El Nino

Page Type
California, United States, North America
Route Type:
Big Wall
V, 5.10 A3+ (New Wave)

Route Quality: 2 Votes

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Page By:
El Nino
Created On: Dec 7, 2002
Last Edited On: Nov 3, 2010


To reach the climbs on the east side of the formation, start down the gully to the south of the parking lot. This is the East Face Gully. All climbs on the east side are approached from here. Caution is advised as the gully is steep and loose the entire way down. Descend down to the start of "Full Metal Jacket" route.

Route Description

This route was first climbed by Grant Gardner, Brandon Thau and Jody Pennycook on November 8-9-10-11, 1997. The rating is "New Wave", they say. To me it means, way harder than what is stated. Since these people have done some of the hardest Yosemite Big Wall test pieces in the late 90s and early 2000's, their route reflects the rating of the day. Grant told me that they got cought by a serious November storm couple pitches below the top and just barely escaped. Please study pages 242 and 243 of Greg Vernon's Sequoia and Kings Canyon Guide. The route follows the overhanging face between "Full Metal Jacket" (route K) on the left, and "Glow with the Flow" (route L) on the right. The route is 9 pitches in length and starts just right of the "FMJ" 4th class approach ramp. I have included a topo of the route drawn for me by Grant Gardner in 1997.

As far as I know, the route has not been repeated as of 2010. I would hesitate to estimate how long it might take to repeat the climb. Since there were some inquiries on SP about this route, maybe someone will comment after climbing it. The FA party took four days, including at least one day spent on the wall waiting out the storm.

Essential Gear

Those, wanting to know the difficulty of this climb, should study the following closely:
10 beaks
2 rurps
3 short LA
3 long LA
2 small angles
Heads: 10x #2, plus circleheads, 4x #3, 2x #4
1/4" keyholes, all hooks, 1 set offsets, 1set nuts, 3set TCUs, 2 set Camalots, 1 #4 Camalot

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.

El Nino

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