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recommendations for Yosemite

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recommendations for Yosemite

Postby benken » Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:18 am

there is undoubtedly already a thread for this, but typing "yosemite" into the search in any way gives such a flood of results, i dont have the time/patience to find it.

im going to yosemite in a few months (ive been before as a kid, but this'll be the first time with intent to climb) and i was wondering if anyone could suggest a first climb there that would absolutely BURST my yosemite cherry... i dont have the equipment for multiday climbs so the obvious big contenders (eg half dome, el cap, etc...) are out of the question. im saving those for a few years from now when i have something far more valuable than simply the equipment; more experience...

im seeking something spectacular, either trad or sports, thats within 5.7-5.10 .... if you can point me in the direction of something humble yet very characteristic of yo-sim-might, id be so very grateful.

cheers,
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Re: recommendations for Yosemite

Postby mvs » Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:59 am

I think Royal Arches is the de facto introduction. Long, but not difficult. It was my first climb there and I was psyched.
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Re: recommendations for Yosemite

Postby SKI » Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:19 pm

Royal Arches will more than likely be super wet here in a few months- a better fall route. I would suggest all the moderate routes on the 5 open books wall, Bishops Terrace, Harry Daley, Snake Dike and some of the El Cap base routes. Here is a better page to browse through. It list the classics easily for you:

http://www.mountainproject.com/v/califo ... /105833388
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Re: recommendations for Yosemite

Postby mvs » Tue Jan 11, 2011 2:46 pm

AlpineAffinity wrote:Royal Arches will more than likely be super wet here in a few months- a better fall route. ...


Oops, sorry about that I didn't look at the date he is going. I did Royal Arches in mid-June and it was great then.
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Re: recommendations for Yosemite

Postby Dave Dinnell » Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:54 pm

Yeah, the 5 open books can be good in spring, although Commitment can have a spicy wet patch under the 5.9 roof. The Nutcracker would be good, too.

Or, for more "elevation" do the first 3 pitches of South Face Washington Column. Climb up to Dinner Ledge-1st pitch easy 5.8, 2nd take the 5.10a var., and 3rd a fun 5.8. Enjoy the view, have a beer and food, rap back down.
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Re: recommendations for Yosemite

Postby Diggler » Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:37 pm

Question is, when exactly is "in a couple of months"?

Snake Dike & Royal Arches are both phenomenal routes, but the Cables (i.e. standard descent) will be under snow probably 'til June or later (as well as much of the approach). Royal Arches will surely be wet until that time or later also, but it is still doable- I've seen numerous guys solo through the section right after the swing while it's a waterfall (not that I'm advocating that). Truth is, the best time to climb in the Valley is in May, when the dogwoods are blooming & the waterfalls are flowing- awesome! Course, some routes, as mentioned, are under water. Still, many of these are still passable, & it needn't stop you.

On top of the routes mentioned, I'd recommend: Bishop's Terrace, the standard route up Higher Cathedral Spire (haven't done it yet, but it looks sweet!), Braille Book, Entrance Exam, the Northeast Buttress of Higher Cathedral Rock, & Steck-Salathe. As also recommended, doing the first couple of pitches to Dinner Ledge on Washington Column (& then bivying there- it's the best campsite in Yosemite) would be great- the only problem is, you'd likely be sharing it with 10 other people (or more)...

It's pretty hard to go wrong in the Valley- have a blast!
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Re: recommendations for Yosemite

Postby benken » Tue Jan 11, 2011 6:40 pm

Diggler wrote:Question is, when exactly is "in a couple of months"?


probably late march.
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Re: recommendations for Yosemite

Postby benken » Tue Jan 11, 2011 6:45 pm

thanks so much for the rapid response i didnt expect anything this thorough. ive been lurking these forums for a while now but finally conquered my fear of posting so thanks for the feedback its much appreciated!

im leaning toward bishops terrace... it seems straightforward. one pitch, rap rings at the top (right?)

is there any specific route at the base of el cap thats a single pitch that anyone can recommend? or is it like diggler said "It's pretty hard to go wrong in the Valley- have a blast!", can i pretty much just throw a dart anywhere and be good to go?

i was planning on being there three days, would it be ill advised to just sorta rely on hanging out at camp 4 and asking around? or would i just be pimp slapped and called a noob?
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Re: recommendations for Yosemite

Postby WML » Tue Jan 11, 2011 7:10 pm

benken wrote:thanks so much for the rapid response i didnt expect anything this thorough. ive been lurking these forums for a while now but finally conquered my fear of posting so thanks for the feedback its much appreciated!

im leaning toward bishops terrace... it seems straightforward. one pitch, rap rings at the top (right?)

is there any specific route at the base of el cap thats a single pitch that anyone can recommend? or is it like diggler said "It's pretty hard to go wrong in the Valley- have a blast!", can i pretty much just throw a dart anywhere and be good to go?

i was planning on being there three days, would it be ill advised to just sorta rely on hanging out at camp 4 and asking around? or would i just be pimp slapped and called a noob?


Correct about rap rings on top of Bishop's Terrace. I can't recall if it is a single or double rope rap.

