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The Widow's Tears Area

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The Widow's Tears Area Rock Climbing 

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Elevation: 5,500'
Location: 37.70879, -119.66569 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Alexey on Oct 22, 2009
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Most of the day in the shade. Consists from The Widow's Tears proper which is ice climbing area in some years in the winter and Tower of Cosmic Wind, which is about 300 yards right from The Widow's Tears.
Tower of Cosmic Wind is on the Buttress which lead to Stanford point via Wind Chill. On this Tower located two stelar routes " Windjammer" and "Windfall"

Getting There 

Take highway 41 from the Valley floor. Park at long very narrow not paved pullout Just before Discovery View. From this pullout you can clearly see fissure of Widow's Tears. For "Windjammer" and "Windfall," cross the road and walk up (no trail) to the right. The creek running from Widow's Tears should be at you left. At some point you will find ducks which lead to the base of "Windjammer." The approach routes are class 3 from the right side as shown in Reid's book. The approach takes about 50 minutes.

For The Widow's Tears proper you walk directly up and than follow the bad of the creek. It will bring you to the base where one rope is fix.

EDIT, September 2012:

Some time after I made route approach description, Cal Trans repaved the road and the old location of "very narrow not paved pullout" is gone - and instead it moved up the road closed to Discovery View and it exactly one mile from junction of hwy 120/41. Now from east end of this new narrow and NOT paved pullout - you can see Tower of Cosmic Wind ( place where Windfall and Windjammer located). Even better view of this formation is from Discovery View east end of Wawona tunnel).

From new not paved pullout 1 mile from hw 120/41 go down and toward the Valley about 150 yards until you see open talus crossing the road. From there go up in direction toward Tower of Cosmic Wind try to approach from right side of the Tower follow the talus and cairns.

Climbing Season

Weather station 5.2 miles from here

6 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',3],['3 Stars',3],['2 Stars',0],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in The Widow's Tears Area

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for The Widow's Tears Area:
Widow's Tears   WI5     Ice, 7 pitches, 1000'   
Windchill   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 13 pitches   
Windfall   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 5 pitches, 500'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in The Widow's Tears Area

Featured Route For The Widow's Tears Area
Rock Climbing Photo: Silver Strand with approximate belays. Jan 2 2015

Silver Strand WI5  California : Yosemite National Park : ... : The Widow's Tears Area
Of all Yosemite's ephemeral frozen waterfalls, Silver Strand might be considered the most "reliable" of the lot, with up to 600 feet of sticky wet ice which can form after a deep cold snap. Plainly obvious from the Tunnel View pullout. Conditions from an ascent in early 2015:P0 - We soloed up some 4th class rock off to the left and traversed over to the base of the ice. P1 - 50M WI4, long pitch to belay on blocky terrain.P2 - 30M WI3, lower angle steps with potential mixed. Belay at base of stee...[more]   Browse More Classics in California

Comments on The Widow's Tears Area Add Comment
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By Alexey
From: San Jose
Jun 18, 2012
Making approach description 3 years ago by myself - I had the hope to find Windfall base in 50 min. Yesterday we took 3 hours of bushwhacking ( more than Hans and Honnold to finish the Nose) and did not find the Tower of cosmic wind.
Returned to the car . Found and explanation-with recent road repayment- Long paved pullout moved up the road about half kilometer - and old one - do not exist anymore.
Aproach deskription need to be rewritten
By Bryan G
From: Yosemite
Jun 20, 2012
I actually tried to go climbing there a week ago and had the same issue. We parked at the long paved pullout on the right side of the road just before Discovery View. The Reid guide mentions hiking up talus and I didn't see any talus above the road, only forest. Also it seemed like we were parked awfully far to the west. We had a late start and it was already too hot to be making a long uphill slog through bushes to a cliff that I wasn't even sure was the right cliff. We opted for an easy day of cragging around the Wawona Tunnel instead.

I will return with better beta and my nerve steeled for a long(ish) approach.
By Rob Dillon
Aug 1, 2012
Eyeball the Tower on the way up, park at the new long pullout, and walk back downhill :( until you are back at the talus field that leads to your destination. Should be 45-50 min. if you get it right.

For added value, continue to Stanford Point via Wind Chill [the obscure Elliott Robinson/Bruce Morris thing] and jog down the trail straight to your car. Don't leave gear at the base if you do this.
By Bryan G
From: Yosemite
Aug 6, 2012
When we went back we used a small dirt pullout on the south side of the road maybe a fifth of a mile before the new paved pullout. From here you still have to walk downhill (toward the Valley) for a ways before heading up into the talus at a totally inobvious point. A short ways up you'll cross an old dirt road and there are cairns that mark the start of the best talus field to take. You're aiming for a little right of the tower actually since all the climbs are approached from ledges that lead in from the right. If you come up directly below the tower you will encounter bushwhacking.

If you are unsure what the Tower of Cosmic Winds is (we had no idea what it looked like) it's the large "tower" looking thing to the right of the Widow's Tears. The Widow's Tears is the pretty obvious bowl/recess which has a seasonal waterfall that comes down the middle of it. 45-50 min approach is about right, but it'll probably feel like longer, haha.

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