Type: Trad, 500 ft (152 m), 5 pitches
FA: unknown
Page Views: 602 total · 19/month
Shared By: Davis Badger on Nov 23, 2021
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC

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Warning Access Issue: 2023 Seasonal nesting closures DetailsDrop down
Warning Access Issue: 2024 Seasonal Closures - these are the same as 2023 DetailsDrop down

Description Suggest change


  • This climb is almost always affected by seasonal raptor closures and involves climbing next to multiple known nesting locations. Check with the visitor center about current closures prior to climbing, and ALWAYS obey posted closures. Failure to do so jeopardizes climbing access for everyone.
  • Despite an easy grade, this climb involves significant exposure and good technical knowledge/safety procedures. If you're not a competent multi-pitch climber with a good lead head, DO NOT ATTEMPT this climb.

The majority of this climb is along the east face of North Gateway, but since it starts on the SW face, it makes more sense to place it here. This is a fun but seldom climbed traverse of North Gateway on its prominent eastern face. This line is more walking than climbing but has a few fun moves and provides a unique view of the park. Just be prepared to be on display for everyone and their dog walking in from the main lot. THIS FULL LINE REQURIES TWO ROPES. I believe two 50s should be enough, but I've used 60s just to be safe.

This line starts in Tourist Gully but then makes a rappel to a ledge wrapping around the east face to the hidden valley/briar patch. I believe the anchors on all almost all of the pitches were installed quite a few years ago, likely just to practice rappelling down the east face, but they are still very solid. These anchors are all on a prominent ledge wrapping around the east face, and this has probably been linked up by people just running between anchors for a long time; however, while climbing around top recently, I noticed some shiny glue-ins connecting two anchors (thanks whoever put 'em in!), making the line overall well-protected where the ledge is smaller.

This is also a fun route to work on rope management and team coordination. Leave from the main parking lot, run down the crowded sidewalk to the start of the climb, then move quickly along the ridge, and rappel back in close to the parking lot.

Location Suggest change

Start by climbing up the prominent "Tourist Gully" on the right (east) side of the S/SW face.

P1: (5.3) 175'. The first section of Tourist Gully, - there are two possible anchors for this. The first one is two rappel bolts on the ground, and the second is two (3?) bolts on the left wall. I think there are 2-3 bolts on the way up this easy terrain. Grippy shoes will allow you to just walk up.

P2: (5.4) 150'. This pitch has no fixed protection, but there are spots for a few nuts, cams, or wrapped slings. Continue on from whichever P1 anchors you chose up, a few moves here require some stemming and little V1 boulder moves. The pitch "ends" at the summit of the gully, but I don't think there is an anchor there. A good stance and wide ledge allows a pretty confident hip belay. You could probably back this up with a little creativity.

Once you reach the summit, walk north along the ridge for 20 feet until you find the large two bolt anchor. From here, rappel 85 feet behind a large fin and north (towards the parking lot). You should come across an old rappel anchor.

P3: (5.2) 50'. The most exposure on the whole climb, this is the pitch with a new set of glue-ins on it. Traverse out right from the anchors along a large (but sturdy) hollow flake. This has 3 or 4 bolts and is well-protected through the exposure. Finish at another pair of old rappel anchors.

P4: (5.0) 120'. This has no fixed protection. Continue along the ledge past a couple potholes you can thread and a cam placement or two. Realistically it would be hard to fall here, but the less-than-stellar protection and pendulum would make it scary. Stay on the inside of the bushes along this ledge, and you should be fine. Finish at another set of rappel anchors.

I usually untie and and walk down the ledge to the hidden valley from here, but it might not be a bad idea to give a little belay depending on your comfort level. Beware the abundance of thorn-bushes in the hidden valley.

From the hidden valley, find the large (3?) bolt rap anchors on the east side, and use them to rappel back to the ground near the parking lot. THIS RAP IS ~130 feet LONG. In order to reach the ground, you will need two ropes (unless you have a 85m+ rope). I have been able to get off of this with a 70m rope and about 20 feet of 5.9 downclimbing, but it's not recommended. KNOT YOUR ROPES!

Protection Suggest change

6-8 draws, a few small cams, slings, and two ropes.