Direct Northwest Face

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 37.88000°N / 119.35°W
Additional Information Route Type: Trad Climbing
Seasons Season: Summer
Additional Information Time Required: Half a day
Additional Information Rock Difficulty: 5.10c (YDS)
Additional Information Number of Pitches: 3
Additional Information Grade: II
Sign the Climber's Log


This route is highly recommended for fun moves and good protection. And couch belay ledges. A great option if you only have a couple hours.


This dome is at the east end of Tuolumne Meadows, 0.3 miles east of the store. The parking area is just below the west face.

From the parking area, walk onto the slabs at the base of the west face. Contour around the formation, sometimes on an approach trail and sometimes on granite slabs (please don't step on vegetation). You will recognize the face by its northwest aspect and its steepness. Look for a crack system that angles up and right: third class at the bottom, then steepening into a crack system that goes all the way up.

Route Description

Note: the Reid and Falkenstein guidebook lists five pitches for this route. We easily soloed pitch one. With a 60 meter rope we easily linked pitches 3 and 4; we could have done so with a 50 meter.

Pitch One: 5.9. Very thin toward top: bring a few RP's. Intimidating, but holds appear.

Pitch Two: 5.10a. I don't see any reason not to do this in one pitch. Rope drag was fine, and the ledges are better this way. Pump clock toward top. Great gear: all hand sizes. A classic Tuolumne pitch.

Pitch Three: 5.10c. This rating from the guidebook is quite soft--5.10a is probably more appropriate. Another phenomenal pitch. Tricky off the belay, requiring delicate balance. After this problem you reach a ledge, and we couldn't protect the next balancy move. Perhaps a pink tri-cam would fit: we didn't have one, so don't blame me if it doesn't. There is decent pro after that move, then fun moves to the ledge belay.

Essential Gear

Full trad rack: doubles of everything up to #2 camalot.

MICRO NUTS: We wished we'd had these.

tri-cams It is possible that a pink tri-cam would fit at one spot on pitch three, as described, but I'm not sure.

Guidebook: 'Rock Climbing Tuolumne Meadows' by Don Reid and Chris Falkenstein (Falcon Guides)



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