As for single pitch base routes at the base of El Cap, you can spend all day just cragging about the base and marveling at the perfect granite in front of and above you. I've only climbed La Cosita Right here, an excellent climb. Crux of this area is beating the crowds!
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Re: recommendations for Yosemite

Postby Diggler » Tue Jan 11, 2011 7:42 pm

You can likely find someone at Camp 4 by checking the bulletin board, asking around, etc., but there won't be a lot of people for you to ask yet in March- better to find a partner beforehand & go.

Bishop's Terrace can be led in 1 money pitch, or split into 2- 2 ropes needed to rap.

Numerous shorter climbs at the base of El Cap, all fun. Even doing Pine Line, you're on P1 of the Nose! Easy & fun. Make sure to wear a helmet whilst hanging out (or climbing) at the base of the Captain.

Generator Crack & Five & Dime are both 1-pitch Valley testpieces at their grades, & both can be TR'd. Both also highly recommended. Tape suggested :)
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Re: recommendations for Yosemite

Postby benken » Wed Jan 12, 2011 4:13 am

Diggler wrote: Even doing Pine Line, you're on P1 of the Nose!


that gave me chills haha. thanks mucho appreciated
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Re: recommendations for Yosemite

Postby rhyang » Wed Jan 12, 2011 4:25 pm

Bishop's Terrace is a lot of fun, and most people only do the first pitch (or split that into two pitches, followed by a double rope rap) as shown in the supertopo guide. To get to the true "Bishop's Terrace" though you take a second pitch (5.6 I think) up to a slab. From there you can do a single rope rappel and walk a little ways back to the start of the climb. This is shown in the Reid / Falcon guide.

Super Slide (5.9) is also a lot of fun in the Royal Arches area, a short walk from Church Bowl & Bishop's Terrace. The second pitch could be a little wet in early or late season. The last several pitches have bolted anchors with rap rings, so you can do as much or as little of it as you like. In that same area, friends rave about the Sons of Yesterday / Serenity Crack linkup .. a little rich for my blood though :)
Taaaake !
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Re: recommendations for Yosemite

Postby fatdad » Wed Jan 12, 2011 5:54 pm

Some good suggestions thus far, though the recommendations for the longer climbs are pretty much a scratch given you'll be there in March. The weather might be great. There may be a blizzard.

One thing I'd suggest if you haven't done so already if get and review the guide. Your initial question was so opened ended it suggested that you hadn't. You want to do your homework to make sure the suggestions you get actually are appropriate for you.

Also, Camp 4 could very well be empty or near empty that time of year, so don't show up expecting to find partners. If there are climbers there, many are often happy to find someone to climb with. I did that my first summer in the Valley and met some great people. Check the bulletin board in Camp 4.

My suggestions: Harey Daley Route, After Six, Nutcracker, The Jam Crack (probably the only time of year it'll be uncrowded), Little John, Sacherer Cracker, Highway Star, Knob Job, Sherrie's Crack, Gripper, Bev's Tower, Outer Limits. Frankly, that time of year you may have to stay down valley near the Cookie and Arch Rock, where it's warmer and the cliffs get sun around 1 p.m. However, if you haven't done a lot of crack in the Valley, you'll get schooled. That's good, however. No better place to learn.
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Re: recommendations for Yosemite

Postby benken » Thu Jan 13, 2011 7:16 pm

fatdad wrote:Some good suggestions thus far, though the recommendations for the longer climbs are pretty much a scratch given you'll be there in March. The weather might be great. There may be a blizzard.

One thing I'd suggest if you haven't done so already if get and review the guide. Your initial question was so opened ended it suggested that you hadn't. You want to do your homework to make sure the suggestions you get actually are appropriate for you.

Also, Camp 4 could very well be empty or near empty that time of year, so don't show up expecting to find partners. If there are climbers there, many are often happy to find someone to climb with. I did that my first summer in the Valley and met some great people. Check the bulletin board in Camp 4.

My suggestions: Harey Daley Route, After Six, Nutcracker, The Jam Crack (probably the only time of year it'll be uncrowded), Little John, Sacherer Cracker, Highway Star, Knob Job, Sherrie's Crack, Gripper, Bev's Tower, Outer Limits. Frankly, that time of year you may have to stay down valley near the Cookie and Arch Rock, where it's warmer and the cliffs get sun around 1 p.m. However, if you haven't done a lot of crack in the Valley, you'll get schooled. That's good, however. No better place to learn.


crack is the main reason im going... not a whole lot of crack here in sequoia/kings canyon...

i do have a guidebook and was a bit overwhelmed by the density, which is why i decided to hit up summit post... and so far its helped me consolidate my priorities a bit.

is the weather going to be so iffy that id be better off extending my trip from late march to late april?
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Re: recommendations for Yosemite

Postby hikerbrian » Thu Jan 13, 2011 8:45 pm

I also highly recommend Jamcrack at Sunnyside bench. Nice 5.7 hand crack, then there's a 10c and a 10d (Lemon and something else, edit: lazy bum and bummer were the ones I was thinking of) that you can TR from the top of - which is what most people do so no worries about TRing it. Caverns - 5.8 - at five open books is fun, but there's some airy liebacking - if you're into that. I found Aid Route at Swan slab surprisingly enjoyable as well. Tie some slings at the beginning and aid the 5.11 moves, then it's 25 meters of blissful 5.8 handcrack.
Last edited by hikerbrian on Fri Jan 14, 2011 2:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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