Ed W. starting up Battle of The Bulge
Battle of The Bulge is the name of a route on Puppy Dome
in the Tuolumne Meadows
area of Yosemite National Park
In contrast to Yosemite Valley that is world famous for its crack climbs, Toulumne Meadows is famous for its face climbs. There are, however, many crack routes in Tuolumne Meadows such as Crescent Arch
that inspire awe. There are also a number of one pitch cracks climbs that aspire to get more hand and foot traffic. Battle of The Bulge is one such case.
This beautiful little climb is located on the west face of the lower tier on Puppy Dome. The route is inside a north facing shallow dihedral and stays in the shade for most of the day time hours. That and the altitude of 8800 feet keep the rock cool to the touch even in the warmest days of summer. The route is made of of solid hand jamming this crack to a bulge, hence the name, just before the top. Jamming over the bulge is the crux of the climb. You can top out onto a blocky area or set up an anchor on top of the crack.
How to get to Battle of The Bulge
From Highway 395 in California take Highway 120 toward Tioga Pass and Yosemite Valley National Park. This is the eastern entrance to the park. Drive about six miles from the gate to the junction with Tuolumne Lodge. Turn left here and park. During the peak summer season you may need to get lucky to get a parking space. You can drive another half a mile up the road to Lembert Dome Parking lot. There are more spaces available in and around that parking lot.
There is a park ranger office and a bathroom at the Tuolumne Lodge parking. If you look directly south you will see some rocks across a meadow and behind some trees. Unfortunately, there are no established trail for these few hundred feet. Find a trail across the meadow that many climbers have used to get to the dome. Upon reaching the rocks, skirt right to get to the west face. Head for the lower tier and continue past Puppy Crack, an obvious short crack, and drop down a bit more to a left facing dihedral. Battle of The Bulge is the crack in the dihedral.
: One sixty meter rope, set of cams to 2.5 inches, draws and slings, a watchful belayer.