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Lucky Streaks 

YDS: 5.10c/d French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 21 British: E3 5b

Type:  Trad, 6 pitches, 650'
Original:  YDS: 5.10c/d French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 21 British: E3 5b [details]
FA: Kamps & Higgins - 1967
Page Views: 15,816
Submitted By: Josh Janes on Jul 10, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (199)
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James works his way through the sustained laybacki...

Closures for Peregrine Falcon Protection MORE INFO >>>


This is a great and sustained route -- somewhat tough on the toes, but the crux is easy for the grade. All-in-all the rock isn't quite as good as the Regular Route, but it is much steeper -- it's a toss up as to which one is the better route.

P1: Begin by a large block that is leaning against the dome. Head up on somewhat low angle terrain with limited opportunities for pro, do a tough step left, then contour up and right and belay on an obvious platform ledge below the beginning of a long left-facing corner system. 5.9.

P2: Continue up on 5.9 climbing to another ledge below a thin finger crack.

P3: Climb up the finger crack past a crux move, and then onwards up a steep, left-leaning crack to a good belay. 5.10d. I believe there is a 5.9 variation out right near the start that avoids the hard climbing but that it is of lesser quality.

P4: Continue up the steep corner using the crack and knobs. 5.9.

P5: Perform a somewhat scary underclinging traverse left and around to another corner system and up this to a belay. 5.9.

P6: Continue in the same system. The climbing eases with the angle. 5.8


Standard rack.

Photos of Lucky Streaks Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: top of the p1
top of the p1
Rock Climbing Photo: Chris on P5 traverse
Chris on P5 traverse
Rock Climbing Photo: Look closely and you can see 4 climbers.  The seco...
Look closely and you can see 4 climbers. The seco...
Rock Climbing Photo: Beautiful summit.  The, not so much.
Beautiful summit. The, not so much.
Rock Climbing Photo: Wild Man Scott shaking out after cruizing the 5.10...
Wild Man Scott shaking out after cruizing the 5.10...
Rock Climbing Photo: James follows the first pitch of Lucky Streaks. DA...
James follows the first pitch of Lucky Streaks. DA...
Rock Climbing Photo: Erik and Graham topping out.
Erik and Graham topping out.
Rock Climbing Photo: Erik on the 10a section of P2.
Erik on the 10a section of P2.
Rock Climbing Photo: "Lucky Streaks". Photo by Blitzo.
"Lucky Streaks". Photo by Blitzo.
Rock Climbing Photo: chris dale starting to lead p2
chris dale starting to lead p2
Rock Climbing Photo: lucky streaks
lucky streaks
Rock Climbing Photo: Randy Vogel and Brian Sillasen on Lucky Streaks.  ...
Randy Vogel and Brian Sillasen on Lucky Streaks. ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Before the traverse on pitch 4
Before the traverse on pitch 4

Comments on Lucky Streaks Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 6, 2016
By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
Mar 4, 2007

We climbed this beautiful route one day, and got back to the base in the early afternoon. The Regular route was starting to empty out so we climbed that as well. A fantastic day of climbing!
By Sirius
From: Oakland, CA
Jun 26, 2007

Pitch 5 as depicted here has another hair-raising option that we accidentally did, definitely more committing than the undercling:

Continue directly up the ever-thinning crack, past the undercling exit, using mostly knobs and the occasional good fingerlock. Pro is sparse, thin tcu's. Eventually, just as the thin crack peters out and your runout meter (if it's at all like mine) hits red you'll arrive to what you'll think is your salvation but turns out to be a nightmarishly hollow flake the size of a jumbo dining table. I belayed from here, not recommended - scary, left that belay with more grey hairs on my head. Beyond the flake, a committing traverse up and left past a big hole (runout, falling not an option considering the hollow flake) gets you back to the P6 crack as described above. I probably wouldn't do it again, and wouldn't have done it if I knew what it'd entail, but definitely a pitch I'll not soon forget!
By Randy
Jul 9, 2007
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

One of my favorites and imo far better than the Regular Route.
By Michael Ybarra
From: on the road
Jan 23, 2008

I agree that Lucky is MUCH better than the Regular Route. My favorite climb in the meadows.
By Schoney
From: Joshua Tree
Oct 1, 2008
rating: 5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

I climbed four diff routes up Fairview this summer.....Lucky Streaks had nothing but quality pitches all the way. I recommend going direct to start the 3rd pitch. I got excited sitting @ belays, because the next pitch looks so good.
By Matt Desenberg
From: North Berwick, ME
Mar 10, 2009

Wonderful route! A different experience than the Reg, for sure.
By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From: Bend, OR
Jul 20, 2009
rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

Great route with great pitches.

