Type: Trad, 750 ft, 5 pitches
FA: Jim Bridwell and John Syrett, 6/74
Page Views: 686 total · 55/month
Shared By: Ben Kraft on Oct 10, 2018 with improvements by Athena Jiang
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

Description

A decent moderate wide route to the right of Freestone. Not as classic as Freestone but a good option if you're tired and scared when you get to the base of Geek Towers (this was us). Some vegetation and a small amount of loose rock but nothing terrible: the rock up here is solid, grippy and gold.

We started as for Freestone, at the large platform around the left of the base (and to the right of Upper falls). This gives you an extra approach pitch up easy low angle solid rock. I believe the traditional start involves scrambling up the center of the base of geek towers and continuing directly up from there. Our pitches were as follows,

p0 (easy approach pitch as mentioned above): Almost 60 meters up the low angle right facing corner. You should pass the Freestone p1 bolt about 20ft up. I set up a belay just under the left facing corner described below.
p1: Traverse slightly left and up into the left facing corner. Somewhat vegetated but the important parts were cleaned out. Awkward 5.9, 20m to a bolted belay.
p2: Climb into the chimney/corner from the left side of the belay, then onto the face, then into the main corner to a fixed belay. 5.7, 50m.
p3: Climb up the awkward chimney, traverse left a bit at the hanging teeth, then around the little corner and up the crack to a fixed belay in an alcove. More awkward 5.9.
Looking up p3 (climbing in the shadows)

p4: The crux, and the standout pitch on the route in both climbing and rock quality. Traverse left from the belay and head up the corner into the 10a offwidth. I found two tricky sections with a break in between and some cool full splits stemming. Don't drop your large cams early! Belay in the comfy alcove under the small roof, 50m.
Bad photo looking up the OW: the good climbing is in the shadows on the right. The OW itself is clean and plant free.

Looking down the OW from the belay.

From the cool alcove at the top of the OW

p5/6: This is a single 5.8 pitch on the topo but we broke it into a short pitch to the fixed belay at the base of the chimney and another long pitch up the chimney. I think it would have been hard to stretch our 60m ropes (or double rack) to the top. I think the right/middle crack out the roof on the p4 belay is the best choice but there's still a tree to negotiate and some rough rock. The chimney is an aesthetic and unwelcome sight at this point in the route, watch out for the shifting chockstone.

10a felt like a fair grade for the offwidth. It's a ton of work for 10a but probably easier than p2 of "Ying-Yang" at Sentinel Creek or Generator or maybe even Book of Job. I liked having a #4 and #5 but I think it could be protected safely with one or neither.

Location

Geek Towers formation, to the left of Lost Arrow. Approach as for Freestone and either start on the same large platform on the far left side of the base as for Freestone or scramble up the center of the base.

The Geek Towers are center/middle in this photo. Freestone goes up the left side of the left (and higher) tower while Center Route goes between the higher left tower and the right tower. The rock is better than it looks here -- this part of the valley is super solid.

Protection

Standard doubles .3-3, plus a #4 and #5

Photos

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