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El Capitan Base Routes

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Ahab T 
Bluffer, The T 
Captain Hook, Left T 
Captain Hook, Right T 
Delectable Pinnacle, Right  T 
El Cap Tree T 
Footstool, Right, The T 
Freeblast T 
Gollum T 
Hardly Pinnacle T 
Indubious Battle T 
La Arista T,S 
La Cosita, Left T 
La Cosita, Right T 
La Escuela T 
Little John, Left T 
Little John, Right T 
Mark of Art T 
Masquerade/Call Me Ishmael S 
Moby Dick T 
Moby Dick, Left T 
Party Mix T 
Peter Left T 
Peter Pan T 
Pine Line T 
Pterodactyl Terrace, Left T 
Pterodactyl Terrace, Right T 
Reeds Leads T 
Sacherer Cracker T 
Salathe (pitch 1) T 
Seedy Leads T 
Short But Thin T 
Simulkrime T,TR 
Slack ( center), The T 
Slack, Left, The T 
Sparkling Give-away T,S 
TRON S 
West Buttress (pitch 1&2) T 

El Capitan Base Routes  


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Location: 37.7286, -119.6371 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 141,296
Administrators: M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Sketchy Sam on Jul 13, 2006
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Worn rap rings, removed from the tree atop Pine Li...

Description 

The base of El Capitan is home to numerous dreamy classic climbs to cut your teeth on while gazing up at the Big Stone.

Getting There 

Park in El Cap Meadows area and hike the trail up to the base. Figure on about 10 minutes for the approach.

Climbing Season



Weather station 3.2 miles from here

38 Total Routes

['4 Stars',7],['3 Stars',19],['2 Stars',10],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',1]
['<=5.6',1],['5.7',5],['5.8',3],['5.9',4],['5.10',15],['5.11',9],['5.12',0],['5.13',1],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for El Capitan Base Routes:
La Cosita, Left   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 1 pitch   
Pine Line   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   
El Cap Tree   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b C2     Trad, Aid, 5 pitches, 400'   
Little John, Left   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   
Gollum   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad   
Little John, Right   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad   
Moby Dick, Left   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 2 pitches   
Simulkrime   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 200'   
Peter Pan   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 3 pitches, 300'   
La Cosita, Right   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch   
Sacherer Cracker   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 150'   
Ahab   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 155'   
Moby Dick   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 150'   
Salathe (pitch 1)   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 160'   
Hardly Pinnacle   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   
Mark of Art   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 110'   
Short But Thin   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 40'   
La Escuela   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Trad, 3 pitches, 220'   
Freeblast   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Trad, 10 pitches   
TRON   5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c PG13     Sport, 1 pitch, 150'   
Browse More Classics in El Capitan Base Routes

Featured Route For El Capitan Base Routes
Rob Eison follows the first pitch of the Salathe.

Salathe (pitch 1) 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b  CA : Yosemite National Park : ... : El Capitan Base Routes
For the El Cap base routes, the first pitch of the Salathe provides a superb pitch that is technical, well protected and one of the best lines at the base. Locate the start by finding the line that usually is waiting for this one, near the point on the approach trail where you head left to get to Moby Dick. The start is 5.6 climbing up a groove / crack that if you can avoid placing gear in will minimize rope drag further up. Head toward a pair of thin cracks that wander up the vertical face an...[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

Local Information for El Capitan Base Routes
Photos of El Capitan Base Routes Slideshow Add Photo
Frank Brown on "Moby Dick Center". Photo...
Frank Brown on "Moby Dick Center". Photo...
After a day of cragging at the base, go around the...
After a day of cragging at the base, go around the...
Tough living....
Tough living....
Looking on up
Looking on up
The El Cap Base page could use some more photos.
The El Cap Base page could use some more photos.
Not really a route, but a cool shot of the Alcove ...
Not really a route, but a cool shot of the Alcove ...

Comments on El Capitan Base Routes Add Comment
Show which comments
By Greg Smith
From: Canon City, CO
Aug 3, 2007
Can anyone tell me how to add a route on this page? One of my favorite climbs "The Mark of Art" branches off this climb right before the offwidth and continues straight up for another 70 ft. It is awesome!
Greg
By M.Morley
Administrator
From: Sacramento, CA
Aug 3, 2007
Greg, just click the "Add Route" button above.
By Bryan G
From: San Jose
Apr 2, 2011
"When do these climbs typically dry out? I'm hoping to get on some the end of April..."

The El Cap base is climbable year-round. A handful of routes will get hit by seasonal runoff coming down from the rim, but most of the climbs dry out pretty quick. After a major rain storm it usually takes a couple days of sun. After a snow storm it can take a week or longer for things to get dry, depending on how much snow gets dumped. Watch out for falling chunks of ice and be aware there is an increased chance of major rockfall following any storm. But in general the El Cap base is one of the best cragging spots in the Valley proper during the fall, winter, and spring.
By Eric T.
From: St. Augustine, Florida
Apr 3, 2011
Rad, thanks for the beta Bryan!
By Countzen
Oct 13, 2014
Beta for Alcove Swing:
As of few weeks before October 2014 it's been cut and shortened. :(

I heard some douches tried to get five people on it at once and core-shot the rope after slamming back into the slab part.

Rope from the alcove stance
Rope from the alcove stance


Rope from the base of alcove.
Rope from the base of alcove.
By Vlad S
Oct 14, 2014
Yeah, hiked up to the alcove swing last week for nothing. Shame on you people, who did this. The rope was pretty much new and bomber just when I was there in May.