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Tollhouse Rock
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Art Baker Memorial T 
At Your Leisure S 
Balls T,S 
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Friday the 13th T 
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Sunset Strip S 
Think Nothing Of It T 
Tollhouse Traverse T 
True Grip T 
Uncorner, The TR 
Wandering Taoist T,S 
Wish Sandwich T 
Unsorted Routes:

Tollhouse Traverse 

YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a

Type:  Trad, 4 pitches, 600', Grade II
Original:  YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a [details]
Page Views: 12,567
Submitted By: ClimbandMine on Jan 29, 2006

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BETA PHOTO: Tollhouse Traverse (5.5) and 5.7 option. Lots of p...


From the parking area at the top of the Sunday slabs, descend the trail to the bottom of the Sunday/Saturday slabs, and hike west about 300 yards below the face below and past an obvious half-circle shaped flake. A left leaning flake, 200 feet high is the start for a number of routes. The Tollhouse Traverse is the large left-leaning groove/crack system on the left side of this flack. Follow it for two and a half pitches (bolted belays), then choose to climb bolted slab, the right-leaning dihedral, or climb over the dihedral to slab. The final pitch is 3rd-4th class.


One set of cams to 4", one-two sets of nuts. The occassional bolt.

Photos of Tollhouse Traverse Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Tollhouse Traverse Classic and incredibly awesome,...
Tollhouse Traverse Classic and incredibly awesome,...
Rock Climbing Photo: Right after the notorious mantel
Right after the notorious mantel
Rock Climbing Photo: A great place to learn to simul. Derek starting it...
A great place to learn to simul. Derek starting it...
Rock Climbing Photo: Tom Slater and Brian Utterback on the T.T.
Tom Slater and Brian Utterback on the T.T.
Rock Climbing Photo: Brian B about halfway up on the first pitch of the...
Brian B about halfway up on the first pitch of the...
Rock Climbing Photo: The third pitch, starting the 5.7 bolted slab opti...
The third pitch, starting the 5.7 bolted slab opti...
Rock Climbing Photo: Money Shot
Money Shot
Rock Climbing Photo: The Approach From The Top
The Approach From The Top

Comments on Tollhouse Traverse Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jul 7, 2017
By M. Morley
From: Sacramento, CA
Jan 31, 2006

An undeniable classic for the grade. If I'm remembering correctly, it's been climbed in roller skates!
By Brian Borowicz
From: Visalia, CA
Feb 1, 2006

If your in the area this is a must do route!
By Slater
Feb 15, 2006

An awesome route, with two fun options to finish with: A Nutcracker-style mantel, or a classic book. Both finish at the same anchors.
By Wade Griffith
Apr 19, 2006

Somebody supposedly lead it on rollerskates while the follower did it in X-country skis. We used to chain up at least 15 to 20 people in a mass simulclimb assault when the Tollhouse Face Off was still happenin in the 90's. Whatever happened to the Face Off? Any other local climbing gatherings still happenin in the area?
By Dave Daly
From: Kernville, CA
Jan 26, 2009

Used to do "laps" on this one.....9 laps in one afternoon. Did a car-to-car from the Hang Glider Slab: 20 min 12 seconds.

Oh, and for those interested......Mark Hammond (lives in Fresno) did one of the first ascents using roller skates. Still active (63 years young) and member of the SSCA.
By Aaron Formella
From: Atascadero, CA
Jul 11, 2009
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

Very fun and certainly classic! I've climbed this route four times. Three of the times I've taken the spicy mantle move over the wall toward the end, the other time I followed along the same wall that forms the book. I think the mantle move is definitely a higher grade than 5.5. Perhaps 5.7ish? Following the inside corner of the book continues along as 5.5

By GG Park
From: Santa Cruz, CA
Oct 28, 2009

I concur with Aaron's previous post. The mantle move is straight-forward, airy, fun and should not be missed. It's also 5.7.
By Schiffhauer
From: Bakersfield
Jun 24, 2010

"Follow it for two and a half pitches (bolted belays)" ...this is misleading, unless someone considers a single bolt a bolted belay.

Bolted belays are at the top of the 2nd and 3rd pitches.
By Brian Snider
From: NorCal
Feb 13, 2011
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Full 60 meter rope required. Used pink tricam and a .75 c4 for belay at p1. P2 and p3 where solid new bolts. Mantle finish is defenitly 5.7 but looks even bigger after climbing low angle slab and crack for two pitches.
By Chris I
From: Fort Collins, CO
Jul 1, 2011
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

Made it to the area for the first time and opted to solo this route. Wow, awesome climbing the whole length. I got to the corner with the 3 summit options and got a little confused. The dihedral was looking pretty blank so I opted for the 5.7 mantle finish. Airy indeed! Does the dihedral offer some decent holds because it was looking too blank for my liking... especially at that height.
By jomey
From: Cottonwood Heights, UT
May 29, 2012
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

Doable in three pitches with a 70m rope, if you don't use any of the bolted anchors and run it out on every pitch. There are lot's of opportunities to build a natural anchor.

Sad to see that there are bolts on the first pitch next to a perfect crack.

