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El Capitan Base Routes

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Ahab T 
Bluffer, The T 
Captain Hook, Left T 
Captain Hook, Right T 
Delectable Pinnacle, Right  T 
El Cap Tree T 
Footstool, Right, The T 
Freeblast T 
Gollum T 
Hardly Pinnacle T 
Indubious Battle T 
La Arista T,S 
La Cosita, Left T 
La Cosita, Right T 
La Escuela T 
Little John, Left T 
Little John, Right T 
Mark of Art T 
Masquerade/Call Me Ishmael S 
Moby Dick T 
Moby Dick, Left T 
Party Mix T 
Peter Left T 
Peter Pan T 
Pine Line T 
Pterodactyl Terrace, Left T 
Pterodactyl Terrace, Right T 
Reeds Leads T 
Rock Neurotic S 
Sacherer Cracker T 
Salathe (pitch 1) T 
Seedy Leads T 
Short But Thin T 
Simulkrime T,TR 
Slack ( center), The T 
Slack, Left, The T 
Sparkling Give-away T,S 
West Buttress (pitch 1&2) T 

El Capitan Base Routes Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 37.7286, -119.6371 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 93,354
Administrators: M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Sketchy Sam on Jul 13, 2006


70° | 36°

75° | 41°

79° | 48°

79° | 48°

82° | 52°
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Not really a route, but a cool shot of the Alcove ...

Closures for Peregrine Falcon Protection MORE INFO >>>


The base of El Capitan is home to numerous dreamy classic climbs to cut your teeth on while gazing up at the Big Stone.

Getting There 

Park in El Cap Meadows area and hike the trail up to the base. Figure on about 10 minutes for the approach.

Climbing Season

Weather station 3.2 miles from here

39 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',10],['3 Stars',17],['2 Stars',11],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in El Capitan Base Routes

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for El Capitan Base Routes:
La Cosita, Left   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 1 pitch   
Pine Line   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   
El Cap Tree   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b C1-2     Trad, Aid, 5 pitches, 400'   
Gollum   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad   
Little John, Right   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 3 pitches   
Little John, Left   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   
Simulkrime   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 200'   
La Cosita, Right   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch   
Peter Pan   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 3 pitches, 300'   
Moby Dick   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 150'   
Sacherer Cracker   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 150'   
Ahab   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 155'   
Salathe (pitch 1)   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 160'   
Hardly Pinnacle   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   
Mark of Art   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 110'   
Sparkling Give-away   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   
Short But Thin   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 40'   
La Escuela   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Trad, 3 pitches, 220'   
Freeblast   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Trad, 10 pitches   
TRON   5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c PG13     Sport, 1 pitch, 150'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in El Capitan Base Routes

Featured Route For El Capitan Base Routes
Rock Climbing Photo: working my way up this slippery bugger...

La Cosita, Right 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a  California : Yosemite National Park : ... : El Capitan Base Routes
This corner is just a little uphill from Little John.Liback the corner to a ledge....[more]   Browse More Classics in California

Photos of El Capitan Base Routes Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Tough living....
Tough living....
Rock Climbing Photo: The El Cap Base page could use some more photos.
The El Cap Base page could use some more photos.
Rock Climbing Photo: Worn rap rings, removed from the tree atop Pine Li...
Worn rap rings, removed from the tree atop Pine Li...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking on up
Looking on up
Rock Climbing Photo: After a day of cragging at the base, go around the...
After a day of cragging at the base, go around the...
Rock Climbing Photo: Frank Brown on "Moby Dick Center". Photo...
Frank Brown on "Moby Dick Center". Photo...

Comments on El Capitan Base Routes Add Comment
Show which comments
By Greg Smith
From: Canon City, CO
Aug 3, 2007
Can anyone tell me how to add a route on this page? One of my favorite climbs "The Mark of Art" branches off this climb right before the offwidth and continues straight up for another 70 ft. It is awesome!
By M. Morley
From: Sacramento, CA
Aug 3, 2007
Greg, just click the "Add Route" button above.
By Bryan G
From: Yosemite
Apr 2, 2011
"When do these climbs typically dry out? I'm hoping to get on some the end of April..."

The El Cap base is climbable year-round. A handful of routes will get hit by seasonal runoff coming down from the rim, but most of the climbs dry out pretty quick. After a major rain storm it usually takes a couple days of sun. After a snow storm it can take a week or longer for things to get dry, depending on how much snow gets dumped. Watch out for falling chunks of ice and be aware there is an increased chance of major rockfall following any storm. But in general the El Cap base is one of the best cragging spots in the Valley proper during the fall, winter, and spring.
By Eric T.
From: St. Augustine, Florida
Apr 3, 2011
Rad, thanks for the beta Bryan!
By Countzen Shin
From: Santa Monica, CA
Oct 13, 2014
Beta for Alcove Swing:
As of few weeks before October 2014 it's been cut and shortened. :(

I heard some douches tried to get five people on it at once and core-shot the rope after slamming back into the slab part.

Rock Climbing Photo: Rope from the alcove stance
Rope from the alcove stance

Rock Climbing Photo: Rope from the base of alcove.
Rope from the base of alcove.
By Vlad S
Oct 14, 2014
Yeah, hiked up to the alcove swing last week for nothing. Shame on you people, who did this. The rope was pretty much new and bomber just when I was there in May.

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