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Easy climbs in Yosemite

By William Wright

>    Here's a list of 5.8 and below Grade I and II climbs in the
>Yosemite Valley listed in Roper's Climbers Guide to the Yosemite
>Valley put out by The Serra Club.

>Rtng  G   Location         Route Name                                    Page
>----  -   --------------   --------------------------------------------  ----
>5.0   I   Yosemite Falls   Sunnyside Bench - Regular Route                126
Very nice. Probably 5.4

>5.1   I   Glacier Point    Monday Morning Slab - Right Side               200

>5.3   I   Royal Arches     Aunt Fanny's Pantry                             45
Fun, but not for long.

>5.4   I   Leaning Tower    Rostrum - From The Notch, The                  277
Way cool! Very short though and more like 5.7

>5.5   I   Arch Rock        Iota, The                                       53
Super cool route! Highly recommended. Start is very tricky and could
be 5.8 unless you do it just right. Super runout.

>5.5  II   Leaning Tower    Leaning Tower Traverse                         272
Awesome position and views. You can continue up to the very summit
of the leaning tower. The crux pitch is a bit loose, 160 feet long,
and probably 5.7 or 5.8. Traverses the whole way. Wild! From then
on it is not very continuous, but has a couple of 5.7 sections.

>5.6   I   Royal Arches     Church Bowl Chimney                            142
Maybe the most intimidating 5.6 I have ever seen. Difficult to
non-existent pro in a vertical, wide chimney. Scary but cool.

>5.6  II   Cathedral        Lower Cathedral Rock - Overhang Bypass         266
Three stars! Probably the best route in the valley at this grade
except Snake Dike. It is 5.7.

>5.6  II   Yosemite Falls   Munginella                                     117

>5.7   I   El Capitan       La Cosita - Left Side                           72
Really neat. Steep face/chimney type climbing. Unusual.

>5.7  II   Glacier Point    Grack, The - Center                            194
Classic. Probably 5.6 with new sticky shoes.

>5.7  II   Glacier Point    Point Beyond                                   202
Great route. A bit runout. I think it is rated 5.8 now.

>5.7  II   Leaning Tower    Pulpit Rock - Improbable Traverse              276
Great route, but is really only a pitch. The approach pitch
is rated 5.8 but is much harder and hard to protect and find.
I wouldn't recommend it unless you are solid at 5.9

>5.7  II   Three Brothers   After Six                                       94

>5.7  II   Yosemite Falls   Selaginella Wall                               121
Nice route.

>5.7  II   Yosemite Falls   Via Aqua                                       125
Very cool postion. Some great ledges and a great finish.
But...some long runouts at 5.7 and the crux is probably 5.9

>5.8   I   El Capitan       Little John - Left Side                         72
Only TRed this. Very wide, physical crack. Can layback it but very
committing. Tough Yosemite crack.

>5.8   I   Royal Arches     Church Bowl Terrace                            143

>5.8  II   Arch Rock        Elevator Shaft, The                             48
Don't know anyone who has done this. It is the most intimidating and
scariest looking thing I have ever seen (at this grade.) It is just
left of Outer Limits and looks harder. I must try this someday. Scary!

>5.8  II   Cathedral        Higher Cathedral Spire - Regular Route         238
Great route to an awesome summit, but it is 5.9.

>5.8  II   El Capitan       Little John - Right Side                        71
Cool route with a real struggle in a flare to begin with but easier
and more fun higher up.

>5.8  II   Glacier Point    Monday Morning Slab - Harry Daley Route        200
Classic. Perfect hand crack on low angle slab.

>5.8  II   Leaning Tower    Pulpit Rock - Tree Route                       275
This is the first pitch to the Improbable Travese Route. The crux is
more like 5.10a.

>5.8  II   Royal Arches     Arches Terrace                                 149
Very fun route with some runouts.

>5.8  II   Royal Arches     Bishop's Terrace, The                          144
Classic hand crack.

>5.8  II   Three Brothers   Cid's Embrace                                  112

>5.8  II   Three Brothers   Jump For Joy                                    93

>5.8  II   Yosemite Falls   Surprise, The                                  117
I think this is 5.9 now. Fun route.


From: coomer@nuc.berkeley.edu (Eric Coomer)

The below suggestions are pretty good.  But some corrections follow.
And some additions.

