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Free Lance 

YDS: 5.10c French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII ZA: 20 British: E2 5b

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 120'
Original:  YDS: 5.10c French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII ZA: 20 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: John Long and Brian Pottorff, November 1971
Page Views: 530
Submitted By: Roger Linfield on Feb 2, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (13)
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Free Lance goes up the bolt line just to the right...


This is an enjoyable face climb, with intriguing footwork at the crux. As of 1999, a bolt had been added to this route, removing the "R" rating given to it in guidebooks. Climb the first few feet of The Shadow and then traverse right onto the face. Rappel from near the top.


4 bolts, plus one or two small pieces for the initial crack, and gear for the anchor on top

Photos of Free Lance Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Ron Hayes following "The Shadow", but th...
Ron Hayes following "The Shadow", but th...
Rock Climbing Photo: Rick on Free Lance
Rick on Free Lance

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By C Miller
From: CA
Sep 24, 2007
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

This climb originally had only 3 bolts and older guidebooks reflected this fact. The newest guidebook (2001) shows 4 bolts, which indeed there are.

It's quite surprising that the added bolt (the topmost one) not only hasn't been chopped but surreptitiously made it's way into the newest guidebook and thus history.
By Adam Stackhouse
Jul 14, 2008
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b PG13

Not to bad of a typical Suicide slabolicious environment...
By Ryan Strickland
From: Idyllwild, CA
Oct 16, 2013
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13

This route felt pretty sustained at low 5.10. There was always at least one move between bolts that demanded concentration. The most difficult moves for me were just after passing the third bolt.
By johannsolo
From: So Cal
Jul 7, 2014

The "added" last bolt was placed too far to the left and is a little hard to clip. Great route though. The "Javelin" unprotected start goes up and left to get to the first bolt.
By dnaiscool
Mar 23, 2015

The route was not shown in Randy Vogel's "2 Ring Binder 'O Topos" published in 1980. This Vogel masterpiece was the very first set of topos ever published for Tahquitz & Suicide, and it came out two years before the yellow George Meyers topo guide to Yosemite Valley, which was also a first for Valley climbs. Not knowing what it was, but thinking it looked pretty good, I led "Free Lance" in ' was pretty stout, and when I saw it in the new red guide as a .10a...Sandbag came to mind. The right start is called "Javeline" and it sports some gear (up and to the right) protected .10c right off the ground. I think doing it this way makes the climb more consistent for the grade.
By johannsolo
From: So Cal
Nov 5, 2016

Javelin is definitely not 10c as it is way harder that anything on FreeLance. Pretty much unprotected crux off the ground, 11a at least. I've led it a couple of times. Bring a pad or have a good spotter and don't fall.
By Tradiban
Nov 14, 2016

Ok climbing for the first three bolts. Good holds will push you right to an unprotectable flaring crack (5.9) at bolt three, staying on route goes straight up to the 4th bolt but that felt pretty contrived to do so.
By Tradiban
Apr 16, 2017

Redid this today, I think the crux is between bolt three and four, moving into it from a nice knob out right. Vogel and Gaines says it goes straight up from bolt 3 but I wasn't seeing it.

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