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Fresno Dome aka "Wamello"

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Fresno Dome aka "Wamello" 


Photos: Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 7,000'
Location: 37.454, -119.536 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 19,120
Administrators: M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: Blitzo on Aug 24, 2010
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Cool swimming hole at Fresno Dome

Description 

Fresno Dome was known by the Mono Indians as "the greeting place" ("wah-me-yelo"). John Muir called it "Wamello", now mostly known as Fresno Dome which it is called on the USGS topo map.. Royal Robbins used this area as one of his locations for his Rockcraft School back in the 1970s and pioneered many routes. Most climbs range from 3 to 5 pitches in length. Some my be considered run out by today's standards. A number of shorter sport routes can be found on Zippity-Do-Dah Buttress and Panorama Wall. Willow Creek Wall has a number of bolted slab routes, up to about 100 feet long. The Main Wall, South Face, West Face and Hawk Dome offer multi pitch routes.
The rock is quality Sierra granite, ranging from smooth slab to steep features and chicken heads. Several cracks are also found.
The 7,000 ft. elevation keeps this area fairly cool in summer. Summer and Fall are generally the best time to climb here.
Climbers have been climbing and guiding here for decades and there are still no crowds. I seriously doubt that a guide book or this post will increase impact, besides wouldn't you rather go to Yosemite?
The dome sits high in the hills overlooking Oakhurst and is easily seen from town.
The town it's self is small, but has everything that you would need. There is a Von's and Railey's for food and beer. Rite Aid for cheaper beer. The Dirty Donkey Bar, motels, gas stations, fast food joints and restaurants, my personal favorite being Oka Sushi House. You may also want to try Crab Cakes, Todd's Cookhouse Bar-B-Que, Ol' Kettle Restaurant and Di Cicco's Italian. There's a couple Chinese restaurants. El Cid has okay Mexican food and they serve lengua. Unfortunately one of my all time favorite burger joints, Bigfoot Burgers closed years ago. You can even get tattoos.
The Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino is a 15-20 minute drive south of town, just south of the Town of Course Gold. The casino offers drinking, gambling, music, restaurants, a big buffet and a hotel ($109-$159 per night).



Getting There 

From the town of Oakhurst drive north on Highway 41. About 1/2 mile after you pass the Bass Lake turnoff, turn right on Sky Ranch Road (road 632). Follow this (lots of pot holes, some dirt) for approximately 16 miles (past Fresno Dome campground) until you see the large Fresno Dome trailhead parking sign on your right.


Climbing Season


20 Total Routes


['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',8],['2 Stars',6],['1 Star',5],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',1],['5.7',5],['5.8',1],['5.9',2],['5.10',8],['5.11',3],['5.12',0],['5.13',0],['>=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 Fresno Dome aka "Wamello":
South Pillar   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 4 pitches, 600'   South Face
Whiskey Bill   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13     Trad, 5 pitches, 600'   South Face
Browse More Classics in Fresno Dome aka "Wamello"

Featured Route For Fresno Dome aka "Wamello"
Looking up at the first two pitches from base of the pillar. The first bolt is located just above the tip of the little pine tree.

South Pillar 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b  CA : Southern Sierra : ... : South Face
The South Pillar is the obvious buttress which divides the South Face and the West Face. It offers one of longest climbs on the formation. With lots of easy terrain and good belay ledges, it makes for a fun romp. My brief description only details the path that we took, but many variations exist. Really this climb is best as a "choose your own path" sort of adventure.P1. Near the toe of the pillar are a couple bolts on steep knobby terrain. We began here. I did a 5.10 boulder problem to get up to...[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

