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John Fischer Memorial Route 

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

Type:  Trad, Sport, 7 pitches, 750', Grade III
Original:  YDS: 5.10c French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII ZA: 20 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: Tai and Mary Devore, 2011
Season: Spring, fall, early/late summer
Page Views: 9,651
Submitted By: Jason Chinchen on Sep 8, 2011

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (68)
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Looking down pitch 6. The climber is just above th...


The JFMR was established and climbed by Bishop local Tai Devore in the early spring of 2011 in memory of John Fischer. John was a local climbing guide and an old school mountaineering legend. He was killed when his motorcycle hit a deer while riding near Conway Summit, ca. on June 5th 2010.
John would often bring clients to Pine Creek to climb, many to this very wall which is named after his climbing school the Palisade School of Mountaineering (PSOM).

The route follows the prominent pillar in the center of the PSOM slab for 7 pitches and holds some great mixed climbing.

P1: Climb the slab and some cracks to the first anchors at a small ledge.

P2: More mixed climbing past a cruxy face move left from a seam to a flake. You end up on a large ledge. you can belay from here for the next pitch or walk right and up on ledges and build a gear anchor at the more logical base of the next pitch.

P3: The money pitch. Climb past a few bolts on slab and then enter the amazing right leaning fingertip crack crux of the climb. A few small pieces protect this section well until the crack pinches off and you must make a few insecure but fun lieback moves to a good horizontal edge and crack. Finish past a tree with good gear in a hand crack.

P4: Easy crack climbing on your left leads to some interesting and challenging slab climbing that is well protected by bolts.

P5: More great slab climbing heads up and right to a flaring seam. Place some gear here and make a long reach to the right to get into another finger crack. Climb over a tree trunk to the next belay anchors.

P6: This roof pitch is great! A bit of gear leads to the right of the first roof and bolts lead you leftward out onto the face above the belay and over another roof section. These moves are really fun and the roof mantle is a bit awkward. A few more bolts get you to the last belay.

P7: Another great pitch! From below this pitch looks intimidating and steep but once you are here it isn't so bad. Climb up the big flake with good gear before heading out under the last small roof to a bolt or two. Good holds lead you up to the roof and once you can peek around you will find some good placements to protect this move. Turn this last roof and head for the final set of mussey hook anchors. Have your partner lower you back to the belay below to save a rappel and then they can toprope this pitch to clean it.

Rappel to the bottom of pitch 3 (to the left side of the tree) where you will run out of rope. Walk down to the last section of climbing on good ground and you will find a single FIXE rappel ring anchor on your left on the side of a block. Use this to descend to the next set of anchors and then to the ground on the routes mussey anchors.


The JFMR starts uphill of Racing Lizards with bolts on the slab. Follow bolts and prominent cracks to the top.


Bring a double rack of small cams up to .75 and singles of everything else up to 2". A set of stoppers will come in handy. Also bring 12 draws and a few long slings. One 70 meter rope or two 60 meter ropes will do. You must rap 7 times plus one short rap from a single rap ring or do a small section of downclimbing.

Photos of John Fischer Memorial Route Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Adam prepares to pull the roof on P6.
Adam prepares to pull the roof on P6.
Rock Climbing Photo: Start of the route. 3 bolts to the wide crack abov...
BETA PHOTO: Start of the route. 3 bolts to the wide crack abov...
Rock Climbing Photo: This is pitch 3 (the crux)! follows slab past a co...
This is pitch 3 (the crux)! follows slab past a co...
Rock Climbing Photo: Ed pulls pitch 6 roof. Fun!
Ed pulls pitch 6 roof. Fun!
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down from the top of pitch 7.
Looking down from the top of pitch 7.
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up pitch 5.
Looking up pitch 5.
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up pitch 1.
Looking up pitch 1.
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbers on pitch 2.
Climbers on pitch 2.
Rock Climbing Photo: P7 is directly behind Tobias.
P7 is directly behind Tobias.
Rock Climbing Photo: P6
Rock Climbing Photo: P2
Rock Climbing Photo: P4
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 5
Pitch 5

Comments on John Fischer Memorial Route Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 9, 2017
By rickziegler Ziegler
Feb 27, 2012
rating: 5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

Yet another great Devore route. 7 clean pitches with distinct, well protected cruxes, followed by fun moderate climbing. Mostly enjoyable slab and thin cracks. Pitch 3 is not to be missed.

Gear suggestion: single rack of cams to 2" plus doublees of small nuts and cams. 70m rope
By Old Skool
Sep 23, 2012
rating: 5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

Oh what a great ride.

