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Gutenberger Wall
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Dihedral Bypass T 
Easy Way Up, The T 
Got Gas? S 
Grandpappy T 
Gutenberger Edge S 
Gutenberger Wall Direct T 
Gutenberger's Wall T 
Lichen Us T 
Long Dong Arch T 
Right Up the Line T 
Sadam. Me? S 
Scud Buster S 
Tanks for the Memories S 
Trout Fishing in America S 

Gutenberger's Wall 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 300'
Original:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Grant and Jeff Altenburg, early 1970s
Page Views: 3,163
Submitted By: bob branscomb on Feb 10, 2009

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (10)
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BETA PHOTO: Gutenberger wall is the classic line up the right ...


A nice low angle face/friction climb on the pretty west face of the dome. Scramble up to a high ledge on the west side. Two pitches lead to the top. The second pitch, a little ways above the belay, is the hardest part.
Can also approach the ledge from the 5.5 approach to the central cracks. From the bolted belay on that, head right up an unprotected 5.4/5.5 slab between moss streaks to the long ledge.


Up the un-vegitated west face of the dome. Scramble across the boulders in the river at the west side of the pool. A strange chimney manuever up a cleft in the step leads to scrambling up mossy rock and some poison oak to a long ledge about half way up the dome. Head up the center of the slab to a two-bolt belay. The main business above follows the bolts.


Bolts: rumor has it that most of old 1/4" bolts are being replaced on the dome routes...we can hope this is true. Take a light rack for the first belay. the two belays above are bolted and can be rappelled.

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By Tim Camuti
From: Placerville, CA
Nov 10, 2009
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13

This climb and others nearby have 3/8" bolts and modern hangers. Gear is not necessary. Bolts are about 30 feet apart. The belay stations are close (half pitch apart) so you can link them to save time with a 60m rope, then rappel with just one rope! Yeah!
By Ryan Kosh
From: Los Angeles, CA
Apr 23, 2010

Maybe we're thinking of a different line, but I didn't see any protection bolts on this climb (first crack from the Grand Central Belay).

I'd say gear to 2" with an emphasis on nuts will adequately protect this. Bolted belays.
By Vince Buffalo
Sep 5, 2011
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13

Lots of scattered bolts from base to Grand Central (which has chains and a fixed 'biner). In the photo, "Easy Way Up" disagrees with the Bay Area climbing book's version. which follows a bolt line. The photo's version looks easier, but rope drag can be a real issue. Protect your seconds from a swing on both traverses.

Second pitch was a fun easy one. We ran the second pitch to the bolted anchor (which had two 'biners and lots of rap slings for rapping) that's way left of the tree. This put us off the crack route towards the end (and on River Daughter), but with the solid anchor. The next pitch (third) ate up too much of my pro and I had to down climb and bail; I was left with two little for a solid trad anchor. There's lots of flairing pockets that many times take nuts better than cams. Some of the granite is pretty crystalline, and I had a #1 master cam pop out when I tested it, so watch it.

I'd recommend doubles in cams for from 0.25 to 1, but take into consideration I got only up 75% up pitch three before bailing and couldn't scope it out.

Rapping takes a 70m rope from River Daughter's anchor (the one left of tree) to Grand Central, with about 1 foot of extra slack. If you have a 60m and you're rapping from the bolts left of the tree, I think the best option would be to traverse further left as you go down (past the main crack), as there appear to be a chains as part of Lichen Us, and then rap from there to Grand Central.

Also, some 3/8ths bolts are showing some signs of rust. I trusted them, but an actual bolt driller that knows bolts super well should take a look.
By SF2Yosemite
Nov 15, 2011

Went up Gutenberg Direct this weekend. Linked the 2/3 pitch with 70m rope to just below the pictured stop.

Found the crack on the 3rd pitch to be dirty and flared and the second pitch unexciting. Not my favorite lines.

Perhaps some other lines are more interesting.

Sketchy hop skip slide over the boulders to the start. Was worse on the way out in the early winter darkness dark.

Confirm new bolts. One anchor bolt on rap station was loose and didn't appear installed as professionally as the slightly older one next to it. Bring rap line or second rope to make rap off easier.
By Patrick M.
From: Vancouver
Jul 15, 2012
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

I did this route twice and I really enjoyed it, even the 5.0 2nd pitch. It is very easy to protect and the view on the river gorge below is... gorge-ous!

Pitch #2 and #3 are good for beginning leaders. The 1st pitch is more technical and more exposed.

There are a couple options for the 1st pitch. The first time I started the route with the Dihedral Bypass. I think the roof is a solid 5.9/10a move for confident leaders.

The second time, I took the Easy Way Up. The first move on the big boulder is a bit difficult for shorter climbers and it is exposed. After you have transferred to the wall, you traverse to the right (don't clip the bolt, that's a 5.11 sport route) all the way to a small corner where you go up. Don't forget to protect your follower on that traverse.

Beware that you need a 70m rope (don't forget knots on rope ends!) or a second rope to rap down.

If it's summer, bring your swimming suit and you won't regret it!
By Justin Johnsen
From: Nor Cal
Jan 28, 2013
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13

Again, Gutenberger Wall is purely sport, probably 5.8 PG 13.

The purely trad route mentioned in some comments is the taller, crack-following Gutenberger Wall Direct 5.7, 4 pitches.

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