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Psychedelic Tree 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 350'
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Bruce Cooke & TM Herbert, 1968
Page Views: 7,767
Submitted By: 426 on Mar 8, 2007

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (75)
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The route on the left is Psychedelic Tree, the one...

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A nice but somewhat dirty route that has a unique topout!

P1-follow steep shallow corners and cracks to a decent ledge.

P2-a short pitch (technical crux) over a small roof to the base of the "Tree"

P3-climb the tree! Step off the top (very airy when windy!!!) of the tree.

Variation: climb 5.11 roof (might be dirty).


100' or so right of the lines on "The Line" lies the start.

Walk off standard east wall descent.

Obvious landmarks are "The Tree" itself.


Standard rack, heavier on smaller stuff. I actually got a 6" tube chock in one time, but it's not very necessary.

Photos of Psychedelic Tree Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Now: No more loose blocks or potential "death...
BETA PHOTO: Now: No more loose blocks or potential "death...
Rock Climbing Photo: Coming up to the belay of the first pitch
Coming up to the belay of the first pitch
Rock Climbing Photo: The tree in all its glory
The tree in all its glory
Rock Climbing Photo: Good look at the tree and steep top section of rou...
Good look at the tree and steep top section of rou...
Rock Climbing Photo: A wild finish variation.
BETA PHOTO: A wild finish variation.
Rock Climbing Photo: Getting into the roof
Getting into the roof
Rock Climbing Photo: Starting up the second pitch
Starting up the second pitch
Rock Climbing Photo: Before: Scary loose blocks and potential "dea...
BETA PHOTO: Before: Scary loose blocks and potential "dea...

Comments on Psychedelic Tree Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 29, 2016
By caughtinside
From: Oakland CA
Sep 4, 2007

We did this climb in 2 pitches:

p1: 190' rope stretcher to the good ledge. This pitch had interesting climbing, but I couldn't enjoy it because everything was LOOSE. I probably tapped about 12 holds that wiggled, and another dozen hollow flakes. I thought this pitch was scary and I only followed it. Tell your belayer to take care in case you accidentally trundle something on them. I hated this pitch.

p2: 130' to the top. This pitch by contrast was great! Only a couple small loose things, and fun climbing with varied movement. At the finish you can either climb the tree or finish on the steep roofs which go at a moderate .9 and protect well, really pretty cool!

I've been told you can do Deviate to the ledge, and so avoid that junky first pitch. I think I'm going to try that next time, because the first pitch stunk and the second pitch was great.
By Bill Kelly
From: Lake Tahoe
May 12, 2008

Happy to report, the Line's "Ugly Sibling" had a facejob. No more loose blocks with "unclear attachment" or potential "life threatening ginsu flake chop" on the first pitch. All gone. In its place a lovely section of stemming opportunity that protects bomber. Now your beloved belayer can stand directly below you with greater peace of mind. Now nothing prevents this route from becoming as popular if not more popular than the Line. P.S. Definitely two pitches not three, in my opinion, first all the way to the ledge, second to the top.

Regarding introductory route description: Climbing the tree is the variation. Turning the roof is no harder than 5.9 and protects well.
By Rick D
From: Reno, NV
May 14, 2009

Climbed this yesterday. Most of the big death blocks have been removed from the first pitch. There are still a hand full of smaller loose blocks, just tap the holds before you pull. There is still a good size loose half way up the second pitch.
By Aerili
From: Los Alamos, NM
Oct 20, 2010
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

This route is simply superb. It is certainly on par with The Line; not quite as clean but much more sustained and with more technical moves. I would argue pitch 1 is more difficult than pitch 1 of The Line, and the first 40 feet requires top notch stemming technique a la Hospital Corner. To make it all the way to the ledge, the climbing will require you to dig deep in your arsenal of mental stamina and, in my opinion, seemed more challenging than pitch 2.

I only encountered two loose blocks on this route, and although they get your blood going at first touch, they are easy to maneuver around.

Call me crazy, but I thought this wild roof was easier than the roof on The Line! And way more fun!!!! This route is definitely one of my new favorite climbs at the Leap.

By Ben Broche
From: San Francisco, CA
Sep 1, 2011

This route is simply stellar, one of the best and most underrated at the Leap. I went up it in fall 2010. There were a couple loose sections on P1 and P2 (check before you go railing off a jug), but really not anything super sketchy.

You do not have to even touch the tree at the top to do this route - not sure if it makes it harder, but there is an absolutely amazing airy mantle finish out rock with great (but blind) pro. I never thought I would do a V0/V1 boulder mantle 500 feet off the ground at the top of a trad climb! The finish makes this fun route simply classic...DO IT!
By Evan Riley
From: San Francisco, CA
Sep 6, 2011
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Climbed in two pitches with a 60 meter rope. The death blocks were off the wall (and on the ground at the base of the route), but the route was still dirty. If cleaned it would be a leap classic.
By fivefun
Jul 22, 2012

This climb is fun and underrated.

We climbed this route today and it is still in need of some cleaning (I'm happy to help with some instruction). A small amount of suspect rock remains but there is definitely enough for safe climbing. I found the first two pitches to be full on 5.8/9 climbing, comprable to The Line. The roof finish was memorable and exciting. Psychedelic Tree is well on its way to being a leap classic.
By M. Morley
From: Sacramento, CA
Jul 29, 2012

Pitch lengths:
P1: 185' to ledge
P2: ~115' to top
By Bill Kelly
From: Lake Tahoe
Aug 30, 2012

First pitch now has a pin at the crux.

This seems unnecessary as area already protects well.
By BruceB
From: Reno, NV
Jun 6, 2013
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

This is an adventurous, alpine like climb.

The first 70 or so feet are still quite dirty with a few creaky blocks. After that it improves noticeably, although you'll still find some dirt and plant life. It hadn't rained for a few days but there was still a bit of water here and there (but not on any other routes we did).

Having said that, this is still a great route. Rarely less than 5.8, with a few 5.9 moves thrown in. A good mix of hand and finger jams, face and dyke holds. You won't find much chalk to highlight the holds.

The double roof is amazing. Lots of exposure and a bit spooky as you can't see what's around each bulge. Definitely a grade harder and more wild and exposed than the roof on The Line. Protects well.
By snowhazed
From: Oakland, Ca
Sep 7, 2013

I just did this for the first time and thought it was classic. If you have any alpine sensibilities, the looseness if casual and inspires more aesthetic climbing. So good.
By Mike McL
From: South Lake Tahoe, CA
Aug 18, 2014

A really nice route that protects well. Climbs better than it looks. The first pitch is long and sustained with plenty of interesting stemming. We took the roof finish to P2 and it was pretty wild.
By Sheets
From: Livermore, CA
Jun 22, 2015
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Finally got on this thing. We pitched it out instead of doing two long pitches since I brought a small rack. The supertopo suggests having a #4 but you really don't need it.

I agree with p1 being harder than p1 of the Line. Nothing really hard on p1, it is just thought provoking & sustained at 5.8 as you climb through some munge & loose blocks. The rest of the climb is pretty cruiser with the roof finish being the best part of the climb.
By Colonel Mustard
From: Sacramento, CA
Jun 14, 2016

I was going to say that this route is just a smidgen less good than it's more famous eponymous neighbor (The Line), but that's not true. It's better. You don't have the line of folks lining up for The Line on this one.

It looks a bit mungy from the start, but the small flora and some moss don't actually impact where the climbing is at. But, sure if you like your climbs shaved bare, I can understand your aversion to the 70s style bush you might find on this route.

It's a pretty consistently fun climb. Splitting it into two pitches (long first, shorter second) is the way to go if swinging the leads, that way everybody gets some glory. The first lead is continuous, fun movement, and the second pitch culminates with a very epic roof for the 5.9 grade. Very nice.
By Michael Dom
From: Seattle
Sep 14, 2016

Best route at the Leap
By wcayler
From: Norther CA
Sep 29, 2016

Climbed Psychedelic tree last weekend. 4 stars for sure. Climbed in two pitches. think that this climb is better than the line or at least just as good. The route is a little more dirty because it is climb less often than the line. I didn't think the second pitch of the line was all that great, a lot of lose stuff and flakes on it, psychedelic is much cleaner and I think the pro is better. The first pitch is probably sustained 5.7-5.8 I don't think there was a 5.9 move on it, but harder than most climbs at the leap that are 5.8 so it could be called a 5.9. I think the second pitch off the belay is the "technical" crux. The moves are much more technical on psychedelic tree were as the line has I think more burly moves. You actually climb the dihedral on psychedelic tree unlike the dihedral on the line, that why I think psychedelic tree is better. The tree was looking pretty dead this last week, I climbed the roof system to the right and that was amazing. It's a very interesting roof system, make sure to extend the pro. Good pro and amazing moves the whole way up!

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