lower yosemite falls amphitheatre


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tom woods

Gym climber
Bishop, CA
Apr 30, 2009 - 11:49am PT
One thing I noticed in there, is that the white chalk on dark rock leads to a bigger visual impact then other places.

Someone posted a photo of dagger in one of these threads recently, you can see what I'm talking about.

It's a visual thing, that gets washed off for half a year, so it's no big deal, but it might be something to think about.

Also, someone bolted that top rope arete problem by the guiding light climbs, that thing can lead to a ton of chalk on rock as you try to squeeze your way up it.

Actually it was that arete climb that got me thinking about top roping new routes rather then bolting them. Who do those bolts serve?


Apr 30, 2009 - 12:35pm PT
Fishy, that 5.8 crack with the bolted anchor is called "Ranger Crack". The way I heard it, after the area was removed from the guide, Lober and a lackey drove a rig onto the bridge, went up there and powerdrilled those two bolts at night. Kind of a do as I say not as I do sort of thing.
Hence the name.
But it could be a load of bollocks.

I don't see "Ten beers after" that 5.7 right facing corner to the three mantle moves on the face to a bolted anchor that is between ranger crack and the falls...
Anyone else done it?

Ice climber
Candia, NH
Apr 30, 2009 - 12:51pm PT
Could this be "Super Hands"?


This was one of the few climbs I got to do while in Yosemite for my honeymoon in '06. Best hand crack I've ever been on, which isn't saying all that much.

Apr 30, 2009 - 01:04pm PT
That's the one, but everyone I've ever talked to about it, calls it Ranger Crack.
That's because its name is Ranger Crack...which is why they call it that. Because that's its name.

If you look up leftish from just before the anchor, you'll see bolts leading up and left. Anyone climb this continuation?

Berkeley, CA
Apr 30, 2009 - 02:06pm PT
My first time to the Lower Yos Falls amphitheater I went nuts... hopped on the first good looking hand-crack on lead with no guidebook, and had a drawn-out drama about halfway up Lightweight Guides when I was a marginal 5.9 climber. Full Elvis leg splayed out on the dihedral stem, shaky arms trying everything on the rack to get a piece in, then blowing it for a 20-25 foot fall (my first) and stopping about 10 feet or less off the ground. All in front of my wife and non-climber friends. Good times.

As Ed said, the 87 Meyers/Reid guide has a very clear diagram and routes of the area.

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Apr 30, 2009 - 02:47pm PT
I've done the Carbon Wall and the Yosemite Falls West Side route in my hammering days, which were wonderful climbs. I've also done the Waterfall route, and that was the one where I felt like the Pied Piper. It's almost all fourth class, and it's possible for tourists to get quite high off the ground.

I think the visual impact goes beyond chalk, though. The rock there is covered with dark lichens. If we ended up scraping that the way we have on, say Serenity Crack or Bishop's Terrace, the impact could be quite severe, indeed. . . but's the climbing's so good, and now off the beaten (climber's) path.

I haven't climbed there since the Reid guides said the NPS asked not to describe it, and I wonder how infrequently we could ascend and not end up destroying the lichens.


Apr 30, 2009 - 03:29pm PT
Image reposted from another thread of climber on the dagger:


Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Apr 30, 2009 - 03:47pm PT
oh, oh man that looks GOOD

Apr 30, 2009 - 04:36pm PT
Thanks all - that is certainly the one. I also heard someone tentatively mention the words "Ranger Crack" now that you mention it - but they were very unsure if it was real or not. I didn't get any of the Lober story though - could it be just wild enough to be true?

Thanks also for the pics!




Trad climber
San Francisco
Sep 9, 2013 - 12:22am PT
Thanks guys for All of the information. It is 4 years down the road, and I am pursuing more info on the Amphitheater. It is September again. Only one couple, in from LA, were on the 5.8 hand crack this Sunday.

The park has now paved a road almost all the way to the back. I cannot imagine that climbers would effect the circus like atmosphere that prevails here, too much. It is definitely not pristine wilderness.


Big Wall climber
South of the Mason Dixon line
Sep 9, 2013 - 01:23am PT
All solid trad climbing to bolts, as I remember, rap stations/belays fixed. We set up a top rope on Ten years after and Dave Shulz, soloed up about 100 feet wandering around the wall, then grabbed the TR and hand over hand down climbed it. Dave later led Blackout a solid black climb, good pro.

People there that day besides Dave: Mike Paul and Dmitri Barton were there, Howard Chapman and "Too Strong Dave." Ten Years after parallels a couple other climbs up good, slightly water polished face/crack climbing. It seems like it is in the shade. I don't remember seeing any tourists at all. Had a great time there, even burned one.

Edit: Above timeline 1985. Went back to same area soon after and climbed "Auntie Gravity." One really nice face and crack climb with an exciting 30' run out right after the crack ends.
Ed H

Trad climber
Santa Rosa, CA
Sep 29, 2015 - 12:41pm PT
We climbed in the Amphitheater last weekend - great shady spot on a hot September day. We did (left to right) Ranger Crack/Superhands 5.8, Guiding Light P1 (10a), Lightweight Guides (10a), Unknown Arete (10a?), Unknown Crack (5.6). Lots to explore in there. Bring the 87 Meyers/Reid guide and a rope gun!

Superhands/Ranger Crack 5.8
Superhands/Ranger Crack 5.8
Credit: Ed H

Unknown Crack 5.6
Unknown Crack 5.6
Credit: Ed H

View from Unknown Arete 10a?
View from Unknown Arete 10a?
Credit: Ed H

Monument Manor
Sep 29, 2015 - 01:43pm PT
Don't forget about Meet Your Maker right of Auntie Gravity...3 pitches, 12a **
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