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Knob Hill
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Pot Belly 
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Pot Belly 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI British: HVS 5a

Type:  Trad
Consensus:  YDS: 5.8+ French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Bill Griffin, Bruce Price, 4/73.
Page Views: 1,500
Submitted By: Blitzo on Sep 27, 2006
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BETA PHOTO: Pot Belly Route at Knob Hill in Yosemite.
Fifi Buttress To Close! MORE INFO >>>


This is the first climb that one comes to upon reaching the cliff.
It follows a crack that doesn't reach the ground. Either undercling in from the left or do tricky slab moves up to the crack. Follow this crack (5.7) to a ledge with two bolts.
A second pitch can be done. Move left from the ledge and up a 5.9 crack. This pitch is seldom done and not that good.


Pro to 2". Bigger for second pitch.

Photos of Pot Belly Slideshow Add Photo
Jerry leading Pot Belly. <br /> <br />Photo by Sandra
Jerry leading Pot Belly.

Photo by Sandra
Pot belly takes the face to the wide crack and then onto the crack on the right side.
BETA PHOTO: Pot belly takes the face to the wide crack and the...
Sandra on the nice, low angle hand crack.
Sandra on the nice, low angle hand crack.
Pot Belly Hand Crack
Pot Belly Hand Crack
Comments on Pot Belly Add Comment
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By Matt Lundy
Apr 9, 2007
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b

I was up here in April '07 and I didn't notice any bolts. You can easily set up a TR anchor with a #1 and #4 Camalot. There is also a wedged rock you can sling. Try the thinner crack that slants diagonally left (10a fingers) while on toprope.

By brodent
Nov 10, 2007

Yes, when I was there Nov. 6, 2007 the two bolts had been removed.

By Bill Olszewski
From: Colorado Springs, CO
May 15, 2009
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a

Decent climb but short. The face moves to gain the crack are slick - 5.9. The transition feels 5.7 but the rest of the crack is easy.

By John Ely
From: DC
Oct 13, 2009

If you take the left hand crack after the face, there is one really exciting but protected 5.9 mantle move.

By Mark P Thomas
From: Oakland
Dec 15, 2010
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c

These comments make me feel better about climbing so poorly on 5.8 slab. After sliding/falling 3 times on the start when leading, I chose the undercling variation, which is much more manageable (although it would be ugly if you fell near the end, as if your feet popped out on the slick granite, you would smash your face into the undercling lip before you fell to the ground). I could do it on TR, but it felt really hard! Perhaps it has gotten slicker over the years?

Ditto about the crack above. I couldn't find the bolts, and attempted to climb this crack thinking that maybe the bolts were higher. That crack has an intense lieback on corroding granite covered in lichen. Fell once on that from my feet ripping off some exfoliating granite before deciding it was a dumb idea to continue up it due to the unknown terrain, cruddy rock, and ledges to hit if you fell.

From: Portlandia, OR
Jun 13, 2011
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b

Don't overthink the bottom start. Get a running start and hit the jug below the crack. Best done in approach shoes. Undercling is 5.7 at most. When in doubt, follow the path of least lichen/black granite!

By Nick Zmyewski
From: Newark, Delaware
Oct 7, 2011
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c

The start feels like hard 8 or 9 slab, then the crack is 7ish. good to practice your slab edging

By Kevin Heckeler
From: Upstate New York
Oct 10, 2011
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c

The beta from locals has the right hand crack at 5.8, and the left finger crack at 5.9 No bolts. I think the supertopo guide had the same grade(s).

By Topher42
Nov 12, 2013

Pot belly is 5.7!!! not 5.9 thats ridiculous, just because it has tricky slab move