Mechanic's Route

Page Type
California, United States, North America
Route Type:
Trad Climbing
Spring, Summer, Fall
Time Required:
Half a day
5.8 R
Rock Difficulty:
5.8 (YDS)
Number of Pitches:

Route Quality: 1 Votes

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Mechanic's Route
Created On: Oct 26, 2010
Last Edited On: Oct 26, 2010


A historic climb on a rock steeped in history, the Mechanic’s Route was one of the hardest and boldest rock climbs of the day, put up in 1937 by Dick Jones and Glen Dawson. The first pitch features a stunning variety of moves requiring solid, all-around technique, while the steep, runout face of the 2nd pitch will test the composure of most climbers. The style and equipment employed on the first ascent are a testament to the boldness and skill of the era’s finest climbers.


Take the Lunch Rock trail and follow it to the right around the base to the West Face. Find the obvious right-facing dihedral of the Open Book route; the Mechanic's Route ascends the face to the right of the Open Book, up through the large chimney in the center of the face.

Route Description

P1: The route shares the first 20’ with Open Book. Climb the initial boulder-move overhang (harder than the advertised 5.8) and move left into the corner. Clip the fixed piton and make the heady, exposed traverse right to the chimney. Above the chimney, enjoy spectacular featured face and crack climbing with excellent pro. Belay at a small, blocky ledge. A beautiful, complicated pitch.

P2: Awkward moves off the belay lead up the crack to a funky fixed pin. Move right and up onto exposed face climbing on featured but slopey holds. Move back left into a thin crack and climb this to a belay at a good flake. An optional traverse right leads to a bolted rap anchor.

P3: Climb the slabs directly above the belay, moving into a crack that joins the easy chimney at the top of Open Book. Bolted rappel anchors are here, or continue up another 40 feet of 4th class to a belay among boulders and a small tree.

Descent: Walk off the friction descent, or else make two double-rope rappels back to the base.


Standard rack, thin to 3". Long runners for wandering pitches. A 50m rope is sufficient, carry two ropes if you wish to rappel the route.