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suggestions for first Yosemite trip in May
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By BGraham
From Fullerton, CA
Apr 15, 2013
On the Panty Wall at Red Rock in July, peeking to see how much longer we had in the shade

A buddy and I are making our first trip to the Valley in mid-May. We're solid at 5.9-5.10, maybe a little more on a good day, and are looking for some suggestions for routes to check out. Unfortunately, we dont have the gear or the know-how (yet) to do any overnight big wall stuff, so we're mostly looking for car-to-car style adventures.

I've searched MP and have some on my short-list, but if you have any underrated or off the beaten track routes that you think would give a good sampling of what Yose has to offer, please post! Thanks!


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By vincent L.
From Redwood City
Apr 15, 2013
First day of school

Braille Book is excellent , stout and sometimes wide 5.8 . But only like 5 or 6 pitches . It's a good barometer to judge how quick you are able to move , including a longer approach and descent .

Goodrich Pinnacle is also excellent , good slab route on the Apron .

I think Arrowhead Arete is a terrific route , another long approach and an adventure feel to it , join it up with Arrowhead Arete and it is a great day ....


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By GhaMby
From Heaven
Apr 15, 2013

DEET 100


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By Kirk B.
From Boise, ID
Apr 15, 2013
belay slaving on some route I forgot the name of way right of Bloody Fingers.

Climb The Cathedral Spires. Very cool & very fun.


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By mark felber
From Wheat Ridge, CO
Apr 15, 2013

What Vincent said, Braille Book is an excellent route. NE Buttress of Higher Cathedral is another excellent choice, but it's a long day for most people.

Serenity Crack/Sons of Yesterday is another great option, it's got a short stretch of 5.10d and the rest is 5.10a or easier.

Arrowhead ArÍte is a good day out, too.


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By Maurice Chaunders
Apr 15, 2013
Colombian Crack

Lots of good single pitch 5.10s in Church Bowl, which is also the site of Bishop's Terrace, a classic 5.8, 2 pitch or long single pitch. Next to Jam crack (5.9) are two of my favorite climbs, lazy bum and bummer, 10c and 10d. They are in the lower Yosemite falls area. Also nearby is the 5 open books area which has some classics like Committment, Surprise and some others in the 5.9 and lower range.

All the crags I mentioned are really easy to access and you can park the car in the overflow lot and shuttle/walk where you need to go. Parking can be a pain so driving between crags is not advisable. And speaking of driving, check out Nutcracker on Manure Pile. You will have to drive there and will need an early start. There's a variation with 2 pitches of 5.9 and then it joins the route again for 2 5.7s and a 5.8, or thereabouts. The climbing is varied, bold, well protected and a lot of fun.

If you've never climbed 5.10 crack, you might be humbled when you go to the valley. I certainly was. So don't discount the easier stuff.

And next to serenity crack, which is awesome, there's a single pitch of sport climbing on 5.10 slab, which is a lot of fun. Further east is a other sport/trad called arÍte butler which is some slabby bouldery 5.10 that gains a 5.6 crack after 3 bolts.

And don't overlook Penelope's problem, on the easternmost side of Swan slab. It's classic 5.9 ad has a 5.7 warmup next to it, and a bolted variation, about 5.10. Technically all different climbs but shared anchors.


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By BGraham
From Fullerton, CA
Apr 16, 2013
On the Panty Wall at Red Rock in July, peeking to see how much longer we had in the shade

Wow! Thank you all for the detailed responses. A few of these were on my radar (Serenity/Sons, Nutcracker) but I've got quite the ticklist now for the trip.

Between my rack and my partners we've got at least doubles in most sizes, but no offsets. Funds are tight, and I realistically dont know how much I would use offsets where I typically climb. Can you get by without a set for a week in the Valley, or are they too essential to pass up?


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By S Denny
From Carbondale, CO
Apr 16, 2013

if you're not aid climbing you'll be fine... still some aliens are nice

if you are aid climbing you basically need them to keep C2 C2, dig?


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By Fat Dad
From Los Angeles, CA
Apr 16, 2013

Hard to make suggestions unless we know what you've whittled your list down to. Hard to go wrong with the standard classics:

Snake Dike
Harry Daley Route
Nutcracker (better with the 5.9 1st pitch variation)
Bishop's Terrace
Little John
Jam Crack
E. Butt of MCR
Central Pillar
Higher Spire
Reeds Direct
Stone Groove
Lunatic Fringe
E. Butt of El Cap
Bev's Tower to Wheat Thin
Gripper
Serenity Crack/Sons

Royal Arches to South Dome is great but the upper part of Royal Arches will be pretty soggy in May. I would not recommend the NE Butt of Higher Cathedral until you've cut your teeth on some other long Valley cracks. It's the best grade IV in the Valley but pretty full value for its rating. Manure Pile also has other good moderates on it (C.S. Concerto, etc.) that see far less traffic. If you can climb mid to hard .10 without problems and want some solitude, Little Wing is good and pretty deserted.

