Yearly raptor closures typically begin March 1 and remain in effect until August 1, or until further notice.
East of Glacier Point Apron. Closure includes all routes above 200 feet from the base of the cliff east of Glacier Point Apron including "A Mother's Lament" to the Illilouette Gorge. Half Dome, South Face - Overlooking Little Yosemite Valley. Closure includes all routes from "Autobahn" east to and including "South Face Route."
An easy start leads to a wild and improbable second pitch.
This climb is located immediately left of the Grack Center route. The best start is on the very large platform left of the Grack gully/dihedral, because a 60 meter rope won't reach the P1 belay from the bottom of the Grack gully/dihedral (unless you simul-climb 25 feet).
P1 - Shares much of the same crack as the Grack Center. Head up a gentle left facing dihedral to the bushy eucalyptus tree with slings & rappel rings. Traverse one move right into a crack about 50 feet before the tree (5.6), or head directly to the tree and straight up a jagged hand crack (5.5). 190 feet.
P2 – Gently climb through the eucalyptus tree and up a steep/slightly overhanging left facing dihedral (5.7). A final tricky mantel move, which will definitely get your attention, gets you out of the dihedral and onto 4th class terrain. Head up and right to a large block with runners for the belay. 140 feet.
Standard rack to 3”.
Two 60 meter ropes are needed. Rappel 80 feet from slung block to the eucalyptus tree, then rappel 190 feet from the eucalyptus tree to the start platform.
I've climbed the grack center 3 or 4 times now so I decided to give the grack left a go.
The first pitch of the grack left is a lot more interesting than the grack center in my view (of course the money pitch for the grack center is the pitch 2 perfect hands splitter). There appears to be a handful of options regarding the first pitch -I went up the grack center line and stayed left at the point where you transition right for grack center - then went up a 5.6 crack about 40 feet below the tree - and then into a more offwidth groove that then moves up and to the left to the Bay Tree. Warning - with this line, and a 60m rope, I was about 20 feet short of the tree at the top of pitch 1, and had to build an anchor in groove (this was w/my belayer belaying from the same spot you belay the grack center). Thus, I'd recommend either a pair of 70s, a slightly more direct line, or scrambling up a bit on the class 3/4 start and belaying from there.
The Bay Tree has slings/rap rings as of our climb.
The money pitch of the grack left is the first half of the second pitch. It isn't very long, but it has some interesting moves in it, primarily stemming, a bit of lieback/mantle, and protects well. This is the only 5.7 portion. It is just above the Bay Tree. The crux is the last move where the route immediately transitions from 5.7 to 34d/4th class.
The second half of pitch 2 is class 3 or 4 to a very large slung boulder. You can rap from there if you like. We did a short 3rd/4th class pitch 3 scramble to the top of the grack center, and then rappelled from there. Supertopo doesn't denote the route going to the top of the Grack Center (route K in the book) - I assume because it's essentially just 3rd class.
Just like the Grack Center, the Grack Left descent is accomplished via two rappels using two ropes.
My partner dislodged a large block (~3ft x ~2ft x 6in) from the middle of the second pitch. It looked solid as far as I recall but it took little force to make it come loose. The block smashed his middle finger then slid a short distance onto his foot. He warned a group of 3 below before he unstuck his foot and let the rock slide.
Just did this route. Mostly because I've never done it. Probably wouldn't rush on it again. Second pitch looks shitty from the belay but is actually kinda fun. Super easy to traverse right from the second pitch rap slings and finish on the 3rd pitch of the Center route.
Overall a decent route, but tends to be more a consolation prize if the Center is already occupied. First lead is probably 5.5, and the second is worthwhile, 5.7. More loose rock than elsewhere, too. Watch it towards the top, pulling onto the Grack "summit."