Type: Trad, 375 ft (114 m), 4 pitches
FA: Alan Bartlett and Dirk Van Winkle 7/81
Page Views: 341 total · 18/month
Shared By: Matt M on Nov 15, 2021
Admins: Mike Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer Ski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

You & This Route

2 Opinions

Your To-Do List:

Add To-Do ·

Your Star Rating:

     Clear Rating

Your Difficulty Rating:

-none- Change

Your Ticks:

Add New Tick
Access Issue: Latest updates on Covid and falcon closures. Details


So you love Aqua Knobby and have wondered what the climb would be like if it was a little steeper and the holds were a little smaller.  Well, stop wondering and get on Unnatural Act, the quality climb just to the left.  The climbs share a first pitch (runout 5.6) so you may have even looked over and seen the steep second pitch of Unnatural Act, basically a slightly concave face, without realizing it holds a route.  Where Aqua Knobby heads up right from the first belay, Unnatural Act breaks out left, immediately tackling a short roof (5.10b), where a kneebar can be useful.   Pulling onto the scoop above, you will find great holds and and ever-increasing angle as you pass a Tuolumne-style bolt ladder through the crux (5.11a).  The bolt spacing felt like the first pitch of Needle Spoon but the face is a lot steeper. Right after the last bolt, the angle reaches a maximum (maybe just past vertical), at which point the route passes a good horizontal crack that takes thin gear from 0.5"- 1".  I think I placed an old-school 0.5 or 1 Friend.  Reportedly, there may now be a fixed pin and/or threaded hole at the horizontal.  After the horizontal, the climb claims its Tuolumne heritage by treating you to a lower angle runout face with knobs/edges (5.7) until you reach a shallow right facing groove where you can set up a gear belay.  I don't remember there being any pro between the horizontal and the belay (~ 25 ft.). After that, head up and join the last two pitches of Aqua Knobby (for the R-rated exit).

The old Reid & Falkenstein guide gives the route an R/X rating, but with good gear available in the horizontal on the second pitch, it felt like an R crux pitch (PG-13 through the crux) bookended by traditional Tuolumne runouts on 5.7. So overall, I would say the route felt like a standard Tuolumne R route. 

NOTE:  This "R" rating is for exiting on Aqua Knobby after the crux pitch. The old R&F guides simply shows an arrow pointing straight up from the belay at the top of the crux pitch; as noted below, that path may indeed be X-rated. When I did the route, I didn't see any obvious line except for the Aqua Knobby exit or possibly a traverse left along the almost horizontal crack. 


Northwest face of Pywiack Dome, just to the left of Aqua Knobby (sharing the first pitch). 


Trad gear to 2.5", including cams and nuts.