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

Type:  Trad, 11 pitches
Original:  YDS: 5.11c French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 24 British: E4 6a [details]
Page Views: 15,774
Submitted By: Jesse James on Mar 13, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (51)
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The airy roof above the truck stop...

Falcon nesting closures are usually in effect from March 15 to July 31. MORE INFO >>>


This is a super classic line, and a must do for the grade. The climb is very sustained with only a few pitches less than 5.11. I am describing the original finish, but express lane is the preferred finish.

P1, Slab climb past several bolts to a belay at a tree (10d).

P2, Steep corner with two bolts to bolted belay (11b).

P3, climb daylight crack(fists) for a bit then traverse down and right along slopey ledge to a bolted belay.

P4, climb long left facing corner with two distinct cruxes to a bolted belay (11c).

P5, Another long pitch climbing corner then face to the truck stop ledge below a large roof (11a).

P6, climb through the awesome roof out to the left (11c).

P7, Traverse straight right from the belay, then straight up on face holds (11a).

P8, Down and right to a short corner, up then right to a finger crack, leading to a belay below a large roof (10c).

P9, Left up thin cracks then right to belay at deep corner (11a).

P10, Climb offwidth corner (10a R).

P11, climb the steep bolted arete to the top (10d).


Fixed anchors at every belay

Photos of Freeway Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Following the second crux pitch.
Following the second crux pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: Jeremy B. on the Autoban traverse pitch...
Jeremy B. on the Autoban traverse pitch...
Rock Climbing Photo: Classic arete
Classic arete
Rock Climbing Photo: First Traverse
First Traverse
Rock Climbing Photo: Start of the second half of dihedrals
BETA PHOTO: Start of the second half of dihedrals
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitched out the dihedrals into 4. This is 2/4, so ...
BETA PHOTO: Pitched out the dihedrals into 4. This is 2/4, so ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Some coffee and slab make for a nice start to the ...
BETA PHOTO: Some coffee and slab make for a nice start to the ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Freeway Topo.
BETA PHOTO: Freeway Topo.
Rock Climbing Photo: Brad nearing the end of P2 on Freeway.  While the ...
Brad nearing the end of P2 on Freeway. While the ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Brad just past the crux on P2 of Freeway.
Brad just past the crux on P2 of Freeway.
Rock Climbing Photo: Autoban- Second Traverse, EXPOSED
Autoban- Second Traverse, EXPOSED
Rock Climbing Photo: First of Two Roofs
First of Two Roofs

Comments on Freeway Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jul 31, 2017
By Scott McLeod
Aug 1, 2007

Brilliant line. Bring your "A" game. This climb has it all! crack, face, slab, well protected, bold, etc. I think that the crux can be different for everybody because of this.

Great climb!
By Evan Stevens
Sep 10, 2007

A few key variations to the beta here, which make this route even better.

p1: Skip it via the fixed line to the right.

p2 and p3: Link together no problem. p2 is 11a.

After the Autobahn (the traversing pitch above the roof) do the express lane finish, not the original, way better! Step down and right off the belay, but then up and then back left to the occasional bolt. 4 bolts in total where you need them, but 5.10- where there are no bolts. Heads up. Continue up the bolted face and arete to the top in one 50m pitch.
By Peter Spindloe
From: North Vancouver, BC
May 19, 2008

Freeway Lite is a popular variation that ends at the top of P5 as described above. Although the overall grade of the Lite version is the same as the overall route, it's considerably easier simply due to having fewer hard pitches to do. It's especially popular because of the Raptor Closures that make the pitches above the Truck Stop off limits until the end of July.

The climbing is fantastic; hard but well protected with lots of variety and sustained at a solid level between the distinct cruxes.
By Greg Cameron
Jul 3, 2008

First ascent was by Tom Gibson and Rob Rohn - 1979 (I was there).
By Michael Ybarra
From: on the road
Aug 18, 2009

I think Freeway Lite gives you all the best pitches from the full route (Express Lane version), except maybe the roof pitch.

To rap Freeway Lite, you'll need two ropes.

Also, gear up before climbing the jungle-style 3rd class since the slopping, moss-ledge belay at the start of P2 isn't a great place to do so and you don't want to leave packs there since the rap route doesn't take you back there.
By Colin Moorhead
May 8, 2010

Freeway Original Finish. An editorial.

I'd just like to throw my two cents in about the classic finish to Freeway. Over the years I've heard numerous comments detracting from the quality of the original finish saying the Express Lanes are way better (mostly from folks who haven't done the original). Don't get me wrong the Express Lanes offer excellent climbing with superb position, the climbing is well protected and straight forward, once you've pulled the roof pitches you know you've got it in the bag.

Before the addition of the Express Lanes, Freeway was quite a bit more bad ass, you sure didn't feel home free after the roof. A classic .10d finger crack, a technical RP protected .11a stem corner, and a wide .10a crack with serious ledge fall potential still stood between you and the chains. All varied, technical, and slightly spicy climbing.

In conclusion, the Express Lanes are an easier, less committing finish that offers nice climbing. But if you really haven't done Freeway until you've done the classic finish.

