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Middle Earth 

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

   
Type:  Trad, 5 pitches, 500', Grade III
Original:  YDS: 5.10b/c French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII ZA: 20 British: E2 5b R [details]
FA: Bruce Brossman, Mike Breidenbach, 1985
Page Views: 1,061
Submitted By: Dusty Cams on Sep 16, 2013

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Closures for Peregrine Falcon Protection MORE INFO >>>

Description 

Old-school route, expect run-out (to very run-out) sustained face climbing. Not a great route if you're trying to break in at the grade, but of you are comfy on run-out 5.10 face and crack climbing, this offers some of the best climbing in Tuolumne, hands down. A great example of a 5 star route that is just as quality as many classics, but doesn't get done that often.

Pitch 1: Climb the fist crack for about 40 feet, then up and left in to an unlikely looking crack that had some bushes in it. You can also climb the fist crack to the end, but that makes the crux before the pin harder (and has worse fall potential).

Pitch 2: This is where the first cruxy bit is. This pitch is tough to describe because it wanders around a bit.
Pull the bulge (2 options, both 5.10 and both with crappy fall potential), then clip a fixed pin and move up and right to a bolt (all bolts are new and shiny, thanks ASCA!). Make a long traverse right here--again, a crappy fall for both leader and second. Follow this to the Dike Crack, an awesome thin crack with pretty good feet where you need them. Bolted belay here. If you're a baller and don't place much pro, you can run these two pitches together.

Pitch 3: Another cruxy section, but both protected by bolts. After the second bolt (a tough traverse right) gets you to the tit flake. Pro is good here, but make sure you're placing it behind the thicker parts of the flake, not the thin parts, as pro would probably not hold. You can belay here at the top of the flaky bit (70 feet), or just keep going, which I recommend if you have a 70.

Pitch 4: Head up the obvious hand crack. At this point your mind is probably pretty blown at the quality of the climbing. Supertopo say don't keep going to the big cave as there is no pro, but this is not true, up and left part of the cave has a nice crack for 3 smallish cams or stoppers. Do not belay at the loose block on the right edge of the cave, it is hollow.

Pitch 5: 2 options, go up the dike for the 5.9 R/X version (felt pretty X to me...) or up and right for the 5.8 R version.

As said above, if you have a 70M rope, you can combine this into 3 pitches.

Location 

Starts about 100 feet to the left of the Hobbit Book start--You'll see the right-leaning fist crack, you can't miss it.

Protection 

Take plenty of small stuff, probably a double set to #2 camalot, and 1 #3.


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By Jeff Sewell 1
Jul 10, 2017

FA info incorrect. I climbed it in '81, and it was in no way the FA.

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