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YDS: 5.12d French: 7c Ewbanks: 28 UIAA: IX ZA: 28 British: E6 6b PG13

Type:  Trad, 3300', Grade VI
Original:  YDS: 5.12d French: 7c Ewbanks: 28 UIAA: IX ZA: 28 British: E6 6b PG13 [details]
FA: Huber Baum, 1998
Season: Fall is best
Page Views: 83,209
Submitted By: bheller on Sep 23, 2008

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (16)
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Jesse and Jeremy, about to send!

Closures for Peregrine Falcon Protection MORE INFO >>>


Freerider is the Astroman of the new millennium. This route is climbing at its finest. The route follows complex crack systems up the southwest face of El Capitan. Essentially it is the Salathe wall with a few variations used (pioneered by Alex Huber) to avoid the numerous 5.13 crux pitches first freed by Paul Piana and Todd Skinner in the mid 80's.


The first 10 pitches of this route are often independently completed as a separate route and is known as Freeblast-5.11. A good description of Freeblast already exists on this site under the El Capitan base routes heading.


One set micronuts and nuts. One purple metolius, doubles from blue metolius to #3 camalot (with 3 orange metolius/.5 BD), one #4 camalot, one #5 camalot, one #6 camalot, and one #6 friend. 23 alpine style draws.

Photos of Freerider Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Dave Russell following pitch 28 on Freerider, Yose...
Dave Russell following pitch 28 on Freerider, Yose...
Rock Climbing Photo: Fly!
Rock Climbing Photo: Alex making history.  Photo Credit: Jimmy Chin
Alex making history. Photo Credit: Jimmy Chin
Rock Climbing Photo: Jesse and Jeremy climbing Freerider.  What a show!
Jesse and Jeremy climbing Freerider. What a show!
Rock Climbing Photo: Jesse and Jeremy climbing Freerider!
Jesse and Jeremy climbing Freerider!
Rock Climbing Photo: Luke is psyched to finish an amazing pitch of face...
Luke is psyched to finish an amazing pitch of face...
Rock Climbing Photo: Nothing beats belaying on El Cap Spire.
Nothing beats belaying on El Cap Spire.
Rock Climbing Photo: Mike approaching the Monster Offwidth. May 2004
Mike approaching the Monster Offwidth. May 2004
Rock Climbing Photo: Revised topo with many subtle changes- the numbers...
BETA PHOTO: Revised topo with many subtle changes- the numbers...
Rock Climbing Photo: ready, set...
ready, set...
Rock Climbing Photo: Jesse and Jeremy enjoying their rest day while fre...
Jesse and Jeremy enjoying their rest day while fre...

Comments on Freerider Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jun 17, 2017
By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
Sep 24, 2008

Check out Clint Cummins' web page for history, beta and topos for this route, and other long Yosemite free routes. He has recorded free ascents of this route up to #32 in June 2008.
By Scott Bennett
Nov 16, 2009

Has anyone tried the Teflon Corner lately? I've heard from many folks that the bolted "Huber" variation has lost a key hold, and is now much harder (mid-13ish?). Was this the bolt line to the right of the dihedral? Are there any variations to the left? The corner itself is still 12d, I guess... What sort of style is it?

Thanks in advance,

PS- Any beta on the "Scotty Burke" OW? I've seen the Monster and have an idea of what to expect (ughh...), is the SBOW harder?
By Monomaniac
From: Morrison, CO
Nov 16, 2009

The Teflon Corner is insecure ninja stemming. Its the dihedral left of the Huber Variation. The pitch actually wanders all over the place, and veers way left, below the teflon corner, before jogging back right to an optional belay right of the Huber Variation.
By bheller
From: SL UT
Nov 23, 2009

The Huber variation boulder problem did experience some breakage... a large breadloaf like sloper broke off. It is probably solid v7 now. It can still be done, its just it may require a very commiting dyno and not offer a clipping stance before you soar. The Teflon corner is a water polished dihedral that requires crazy palm stemming and body english. Don't be afraid of it- once I chalked my palms REALLY well, I freed it right off... I did feel like I was going to fall the whole time though. I remember a lot of backstepping and dropkneeing in the smears. After it was done it felt like one of those things that is impossible to rate.

The SBOW is harder than the monster in my opinion, but it is not as long and sustained. We found the trick was to lieback out of the crack for a section low on the route, and then try to swim back into it for the difficult slightly overhanging section of about 15 feet or so.

Best of Luck!
By Scott Bennett
Nov 30, 2009

Thanks for the beta, can't wait 'til spring in the Valley!

One more question: how is the Round Table ledge as a bivy, comfy for two?
By Osprey Overhang
From: ...
Jan 21, 2012

FA: Alex Huber, Thomas Huber, 1998
By Evan Stevens
Nov 24, 2012
rating: 5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b PG13

I went up with 1 #6 worked but was scary! Really tipped out in a few sections. A #6 friend and/or valley giant is recommended.

Round table is a good hang, but i wouldn't want to bivy there for 2 folks. The block is big but really slopey.

Seems the preferred sending style is how my partner and I approached it. Rapped in with a few days of water/food and stashed at the alcove. Then climb in 1 day to the alcove. Next day climb through the crux and fix back to the alcove with 1 60m and 1 70m rope. Then jug and fire to the summit. That final day is like doing the Uwall to Roman Chimneys in Squamish...burly day!

Finish off by rapping back down and getting your stuff back. It is almost entirely at least 2 bolt anchors and chains to rap the route now. Really straight forward and takes about 3-4 hours. Rapping the salathe headwall is wild! Clip in on the way down or bounce like mad! You can rap the freerider variation, but then you need to swing over to Sous Le Toit. Rapping the route, you can also stash food/water on the round table and the block for your last day.

Please please please pack up your trash and even take some more on your way down. My partner and I filled a stubby haul bag with other people's waste!

message me if you want a full beta spray down on tactics, I was given a ton of info before venturing out and it helped a ton.

We did the Teflon corner. Try it a few times, it was absolutely hopeless at first, but then it just clicked.
By NateB
From: Boulder, CO
Dec 3, 2012

By skinny legs and all
From: Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania
Jan 10, 2014

Following Michael Reardon's onsight free solo of Romantic Warrior (5.12b) at California's Needles, he hinted of possible intentions to do a ground up, onsight free solo of Freerider. I for one think that he had a chance of accomplishing this feat. To even consider this is audacious to say the least. Reardon was in my opinion the most talented free soloist until Alex Honnold came on the scene, surpassing even John Bachar and Peter Croft, which is saying a lot. Because of Michael's untimely death, we will never know what might have been possible.
By Kelley Gilleran
From: Sacramento, Ca
Jun 3, 2017

Honnold completed the free solo of Freerider today.
By 1Eric Rhicard
Jun 4, 2017

Time to change the gear selection to no rope stoppers or cams, just two big nuts! Just absolutely amazing Alex Honnold!
By Dave Kos
From: Temecula, CA
Jun 17, 2017

A great warmup for other routes on the formation.

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