P1 - No big deal for climbers confident on 5.9 slab.

P2 - Short steep finger crack section that takes any gear you can throw at it. Awkward belay.

P3 - The business pitch. Crux is short and well protected... and I was surprised to see a good hand jam in the middle of it. It seemed to me the "true" crux of the pitch (and route) was the slick 10b
layback move higher up. The gear was fiddly and the moves tenuous. Nice stance for the belay.

P4 - Easy, and definitely not 5.9... 5.7 felt more like it.

P5 - A long, complex pitch. The traverse left is devious and the gear tricky. I ended up face climbing left after a short down climb towards the end of the traverse. A purple C3 came in handy on the traverse. Managing rope drag was tricky, and I used lots of long slings. After the traverse, expect 100' of steep, strenuous 5.9 climbing with bonus rope drag to the belay.

P6 - My partner and I termed this the "ass-crack". Not hard, but not exactly a fun pitch either. Just a long, wide, knobby crack at 5.8. It was 200'++ to the very top.
By Ryan Huetter
From: Mammoth Lakes, CA
Oct 24, 2009

Wear stiff soled shoes! I wore a pair of slippers and my feet were DYING after spending several hours standing on small knobs. Go get er!
By trying hard
From: Sierra East Side
Aug 6, 2010

Good climb. Where bomber shoes (tc pros). Lots of toes on knobs. My calves and toes where sore when I got done, more than usual.
By PumpkinEater
From: Sacramento
Aug 17, 2010

This route is, as I'd heard several times from other climbers, pretty sustained 5.9 with some short 5.10. Don't expect much in the way of cruising jug hauls anywhere on the route. As a result, I was pretty gassed climbing the crack on last (5.8) pitch!

Fyi: There's that option of going 2 ways on pitch 5. My partner led the undercling left which, though scary-looking, wasn't too bad. It also seemed possible to "step-down" earlier from the undercling as ST suggests and use some knobs to access the crack.
By C-Tuttle
Sep 29, 2010

Great climbing!
By e Dixon
From: Durango, Colorado
Jun 17, 2011
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

The "crux" of P3 off the belay protects well and does have a good jam. I agree that the lieback above felt harder, insecure with fiddly gear. Everything else was just good climbing. Great overall!
By Aerili
From: Los Alamos, NM
Sep 13, 2011

Definitely a better route than the Regular but in a whole different category in terms of difficulty, so not exactly comparable.

I thought pitch 1 would be the cruiser lead on this route, but I personally found it to be the most gripping I did (note: I did not lead the crux pitch). I have led several 5.8 R pitches (slab included), but this pitch was tough for me; it requires you to make hard 5.8 and 5.9 moves well above small pro with bad fall potential. Good gear comes only after making the moves. Damn, I was scared!

P2: Supertopo calls it sustained 10a fingers. It's listed here and in Falcon as 5.9. I am unsure which grade is correct, but I found it geared up very well with small cams and small-medium nuts and had several good rests.

All guidebooks call p4 5.9, but I agree it was mostly 5.8 and under. I have no idea where the 5.9 was.

P5 was taxing and sustained 5.9 with some wider, insecure sections as you get higher.

Our 70 m rope was especially useful for the last pitch unless you want to simul-climb or wedge in and body belay in a 5" crack. I placed my #4 earlier on the pitch and thus ran out the wide crack at the top a long distance. It is fairly low angle at this point but still seems possible for slip potential due to rope weight pullage, so just keep trucking and you will eventually reach small cam country.

By Ryan Williams
From: London (sort of)
Sep 14, 2011
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b

The best route we did in the Meadows, much more memorable climbing than the Regular Route.

P1 - Easy 5.9.
P2 - Maybe one 5.10 move
P3 - Awkward, especially placing gear, but the pro is good and there aren't any really hard moves, just sustained stemming and whatnot. Not 10d, but I was tired at the top with burning calves.
P4 - Easy for 5.9, lots of knobs alongside the hand crack.
P5 - Traverse will get your attention and then the corner is sustained. Not too hard, but you're feet will be tired at this point.
P6 - Weird pro since the back of the crack opens up, but there are hidden jugs back there making the climbing easy. A 70m gets you to the top, otherwise you'll have to belay below the "top" and/or simul.

