Upper Refuse

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 44.06000°N / 71.17°W
Additional Information Route Type: Trad Climbing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
Additional Information Time Required: Half a day
Additional Information Rock Difficulty: 5.5 (YDS)
Additional Information Difficulty: 5.5 - 5.6
Additional Information Number of Pitches: 3
Sign the Climber's Log


Either climb one of the routes of the lower Left Wall (Funhouse being the easiest) or, alternatively, follow a climber's trail from the right end of the tourist lookout on top of Cathedral Ledge (facing the valley) down and right for a while, and then back around and left, following the big tree-covered ledge that splits the Left Wall of Cathedral. From where the ledge ends, scramble up and and left (caution: a bit of exposure here - some may want to do this roped) about 15-20 feet to another ledge at the base of the route. Upper Refuse follows the long, prominent, right-leaning ramp all the way to the top of the cliff.

Route Description

Pitch 1: Easy face climbing along the ramp leads to a small belay ledge with two pitons (can be backed up with trad gear). Not as runout as it appears from below. 5.3, 80 feet.

Pitch 2: Climb through an awkward chimney/dihedral (5.5, fixed pin) then up easier ground to a small overlap (also 5.5), to a comfortable ledge with several trees. 90 feet, 5.5 (can be combined with Pitch 1 with a 60-m rope).

Pitch 3: Follow a crack system to a small ledge, where it ends, then either follow the corner on the left, or the left-trending crack system on the right, to the top of the ramp. Either belay here (2 pins), or continue up and left to trees (possible rope drag issues). At this point, one can either walk up left and around to the overlook, or continue for one more pitch of climbing. 5.5, 80-120 feet.

Pitch 4 (optional): From the top of the ramp, scramble up easy ground to a ledge, and then continue up a series of small headwalls (several variations possible) to the tourist lookout. Top out to thunderous applause and silly questions. Belay using fenceposts for the safety guardrail. 80-120 feet, 5.0-5.4.

Essential Gear

Standard rack with several long slings. Double ropes may help in case of retreat, especially if you want to rappel down the Lower Left Wall, rather than walk back around and up, but the route itself can be rappelled easily with a single 60-m rope due to the abundance of ledges and trees.

Miscellaneous Info

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

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

Viewing: 1-1 of 1

splewis - Sep 29, 2009 11:02 am - Hasn't voted

Upper Refuse P.1 correction

There are no protection bolts on the first pitch of Upper Refuse--it's all gear (and well protectd). At the top of this pitch are two fixed pitons (not bolts) which can be backed up easily with trad gear.

Viewing: 1-1 of 1



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