End rant.
By Monica Jones
From: Bishop, CA
Jul 27, 2010

It's so good to hear some positiveness about the original finish for Freeway because I thought it was awesome. It's funny to hear that people go the other way to skip the 10d fingers, 11a thin, and 10a so as not to blow their onsight because my boyfriend tried to talk me out of it too. He had onsighted his leads and follows up to this point and didn't want me to do the 11a thin because he didn't want to fall following! I led it though, perfect for my small fingers, and he followed it (without falling) and led the 10a wide linked into the 10d arete to the top. Great route, probably my favorite and most memorable to date.
By Matt Hoffmann
From: Squamish
Oct 9, 2012
rating: 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a

Amazing Amazing Amazing!

Swung leads up Freeway last weekend and loved it. We did the original finish and I thought it was great (though, I haven't done express lane). The first 5 pitches really beat me up which made the end feel a hell of a lot harder than I think it should have. Fell on the 11c dihedral pitch at the crux 5 times before we made it up the pitch. And the roofs are just unbelievable.

Cannot say enough about this climb. Go. Do it. Love it.
By Luke Stefurak
From: Seattle, WA
Aug 12, 2013

Rack Beta:

I would bring a single purple C3, then doubles from green C3 to #1 camalot and a single #2, #3. We placed a ton of nuts. No need for a #4 camalot. You could place the #4 on the daylight crack, but that's it and the #3 fits shortly.

For P7 Make sure to go straight up after the first bolt. The pitch has two pitons right next to each other, then a bolt. The second bolt is way high up and you might not be able to see it. There is an anchor way out right but it is for another route.

Rad climbing, despite not too much jamming. The second long dihedral may feel closer to 11b and not too much easier than the first.

If taking the express lane finish, make sure to bring at least a single rack of cams from green alien to #2 camalot for the first pitch.
By Josh Janes
General Admin
Sep 14, 2016

I climbed this the other day and was happy with Luke's rack beta. I'd add the following:

Retreat: I believe you could rap, in a pinch, from as high as the Truck Stop with a single 70m rope leaving behind minimal, if any, gear by using various anchors from other routes. We didn't test this but I was paying attention on the way up. Beyond the Truck Stop it would still be possible, though problematic, due to the traversing and overhanging nature of the roof pitch.

Route Finding & Links: Luke mentions this but I will also because this is an easy mistake to make: On the traverse after the roof pitch above the Truck Stop, head directly right from the anchor passing two bolts. At the second bolt, head straight up (past gear and a third bolt) to the belay; DO NOT continue right. I recommend linking the roof pitch with this one (don't clip the anchor above the roof), thus eliminating the only hanging belay on the route. Also, link the Daylight Crack into the 5.10 sloper traverse.

Express Lane: I don't know how the original finish is but the position of the Express Lane finish is ridiculous. However, after all the well-protected climbing leading up to it, I was surprised to find one or two spots that could result in a serious ledgefall - exercise caution.
By 20 kN
From: Hawaii
Sep 29, 2016
rating: 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a

Great route and absolutely worth doing, although I cant quite give it four stars as the route has a fair amount of lichen and moss on it in places. Maybe it's just a seasonal thing though.

We cut left on P7 and took the Express Lane variation. Just a heads up if you go via that route. Cutting left on P7 mostly involves face climbing with a few random bolts for pro (four in total), but there is a section toward the end of the pitch where you must pull some fairly challenging moves over a large ledge with limited pro. There are two bolts to protect this section, but the two bolts are not sufficient to keep you off the ledge if you were to blow it in the wrong place. The variation only has two bolts for nearly 45' of 5.10+ face climbing over a ledge.
By Alexander K
From: The road
Jul 5, 2017

+1 on the Express Lanes still being a heady finish. While not as sustained as the original finish, there are some moves in the 5.10 range with big ledge fall potential on the 11a pitch and some decent runouts on the 5.10c arete pitch. Wouldn't have been as psyched out on it if I had known to expect it. Might be less scary if you can keep your rope running straight/rope drag to a minimum.

Also the rack beta given is right on the money, but a blue/green alien offset could be placed in a very convenient place on the roof pitch (think towards the end). While this isn't essential, it would have made it easier to commit to the moves as the pump set in.
By Max Tepfer
From: Bend, OR
Jul 25, 2017

Based on Colin's editorial, we elected for the traditional finish. A few thoughts:

Firstly, unless I misunderstood things, the fastest finish shares the last two bolts with the expressway variation. These are the two bolts that everyone has been talking about having ledgefall potential. Many meters into a lead this makes sense. Belaying at the huge ledge below what is the first bolt of the classic finish, it's totally fine.

Secondly, the 11a thin pitch is a little heady and harder for the short. Don't blow it as there actually is real ledgefall potential.

Thirdly, I was cursing Colin for 20 minutes at the base of the 10a wide pitch while waiting for my partner to come up. From below, it looks dirty, loose, and marginally protected. After climbing it, (bringing the #4 was for sure worth it) it was clear that its bark is way, way worse than its bite. It felt pretty mellow, secure, and well protected. There is one thin flake out on the face that you have to step on that likely will be gone someday, otherwise it was pretty cruiser.
By Josh Janes
General Admin
Jul 31, 2017

Max, I believe you are misunderstanding: the ledge fall section is actually on the pitch immediately after the two variations diverge (marked pitch 9 in the topo in the photos). The final pitch, just above the spot where the original finish and the Express Lane rejoin, is indeed a bit heady with a lot of rope out, but like you said bringing your partner up to that belay ledge mitigates the risk.

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