If you have one day in Tuolomne, this route wouldn't be a bad choice. Every foot is good and many of them are great!
By Anders
From: Berkeley
Sep 16, 2011

There's nothing easy about the first pitch. Especially if it's your first pitch of the day. Tricky and heads up.
By 1Eric Rhicard
Aug 17, 2012

First pitch is pretty easy for the most part and relative to pitches farther up the cliff. You will have to think about it though. I knew and it was cool to be climbing a route he did first. In places I knew he had used the same holds and I smiled all the way up the cliff. He was a great guy.
By Evan Riley
From: San Francisco, CA
Sep 3, 2012
rating: 5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

You can link 1&2 with a 70m rope and do this thing in 5 pitches. When linking 1&2 you will come up just short of the standard belay for the start of pitch 3 with a rope stretching 70m of climbing. You can then stop at a comfyish ledge to belay the money pitch and make it to the standard belay for the start of pitch 4.
By Laine Christman
From: Reno, NV
Oct 8, 2012
rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

I would agree with Aerili that this climb is not really comparable to the Reg route. The reg route is full of clean cracks and easy-to-place gear. LS is sustained and requires a hybrid sport-trad technique (finger locks with small edges and smears for feet). The crux of the route for me was finding the small nut placements whilst fighting the pump in my calves. Better than the reg route? No sir, not by a long shot. Still a great route.
By gumbotron
From: Denver, CO
Jul 28, 2013

Pretty much in agreement with the comments here on difficulty and protection. I would heed the supertopo recommendations on extra medium nuts--a few of the pitches are quite long, and I found myself without much for anchor building.

Our feet hurt like hell after this thing--wear something comfy.
By Jordan Collins
From: South Lake Tahoe
Aug 6, 2014

Do yourself a favour. Make sure on the 5th pitch you go left on the undercling traverse and not straight up towards that sketchy looking flake. Why? Because its sketchy. My bud thought it might be a good Idea to try the straight up variation, Ehhh nope. Runout with 100 foot fall potential on 5.7 knob climbing near the top. If you take this route. Please oh please when your on the fringe of pissing your pants on the runout and you get to the flake and think gee this would be perfect for a number 1 or 2. DONT! it will not hold your fall and you could peel that thing off the wall. P6. Last pitch is way long. Save some cams in the finger sizes and a number one for the very top for a belay.
By Karsten Duncan
From: Sacramento, CA
Aug 18, 2014

Saw above poster noted you can link pitches 1 & 2.

You can also link pitches 2 and 3 if you extend pitch one up to where the vertical crack on pitch 2 starts. We had a 70m but seemed like a 60m would be fine too even without simul-climbing.
By anthony.
From: Mountain View, CA
Nov 13, 2015

Speaking of linking pitches, it's also possible to do P4-6 in two rope-stretcher pitches with a 70m rope. For P4, don't stop at the belay before the traverse left (extend your pieces!), keep going and belay at the 5.9 finger section instead (a little bit higher than the optional belay as shown in Supertopo). From there gun it all the way to the top.
By Mike Holley
From: Boone, NC
Dec 5, 2015

Yah feeling Lucky?! You will if you find yourself climbing up this stellar route on a sunny summers day. The 2nd pitch certainly offers the crux of the route however Each pitch offers a unique challenge of its own. Sustained, exposed and beautiful!! A must do multi-pitch of its grade in the area. Far less crowded then its popular neighbor down the Dome. Get excited and get on it!!!
By Gabe Torres
From: San Francisco, CA
Jul 26, 2016

if you're worried about not being able to pull the crux, a 70m rope will get you down from the second pitch (slings on a block) to the bail slings on the first pitch. No need to bring two ropes.
By EJoe
From: Mammoth Lakes, CA
Sep 6, 2016
rating: 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

Can be done in 4 pitches with minimal rope drag via 70m rope. Pitches 1 + 2 barely link if the follower belays 15 feet up (there are plenty of good stances on the low angle ramp). More of a face climb than a crack climb; SuperTopo's "5.10c fingers" description of the crux is misleading.

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