Agree, that the mantel move is not 5.5.
By Unassigned User
May 29, 2012

There is a bolted belay on the first pitch as well. As you go up the slanting crack there is a bolt in between the two cracks, cut across there to the second crack and go up maybe 15 feet. There are two shiny fresh bolts. Or you can continue up the first crack to a ledge where there are two bolts as well. This is a part of the climb next door to tollhouse. If you belay from there you then have a spicy unprotected traverse to the next crack and it leaves your follower in a sketchy situation.
By Jared Guglielmo
From: Tucson, Arizona
Jun 11, 2012

Amazing climb! There is a bolted belay on first pitch now. 60 meter rope makes it to every bolted belay so no need to build anchors or bring a 70 unless desired. Did 3 pitches, the part to summit after the 3rd is nothing. Relaxed climbing with an awesome move over the dihedral (5.7ish)... I loved it!
By sibylle
From: Colorado
Apr 15, 2013
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

We simul-climbed the first two pitches. If many people think the mantel is 5.7 (I agree that it is); shouldn't the climb be rated 5.7? After all, the purpose of a guidebook is to inform people who've never been to the area, and to indicate which climbs they can do safely.
What if two visiting climbers, who can only lead 5.6, come here and try to climb this? They could be in trouble at the mantel ... although I did place gear above it and it could be aided if necessary.
By J. Albers
From: Colorado
Apr 15, 2013


The reason people grade TT 5.5 is because the original route exits to the climber's left at the top of the dihedral (you then finish on 4th class up and left). The 5.7 finish is a variation.

By powderfinger
From: san mateo
Apr 22, 2013

Sibylle is referring to the standard finish with the mantel over the dihedral and 4th class climbing to the top not the 5.7 bolted runout friction pitch of Elephant's walk.
By sibylle
From: Colorado
Apr 23, 2013
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

The guidebook states that the 4th pitch goes over the mantel - so I did the mantel. I'm not sure what you mean by exit "left" - doesn't the corner head up and right before the mantel?

We climbed the route as a way to reach the top at the end of the day. But I'm concerned about beginning climbers who get onto the route, which looks (and is) easy down low, and then are stymied at the mantel.
The beta photo here shows the route going over the mantel, and it also says:
" starting the 5.7 bolted slab option to the right of the dihedral"
If the slab option's 5.7, and the mantel is 5.7 ... how do we end up with a 5.5 climb?
By Will Rynes
From: Grovetown, GA
Apr 25, 2013
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

I might be way off base here but I remember there being essentially 3 ways to finish the route. The 5.7 mantle over the dihedral, the 5.7 bolted line out to the slab on the right which I believe is actually part of elephant walk and then instead of mantling the right facing dihedral on the third pitch you continue working up the dihedral until you arrive at the ledge with the anchor for the top of p3 which will be on your left. I believe continuing up the dihedral goes at 5.5 and is the original variation of the route, thus the 5.5 rating. At least that's what I'm going with.
By Daren
Jul 11, 2013
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Love this route!! The approach to get down to the route is sketchy if you take the wrong turn as its along the top of some other climbs, so make sure you stay to the designated trail head and don't fall down the slabs!

The climb is awesome! Great for new trad leaders, the top (second to last pitch) where the mantle is, caught me by surprise as it doesn't seem like a 5.5 move but you can aid it with some TCU's if needed to avoid the fall as it takes small pro prior to the mantle.

On the last pitch a giant rock fell down and nearly took my buddies head off.. a piece busted his toe, I think someone threw a rock off the top as there were local workers pulling weeds and a big fresh boot print at the top of the climb..

As for the 4x4 trail - even a 4x4 would struggle on parts of that trail! Dont risk it with a 2wd, you can park on the bottom of the trail and hike your stuff up if needed its only about 1/4 mile to get to the camping area.

Have fun!!
By Scott O
From: California
Sep 30, 2013

It's good, but "best 5.5 in the country" good? I think not. The second pitch is very good, and the mantle is a fun move, but really it's not as remarkable as the hype. Worth doing, great climb for beginners, but not a "must do" climb. The mantle is right at 5.5. Also, what's with the bolts right next to perfectly good cracks?
By Austin Archer
From: Bishop, Ca.
Jul 20, 2014

This was my very first rock climb in 1994.
By euthyphro
Feb 15, 2016

The 2nd pitch offers a really good climb for someone to practice jamming technique as the low angle and holds outside of the crack ease the learning curve. After having done this a handful of times, I think there are at least 2-3 5.6 moves, especially the 3rd pitch ceiling/mantle, which protects very well with small nuts but is height and flexibility dependent.

The first time I climbed this route I was very confused as to the new-looking bolts placed right next to decent cracks (or within body length of excellent placements). Evidently bolts have been there awhile as they are shown in my 1993 Moser/Vernon/Hickey Southern Sierra guide. Still, pretty unnecessary- even for the belays which can be constructed on gear.
Rock Climbing Photo: First pitch bolt next to decent placements
First pitch bolt next to decent placements
By nickehman
From: Fresno, CA
Mar 8, 2017

Did ten laps on it today (in ~4hrs)! So good. Also had a couple sub-20 base to base times. Pretty sweet natural stairmaster! Lives up to all the hype in my mind!
By C Brooks
From: Fresno, CA
Jul 7, 2017

Disagree with the above posting. This climb is EASY, and 5.5 is not a sandbag. Going over the roof with the mantel is only 5.5, not 5.7.
This is the definition of a beginner trad climb.

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