Thrill Hammer

Page Type
California, United States, North America
Route Type:
Trad Climbing, Sport Climbing, Toprope
Spring, Fall
Time Required:
Less than two hours
Rock Difficulty:
5.8 (YDS)
Number of Pitches:

Route Quality: 1 Votes

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Page By:
Thrill Hammer
Created On: Apr 12, 2010
Last Edited On: Nov 27, 2010


Thrill Hammer is a mostly-bolted route to the right of Rat Race in the Tourist Trap area. The guidebook (see below) rates it two stars.

Count on being gawked at by people on the trail, though not quite as much :)

Getting There

Same as for Rat Race. Hike up the trail from the Bear Gulch parking lot until you see a climber access sign for the Tourist Trap. Scramble down, and then back up.

The sign says that party size in this area is limited to 12 to minimize impact.

Route Description

The route has six bolts, which is a bit conservative, but they are there when you need them. In my opinion, the crux moves are near the ground, and a bit sustained, before the second bolt. I was able to clip the second bolt, and then hung for a bit when I led it.

Near the top you can either traverse right on some 5.6-ish terrain to a two-bolt anchor, or place some small cams in a crack and then go up and over a block to the left of the anchor for an optional and fun 5.7 finish.

Route height is 80'. The anchor has rap rings & chains. Rappel with a single rope.

The Tourist Trap area has an upper access point, from which you can set up topropes or walk off. I've never done this, but it's another option.

Essential Gear

Six quickdraws. Optionally some small cams in the 0.5 - 0.7" range and slings (to reduce rope drag) if you want to do the 5.7 finish over the "summit block".


This route and others in the Tourist Trap area are listed in the following guidebooks -

A Climber's Guide to Pinnacles National Monument, Brad Young, 2007.

California Road Trip - Northern California, Tom Slater, 2009.

External Links

Route page from

Notes from the Friends of Pinnacles website

Warning: This was the site of a fatal accident in July 2000 (scroll down to the notes here).