Photos of Fresno Dome aka "Wamello" Slideshow Add Photo
Fresno Dome.
Fresno Dome.
Pix Topo of Gold Finger Wall
Pix Topo of Gold Finger Wall
Mike Arechiga on the FA, Golden Eye Arete, 5.10c. It's to the right of Golden Showers on Gold Finger Wall
Mike Arechiga on the FA, Golden Eye Arete, 5.10c. ...
Mike Arechiga on the new, Thunderbold 5.10a, fun route.
Mike Arechiga on the new, Thunderbold 5.10a, fun r...
The Barn at Kelty Meadows.
The Barn at Kelty Meadows.
Mike Arechiga on new fun 5.7 Dr. No at the Gold Finger Wall area
Mike Arechiga on new fun 5.7 Dr. No at the Gold Fi...
Mike Arechiga on the FA of, Bitch Stewie. 5.11d/12a
Mike Arechiga on the FA of, Bitch Stewie. 5.11d/12...
Topo to far right side of Hawk Dome.
Topo to far right side of Hawk Dome.
Fresno Dome. <br />Photo by Blitzo.
Fresno Dome.
Photo by Blitzo.
Little Shuteye Peak in the back ground.
Little Shuteye Peak in the back ground.
Lots of slab. <br />Photo by Blitzo.
Lots of slab.
Photo by Blitzo.
Some beautiful fungus along the trail. <br />Photo by Blitzo.
Some beautiful fungus along the trail.
Photo by Bl...
Cool rock patterns on top. <br />Photo by Blitzo.
Cool rock patterns on top.
Photo by Blitzo.
Fresno Dome rock detail. <br />Photo by Blitzo.
Fresno Dome rock detail.
Photo by Blitzo.
Summit Rocks. <br />Photo by Blitzo.
Summit Rocks.
Photo by Blitzo.
Topo to Hawk Dome.
Topo to Hawk Dome.
Summit view. <br />Photo by Blitzo.
Summit view.
Photo by Blitzo.
Mike Arechiga on the Fresno Dome classic, Whiskey Bill.
Mike Arechiga on the Fresno Dome classic, Whiskey ...
Cool Stuff. <br />Photo by Blitzo.
Cool Stuff.
Photo by Blitzo.
Schrooms on the trail. Only about one inch high. Sorry about the depth of field. <br />Photo by Blitzo.
Schrooms on the trail. Only about one inch high. S...
Local forest. <br />Photo by Blitzo.
Local forest.
Photo by Blitzo.
Michel Forkcray on, Bitch Stewie.5.11+ Family Guy Wall
Michel Forkcray on, Bitch Stewie.5.11+ Family Guy ...
Big schrooms push their way through the duff. <br />Photo by Blitzo.
Big schrooms push their way through the duff.
Phot...
Fresno Dome from the trail. <br />Photo by Blitzo.
Fresno Dome from the trail.
Photo by Blitzo.
Sunset on the west face of Fresno Dome and Hawk Dome.
Sunset on the west face of Fresno Dome and Hawk Do...
Amy Wilkins on, Pokey Bear. 5.8.
Amy Wilkins on, Pokey Bear. 5.8.
The approach on a beautiful fall morning (late October 2011).
The approach on a beautiful fall morning (late Oct...
On the summit of a random, wandering, scary route that may have been an FA.  Either way, great view.
On the summit of a random, wandering, scary route ...
When you see this sign you will know that you are there at the trailhead. <br />Photo by Blitzo.
When you see this sign you will know that you are ...
Topo to Whiskey Bill
BETA PHOTO: Topo to Whiskey Bill
Rock detail. <br />Photo by Blitzo.
Rock detail.
Photo by Blitzo.
Topo of Eraser Head
BETA PHOTO: Topo of Eraser Head
Flowers near the parking lot. <br />Photo by Blitzo.
Flowers near the parking lot.
Photo by Blitzo.
Mike Arechiga on, Golden Showers. 5.11a
Mike Arechiga on, Golden Showers. 5.11a
Topo of Gold Finger Wall
BETA PHOTO: Topo of Gold Finger Wall
Sunset on a beautiful day....who says eight inches of snow means the climbing season is over? (November 2012).
Sunset on a beautiful day....who says eight inches...
Looking north from the approach trail on a fine November evening.
Looking north from the approach trail on a fine No...
Mike Arechiga on, Welcome To Fresno Dome,5.9. Zipa-De-Do-Da Buttress.
Mike Arechiga on, Welcome To Fresno Dome,5.9. Zipa...
Fresno Dome at Kelty Meadows.
Fresno Dome at Kelty Meadows.
Mike Arechiga on a new fun 5.10a route on Hawk Dome.
Mike Arechiga on a new fun 5.10a route on Hawk Dom...
Topo to Family Guy Wall
BETA PHOTO: Topo to Family Guy Wall
Fresno Dome.  <br />Photo by Blitzo.
Fresno Dome.
Photo by Blitzo.
Amy Wilkins on the FA of, Gigady-Gigady. 5.7
Amy Wilkins on the FA of, Gigady-Gigady. 5.7
Mike Arechiga on a super fun 5.9 on the lower part of Hawk Dome.
Mike Arechiga on a super fun 5.9 on the lower part...
Mike Arechiga on the FA of,Bitch Stewie.5.11c
Mike Arechiga on the FA of,Bitch Stewie.5.11c
Comments on Fresno Dome aka "Wamello" Add Comment
Show which comments
By Chris I
From: Fresno, CA
Mar 7, 2012

