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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 
West Buttress (pitch 1&2) T 

El Capitan Base Routes  

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 37.7286, -119.6371 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 132,799
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...


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',6],['3 Stars',19],['2 Stars',11],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',1]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for El Capitan Base Routes:
Pine Line   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   
La Cosita, Left   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 1 pitch   
El Cap Tree   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b C2     Trad, Aid, 5 pitches, 400'   
Gollum   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad   
Little John, Left   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   
Little John, Right   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad   
Peter Pan   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 3 pitches, 300'   
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'   
Moby Dick   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 150'   
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'   
La Cosita, Right   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch   
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'   
Sparkling Give-away   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   
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   
Browse More Classics in El Capitan Base Routes

Featured Route For El Capitan Base Routes
The line begins at the tree against the wall on the right and finishes at the climber.

TRON 5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c PG13  CA : Yosemite National Park : ... : El Capitan Base Routes
Tron is a new route put up in the summer of 2010. It climbs beautiful squeaky clean orange and grey El Cap granite to the top of a feature called negative pinnacle.Although the angle is less than vertical, it climbs much more like a face climb than a slab climb, using edges, sidepulls, mantles, and even a few pockets.The first crux is a dynamic hand-foot match between bolts one and two, with the true crux on hard sidepull moves between bolts two and three just above. Above that, interesting clim...[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

Photos of El Capitan Base Routes Slideshow Add Photo
Frank Brown on "Moby Dick Center". <br />Photo by Blitzo.
Frank Brown on "Moby Dick Center".
Photo by Blitzo...
After a day of cragging at the base, go around the corner and have a swing on the rope in the Cave...  5/09.
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 rope swing at the base of El Cap.
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!
By M.Morley
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!