Avg: 3.8 from 22 votes
|Type:||Trad, 1100 ft (333 m), 8 pitches, Grade IV|
|FA:||FFA: Mark Westerberg and Shaun Reed - October 2018 // FA: Josh Mucci and Steve Bosque - October 2013|
|Page Views:||5,019 total · 197/month|
|Shared By:||tallmark515 on Oct 28, 2018|
|Admins:||Mike Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes|
Yosemite National Park climbing closures and conditions
Yosemite National Park has yearly closures for Peregrine Falcon Protection March 1- July 15.
Always check the Yosemite website Peregrine Closure page at nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/… for the most current details and park alerts, and to learn more about the peregrine falcon, and how closures help it survive. This page also shares closures and warning due to current fires, smoke, etc.
Approach: Park at the Happy Isles trailhead parking lot or nearby. Walk east on the road (or adjacent trail) and turn right on the service road at the fork just before the Happy Isles/Nature Center bus stop. Walk up a service road (or adjacent trail), past the Nature Center, until you see either an obvious wash which crosses the service road or a wooden bridge that is visible on the adjacent trail (15 mins). The faint climber's trail starts 15 feet past the wash (on the right side of the service road), look for cairns. The trail starts by passing back through the wash then continues up the side of it (climber’s right side). Eventually it briefly dips back into the wash before cutting right and exiting onto a talus field (15 mins). The Jericho wall is visible from the talus field. Follow cairns to the base. Expect some downed trees and other debris covering parts of the trail (30-40 minutes total).
Once on the talus, look back into the forest for a very large pine tree, it stands above all the other trees. This will help you find the trail for the descent.
This route is defined by mostly high quality stone, long pitches, splitter cracks, good belay ledges, afternoon shade (crux goes into the shade by noon in Spring and Fall) and breathtaking views of Mount Broderick, Liberty Cap, Vernal and Nevada falls.
The majority of the climbing is 5.10, with two pitches of 5.11 and one pitch of 5.12-. The crux is a short and powerful 5.12- boulder problem, followed by a second, short, height-dependent 5.11+ boulder problem. Both cruxes can be aided at C1. The route is generally very safe, with abundant protection opportunities and thoughtful bolt placements. All anchors are bolted, except the 1st pitch and 7th pitch anchor, which are tied-off tree. The route can easily go at 5.10 C1.
Approach Pitch: Most parties will want to rope up for this pitch. From the base of the ramp, scramble up the easy 30ft 5th-class ramp with sparse protection to a giant 2nd class vegetated ledge. Traverse the ledge until it becomes possible to start climbing up easy terrain, with few protection opportunities, follow the path of least resistance. As you climb, follow the direction of the ledge to a vegetated gully, step across the gully to a tree with slings (5.5), the first pitch starts here. DO NOT climb the actual vegetated gully.
Pitch 1 (5.10c, 150'): Traverse to the climber’s left to a bolted face. Climb amazing crimp rails up white rock for 50' past four bolts and one gear placement. At the angling ledge, perform a trick 5.10 mantle boulder problem move to gain a ramp, then a second 5.10 boulder problem to gain another ramp to the spacious belay ledge.
Pitch 2 "Daddy Lichen" (5.11b, 150'): Look up at the golden corner from the anchor and consider a first free ascent of that variation, then reconsider and traverse the ledge about 15 feet to a splitter crack in white rock (5.10). At a small roof, clip a bolt and perform a 5.11 crux move to a featured face with four more bolts. After the last bolt, traverse a dirty ledge and climb large blocks to the anchor at a small ledge (below a huge ledge).
Pitch 3 "The Traverse Pitch" (5.10c, 50'): From the anchor, don't go up, instead traverse to the climber’s right to a bolt. Perform a height dependent 5.10 down-step, below the bolt, to a flake. Clip a second bolt and mantle the flake. Plug gear into a blocky crack and make a few 5.10 traverse moves to the climber's left, past some features, into splitter double-cracks to a bolted anchor and the one marginal belay stance of the route.
Pitch 4 "Iron Messiah" (5.12a, 150'): This is what you came for! From the anchor, climb to the tree, plug some gear in the roof, take a breath and turn the arete. Soak in the exposure and climb the featured crack to a roof. At the roof, turn another arete (5.12- crux), to a stance. Build an optional belay here or continue up a juggy rail to a third roof (jeez!) and perform the final crux move (5.11+) around a third arete (OMG!) to a splitter finger crack (5.11-), to a stance. De-pump and commit to the final 5.10+ crack to the anchor on a spacious ledge. Such an amazing pitch!
Pitch 5 "The Trumpet" (5.10c, 115'): Climb the splitter 5.10- thin hands crack to a ledge, then climb another splitter 5.10 thin hands crack to another ledge. A final aesthetic 5.10 splitter lieback takes you to another ledge and a bolted anchor.
Pitch 6 "The Crispy Corner" (5.11a, 180'): From the anchor, climb up a hand crack above (and to the left of) the belay and step left into the corner. Climb the burly corner to the roof, then make an unexpected crimp traverse left, around an arete (exposure!). At the tree, avoid stepping in the eroding dirt, sling the tree long and continue up the ramp to an anchor on a ledge. Careful of loose blocks at the top of the ramp.
As an alternative to this pitch, instead of stepping left into the corner at the start, you may attempt a first free ascent of the difficult-looking, angling finger crack directly above the anchor, see topo for details.
Pitch 7 "OBP" (5.10c, 110'): Climb straight-up off the anchor and traverse to the climbers' left up past some loose blocks. Climb 4th and easy 5th class to a small tree with a sling. Clip the sling then traverse out to a bolt. Perform a crux slab traverse on cool rock, past the bolt to a splitter crack and imagine making that move without the bolt. Climb the splitter crack to a ramp and past a first tree with slings, to a second tree on a spacious ledge.
Pitch 8 "The Summit Pitch aka Big Groaner" (5.10a, 140'): How important is that summit to you? Do you have ample daylight? Consider these factors when deciding whether to climb this pitch. It's got the worst rock quality on the route and we didn't clean it. Follow the path of least resistance, but generally the pitch goes directly up from the anchor, then traverses to the climber's left (5.10a) and finishes up a blocky ramp to the summit. This pitch is heads-up but not "R". Ample gear exists, you just have to look for it, bring a nut tool for this pitch to clean out gear placements, if necessary. Consider bringing a small wire brush for community service.
Rappel the route with 2x 60m ropes to the tree above the big ledge with slings (official start of p1). From there, double-rope traverse rappel down the approach pitch, to its start.