The "Serenity-Sons" combo may be the best 5.10 crack climb in the Valley... it is just so, so good. Why anyone would do one without the other, I don't know, but since they are technically two separate routes, they are listed as such.
Sons of Yesterday is the flawless continuation of the climb.
P4: Depending on where you belayed, climb a long pitch of easy terrain past a short steep section of 5.10a thin hands to an airy belay perch on a small tree.
P5: A long pitch of 5.9 in a right-facing corner. Belay at bolts.
P6: Steep 5.9 jamming through a little roof. Belay at bolts.
P7: A wild pitch of 5.9 "walking" along a leaning crack leads to a final stretch of 5.8 fists to an anchor. A sweet pitch.
Begin double-rope rapping from here, sometimes on the route, sometimes just left of it.
Standard rack. Include a wide hands piece.
|By Darshan Ahluwalia|
From: Petaluma, CA
Apr 5, 2007
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Pitch 6 and Pitch 7 can be combined very easily with a 60 meter rope and lots of slings. Done this way, this is the best single pitch of climbing on the entire Serenity/Sons adventure. Save your big cam for the very top of pitch 7.
|By Brad G|
From: Yosemite and else where
Sep 24, 2007
The last pitch of this climb is absolutely fantastic! Great exposure high of the deck.
|By Paul Hunnicutt|
From: Boulder, CO
Oct 22, 2007
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Some of the best hand jamming I've done in the Valley. You will want a #3 or 4 cam for the finish after the .75 camalot traverse. I didn't have anything and had to run it out to the anchors. Not bad though. Amazing climb. Try to get there early in the morning as the crowds will be there all day long. You can rap this along with Serenity with one 60m rope, but you will have to use some intermediate rap stations along the way (for example the tree right after the 5.6 section anchors). Combine the last 2 for a super amazing pitch.
|By Victor Ortenberg|
Apr 11, 2008
I just climbed this last weekend and it seems that the pitch description above is a little off.
The easy linking pitch between Serenity and Sons (officially pitch 1 of Sons) ends in a 2 bolt anchor right before the going gets steep again. From there the next pitch is 120' feet to the second tree which has a pin and bolt anchor ritht above. This pitch is sustained 5.9/10a thin hands to fingers and I felt it was overall harder than anything on Serenity Crack. (All the parties we met agreed with that assessment). From here its hand jam heaven to the top.
From: Oakland, CA
May 11, 2008
The pitch Victor's talking about above is, I think, the best pitch of the day. The slammer hands of the last pitches are fun, and the Serenity pitches are great - but the first real pitch on Sons is long, varied, steep, and sustained. It takes all sorts of pro, all sorts of movement, and makes you draw deep into your quill of techniques for fingerlocks, thin hands, sidepulls, balance moves, crimps, high-steps, a fist or two, and plain old endurance.
A classic 120' of Yosemite climbing.
Just because you get through the feather-lite 3 moves of ".10d" below does not mean that you'll waltz this pitch. My opinion: this is the lead you want to on-site; let your partner have those slammer hands up top.
|By Jordan Ramey|
From: Calgary, Alberta
Mar 21, 2009
The entire route (SOY) and Serenity crack can be rapelled with a single 70 meter rope with an extra rap off the low tree on P2 of Sons.
|By Dusty Cams|
Mar 31, 2009
If you are climbing this with a 70 meter rope, you can do the climb (the Sons pitches...) in 2 rope stretcher full 70m pitches if you belay from the bolts right before it gets steep--you then climb above the 2nd tree to the next set of anchors--this is exactly 70 meters. Then combine the next 2 to the top! This way you can do the linkup in 6 pitch total (on of which is a transition pitch between the top of serenity (just after the 10d hands) and the steep start at Sons.
Jun 28, 2009
rating: 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
In late-May 2009, I witnessed a scary near miss by a party rapelling below me. They were rapping from one of the trees on the first hard pitch of SOY. They were using 2x60 meter ropes. They were simul-rapping, with a hard diagonal to the right, attempting to reach the top of Serenity Crack (the anchor just above the 5.10d). One of them, who was not wearing shoes, was down in the gulley and nearing the anchor, suddenly slipped. He rocketed across the face and whipped out of sight, landing in trees and banging his hip hard on the rock below. He took probably a 100 foot swing and hit hard. His partner then decided to take the same swing to get to his hurting partner. I yelled to them and they said they were OK. They descended from trees and other anchors to the ground.
This scenario seems like it could happen to others. In fact, Supertopo warns of it on their topo. The solution for me is to make a few short single rope raps, while diagonaling right, to avoid the big swing. Be careful out there.
