Shark's Fin

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 36.61470°N / 118.095°W
Additional Information Route Type: Sport climb
Additional Information Time Required: Less than two hours
Additional Information Difficulty: 5.6 - 5.11c
Sign the Climber's Log


Turn north on Movie Flat Road from Whitney Portal Road, and proceed about ½ mile to a dirt road on your left (west). The Shark’s Fin will be plainly visible on the right side of the road about 300 yards away. There is parking right next to the formation. Please do not park in the scrub.

Route Description

There are four established routes on the Shark’s Fin, ranging from 5.6 to 5.11a in difficulty. All are protected by bolts with cold shut anchors at the top. Since I have only climbed one of the routes, I will provide beta for only the Shark’s Fin Arete. For general information on the area, and specific information on the other routes (including a topo), consult Michael Strassman’s book A Rock Climber’s Guide to the Alabama Hills.

Many people will be tempted to pass the anchors at the top of the routes and sit atop this striking formation. But be forewarned that there are no anchors on the very top, save for a lone ring of dubious value. If you are still on belay, then simply downclimb back to the anchors and lower off. If you decide to bring up your second and rap off, getting back to the anchors and into rap position can be hazardous and awkward. Use caution!

  1. The East Face 5.6
  2. The Shark’s Fin Arete 5.7 The route follows the north east arête of the formation. Getting off the ground is probably the crux of the route. The first bolt can be clipped before setting out, which is comforting, since the first move is from a large rock next to the face. Stick close to the arête, staying on the left side. Holds on the north face side come in handy along the way. There is a big flake at the bottom of the route. Be cautious. It is loose, as are several other holds in the first 15 feet or so. The rock on the upper part of the route is generally solid, and the climbing is easier. 7 bolts. Cold shuts at the top.
  3. Fat Black Mama 5.11a
  4. Ol’ White Pappy 5.10c

Essential Gear

Rope, harness, draws, sunscreen

Miscellaneous Info

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



Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports.