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Sons of Yesterday 

YDS: 5.10- French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a

Type:  Trad, 6 pitches
Original:  YDS: 5.10a/b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 19 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: Tuttle, Davol, & Depasque - 1986
Page Views: 46,928
Submitted By: Josh Janes on Sep 21, 2006

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The last pitch rocks!

Closures for Peregrine Falcon Protection MORE INFO >>>


The "Serenity-Sons" combo may be the best 5.10 crack climb in the Valley... it is just so, so good. Why anyone would do one without the other, I don't know, but since they are technically two separate routes, they are listed as such.

Sons of Yesterday is the flawless continuation of the climb.

P4: Depending on where you belayed, climb a long pitch of easy terrain past a short steep section of 5.10a thin hands to an airy belay perch on a small tree.

P5: A long pitch of 5.9 in a right-facing corner. Belay at bolts.

P6: Steep 5.9 jamming through a little roof. Belay at bolts.

P7: A wild pitch of 5.9 "walking" along a leaning crack leads to a final stretch of 5.8 fists to an anchor. A sweet pitch.

Begin double-rope rapping from here, sometimes on the route, sometimes just left of it, or (preferable) use a recently established rap route to the right of the route which can be descended with a single 60m rope to the top of Serenity Crack.


Standard rack. Include a wide hands piece.

Photos of Sons of Yesterday Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Yes, the crack is that good!
Yes, the crack is that good!
Rock Climbing Photo: Lance Lemke on Valley classic Sons of Yesterday.  ...
Lance Lemke on Valley classic Sons of Yesterday. ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Jason Smith on the Slammer Hands (Pitch 4) of Sons...
Jason Smith on the Slammer Hands (Pitch 4) of Sons...
Rock Climbing Photo: Kirk Hansen on the beautiful upper pitches of Sons...
Kirk Hansen on the beautiful upper pitches of Sons...
Rock Climbing Photo: Angela on the last pitch
Angela on the last pitch
Rock Climbing Photo: The magnificent crack on Sons of Yesterday.
The magnificent crack on Sons of Yesterday.
Rock Climbing Photo: Rapping of Sons of yesterday
Rapping of Sons of yesterday
Rock Climbing Photo: Claudio on the 2nd pitch
Claudio on the 2nd pitch
Rock Climbing Photo: The Valley in shadow: a casual start to the day, n...
The Valley in shadow: a casual start to the day, n...
Rock Climbing Photo: Rapping on SoY/Serenity. Found on the web.
Rapping on SoY/Serenity. Found on the web.
Rock Climbing Photo: Miska Izakovicova on Sons of Yesterday.
Miska Izakovicova on Sons of Yesterday.
Rock Climbing Photo: Another photo found on the web. Credit: M.Morley. ...
BETA PHOTO: Another photo found on the web. Credit: M.Morley. ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Originally posted on AAC Page. Photo Credit: Unkno...
BETA PHOTO: Originally posted on AAC Page. Photo Credit: Unkno...
Rock Climbing Photo: Serenity-Sons Route Overlay
BETA PHOTO: Serenity-Sons Route Overlay
Rock Climbing Photo: Last pitch
Last pitch
Rock Climbing Photo: Cesar from Colombia cruising up the last splitter ...
Cesar from Colombia cruising up the last splitter ...
Rock Climbing Photo: "Walking the tightrope" at the top of pi...
"Walking the tightrope" at the top of pi...
Rock Climbing Photo: The ladies like it.
The ladies like it.
Rock Climbing Photo: Rap route with black lettering. If you use the &qu...
BETA PHOTO: Rap route with black lettering. If you use the &qu...
Rock Climbing Photo: Rappel route that only needs one 60m rope.
BETA PHOTO: Rappel route that only needs one 60m rope.
Rock Climbing Photo: Deterioration of the belay tree from 2005 to 2013....
Deterioration of the belay tree from 2005 to 2013....
Rock Climbing Photo: Serenity and SoY clearly seen as the lichen scrubb...
Serenity and SoY clearly seen as the lichen scrubb...
Rock Climbing Photo: James on the crux pitch. Sons of Yesterday. 1/2012...
James on the crux pitch. Sons of Yesterday. 1/2012...
Rock Climbing Photo: Christina walking the plank. Sons of Yesterday. 1/...
Christina walking the plank. Sons of Yesterday. 1/...

Show All 25 Photos

Only the first 24 are shown above.

Comments on Sons of Yesterday Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Mar 14, 2017
By Darshan Ahluwalia
From: Petaluma, CA
Apr 5, 2007
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Pitch 6 and Pitch 7 can be combined very easily with a 60 meter rope and lots of slings. Done this way, this is the best single pitch of climbing on the entire Serenity/Sons adventure. Save your big cam for the very top of pitch 7.
By Brad G
From: 1994 Honda Civic
Sep 24, 2007

The last pitch of this climb is absolutely fantastic! Great exposure high of the deck.
By Paul Hunnicutt
From: Boulder, CO
Oct 22, 2007
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Some of the best hand jamming I've done in the Valley. You will want a #3 or 4 cam for the finish after the .75 camalot traverse. I didn't have anything and had to run it out to the anchors. Not bad though. Amazing climb. Try to get there early in the morning as the crowds will be there all day long. You can rap this along with Serenity with one 60m rope, but you will have to use some intermediate rap stations along the way (for example the tree right after the 5.6 section anchors). Combine the last 2 for a super amazing pitch.
By Victor Ortenberg
Apr 11, 2008

I just climbed this last weekend and it seems that the pitch description above is a little off.

The easy linking pitch between Serenity and Sons (officially pitch 1 of Sons) ends in a 2 bolt anchor right before the going gets steep again. From there the next pitch is 120' feet to the second tree which has a pin and bolt anchor ritht above. This pitch is sustained 5.9/10a thin hands to fingers and I felt it was overall harder than anything on Serenity Crack. (All the parties we met agreed with that assessment). From here its hand jam heaven to the top.
By Sirius
From: Oakland, CA
May 11, 2008

The pitch Victor's talking about above is, I think, the best pitch of the day. The slammer hands of the last pitches are fun, and the Serenity pitches are great - but the first real pitch on Sons is long, varied, steep, and sustained. It takes all sorts of pro, all sorts of movement, and makes you draw deep into your quill of techniques for fingerlocks, thin hands, sidepulls, balance moves, crimps, high-steps, a fist or two, and plain old endurance.

A classic 120' of Yosemite climbing.

Just because you get through the feather-lite 3 moves of ".10d" below does not mean that you'll waltz this pitch. My opinion: this is the lead you want to on-site; let your partner have those slammer hands up top.
By Jordan Ramey
From: Calgary, Alberta
Mar 21, 2009

The entire route (SOY) and Serenity crack can be rapelled with a single 70 meter rope with an extra rap off the low tree on P2 of Sons.
By Dusty Cams
Mar 31, 2009

If you are climbing this with a 70 meter rope, you can do the climb (the Sons pitches...) in 2 rope stretcher full 70m pitches if you belay from the bolts right before it gets steep--you then climb above the 2nd tree to the next set of anchors--this is exactly 70 meters. Then combine the next 2 to the top! This way you can do the linkup in 6 pitch total (on of which is a transition pitch between the top of serenity (just after the 10d hands) and the steep start at Sons.
By jhump
Jun 28, 2009
rating: 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

In late-May 2009, I witnessed a scary near miss by a party rapelling below me. They were rapping from one of the trees on the first hard pitch of SOY. They were using 2x60 meter ropes. They were simul-rapping, with a hard diagonal to the right, attempting to reach the top of Serenity Crack (the anchor just above the 5.10d). One of them, who was not wearing shoes, was down in the gulley and nearing the anchor, suddenly slipped. He rocketed across the face and whipped out of sight, landing in trees and banging his hip hard on the rock below. He took probably a 100 foot swing and hit hard. His partner then decided to take the same swing to get to his hurting partner. I yelled to them and they said they were OK. They descended from trees and other anchors to the ground.
This scenario seems like it could happen to others. In fact, Supertopo warns of it on their topo. The solution for me is to make a few short single rope raps, while diagonaling right, to avoid the big swing. Be careful out there.
By Aerili
From: Los Alamos, NM
Mar 25, 2010

I agree that Victor's beta on pitch breakdown is more accurate than what is given here by the original route poster.

I also agree with Sirius' summation of p2 (or p1, however you choose to look at it).
By tallmark515
From: San Francisco
Apr 11, 2010

A great route, the last two pitches (especially P5) are spectacular.

Linking Pitch. Easy simulclimb from Serenity belay to the bolted belay. Mostly 4th class and a few easy 5th class moves.
P4. 5.10a mostly thin hands and off fingers, lots of great rests
P5 & P6. Linked both pitches with a 70m rope. A fantastic 200' mega-pitch! Killer splitter hands on P6. 5.9
P7. 5.9 walk up the crack, super fun!
By Daniel Trugman
From: La Jolla, CA
Feb 18, 2011
rating: 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b

Really great route. The last pitches in particular are a joy to climb. I do disagree, however, with some of the above sentiments that the crux pitch on Sons (P2) is comparable in difficulty to the crux of Serenity. While it's true that P2 of Son's is solid at the grade, it's definitely no harder than 10b, and is probably closer to 10a. Sustained but not "enduro" because there are plenty of rests.

My favorite pitches of the day were the last two: crazy-fun 5.8 hands and the awesome "walking-the-plank" traverse.
By Colonel Mustard
From: Sacramento, CA
May 2, 2011
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Agreed, Daniel. Although, maybe it's a hand size thing. I thought the crux pitch on Sons was very cruiser 10a, but my female climbing partner (with obviously smaller hands) thought it was harder than that. Although, Tallmark sums up that pitch up as thin hands/off fingers? I kinda remember some wide jams too. I guess I have to re-climb this route! It'd make sense the wider bits on Sons would seem harder while the 10d would seem feather soft to the skinny finger set.
By King Tut
From: Citrus Heights
Aug 19, 2012
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Some notes on ratings: They are hand, finger and foot size dependent which anyone with Yosemite experience will tell you. Serenity crack was originally "bench mark" 5.11 when first freed (by guys with thick fingers and kletter shoes) but settled down to 5.10d when that was finally established with EBs (the first friction style slippers) and clean pro that is yes, easier to place than pitons on lead. Over time things change as well due to a normal cycle of rock getting better in the short term (generally cleaner, better beta, loose micro flakes and lichen wear away etc) and then get worse in the long term (holds get polished, chalk caked etc).

