Type: Trad, 200 ft (61 m), 3 pitches
FA: Phil Gruber and Stephen Felker, June 2017
Page Views: 795 total · 17/month
Shared By: Phil Gruber on Jul 9, 2017
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Temporary Trail and Raptor Closures Details


This route makes for a fun, exciting, and continuous outing in terms of grade and style and is a great way to experience this amazing wall without the X rating of Archeopteryx or the 5.13 climbing of other routes on the wall. Sea Bird climbs most of Sea of Joy but finishes on Archeopteryx by traversing across the dike on the Yellow Door (Original Variation).

P1. 5.11- (5.10 PG-13). Climb P1 of Sea of Joy protecting with 9 bolts augmented by a few small cams. I started from the left-facing, overlapping corners to the left of the first bolt and was able to place a couple of cams to avoid groundfall potential.

P2. 5.11+. Clip 5 bolts climbing out and over the roof. This is short, fun, and airy.

P3. 5.12 (5.10 PG-24). Clip 6 bolts up Sea of Joy, then move right along the dike clipping two additional bolts on The Yellow Door (Original Variation). From the last bolt, drop down and right onto the final slap and corner of Archeopteryx placing gear and finishing at a two bolt belay on the wall just to the left of the exit of Archeopteryx. See The Yellow Door route description for gear details on this section of the route.

All bolts are new ½” stainless steel, and all belays are solid two bolt (albeit hanging) belays. But don't be fooled by all the bolts... this is not a sport climb. The crux sections are well-protected, but be prepared to place gear and to climb through spaces between bolts and gear.

Spoiler alert! The order of gear placements at the end of the third pitch is: #1 Camalot (I backed up with a #0.5 Camalot and used an extended sling), #3 Camalot, #0.5 Camalot, yellow Alien, and green Alien (might also be able to fiddle a smaller cam between yellow and green).


The route is on the north face of Seal Rock. Approach via the trail to Seal Rock, and then continue to hike west, passing the base of Seal Rock to the right (north) and up the steep climber’s trail until you reach the beautiful and imposing north face.

The best way to descend is via the Sea of Joy rappel. (From the top of the route, downclimb 30 feet to the east). You can also downclimb the east face to the notch (start of Shortcut) and exit to the north. Descending from the anchor at the top of the route is not advised.


Quickdraws and slings for bolts and belays and a set of cams from a blue Alien to a #1 Camalot, plus a #3 Camalot. An extra #0.5 Camalot is handy on the last pitch.

If you're rappelling Sea of Joy, you will need an 80m or second rope.