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Dope Ninja 

YDS: 5.10b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b

Type:  Sport, 6 pitches, 600'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: Dane Bass & Matt Greco & Ralph Vega 2004
Page Views: 3,833
Submitted By: Charles Konopa on Dec 18, 2007

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (36)
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Marga Powell starting up the third pitch.


P1: Climb ramp up to first bolt and pull roof. Some more climbing takes you to a 3 bolt anchor. 80 feet 5.7

P2: Follow closely spaced bolts up more difficult terrain. (Notice additional rap anchors off to right as an option to get down.) You will reach a stance below an intimidating roof. The anchors are at the top. 140 feet. 18 bolts plus anchor (though we skipped one of the bolts shortly before the roof). 5.10b

P3: The crux comes quick off the belay. Slab and/or arete climb up thru reachy crux and work your way to the right and then up following the bolts. 12 bolts plus anchors, 90 feet 5.10b.

P4: Start by going up over small roof. At the sixth bolt, start traversing left. You will feel more like a mountaineer on this part, but keep following the bolts as they will lead you to a nice belay. 14 bolts plus anchors, 110 feet 5.6. The belay here has two anchors, take your pick, but the one on the left is meant for the rappel into the meadow for you to scramble over back to the anchors of the pitch below.

P5: Pull big moves off big holds to start the pitch at 5.8, then continue to step your way up the arete, finding tougher sections along the way. Yes, the anchors are obvious when you get there. 90 feet 5.9.

P6: From the belay at the top of pitch 5, move belay about 30 feet across ledge to another set of anchors. Climb up steep rock to the top out. Two slinged draws are useful on this pitch: one for the first bolt, and another higher up (obvious). 90 feet 5.7 but I had some trouble with it because my hands were raw from the sharp rock.

Descent: One option is to rap the route you just climbed...yah, seems difficult after all that traversing. Or do what we did and rap Snott Girlz. At the summit, you will find the anchors to Snott Girlz about 6 feet around the corner. The raps go down and to the left (as looking at the wall). Some of the raps have more of a pendulum than others. The last rap down a 60 meter rope won't make it, so use an anchor about 30 feet lower and a little to your left.


Before reaching the cattle guard gate to pay, turn left and follow a trail up the left side of a small rock cliff with some red painted 51 on it. Follow the trails up and right to get on top of this cliff. You will then be at the start of Dope Ninja. The first bolt is at the top of the ramp. The second bolt is on the roof.


20 quick draws, some slinged draws come in handy.

Photos of Dope Ninja Slideshow Add Photo
Another aesthetic line
Another aesthetic line
Kelly after pulling the 5.6 roof on pitch 4 of Dop...
Kelly after pulling the 5.6 roof on pitch 4 of Dop...
Mike Amato starting up the fifth pitch.
Mike Amato starting up the fifth pitch.
Pitch 6 of Dope Ninja.  Notice the use of two slin...
Pitch 6 of Dope Ninja. Notice the use of two slin...
Pitch 2:  A long route with many bolts.  The crux ...
Pitch 2: A long route with many bolts. The crux ...
Pitch 1  The backpack is clipped into the first bo...
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 1 The backpack is clipped into the first bo...
Mike Amato following the sixth pitch; Christa Clin...
Mike Amato following the sixth pitch; Christa Clin...
Marga Powell on the arete on the fourth pitch.  Fr...
Marga Powell on the arete on the fourth pitch. Fr...
View of the beginning of the traverse (from the en...
View of the beginning of the traverse (from the en...

Comments on Dope Ninja Add Comment
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By Ron Olsen
From: Boulder, CO
Jan 5, 2008
rating: 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

A fun adventure sport-climbing route with a mountaineering feel. Here are my notes from our climb in Feb. 2007:

  • Finding the start can be tricky -- it's not really on the Mota Wall; it starts well down canyon. We made a mistake and went to the Mota Wall, and started climbing the left-most route. This actually was "I Believe I Can Fly", not Dope Ninja. Some locals told us we were on the wrong route. We came down and spent the next hour wandering around trying to find the correct start.

  • Here's how to find the start: Look for a 30'-high pillar next to the gravel wash, on the left side between the tin-roof pavilion and the entrance gate. Scramble up past the left side of the pillar to get to the start of the route. Identify the start by spotting the first two bolts shown in Photo.

  • The second pitch is harder than the 5.9+ rating shown in the guidebooks. It felt about 10b/c -- about as hard as the start of the third pitch.

  • Bring some longer runners to keep down rope drag; you'll need these on the fourth pitch. You may also want to skip some clips on the traverse.

  • The hand-and-finger cracks on the sixth pitch felt more like 5.9 than 5.7 to me.

  • A 70m rope is useful if you want to rappel the route. Here's what we did:

1. Rappel from the summit to the top of p5.
2. Rappel from the top of p5 to the top of p4. 70m rope needed. You might be able to do this rap with a 60m rope and a bit of downclimbing, but it looked sketchy to me.
3. Rappel from the top of p4 to a garden area directly below. Traverse up right through a notch to the top of p3.
4. Rappel from the top of p3 to the top of p2.
5. Rappel from the top of p2 to the top of p1. 70m rope needed, or use intermediate anchors and do two rappels.
6. Rappel from the top of p1 back to the start.
By M.Morley
From: Sacramento, CA
Jan 5, 2008

A little disappointing - an OK route but not a classic in my book. Watch for loose rock on the traversing pitch.
By gblauer
From: Wayne, PA
Jan 20, 2009

The second pitch is much harder than the "9" rating. That said, it's not all that hard. I found the 10b pitch pretty hard/reachy (just one move).

Overall: This is a very interesting climb. very different climbing during the "alpine" section. I would do this climb just to have that experience. We did Snot Girlz the day before and then did this climb. They climb the same Gendarme, but on opposite sides. It was really fun to see the differences in the rock/climb. We rapped off of Snot Girlz. I think rapping Dope Ninja would be a nightmare!
By KirkH
From: Austin, TX
Mar 17, 2009

Never rap this route unless you really need to. Snot Girlz is the standard decent.

Not a good route to do unless you are used to climbing the Potrero.
By Richard Fernandez
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Nov 21, 2009
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

Did the route, had a blast, the final 5.7 pitch is fantastic climbing, 5.7,5.9 whatever, it's a stellar pitch. Moutaineering with sport bolts, fun fun fun. We rapped the route, you can learn a lot by doing this, don't be lame and short change your self on this valuable experience.