The varying opinions on ratings for Sons reflect that. The second pitch is clearly 5.10a if you have larger hands/fingers and know the beta for the OW bypass (lieback to a balancy high step. save a 1" tcu for a perfect placement in a splitter out left once you get established on the knobs),and use stems for rests etc. Your one 4" Friend can also be used to protect this section too as well as the top pitch and is worth having, imo. If you think this pitch is 10B go do Gripper, Midterm or (*shudder*) Ahab and re-assess. As posted above if you have thin fingers and uber sticky slippers Serenity is as light a 10d as there is in the Valley. Your mileage will vary on other size cracks higher on the route particularly when your feet are not as happy in those same gym slippers or you are finding insecure jams.

The last pitch has new Beta (walk the plank). When first done it was only envisioned as straight forward thin hands with your feet on the slab. Now that the feet are even better on the slab (lichen/flakes cleaned up) the thin hands at this moderate grade (5.10a) is to be enjoyed. Plus, anyone making it this far should not have a problem. But climb it however you please of course and pass your stoke to others.

Go for the top as the supposed "runout" to the bolt is trivial friction and the route is complete when linked to Awahnee Buttress (technically it is an easier variation to this route). The old bad bolt that was there has been replaced and it is perfectly safe. However bring a shovel if you go for the rim via AB or maybe someone will further clean out other perfect cracks up there (Xanadu, 5.8) that would make the finish to the top truly brilliant and a great approach to Crest Jewel.

We did our epic gardening of the route during a dry December as you have to be aware of traffic below you for safety. Future generations will thank you if you take the time and add a truly clean finish to the rim.


ps Please go for the top of SoY and use the new rap route to the east that starts from the last ledge (pine tree now gone but there are separate bolted anchors all the way to Serenity only needing a 60m rope) to avoid congestion at the trees and resulting damage. Overlay of the rap route posted below.
By Matthias Holladay
From: Durango, Colorado
Dec 15, 2012

I think when we did this years ago, it was called the Ahwahnee Buttress, and while we took it to the top, it involved lots of gardening to get pro in as well as jams.

The "F.A.'s" must've cleaned the thing up extensively, cause it sure looks like a lot different since I was last on it...
By Bryan G
From: Yosemite
Dec 15, 2012

Re: Matthias

The Ahwahnee Buttress route (10d with some aid) is a separate line predating Serenity Crack and Sons of Yesterday, although this whole section of cliff is also often referred to as the "Ahwahnee Buttress". The two routes cross paths and share some belay ledges but are otherwise independent. Ahwahnee Buttress has sunk pretty far into obscurity and I imagine that if you returned today you would find it nearly as vegetated as you remember it, if that's what you climbed.
By JJ Foley
From: San Francisco, California
Mar 28, 2016

Did the linkup this past weekend. For my money the first pitch on Sons is the hardest pitch on the climb. Some insecure thin hands that is a bit steeper than anything lower on Serenity.

Amazing climb. First pitch runout on Serenity is not bad, just move with confidence. This past weekend it was wet and seeping but still was not too bad. Feet are painful but good. Love those fingers on the third pitch!

We did the linkup on one 70 and just had to do a couple more intermediate raps from trees with tat on Sons.
By Mike Holley
From: Boone, NC
Apr 27, 2016

Minus the gut shuddering flatulence caused by a stomach bug I attained somehow in Camp Four the route was super stellar! Got a little windy up there,wink wink, but seriously bring a layer even on hot days.
By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Oct 2, 2016
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

P1/2 and P3/4 can both be linked for a 3-pitch outing on this one. Take some extra red/yellow camalots if doing so, however.
By King Tut
From: Citrus Heights
Oct 14, 2016
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Please join a discussion about adding a separate rap route and possible moving of belays to minimize damage to the trees on route:
By King Tut
From: Citrus Heights
Nov 17, 2016
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

A separate rappel route has been added and should be used to avoid multiple parties rapping on each other and further damage to the trees. Only a single 60m rope is needed to get to all the way to the ground at the base of Serenity crack.

Rock Climbing Photo: SoY rap route overlay.
SoY rap route overlay.

Further re-routing of the route's fixed anchors is being considered and comments are being solicited at the link posted above.

And with black lettering below for those that may have trouble reading the first version:

Rock Climbing Photo: SoY black overlay.
SoY black overlay.

These overlays are easiest to read if you click on the "View full size" then use the little magnifier to clearly see.
By Dan Ressler
Nov 28, 2016

Got broiled on route. Trip report here.
By Rude Boy
From: San Francisco, CA
Mar 14, 2017

It only gets better the higher you go! The left leaning 10a crack on the penultimate pitch can be walked up with slight lieback technique. So fun and easy if done this way. Easiest 10a ever!

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