove by a tree. Then aid out the very steep hand/fist crack, followed by tricky aid/free at the top. Scramble up and grapple with a tree to get through one last bulge and a bolted anchor. Super long pitch.

Pitch 12 (5.7R A0) Move the belay to the end of the ledge out right. Traverse right on some exposed terrain until you reach some flakes and features heading up to a massive pine tree. Don't place any pro for this part so you can do it in one pitch. Just before the pine tree traverse back left on some shelves and hummocks. There's some good pro to be found if you look, then climb up past a few bolts and exit out to the left. Belay off a big oak tree at the top.

There are two things that really detract from the quality of this climb:

First is that all the crack systems from bottom to top, with only a few exceptions, are totally filled with grass and bushes. Digging out placements makes the climbing take at least twice as long and there are several parts where you have to resort to aid on what should be easy free climbing terrain, just because it's so dirty. If you've ever wanted to climb an "easy" route up Camp 4 Wall, go do this right now so all the spots I dug out will still be clean. After next spring, it'll all be full of grass again.

Second is the descent. I took the traditional "hike off" to Eagle Peak and then down the Upper Falls Trail, and it was one of the burliest things I've ever done. The bushwhacking is especially horrendous because you're going 'against the grain'. If you go this route, allow yourself at least half a day with the appropriate food and water rations to match. In general, you want to trend to the right (east by northeast). Don't start heading up too soon or you will encounter lots of little cliffs and vertical bushwhacking. Eventually the terrain will easy up and you'll enter into some pine forest with less bushes. Then comes a grueling uphill slog to pick up the trail near the vicinity of Eagle Peak. Then once you're on the trail it's just a casual 6 miles with 3700ft of elevation loss to get back to Camp 4. It's probably much easier to just rap the route.


Pro to 4". You only need one #3 and #4, take doubles in the fingers to hand sizes, and triples of micro cams and tips sizes including some offsets.

One set of stoppers

Couple narrow camhooks

Beaks: 2 small, 3 medium, 4 large

5-8 Lost Arrows of various sizes.

I didn't do any hook moves, and there aren't any places you need copperheads.

All anchors are bolted.


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