This is a fun, well-protected Glacier Point Apron crack system. It's only two pitches, but they are two fine pitches of twisting finger and hand cracks. Although sustained, protection is easy to come by and therefore could be good first 5.8 leads. The belays are obvious and the views of the Royal Arches, Washington Column, Illioute Canyon, Half Dome, and Mt. Watkins are fantastic.
Drive past the Curry Village campground area and keep driving until you cannot drive any further. There is trailhead parking to your right. Park here if you can. If this lot is full, you can probably park next to the east end of the Curry Village tent cabins. There are also bear boxes in at the trailhead parking lot.
From the parking lot, head southeast and follow one of several trails up and to the southwest, to the base of Glacier Point Apron. Because of rockfall danger, helmets might be a good idea at the base. Orient yourself and look for a 3rd class ramp just to the left of Monday Morning Slab. Scramble up this ramp until you reach an obvious ledge at the base of the climb. You'll see a small finger crack that's been hammared out and that bends to the left.
Route DescriptionPitch One:
Follow the obvious finger crack in the middle of the rock above the sandy ledge. There are numerous pin scars and great (and not-so-great) finger locks. Protection is ample and offset nuts/aliens are helpful. Follow the pitch up and as it bends to the left, walk the small ledge/ramp. You will be traversing, so remember your follower(s). Keep going to the left until you reach a tree. Stand on the tree and follow a short hand crack up to the first belay, under an old, dead tree and just under a roof. (You'll go past the bolted rap station.)
Climb up and over the roof by using solid hand jams. The zig-zagging crack then goes up and varies in size from small fingers to fist-sized cracks. Again, protection possibilities abound. There's a cruxy section about half way up the cracks. Keep going up until you reach the second belay, where there are bolts and a rappel station.
Take two ropes for the rappel. You can go from one rap station to the next without trouble. If you don't feel like down climbing the 3rd class stuff, you can rappel from a tree with a yellow sling and a rap ring on it.
If you're still hankering for more, you can toprope a sketchy face climb (5.10b) directly below the bolts on the first pitch.
- Lots of small nuts (Offsets helpful)
- Medium to large cams (Offset Aliens helpful)
- A few slings if you sling the tree just below the belay at the top of Pitch one
- Two ropes for the rappel
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