I definitely give it a solid 10d as the crux moves on P3 are just as sustained as the traverse moves over on Hall Pass on 3 Hour Arete.

Defintitely the PSOM Wall Classic for sure.
By Weston L
From: Summerlin, NV
Oct 8, 2012
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

What a great route. Rick Ziegler's recommendation for the rack is spot on, tiny nuts and cams for the crux pitch. I climbed this two days ago and my mind is still blown. Incredible route, well protected cruxes, beautiful movement, awesome position...definitely a 'highlight reel' route. Go do it.
By Kristian Solem
From: Monrovia, CA
Oct 18, 2012
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

Did the first 5 pitches of this one day before yesterday. Yes to all the props above. Super fun well protected climbing. Also did 3 hour arete and silver streak. All great fun.

Now guys, about the ratings...

Hair Lip at Suicide is a consensus 10a. On The Road on Tahquitz is 10c, and a much harder lead than JFMR. If P3 of JFMR were in Idyllwild it would likely be graded 10a as well, maybe 10b but that's it. Sorry but yer not as Old Skool as you think if you are serious about 10d. Of course the difference in grade in no way reflects on the quality and beauty of the climb. But resisting grade inflation is an issue for me.

I'm not about stirring the pot, just tryin' to keep it real.
By Jason Chinchen
From: Bend, Oregon
Nov 25, 2012

I appreciate your grading insight Kris, the grade is however about right for the area.
By Eric Fjellanger
Jul 27, 2013

Real good route.

For a fun contrast in grades, after you climb this, go get on Sheila just up the road.
By Steve Gomez
Aug 28, 2013
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

Super sweet route! I got to lead all the pitches on this. Best route on PSOM slab IMO. I think 5.10c is fair. I felt all pitches had some 5.10 on them except the first. Crux for me was the finger crack on P3, the roof pitch was the crux for my wife.
By Jeff Scheuerell
Sep 25, 2013
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

Fun route, nice to gain the elevation and get the view, 3 out of 5 stars. For me the crux was the roof move. We used gear from a black Alien to a #3 C4. I used 2 back Aliens on the third pitch and my partner used 2 .75C4s on one pitch, only doubles we needed.
By Muscrat
Apr 7, 2014
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b

How can you not give this thing 4 stars? Oh so sweet, great views and exposure, and every pitch has something different. Thanks Tai, just more great work.
And my $.02 on grade. If you don't figure out how to climb the awesome fingercrack, it can quickly go to 10.d I have climbed this a couple of times, cruised it and flailed on it. So let's just say 10+. And it helps to be over 5'8" on both roof pitches. 'Nuff said
By andy patterson
From: Carpinteria, CA
Jul 13, 2014

A little anecdote regarding grade:

My buddy and I walked up to the PSOM slab, completely new to the area, and had no idea what route to get on. I heard tales about some "cruiser 5.9s" somewhere up and right of the lower routes, and armed with an old guidebook we attempted to find gold.

To make a long story short, we started up the John Fischer Memorial Route thinking it was Big Deal, which is apparently rated 5.9. Pitch after beautiful pitch unfolded before us, and while we secretly thought the first-ascent team was a bunch of sandbaggers, we couldn't complain. I mean, just look at that third pitch! Unbelievable. I have vivid memories of finagling small cams into the tips crack on pitch three, thinking, "hmm, this is definitely 5.9d". The rest of route went smoothly, and I while I comfortably led each pitch, I couldn't help but think I was a wee bit rusty. That, or the grades in Pine Creek were way stout.

Anyways, it wasn't till weeks later that I found out we had climbed the wrong route.
By Jeff Scheuerell
Jul 14, 2014
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

I am confused, are you saying climbs should be rated the grade when done wrong? I would be interested in hearing how hard Darrell thinks it is. He is to busy putting up new routes in SoYo.

I just did a 9 in the Meadows that felt harder.
By andy patterson
From: Carpinteria, CA
Jul 16, 2014

Jeff, I'm not trying to say anything definitive about the actual grade: just that we climbed the wrong route, and it was a hoot. Best mistake of the season, in fact. Oh, and 5.9d is what I rate every route that's hard for me.

Just a story, not an editorial.
By Jeff Scheuerell
Jul 16, 2014
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

Sorry Andy, my comment was in response to The poster above you, Muscrat, who states if you do it wrong it can go to 10d. What is the difficulty if done right? We had a great time on the route as well.
By Addem Bursh
Dec 1, 2014
rating: 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

Climbed it this weekend - was a total blast. Definitely no harder than 5.6+

EDIT 10/26/2015 Climbed it again this weekend - would say the traverse moves on Hall Pass harder than the crux on P3 of this one
By Colonel Mustard
From: Sacramento, CA
Oct 26, 2015

As a party wall, two two-man team of maggots, we got up this thing rapidly after a crack of noon start, which, I think, is a major bonus of the Pine Crick style.

