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5.11b, Trad, 400 ft, 4 pitches, Grade III,  Avg: 2 from 1 vote
FA: Werner Braun and Don Reid, January 1983
California > Yosemite NP > Yosemite Valley > Camp 4 Area > Eagle Creek
Access Issue: Yosemite National Park climbing closures and conditions Details


Essence is a great obscure climb that you will never have to wait in line for.  It climbs a small buttress of grey and golden rock on the far east end on the Eagle Creek amphitheater.

Pitch 1 (5.11b):  Starts below the tree at an imposing overhanging flare.  The beginning overhangs quite severely.  After pulling through the steep and slightly loose terrain you’ll arrive below the crux right facing corner.  There is a good rest before entering this section so utilize it wisely.  Jam your way up the #3s and #4s crack passing a tree and arriving at a sloping ledge below the beautiful splitter.  Bring 3 #3s and 2 #4s for this pitch.  110 feet.

Pitch 2 (5.11b):  Be ready to climb fast or risk getting wicked pumped from hanging out to long.  This pitch ascends the right side of the double crack system and is mainly a .75/ Red Metolius sized splitter with a decent rest about halfway up. The pitch ends in a small alcove on a sloping Ledge.  Bring 3 .75 sizes pieces for this pitch.  150 feet.

Pitch 3 (5.10b):  Pull out the small alcove on steep terrain and varied cracks.  Be mindful of loose rock.  Belay on a blocky ledge system.

Rap the route at the top of pitch 3.  Bring webbing and links to replace old tat as this doesn’t see many ascents.  From the top of pitch three rap 200’ down to the 4th class ledge at the top of pitch 1.  Walk off to climbers left and descend back to the base.


Essence is a pain in the ass to get to and could take you multiple hours of trudging uphill to reach.  Follow Eagle Creek to Split Pinnacle.  After passing Split Pinnacle turn west and follow the gully for about 1000’.  Right as it starts to get really steep head up and east through trees and talus towards the formation.  Eventually you will hit the toe of a buttress in the woods, walk east along the base and then straight up to the base of Essence.  Be prepared to bushwhack and bring plenty of water.  The approach is really steep.  Descend back the way you came but make sure you dirt ski as it is much fast.  The descent should take about and hour to and hour and a half.


Offset Stopers, Doubles from .3 to #4, single black and blue alien, extra .75 and #3. 8 alpine draws and 2 regular quickdraws

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[Hide Photo] Essence
The start of pitch one
[Hide Photo] The start of pitch one
The upper two pitches
[Hide Photo] The upper two pitches
This is the buttress that Essence is on
[Hide Photo] This is the buttress that Essence is on