Type: Sport, 200 ft (61 m), 2 pitches
FA: Phil Gruber, July 2017
Page Views: 3,662 total · 70/month
Shared By: Phil Gruber on Jul 11, 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


Note: the description and naming convention have been updated for clarity and simplicity and to align to how most people will want to climb the route.

The Yellow Door is a two pitch route that ascends the full length of the beautiful and imposing north face of Seal Rock, starting from the lower left corner and finishing at the top of the upper headwall. The route climbs across two natural features – a long, arching roof on the first pitch, and a yellow dike that splits the headwall on the second pitch.

The pitches are long and continuous, and the headwall feels steeper than it looks given that you climb with hands on the protruding dike and feet underneath.

P1: 5.12b/c, 120’. Start 20’ to the right of Shortcut (the notch to the north of the east face) and 80’ left of Sea of Joy. Climb a short, left-trending crack (place a #0.75 or #1 Camalot, or make a long stick clip to the first bolt) then gain a stance at the first bolt. Climb up and right to gain a long undercling flake, and traverse across the flake. Now the fun begins! Climb the line of bolts through continuous and technical terrain to the roof. At the roof, climb out the rail to the right, and then step left across the roof and reach far left to a hold on the face. Easier terrain leads up, trending left initially, and then back right to the anchor.

P2: 5.13b, 80'. Start up the V-slot to the right of the belay, then step right onto a ledge. Continue to the right side of the ledge, enter The Yellow Door, and climb through continuous and well-protected ground that eventually joins up with the 3rd pitch of Sea of Joy. Climb Sea of Joy following the line of bolts that goes straight up the black streak to the top of the wall. Note that Sea of Joy (and this route) climbs out the dike to the right a ways. However, instead of clipping the next bolt on the dike (as for Sea Bird), step up onto the dike and reach back to the left to clip the bolt at the crux of Sea of Joy.

P2 Variation (Yellow Door original): 13a/b (10+ PG-13), 100'. Climb the full length of the yellow dike all the way to the Archaeopteryx exit on the upper right corner of the wall. This is the way the route was originally conceived and climbed. It creates a long, intense and beautiful pitch but is quite involved due to the traversing and the mix of hard sport and exiting trad climbing. Rather than finishing up Sea of Joy, continue along the dike to the right, clipping 2 more bolts. After the final bolt, climb down and across to the slab and join Archaeopteryx. Climb up and out the exit slot on Archaeopteryx. See gear details on the description for Sea Bird.

Thanks to OSMP, the Flatiron Climbing Council, and the crew who took turns hiking up to Seal and helping me establish the route: Stephen, Kevin, Mike, Chip, Jon, Joe, and Lynn. Special thanks to Caroline Treadway who took the amazing photos from across Bear Canyon.


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.


P1: 14 bolts plus anchor. A #0.75 or #1 Camalot... or a long stick clip is required at the start.

P2: 14 bolts plus anchor. This pitch can be equipped by scrambling up the East Face (Shortcut, 5.4) to the anchor.

A 70m rope is mandatory.