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Yosemite Falls Wall
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Freestone (Geek Towers, Left) T 

Freestone (Geek Towers, Left) 

YDS: 5.11c French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 24 British: E4 6a

Type:  Trad, 8 pitches, 800', Grade IV
Original:  YDS: 5.11c French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 24 British: E4 6a [details]
FA: Bridwell, Kauk, Bard. 10/74
Season: Must do it in the spring
Page Views: 1,809
Submitted By: Brian Prince on Mar 28, 2016

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3rd pitch. Black streak was wet but didn't affect ...

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Freestone... simply awesome. Often compared to Astroman and easy to understand why. It's a classic valley 11c and absolutely beautiful (Rostrum is too friendly for consideration). It's also often said to be harder than A-man. However, I feel a comparison is not really helpful. Climbing wise, the two are completely different for the most part. Based on traffic they're in different dimensions. If pressed, I guess I'd say it's easier but a full on adventure. For those that head up, here's what Werner says, "Freestone demands one to bring up some courage from deep inside you as some of those pitches will intimidate you when you first get there looking up at them."

Besides almost being lost to obscurity and what I view as a sort of mythology that has grown around it, perhaps the most alluring part is its location. Make sure to go up there when the falls are raging!!! totally mind fking... the gift that keeps on giving. Without the falls, it's a good route. With the falls, it's truly something special and they'll help distract you from the spicy nature of the climbing. Obviously, the wrong kind of wind would be disastrous..

It's on the cover of the new sloan guide. But the topo he put in there is basically the exact same as Reid's.. not very helpful

Freestone thread

P1: 11a. Climb up some 3rd class and clip the only bolt on the route. Make a tough move up and left to gain a ramp/corner system. Corner gets steeper and a little tough/spicy in spots. Eventually move out left of the main corner and climb up to a nice ledge. This pitch was wet in March. Not necessarily from the falls, but from seasonal seepage. Still doable though.

P2: 10b. Climb up 15 ft. or so and make a face move out left to get established below a splitter crack/groove. Clip a pin and start up. It looks like it will be unprotected but good gear consistently becomes available. short pitch, belay at a horrendous stance. If you have the bravery/gear left I would link it into the next one.

P3: 10b. Noted as "thin and scary" in the Reid guide and "really thin" in the Sloan guide, it's not that big of a deal. Make sure to get in some gear off the belay and then make some tough moves up and right to gain the next crack/groove splitter. climb this thing for a ways to a somewhat nicer stance.

P4: 10d and, indeed, a tad spicy. Big hollow flakes off the belay lead up until you must make a difficult face move with pro at/below your feet to gain a ledge/ramp. This ramp becomes the corner system of the upper half of the route. Many options for a belay but I went all the way up to a little stance right below the obvious thin corner of the next pitch.

P5: Sweet 11a tips crack in a corner. Infamously pinned out, I didn't think it was too crazy. Anyway, keep going until you get to a much-deserved, amazing, plush-as-it-gets belay ledge. Plan on having lunch here. Sit back and enjoy the falls thundering right next to you...

P6: 10d. Really fun pitch, if a tad stout, and the geometry of the crack makes pro a little hard to get. Short pitch. I belayed in an alcove of crap rock. A little higher up might be better but will require bigger gear that you may need on the next one.

P7: 11c and every bit of it. Climb the steep, mostly fist/cupped crack past a fixed #4. The wide bit that is not immediately seen from the belay is the real deal. Make sure to save a #4 of your own for this section!! Eventually the climbing eases and then a belay ledge is reached out right. Belay takes .75-3. A long, burly pitch.

P8: Easy climbing to the summit of the Geek Towers.


Geek Towers. Once you make it up to the base of the Falls Wall in the vicinity of Lost Arrow, traverse left (don't scramble up the big ledge system as for the center route?) to an amazing, giant ledge right next to the falls. Almost too close for comfort..

Descent: We saw a lot of random rap anchors on the way up but the standard way worked out good. Take a knife and some cord. All bolted anchors with at least 1 ASCA bolt in each of 'em. We had two ropes.

1) Rap off the right side of the summit to a big ledge. single 70m worked.

2) Short rap to the next ledge down.

3) Rap down the face. Single 70m works.

4) Rap down and right to an alcove. Two ropes needed. an 80m might make it.

5) Rap down over some roofs to some rampy terrain. 80m might?

6) Rap to the big ledge system and scramble back down to packs. 80m??


For the majority of the route: doubles from tiny to #2, one #3 and #4. Some small offsets in there will be nice too. Small selection of nuts.

For 11c pitch: a 2nd #3 and especially #4 will be nice. A #5 was really nice, but just for a short, easier section. so maybe not necessary..

Photos of Freestone (Geek Towers, Left) Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: no words
no words
Rock Climbing Photo: top of the 11c pitch
top of the 11c pitch
Rock Climbing Photo: Freestone, starts up cracks on a clean face before...
BETA PHOTO: Freestone, starts up cracks on a clean face before...
Rock Climbing Photo: P4, setting up for the routes spice crux. upper co...
P4, setting up for the routes spice crux. upper co...
Rock Climbing Photo: offwidth pitch
offwidth pitch
Rock Climbing Photo: Ledge at the start of the route. I don't know how ...
Ledge at the start of the route. I don't know how ...
Rock Climbing Photo: 1st pitch
1st pitch

Comments on Freestone (Geek Towers, Left) Add Comment
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By danny uhlmann
Jun 7, 2017

Did this route in May. Was in my head as a bad-ass and infamous second cousin to Astroman, Rostrum, ect. After I got to the top I thought, "that was way harder than Astroman." But actually its not, necessarily. I think this route deserves a shroud of mystique so I won't say much other than, it protects safely, though there is a tad of spice to be ready for, but nothing that someone who is comfortable on Astroman can't handle. Go and do this climb when the falls are raging, you won't regret it. Only major comments are that the gear beta was pretty much right on in this MP post (thanks!) and an 80 meter rope does not work for the last part of descent. 2x60 easiest.

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