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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 

Little John, Right 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- British: HVS 4c

Type:  Trad
Consensus:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Jack Turner and Royal Robbins, April, 1962.
Page Views: 3,908
Submitted By: Blitzo on Oct 25, 2006

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Rapping down Little John, Left.


About 120' uphill from Moby Dick-Right Side is this 160 foot slab with a tree at the top.
This climbs a right facing corner with a small roof, 20' up. Continue up to a belay.
Continue up cracks to "The Improbable Traverse", to the left.
Belay at the base of a shallow, flared dihedral, leading to the top.


Pro to 2.25".

Photos of Little John, Right Slideshow Add Photo
Chuck leading near the top of pitch 3, almost at the huge ledge.
Chuck leading near the top of pitch 3, almost at t...
Charles coming around the corner on pitch 2.
Charles coming around the corner on pitch 2.
noal leading pitch two.
noal leading pitch two.
Kelly leading pitch 2, approaching the improbable step across.
Kelly leading pitch 2, approaching the improbable ...
Looking down pitch 1.
Looking down pitch 1.
Having fun on pitch 3.
Having fun on pitch 3.
Josh making the traverse on pitch 2.
Josh making the traverse on pitch 2.
Ben Karin jamming the awkward flaring crack on the third pitch on an unusually warm evening in December.
Ben Karin jamming the awkward flaring crack on the...
Comments on Little John, Right Add Comment
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By Christian "crisco" Burrell
From: PG, Utah
Oct 11, 2008

Funny how the traverse is called "improbable." We thought it was pretty simple. Fun climb (first pitch was just so-so) to a perfect ledge.
It makes you almost feel like you are really on the big guy. But then you hear someone WAY up above you yell something and it puts you back in your place.

By jpvandever
From: San Francisco, CA
Apr 6, 2009
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c

Fun and challenging 5.8 climb. If belaying at the bolted anchors above the first pitch (Supertopo belay), be sure to extend pieces low on P2 to avoid rope drag once you get to the traverse. Leader can protect the "improbable" traverse for second by placing cam high in second vertical crack, midway across the P2 traverse. Can rappel from top of third pitch using bolted anchor and chains at the left end of the ledge (above Little John, left) with a 60m rope down to 3rd class ledges, or all the way to the ground with a 70m rope.

By seldoon
From: California
Dec 31, 2011

The last hand crack to the top is awesome fun. There is a fixed cam where you make the second pitch traverse.

By Colin Brochard
From: San Francisco
Mar 3, 2013

I missed the p2 traverse! Climbed to the top to that death triangle at the top of the fingercrack/layback. There's one good bolt, two rusty nuts and one rusty bolt all teathered together w/ some tat.

That's a pretty killer pitch in it of itself; would be even more killer w/ some bonafied rap rings at the top ;). Anyone know if it's got a name? How about 'little john lost'?

By Yosemitesam
Apr 17, 2013

The crux on the first pitch is a little strenuous, but well protected and only a couple moves to a nice rest.
Found the "improbable traverse" not so improbable. Follow the finger crack to its end. Pop a piece in the corner and then step left on the only foothold around...
Last pitch is fun. More awkward than it looks, but not for long.
Good stuff here!