Here is my short list of favorite climbs in Yosemite Valley.
Of course there are zillions of routes in the Valley, the majority
of which I have not climbed. Will add some more routes to this
when I get a minute.
- Jam Crack Route, 5.9:
First-rate litte jam crack! The bottom pitch is a bit greasy, but
very nice and you better set some honest-to-john jams or it
will be hard. Pitch 2 is very nice crack climb - mostly
straight forward jamming with a little bit of layaway and
some face moves.
- Bishop's Terrace, 5.8:
Slightly grundgy first pitch with a little funky offwidth thrashing,
but classic steep crack climbing on the second pitch. Take some big
stuff -- 3.5 and 4 Friends or the equivalent. There are plenty of good
rests so it is easy to protect the pitch well if you remembered to lug
the right gear up there. Need to climb the third pitch if you want to
be able to rappel on one rope. Two 165's will get you down from the top
of the second pitch.
- The Nutcracker, 5.9:
Great fun stuff. Do the Bridwell start (easy 5.9)
for sure, it is a beautiful finger-to-hand crack. Remember to
take some smallish stoppers or a small TCU to protect the
first crack moves. Lots of 5.7 and 5.8 climbing on this
route - all well protected. The 5.8 mantle at the top doesn't
have to be mantled at all there are at least four different ways
to cheat on the mantle.
- After 7, 5.8: Nice little pitch with excellent
hand jams most of the way and an interesting couple of
moves on the exit.
- Jump for Joy, 5.9:
This is a nice, steep face climb. A bit runout
to start, a bit runout after you make the crux moves, solid
- The Surprise, 5.10a:
This is a nice 4-pitch crack climb. Some grunge to get to the base of a
long, fairly sustained pitch of thin crack and face climbing that is
great - well protected, straight up, classic little belay ledge. The
5.10 variation going straight to the top is definitely the way to go if
you can manage it and you can manage it - marginal 5.10 climbing with
good rests. The cruz is up near the top where the crack peters out and
you move left on some thin stuff. Bring some #1 - #2 Friends and TCUs
or small to medium stoppers and it is very well protected. You will
cook up here on a warm day.
Michael Bolte- firstname.lastname@example.org