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Mar 25, 2010
I agree that Victor's beta on pitch breakdown is more accurate than what is given here by the original route poster.
I also agree with Sirius' summation of p2 (or p1, however you choose to look at it).
From: San Francisco
Apr 11, 2010
A great route, the last two pitches (especially P5) are spectacular.
Linking Pitch. Easy simulclimb from Serenity belay to the bolted belay. Mostly 4th class and a few easy 5th class moves.
P4. 5.10a mostly thin hands and off fingers, lots of great rests
P5 & P6. Linked both pitches with a 70m rope. A fantastic 200' mega-pitch! Killer splitter hands on P6. 5.9
P7. 5.9 walk up the crack, super fun!
|By Daniel Trugman|
From: Los Alamos, NM / Stanford, CA
Feb 18, 2011
rating: 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
Really great route. The last pitches in particular are a joy to climb. I do disagree, however, with some of the above sentiments that the crux pitch on Sons (P2) is comparable in difficulty to the crux of Serenity. While it's true that P2 of Son's is solid at the grade, it's definitely no harder than 10b, and is probably closer to 10a. Sustained but not "enduro" because there are plenty of rests.
My favorite pitches of the day were the last two: crazy-fun 5.8 hands and the awesome "walking-the-plank" traverse.
|By Colonel Mustard|
From: Reno, NV
May 2, 2011
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Agreed, Daniel. Although, maybe it's a hand size thing. I thought the crux pitch on Sons was very cruiser 10a, but my female climbing partner (with obviously smaller hands) thought it was harder than that. Although, Tallmark sums up that pitch up as thin hands/off fingers? I kinda remember some wide jams too. I guess I have to re-climb this route! It'd make sense the wider bits on Sons would seem harder while the 10d would seem feather soft to the skinny finger set.
|By King Tut|
Aug 19, 2012
Some notes on ratings: They are hand, finger and foot size dependent which anyone with Yosemite experience will tell you. Serenity crack was originally "bench mark" 5.11 when first freed (by guys with thick fingers and kletter shoes) but settled down to 5.10d when that was finally established with EBs (the first friction style slippers) and clean pro that is YES easier to place than pitons on lead. Over time things change as well due to a normal cycle of rock getting better in the short term (generally cleaner, better beta, loose micro flakes and lichen wear away etc) and then get worse in the long term (holds get polished, chalk caked etc).
The varying opinions on ratings for Sons reflect that. The second pitch is clearly 10A if you have larger hands/fingers and know the beta for the OW bypass (lieback to a balancy high step. save a 1" tcu for a perfect placement in a splitter out left once you get established on the knobs), use stems for rests etc. Your one 4" Friend can also be used to protect this section too as well as the top pitch and is worth having. If you think this pitch is 10B go do Gripper, Midterm or Ahab and re-assess. As posted above if you have thin fingers and uber sticky slippers Serenity is as light a 10d as there is in the valley. Your mileage will vary on other size cracks higher on the route particularly when your feet are not as happy in those same gym slippers.
The last pitch has new Beta (walk the plank). When first done it was only envisioned as straight forward thin hands with your feet on the slab. Now the feet are even better on the slab (lichen/flakes cleaned up) the thin hands at this moderate grade is to be enjoyed. Plus, anyone making it this far should not have a problem. But climb it however you please of course and pass your stoke to others.
Go for the top as the supposed "runout" to the bolt is trivial friction and the route is complete when linked to Awahnee Buttress (technically it is an easier variation to this route). However bring a shovel if you go for the rim via AB or maybe someone will clean out other perfect cracks up there that would make the finish to the top truly brilliant and an epic approach to Crest Jewel. We did our epic gardening of the route during a dry December as you have to be aware of traffic below you for safety. Future generations will thank you if you take the time and add a truly clean finish.
|By Matthias Holladay|
From: Durango, Colorado
Dec 15, 2012
I think when we did this years ago, it was called the Ahwahnee Buttress, and while we took it to the top, it involved lots of gardening to get pro in as well as jams.
The "F.A.'s" must've cleaned the thing up extensively, cause it sure looks like a lot different since I was last on it...
|By Bryan G|
From: San Jose
Dec 15, 2012
The Ahwahnee Buttress route (10d with some aid) is a separate line predating Serenity Crack and Sons of Yesterday, although this whole section of cliff is also often referred to as the "Ahwahnee Buttress". The two routes cross paths and share some belay ledges but are otherwise independent. Ahwahnee Buttress has sunk pretty far into obscurity and I imagine that if you returned today you would find it nearly as vegetated as you remember it, if that's what you climbed.