Pitch 2 felt head's up (what do I know, I just followed it).

The pitch 3 crux felt very manageable, though I hit a portable foothold and blew it. It's a very cool opposing crimp seam that would absolutely bludgeon you were it angled any higher than a dummy dome.

There's some cool stuff in between, but the character of the last two pitches is a very cool change up of fun roof movement, jugs, and cracks.

It was a very good intro to the slab style prevalent at many of these Scheelite crags and a great way to realize how much rock there is as you continue up the mountain side.
By Jan Tarculas
From: Riverside, Ca
Nov 2, 2015
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

We did this route in 4 pitches using a 70M rope on 10/30/15.

Doubles from really small gear 00/0 TCU to .75. (or equivalent) for the crux pitch and singles #1-3 BD C4s. I would say the #3 C4 isn't mandatory. I only placed it once and only did that so that I can say I used it. Bring at least 16-18 trad draws and extend everything.

Beta to keep the drag down:

Link pitch 1 and 2: Have leader clean the 2nd bolt once 3rd bolt is clipped on 1st pitch. Past 1st set of anchors and continue to the top. Again EXTEND everything. After follower gets to 2nd pitch anchors, simul climb about 20 feet up on a huge ledge and build a gear anchor under 1st bolt.

Climb 3rd/crux pitch

Link pitch 4 and 5: Once leader finishes pitch 4, lower leader and have leader clean the last few pieces of gear and importantly last 2 bolts on the traverse. This makes leading pitch 5 a lot easier without much drag. (pitch 4 wanders up, right, up, then left). Climb pitch 5.

Link pitch 6 and 7: Extend everything. Plenty of bolts for both pitches. You can easily back clean some draws before the roof and after the roof. Both pitches with plenty of bolts

Muscrat stated good to be 5'8 on both roof pitches. I'm 5'6 and did both roof pitches just fine. I don't think the roof pitches are height dependent.
By Sean Sullivan
From: Boise, ID
May 4, 2016

A great mulit-pitch! Thanks for the beta photos that made finding the start a no-brainer. Fun crack, slab and face moves. Bolted belays. Easy Raps. Fun, challenging at parts, but never scary.
By Paul Webb
Jun 26, 2016

Fun route. Do yourself a favor and climb 6 & 7 individually. The two pitches are fun but the rope drag is terrible if linked.
By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From: Bend, OR
May 13, 2017
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

Super fun route. Very well protected climbing with miles of moderate climbing punctuated by the occasional harder move. IMO - most the slab climbing felt about 5.9/5.10a.... and the crux finger crack 10b or so. For gear, doubles from very thin to #0.75 - and then one each #1, #2, #3 camalots, and a rack of nuts. The crux thin crack is THIN... think purple C3 size. The business never gets bigger than green C3 and is usually smaller than that. I placed a 0.1 X4, 0.2 X4, and then a purple C3. So yeah, small. Great route and very casual, well protected climbing.
By John Robinson
From: Elk Grove, ca
Jul 11, 2017

"Location" says "JFMR starts uphill of Racing Lizards". It's 150 feet above Racing Lizards. You will find another line of bolts about 50' above JFMR also. There is a gully about 50 feet below JFMR that had a fixed line in it and it will eventually become another route.
By old5ten
From: Berkeley + Sunny Slopes, CA
Sep 9, 2017
rating: 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

finally got to do one of the few routes i haven't climbed at PSOM. cool climbing and fun route!

pitch by pitch grades on a (generous) valley/tuolumne scale:
p1/5.9or10a (only a move or two, well protected),
p2/10b (i actually climbed straight up the face to the flake on the left and skipped the upper bolt at the crux, no liebacking on the right side).
p3/10b/c (yes, it's thin and if you have fat fingers it may be a tad harder, but there are positive lieback edges on that thin crack, the crux is maybe 10ft, and the angle isn't that bad. slab-o-rama, too many rules, and outlaw (the 3 routes to the right) are all harder and more sustained.
p4/5.9 (well protected, the climbing felt like the crux of the big deal but more sustained).
p5/5.9 (maybe 10a if you're short and have a difficult time switching grooves).
p6/5.9 (although the wife mentioned that she's climbed harder 5.8s, there are good holds underneath the roof for the traverse and the crack is easy). this is the only 'roof' i encountered on the route.
p7/5.9, maybe 10a.

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