Holdless Horror

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 37.84830°N / 119.4287°W
Additional Information Route Type: Tehnical Rock Climb
Additional Information Time Required: Half a day
Additional Information Difficulty: YDS 5.7
Sign the Climber's Log


Please refer to the Getting There page of Dozier Dome for the approach beta.

Route Description

Holdless Horror is a great introduction to off-width/chimney and knob climbing. Despite the name (sarcasm expressed by the first ascent team), it offers great protection throughout the route and has plenty of holds everywhere. However, one should watch out for occasional unstable chicken heads and wet conditions. The route-finding is very straight-forward, once you locate the beginning of the route, you won't lose it until you top out. A snowfield is to be expected on the first pitch early in the season (may be climbed around). In addition, this route should be avoided if rain is in the forecast, as it turns into a waterfall.

Pitch 1 (60-100', 5.4): Follow low-angle 4th class slabs until you get to the steeper crack. Climb this crack (5.4) for 20-30' and set up a belay station as you reach a semi-comfortable ledge at the base of the main off-width. Even though this pitch is only 5.4, the crux section of it is a bit awkward. If there is a snowfield at the base of the first pitch, you can try to climb around it on the right side and get to the base of the 5.4 crack via a wide ledge.

Pitch 2 (185', 5.7): This is the crux of the climb. Follow a wide crack until you reach a low-angle slab/ledge. As you go through wider sections, you can either stay inside the crack (easier) or go onto the face. Lots of chicken heads everywhere!

Pitch 3 (120', 5.6): Tackle a headwall with two parallel cracks right above your belay station. You can follow either one of these cracks. Bring smaller pro for this pitch, Aliens would be ideal for a shallow right-hand crack. You may be tempted to skip pro and keep climbing over knobs between cracks, but beware as they can snap under your hand or foot and send you on a whooper. Climb 4th class slabs and cracks above the headwall until you reach the belay station.

Pitch 4 (100', 5.4): Most of this pitch is 4th class with a couple of 5.4 moves over the chokestone. After the chokestone the angle eases as you reach the top of the dome.

Descent: Once you reach the top of the dome, you will be presented with several descent options. The shortest way to the base of the dome and the parking lot will be to follow slabs on the right side and circle around the dome. For a more scenic route, you can walk towards Cathedral Lakes and find a climbers trail that circles around Medlicott Dome and ultimately leads back to CA-120 not too far from the Dozier Dome parking lot. For an even more scenic but longest route, go around Cathedral Lakes and find your way back to JMT/Cathedral Lakes trailhead. From there you can either hitchhike or walk back to your car.

Essential Gear

Lots of smaller cams, nuts and hexes (.6-1.5"). All belay stations require smaller pieces so have plenty of these available. Slings can be useful on pitches 1, 3 and 4. Radios!

4/18/05 edit - addition by ASteele:
I found that the wide crack right at the entrance to pitch 2 was easily protected with a #3 Camalot (blue).

Miscellaneous Info

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

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

Viewing: 1-2 of 2

rhyang - Jul 17, 2006 9:11 pm - Voted 10/10


Supertopo's 'Tuolumne Free Climbs' guide rates this climb at 5.6, just an fyi. (it also mentions "hexes useful" - I brought a set of WC rockcentrics and used a bunch of them. I know, I know ... "cowbells" and all that :)


Dragger - Aug 15, 2006 12:52 am - Hasn't voted


Hey Misha, in your description of "essential gear", you only mention gear up to 1.5 inches but part of the route is sort of an offwidth. We used a red friend to protect this (crux) section. I think the red friend is 3.5 inches. The one on our rack is named "Big Red". :^)

Viewing: 1-2 of 2



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