Best Valley obscurities 5.9 and under


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Trad climber
Greeley Hill
Topic Author's Original Post - Apr 3, 2013 - 10:53am PT
In the most recent (ha ha ha) Reid guide, I find the star ratings highly subjective and definitely (naturally?) skewed toward more technically difficult climbs.

I'm looking to expand my list of Five.Fun in the valley without doing any actual work of discovery. Err... I mean I'm looking for inspiration.

What were/are your favorite Five.Fun routes BITD and beyond?

What is the longest Five.Fun route you considered, say, a good solo?

Remember, not in the Supertaco guide!

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Apr 3, 2013 - 11:25am PT
Nobody does obscurities in the Valley....98% of the climbers are on 2% of the routes- the herd instinct is alive and well.

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Apr 3, 2013 - 11:34am PT
Direct route Washington column.

Mountain climber
portland, Maine
Apr 3, 2013 - 11:47am PT
positively 4th street, lower brother. 5.9
The Warbler

the edge of America
Apr 3, 2013 - 11:55am PT
There's a nice 3 pitch 5.8 route way up the Old Big Oak Flat Road on the Audubon Buttress - The Dove. Big chimney with huge buckets on the first pitch, ending at a spacious flat ledge, a long straight in splitter handcrack up a clean slab for the 2nd pitch, and some mixed features for the third. Really good rock and clean climbing.

Beautiful zone up there, and about as obscure as you can get. Even when you're right below the crag on the old road it's hard to see. There's harder routes up there also...

If you go even farther, there's Fireplace Bluff with a number of moderates - Ed knows about that - there's a thread :

Oakland, CA
Apr 3, 2013 - 02:17pm PT
Dingus reco'd the Ab-Free to Hawkman's linkup on Lower Bro years back, and I try to pay that favor forward whenever I can.

I don't think it's a good contender for a solo, though.

Social climber
Apr 3, 2013 - 02:21pm PT
I got on the Dove a couple of years ago but got chased off by lightening at like 11:00 a.m. I felt like I was in Colorado or something. Anyway- it's nice up there and what we did of the route was good. Long walk though with some poison oak to dodge.


Trad climber
Fresno CA
Apr 3, 2013 - 02:30pm PT
The Ski Jump (III, 5.7 -- FA Pratt and Kamps) was loose, but a great deal of fun and extremely adventurous. It's neither in ST nor in the Reid/Meyers guides.

The East Arete of Split Pinnacle (5.8, C1) is also a lot of fun, on relatively good rock. When I last did it, the summit pitch was fixed. Otherwise, the climb could be a different story. The lieback variation on the summit is of an entirely different character.

I've not done the Ho Chi Minh Trail, but I second the recommendation of the North Buttress. It is a lot of fun, and if anything shuts you down, it's reasonably possible to pull through on gear.


Social climber
Apr 3, 2013 - 02:32pm PT
FYI the first fixed pin on the aid pitch of Split Pinnacle is gone.

Social climber
boulder co
Apr 3, 2013 - 02:42pm PT
Doggie diversions on the camp 4 wall is fun and I second positively 4th street on the lower brother. 2 great pitches and no one around.

Jamcrack's pretty good too ;-)
Dapper Dan

Trad climber
Menlo Park
Apr 3, 2013 - 03:03pm PT
Loggerhead Ledge Route

Pretty fast approach , chimney , crack , shaded route .

Awesome ledge to finish on . Rap off .

What else you need ??

Loggerhead Ledge
Loggerhead Ledge
Credit: Dapper Dan

Big Wall climber
So Cal
Apr 3, 2013 - 03:16pm PT
Another vote for East Arete of Split Pinnacle. It's a great route with much steeper climbing than one might think a 5.8 grade would offer. You can do it with a single rope too.

Another good easy route with a nice finish is the Iota chimney. You start inside the back of the Iota flake and basically tunnel thru to the outside ending right atop Chingando. The top of the Iota has a nice, flat, spacious ledge with great views of the lower Merced Canyon & the Rostrum.

Social climber
1187 Hunterwasser
Apr 3, 2013 - 03:46pm PT
I like the easy route onto the Rostrum. fun place, you can toprope a bunch of other route finishes. also, there is my favorite, Bridwell Corner, 5.9 wide.

Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Apr 3, 2013 - 03:50pm PT
my tick list Lower Brother, Schultz's Ridge, Ski Jump, Lost Brother, Spiral Staircase route on sentinel (i might be botching that name). All 5.6-5.7 ish, all supposed to have adventurous routes...
paul roehl

Boulder climber
Apr 3, 2013 - 04:19pm PT
How about The Prude and all the rest of those Mirror Lake climbs... steps from the trail shady start, kind of fun.

Mountain climber
Apr 3, 2013 - 04:20pm PT
Sierra Point Buttress!

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Apr 3, 2013 - 04:45pm PT
No idea what is in ST free guide, don't own one. Maybe these are in, maybe not.

Owl Bypass. Outstanding 5.9, and seconds from the road. Tape up and skip the second pitch.

Lemon. 5.9ish. While the hordes are gangbanging Jamcrack and the Bums, do this while you wait.

Trial By Fire. 5.8, full value flare/wide climbing. If you're already over there by Serenity or Superslide, give this one a whirl.

Cid's Embrace. 5.8, not much traffic on the C4 wall.
Lancelot. 5.9, another less traveled line on the C4 wall.
Doggie Diversions. 5.9, same as above.
The Buttocks. 5.9, same as above.

Golden Needles, 5.8
Just scraping by, 5.9
Jug Monkey, 5.9. All three are good lines down by Cascade falls that see little traffic.

Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
Apr 3, 2013 - 05:19pm PT
I guess no point in hording the nuts, the future dreams, especially since Yosemite is not my winter/spring weekend destination any more:

Boulderfield Gorge has given me a boner for a few years, never gotten around to it and don't see it on the immediate radar.

Just pick up that Red or Green Roper guide and flip to any random page, and anything 5.7-5.9 is bound to be a glorious adventure.

Trad climber
Ridgway, CO
Apr 3, 2013 - 05:29pm PT
Wasp, Jugs and Chicken Pie . . . New Diversions area.

Apr 3, 2013 - 06:16pm PT
I climbed a nice 5.8 Golden Needles? on the far right side of Pat and Jack Pinnacle a few years ago nice and quite stiff for the grade.
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