BETA PHOTO: Razor Back seen from the approach trail on top of ...
Razor Back is the ridge line and wall situated between Fairview Dome to the south and Marmot Dome to the north. It faces north-northwest, and thus is a reasonable choice for sunny weather.
Until recently, Razor Back had only a few routes; most of these are substantially runout over aging quarter inch bolts. Recently, however, Bryan Law, Linda Jarit, and Greg Barnes have established a handful of new routes. The routes here are of high quality and climb all manner of Tuolumne rock; expect to pull on knobs, smedge, friction, and mix it up with the occasional flake or crack.
The FA's here have done a wonderful job of putting up routes that maintain traditional Tuolumne runout climbing, yet still allow leaders to keep their sanity intact. The climbing here is all ground up.
Bryan et al. have also updated some of the aging quarter inch bolts on the more run-out older routes. Thus if you like, you can try an old Ed Barry 5.10 with minimal, but newly replaced, bolts.
The approach is a bit difficult to describe. However, if you can find the top of the Whale's Back, the remainder of the approach will be obvious.
Begin by driving approximately two and half miles west from the Tuolumne store and look for any number of pullouts (there is a "most" convenient pullout, but it is hard to describe). If you are lucky, you will find the pullout that has a good trail leaving the south side of the road. This trail leads up onto the top of the Whale's Back (the Whale's Back is the dome/wall that runs north to south and is just northeast of Fairview Dome). Once you reach the top of the Whale's Back, follow cairns south to the base of Razor Back (pretty hard to get lost at this point). You are aiming for the wall just to the left of Fairview Dome.
Flash of the Blade climbs fantastic knobs and edges up the center of Razor Back. The climbing is runout in sections, but there is protection whenever you really want it. Both my partners and I agreed that this was a really excellent route; Bryan and Linda did a fine job of linking features on a really nice section of rock. The name of the route is a reference to the Iron Maiden song of the same name.I listed this route as an 'R' rated climb, but there is no 'R' climbing at the grade of...[more]Browse More Classics in CA