>You need to check out these climbs:
>1. Nuntcracker (5.8) Manuere Pile Buttress

After 6(5.6) is also good.  Though not near as good
as nutcracker.

>2. Chinourd Crack (5.6) Monday Morning Slab on Glacier Point Apron

Chouinard Crack I think is 5.7.  Also Harry Daley(5.8) right near it
is good.

>3. After Seven (5.7) Manure Pile
>4. Central Pillar of Frenzy (5.9) Cathedral Rock ?

It's on middle cathedral.  5 pitches.  Fantastic.

>5. Selligenela (5.6) Five Open Books by Yosemite Falls

The climb is Munginella.  Haven't done it.  But while you're there 
do Commitment(5.9)  Only a few 5.9 moves on the third pitch.  Do the
5.8 hand crack start instead of the lieback(much more enjoyable).

Also check out Jamcrack(just follow the crowds!!!) 5.7(1st pitch) 5.9(second).
Once the first pitch is done you can top-rope two 10 climbs(10c/10d) that
are well worth it.  Bummer and Lazy Bum.  But like I said, the crowd factor
can be HUGE!

From: billw@netcom.com (William Wright)

>Don't forget the most classic of them all: Royal Arches (5.7).  Its one of 
>the few moderate routes which scales the entire height of the rim.  Start 
>early though (how does before 7 am sound?), the route tends to get crowded.

A great suggestion, of course! But is is super crowded so start around 
6 a.m. if you want to beat most of the crowds. Another GREAT moderate 
route that won't have any one on it is Overhang Bypass (5.7). This route
goes all the way up Lower Cathedral Rock. Highly recommended! Every pitch
is solid and beautiful, great exposure.

>I am going to Yosemite for the weekend, and I wanted to do the Northeast 
>Buttress of the Higher Cathedral Rock and the East Buttress of Middle Cathedral
>Rock.  I have Reid's new book, so the routes are pretty straight forward.  
>However, I was wondering if I could get more specific beta on what gear will
>be needed for these climbs.  Also, I would love to get as much info as possible
>on the approach and descent for these climbs.  Anything that those of you who 
>have done these climbs could offer would be greatly appreciated.  Also, I'm 

Both of these are great routes, but don't let the ratings fool you. NE Butt
is MUCH harder than the East Butt. NE Butt is steep, wide, continuous, etc.
The real climbing starts when you switch over to the left corner after 5
pitches. I would bring a number of large pieces for this route (#3.5 and #4
friends and maybe even doubles, but I did it a long time ago and am a chicken.)
There is a tricky inobvious section up high where you face climb around to
the right to avoid a heinous 5.9? offwidth. The descent off this route is 
easy and non-technical. The approach is a grunt, however.

The East Butt is a "50 Classic" and attracts LOTS of people for good reason.
The route is lots of fun. The first pitch has a very tricky 5.8 move on it.
The bolt ladder can be aided or freed, but bring some wires to hook over the
hangerless bolts (unless they have been replaced.) The descent off this one
is tougher but still not too bad. Most people do two rappels from fixed
slings (single rope), but these can be avoided with downclimbing. The
approach is pretty short compared with NE Butt.

>Presumably, I will spend 2-3 days in Yosemite Valley in the 
>beginning of May. I want to get an impression of the valley and
>would also like to do some climbing. I will have shoes and harness
>and maybe a rope and some runners but no other gear with me. 
>Are there any nice top rope climbs or short bolted climbs that you
>can recommend? I can climb around 5.10, my wife up to 5.7.

Try Swan Slab, Manure Pile Buttress, Church Bowl. Five and Dime
cliff offers a 5.8 and a couple 5.10's can be easily toproped
and will give you a good idea of what Yosemite climbing is all
about. Two offwidths that can be toproped are Generator Crack
and the River Offwidth. Try Church Bowl Chimney and see if it
isn't the hardest, scariest 5.6 you have every been on.
You could climb the Iota (not a toprope, but no gear on it
anyway - 5.6 chimney) and then TR Chingando (10a+ OW).

Another super popular TR spot is Sunnyside Bench. You have
to climb a 5.7 jam crack to set up the toprope though. This
place is so popular someone up there could probably give you a
belay or fix your rope for you.

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