Climbed here with a buddy last summer. This place has tons of potential, and has been somewhat developed, but with little information and occasionally less-than-great rock quality it is easy to find yourself in a hairball situation. We managed to get into two hairball situations within a couple hours. It was a memorable day and definitely made me realize how great this place could be with a few more bolts and some more beta.

By J. Albers
From: Colorado
Nov 29, 2012

Chris,
I find your comment a bit confusing. First off, the rock on Fresno Dome is absolutely bomber. When you sling a chickenhead here, you could hang a Toyota off of it.

Yes, the information about Fresno Dome is a bit sparse, but it is what is. In some sense it is nice because it holds the crowds at bay, yes? Perhaps try asking around in the local community, surely someone can give you an idea of where to find some route information to get you started.

Moreover, I am not usually one to comment on "more bolts" statements because for the most part, I am not against safely bolting routes (you will likely never hear me screaming that everything needs to be ground up and sparse). That said, Fresno Dome is not a sport crag and it would truly be a shame if it became covered in sport bolted routes. If there was ever a crag to gain your "sea-legs" for runout climbing, Fresno Dome is it. The fact is, most of the runouts (which aren't all that bad to begin with) are done while you are climbing on uber-positive holds on amazingly solid rock....what more could you ask for? If you managed to get into hairball situations, then perhaps you should ask yourself what you did to get there instead of asking for more bolts.

I hope your next trip is a good one and you avoid any more hair-raising experiences. Have a good one.

By andy patterson
Administrator
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Feb 12, 2013

Fresno Dome has exceptionally hard rock. In fact, it vaunts some of the best "chickenhead" climbing anywhere, with bullet-hard patina slabs to boot. I was shocked by how amazing the routes were—and the curious (but not lamented) lack of crowds! This place is a GEM. With great camping, a relatively short drive to town, and gobs of routes at all grades (including lots of potential), Fresno Dome is a fantastic alternative/addition to Yosemite Valley.

I love this place and can't wait to go back!

By mike arechiga
Mar 17, 2013

Mike Arechiga on, The Squeeze Job. 5.10d. Zipa-De-Do-Da Buttress.
Mike Arechiga on, The Squeeze Job. 5.10d. Zipa-De-Do-Da Buttress.

By Max Rosenberg
Apr 4, 2013

I was wondering if any locals knew of the snow condition? Here in Tahoe we still have snow at 7000, seeing if Wamello is dry yet?

By mike arechiga
May 19, 2014

amy and i got a couple new routes on the family guy wall, gigady-gigady. 5.7 and bitch stewie. 5.11d/12a, i will post some pix and topos soon so climbers can check it out, happy climbing mike a.