You don't need any specific gear to climb safely in the Valley. Everything there has been climbed multiple times over the many preceding years without aliens, offsets, etc. Climb with what you're comfortable using and you'll be fine.


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By Maurice Chaunders
Apr 16, 2013
Colombian Crack

You can buy offset DMM nuts in the valley at the gear shop and I highly recommend them. They are not a necessity, but really nice. You'll slot them all over the place, particularly on serenity and nutcracker and Penelope's. I'd get those before you throw down on the cams (which are also awesome).


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By John D
Apr 16, 2013

I've had several trips to the valley, including one trip up the south face of washington column without offsets, you'll be fine. I do like TCU's they fit in pin scars really well and are just as good as regular cams in parallel cracks.


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By LeeAB
Administrator
From ABQ, NM
Apr 16, 2013
Once we landed we headed to Font to find a place to stay for the night before doing a day of wine tasting and heading to Buoux.

BGraham wrote:
Between my rack and my partners we've got at least doubles in most sizes, but no offsets. Funds are tight, and I realistically dont know how much I would use offsets where I typically climb. Can you get by without a set for a week in the Valley, or are they too essential to pass up?


In terms of off-sets, You will use them a ton in the valley, basically anywhere a pin has been placed they are perfect. That said I tend to place them more than regular stoppers even at the local crags as well, lots of times (not just occasionally) they just seem to fit and seat better. The most useful sizes are the 3 smallest aluminum and the 3 biggest brass.

Certainly, you don't "need" them, but they are very nice to have.


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By Greg G
From SLC, UT
Apr 16, 2013
The route in it's entirety.

Definitely do Super Slide if Serenity has people on it. Good climb that goes fast as well. Don't forget to check out the Devils bath rub at the base of the big water streak lookers right of Royal Arches.


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By randy88fj62
Apr 16, 2013
Thunderbolt Peak in the Palisades

Greg G wrote:
Definitely do Super Slide if Serenity has people on it. Good climb that goes fast as well. Don't forget to check out the Devils bath rub at the base of the big water streak lookers right of Royal Arches.


X2 what Greg said. I loved Super Slide. It is an excellent route with a great finishing pitch of beautiful crack.

You also get the added benefit of hearing all the people struggle on serenity crack which is nearby.


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By JCM
From Seattle, WA
Apr 16, 2013

LeeAB wrote:
In terms of off-sets, You will use them a ton in the valley, basically anywhere a pin has been placed they are perfect. That said I tend to place them more than regular stoppers even at the local crags as well, lots of times (not just occasionally) they just seem to fit and seat better. The most useful sizes are the 3 smallest aluminum and the 3 biggest brass. Certainly, you don't "need" them, but they are very nice to have.



I think the OP was referring to offset cams, which are way more expensive...

As to offsets (of either kind), they will not be necessary for the routes that you will be getting on (moderate trade routes). A standard rack,like what you have already, is fine. A big cam or two can be nice for some routes that have wideness.

If you want to get something offset, getting a few offset nuts is a much more reasonable investment than buying a set of hybrid aliens.


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By JCM
From Seattle, WA
Apr 16, 2013

Fat Dad wrote:
Royal Arches to South Dome is great but the upper part of Royal Arches will be pretty soggy in May.


He means that South Face of North Dome. Royal Arches to South Face of North Dome is an incredible moderate linkup. Royal Arches to Crest Jewel (also on North Dome) is an even better linkup. Ask around about Royal Arches wetness first...it depends on the year how wet it will be.

The best way to do either linkup is to do it when the Tioga Road is open, since hiking the descent from the top of North Dome all the way back to the Valley sucks. North Dome Gully really sucks. Instead, if the road is open, it is a mellow 1 hour hike on a trail to the Tioga Road, and a pretty easy 1 hour hitchhike back to the Valley.

www.mountainproject.com/v/south-face-route/105984188


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By john strand
From southern colo
Apr 16, 2013

Sorry, a lot of these routes are piles.

Royal Arches to CREST JEWEL is the way to go.. it's easy 5.10 and perfect. the end of RA will be fine.
east butt El cap is so good 10a.. awesome.

son of sam, lean years, lonely dancer on the apron will get your slabbin' going 5.10-10+


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By Fat Dad
From Los Angeles, CA
Apr 16, 2013

JCM wrote:
He means that South Face of North Dome.

Yes he does. Sorry, that kind of got mushed together.

Also, I meant to write when recommending the E. Butt of El Cap that it's not the best early season climb. Depending on how much water is coming down Horsetail Falls, it can be too wet to climb past pitch 5 or so.


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By BGraham
From Fullerton, CA
Apr 16, 2013
On the Panty Wall at Red Rock in July, peeking to see how much longer we had in the shade

this is gold- thank you guys for all the input. I've been checking the NPS site for the tioga pass and it looks like they're not going to be considering opening before Memorial day this year, so may have to save some of these routes for another trip. But with this list I think we should be more than occupied in the Valley for our time there. Im gonna hold off on offsets and see how far our standard rack takes us. Thanks again, and ill be sure to post some pics following the trip!


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