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Ears Between 

YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b

Type:  Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches, 750', Grade III
Original:  YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b [details]
FA: Lofthouse and CMC party, 1968
Page Views: 4,552
Submitted By: Meredith DB on Dec 9, 2007

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (39)
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BETA PHOTO: Most right hand V notch is getting to the second r...


This route climbs the center of the south face of the Donkey's Ears, and tops out in a notch between the two ears.

There are two options to start:

A. Direct start (5.8): start at 2 cracks that meet to form a triangle about 15 feet up (see photo). Climb up the triangle to an alcove below some flakes/roof. Move right and take cracks/flakes to the ledge.

B. Traverse in from the left on an approach ledge. This avoids the 5.8 climbing. Look for where the wall turns black with lichen, then go 30 m further.

The pitches are:
1. Climb broken rock for a short easy pitch. 2. Head left up cracks, and belay below a notch that leads to a ramp (5.4). 3. Go up the notch and mantle to get to the ramp (awkward). Follow the ramp and belay at its end (5.7). 4. Head up flakes toward the chimney and belay in an alcove (5.7). 5. Continue up the chimney and belay at the notch between the ears (5.7). 6. Use cracks/ledges on the north side to summit the East Ear.

From the top of the east ear, do one steep rappel to the east. Then scramble first north, then east to access the eastern slopes of the Crescent towers. Stay as high as possible. Work down the slopes to the col with Eastpost, then hike down to Applebee dome.


This route climbs the center of the south face of the Donkey's Ears, and tops out in a notch between the two ears.

To approach, hike up to Applebee Dome camping area. Head left and up from the campground, heading for the base of the wall. Follow vague trails through boulders and past the remnants of the Crescent Glacier.


Take a standard rack. There is some fixed gear on the route.

Photos of Ears Between Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: This is the first rappel off the top of the ear on...
BETA PHOTO: This is the first rappel off the top of the ear on...
Rock Climbing Photo: As mentioned in earlier comments you can see a blo...
BETA PHOTO: As mentioned in earlier comments you can see a blo...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up after the direct start. This is the cla...
BETA PHOTO: Looking up after the direct start. This is the cla...
Rock Climbing Photo: The 5.8 direct start of Ears Between.
BETA PHOTO: The 5.8 direct start of Ears Between.

Comments on Ears Between Add Comment
Show which comments
By Goodhue
From: Boulder, CO
Aug 12, 2009

Awesome climb. In my opinion deserves more than the single asterisk in the Piche guide. Definitely do the direct start. The cracks are so much fun.
By DannyUncanny
From: Vancouver
Aug 24, 2011

Lots of fun. The ramp to the top of the chimney can be done in a single 70 m pitch, maybe 60m with a bit of simulclimbing. It's pretty vertical so not much rope drag.

On the descent, there is one rap down from the summit, then a short walk through a notch where you find a bolted rap anchor to get past a short steep chimney. You can skip this rappel if you don't mind crawling back down into the chimney and under a boulder. After that stick to the blocky ridge and aim for Eastpost. Don't get sucked down the sandy gullies. At the end of the ridge is a huge rock that looks like a spikey artichoke. We went up to this rock, then right and scrambled easily to the second tarn. Going left looks a bit steep and roundabout.
By eric schweitzer
From: Bend, Oregon
Aug 30, 2012

Note the picture of the direct start posted here, as the guide may or may not get you there. Beware the sand gully (incorrect) decent!
By Alex SP
From: calgary, alberta
Aug 6, 2013

Did the direct start last weekend and the beta photo is no longer correct. The block must have fallen off (where climber has two cams in photo) cause now all that's left is a left-trending ramp for 5 meters (fingers), followed by a thin fingers under-cling traverse to the right for 2-3 meters. Quite a bit harder than 5.8 if following the route description. #0-2 C3's would be useful to protect this short section.

There is still a sling hanging in the left crack to mark the start of the route.
By Ksween
From: Wakefield, RI
Sep 6, 2013

Alex, I found that was the case when I did It last week. It seemed reasonable to climb the squeeze chimney on the right, and then step out left into that crack. Still probably 5.8
By ddriver
From: SLC
Aug 5, 2014

I did the left direct start variation (with pin and sling) and thought it was easily 5.9. I did this combined with the upper face out right as a single 60-m pitch but it ate up my rack. The Donkey's Ears 5.7 chimney is nothing less than spectacular. Echoing other's comments re the descent, we did three rappels and were forced to rope an exposed ledge traverse back to the righthand ridge to avoid the death scree. You should probably stop after two rappels and work right. Once you're on the ridge the descent is straightforward.
By Hans
From: Squamish, BC
Oct 22, 2014

This is a great climb, and very popular. There is a lot of loose rock on the approach, much of it very unstable, so be careful. Come in from the left or the right.

The direct start is very good, and is best done as a full 60 or 70m pitch. If you run the next pitches long also, there are just 3 more to the top of chimney pitch. The summit is a short scramble from here.
By Chris Sepic
From: Bend, OR
Aug 15, 2015

Stellar final pitch. One of the best pitches of 5.7 IMO

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