Tombstone Terror, 5.10c, 2 Pitches

Tombstone Terror, 5.10c, 2 Pitches

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 38.80244°N / 120.1324°W
Additional Information Route Type: Trad Climbing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
Additional Information Time Required: Less than two hours
Additional Information Rock Difficulty: 5.10c (YDS)
Additional Information Number of Pitches: 2
Sign the Climber's Log


The crux section, more chimney than layback
crux section

In August, 2015, I traveled up to Lovers Leap to avoid fires and smoke in the eastern Sierras. We climbed 10 multi-pitch routes in five days. Most included the lessor climbed, more adventurous routes in the 5.10 range. My favorite link up by far was Tombstone Terror (5.10c) into Eeyore’s Enigma (EE). This match up resulted in fingers to off-width to squeeze. These two routes are basically stacked right on top of each other. You do not even need to coil the rope between them. EE has to be one of the more obscure routes at Lover’s Leap (if you can call anything at Lover’s Leap obscure=relative). Tombstone Terror on the other hand is quite well known as the best 5.10+ test piece in the park. While EE was established by the well-known Harding-Rowell combination in 1968, Tombstone was not established until 1976. Its name is appropriate because the start is considered a bit spicy by some (I did not concur with that) with the inference being that if you fell, you would land on one of the pointed tombstone rocks below, thus the terror part of the name.
Chimney to Stem portion (for leaders, followers can lay back)
A solid leader can stem more than lay back

I climbed Tombstone in one pitch to the large ledge above, bypassing the fixed anchor. I did not place any gear on the second pitch to avoid rope drag and did make it to the top without my partner having to simul-climb. The first pitch will eat up all the finger gear you want to place. I use off-set cams versus nuts on anything under 5.11. Therefore I basically had triples in some of the smaller sizes and used most of it. I am not a lay back sort of climber, and could stem most of the thin corner, even gain a chimney like move or two. The start has a few easy moves to a decent micro placement and thus I did not feel the “terror”.

Tombstone is just left around the arête from the 50 North American Classic, Traveler’s Buttress. EE is right on top of Tombstone if you are doing the link up I suggest, don’t even coil the rope, just move left of the arête on the upper main wall and you will be below EE.

Route Description

1st/2nd Pitches- 200’- 5.10c/ The name supposedly implies this can be a dangerous route off the deck, that the first 15’ is unprotected and you could fall on the “tombstone like” spires at the base. In reality, the climbing off the deck is not very difficult and does protect with one decent small piece. Once you are past the first 15’ or so, you encounter the very clean finger corner. You can make short lie back moves and stem and even chimney up this finger corner placing gear at will. I carry a double rack to .1” and placed all of my small gear on this route to the top of the formation (and I basically soloed the 5.7 second pitch).  On the first pitch, 30’ or 40’ of the climbing is quite strenuous. Eventually it eases up and the crack widens to below a roof. Place a solid piece before traversing right below the roof via a fun athletic move. There is a fixed station there, but it is easy to continue to the top which I did to get it in one pitch as we linked the route with Eeyore’s Enigma. By not placing any gear on the second pitch, rope drag was not much of an issue and the length to the top where you can sling a block is well under a 70m rope.

Climbing Sequence


Climb Eeyore as I suggest and catch the main trail down the east side all the way back to the main trail that heads to camp. This option is an up and over with no return to the base. Or simply walk off to the right and back to the base of the route on trails if you want to just do Tombstone without a link up.

Essential Gear

I emptied a double rack from C4 #1 on down to micro cams. The critical cams for EE is one #2, one #.4 and three #4’s. Obviously if you climbed Tombstone Terror to get to EE, you have a ton of other gear. I would not take any #3’s if you are doing this link up or even just for Tombstone even though suggested on other websites, I had no need for anything larger than a #2 on Tombstone. Bring more slings than draws for EE. On Tombstone you can clip a lot of your gear direct in the finger crack.  This route sees a fair amount of shade until late afternoon in August. 70m rope helps with doing Tombstone in one push and finishing EE in three total pitches vs four.



Related objects are relevant to each other in some way, but they don't form a parent/child relationship. Also, they don't necessarily share the same parent.