Slab Happy Pinnacle. Left Side. TR


Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
This thread has been locked
Messages 1 - 23 of total 23 in this topic

Trad climber
San Jose, CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Jun 7, 2010 - 09:52pm PT
Climbed on Memorial weekend Left side route on Slab Happy Pinnacle and like to share how good the route is.
I was thinking about to climb Slab Happy long time ago since Largo and Werner once mentioned the route as one of the favorite ..

I had walk to the base of the Pinnacle last fall in rainy day to check how is approach and found that book description is good and correct except that 3rd class passage is in fact - class 3d. I build a lot of ducks. And approach took about an hour .
Amazing beta from Werner for approach is also help
So I found a very attractive formation with intriguing routes as on Left, in the Middle and on Right site

I learn from Clint report that Dihardral( right) has very tricky start and it truly looks like unprobable from the ground, and Center route with widely spaced bolts was not first pick for me - shitty face climber. So my choice was The Left Side and it looks very good. Later I read Levy's TR how they climbed Center Route and Levy, -if you do not mind - I'll use your photo since non of us took the camera.
this is photo of Left Side route from the base. One can see P1 Chimey, P2 double-crack roof, and p3 last roof with big hands lip

So on Memorial day week ago my friend Wes and I approach Slab Happy Pinnacle - and started racking up in the base of Left side route . As I said, the route is looking exciting from bottom, one small roof and two big roofs in the chimney flowing one after other as waives .

Wes did not climb outdoors for the last 6 month - and I was climbing this year every weekend, so he decided to take first pitch and give second and third for me

The first pitch ends just below first big roof and when Wes was climbing first pitch chimney , I was trying to scale his body up to p2, to figure out what I will be doing on crux p2. I was thinking that turning the lip of double crack roof is the crux and if the chimney is friendly size - I would be able to do it. The first pitch was grunt 5.8 , physical and long.
I started second pitch little tense knowing that this grade it close to my limit , but everything goes smooth. The chimney size was friendly, pro - good and abundant and I found myself tuning the lip of the roof with rare moment in my climbing life - 5.11 crux done -and I am not even pumped. WTF? Answer come 15 feet after. - You are not pumped dork because you did not pass the crux yet! And one more thing added after the roof done - bad Rope drug. I did not sling well some places under the roofs, not sure where. Probably with rope drug - I better to stop just before the crux - set up anchor and brake pitch in two parts, but I continue. Crux is steep flared fingers, just two hard moves, but with such rope drug I had no chances- so I pull on the gear. Last 20-25 feet of relatively easy chimney/OW I carried two pieces only left on my rack Blue Camelot ( for Donini belay) and blue Alien ( for Noriko belay). Good news when I reach alcove of top of p2 - was Blue Camelot placement available.

Last Pitch started with ~12 feet chimney/roof and 10d wide hands to turn of the lip. Some moves above the lip reminiscent to mid section of Tideline in Omstead point . Went well, no rope drug this time and the rest of pitch was sustain and interesting too.
Later I was thinking that this is one the few times when I have no climbing information about this root at all except of book/topo and it was kind of cool. Usually I desperately collect beta, but I did not find anything this time.

When Wes and I were done with the route and were siting on top of the Pinnacle - we had a feeling that we done something, and happy of our route choice, and the place itself
All 3 pitches on this route was physical, long 140-150 feet and memorable. I think the route for comparison has same grade as New Dimensions, equal in quality, little longer and overall harder .
We drug a second rope since there only one intermediate rappel station on the face of the Pinnacle and one 70 m rope is not sufficient to rap. This intermediate rap station consist of 3 relict bolts ( one of them is half out of the hole) and probably drilled in 70th and the station looks scary. I never drilled a bolt in my life but I want to learn how to do it and volunteer to go go there again to replace this station with someone who know how .

The route itself has no bolts/pins at all except of one piton in the last roof above alcove of p2, and probably not necessary with modern pro, unless you come to alcove without gear at all.

Those 3 pitches took for us more than 4 hours, so we decided not climb Dihardral ( 3 pitches right side) and leave it for another day. Clint I still have your beta for Dihardral !

And we ended day at Silent Freeway, - this route is wow too. Clean corner crack with unexpected climatic end - double mantel .., I meant two mantels in the row

BTW, this is my first TR
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jun 7, 2010 - 10:03pm PT
great TR Alexey, another place that has been on my radar screen for a while...
good on you to get on it up there!

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Jun 7, 2010 - 10:19pm PT
Right on Alexey!

Man, you are gunning this year!

Your words express a certain reverence for the climbs you do, very humble.

That gash would have me running for the Natural!

Thanks for a great TR!


Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Jun 7, 2010 - 11:18pm PT
I can aid climb that level!!!


good stuff A!
Gary Carpenter

SF Bay Area
Jun 7, 2010 - 11:23pm PT
You're the man!!
Missed you Saturday


Trad climber
Jun 8, 2010 - 12:54am PT
Great TR Alexey,
Well written, funny.

Social climber
Jun 8, 2010 - 01:05am PT
hey there say, alexey... i really enjoyed this, and i am not a climber... i liked the neat comments about the map, werner, and all, too...

i wish i understood the stuff on the map a bit better... and could also see more of the rock to go with it...

very good to hear, that all matches up well in these cases, as, out in the world (not so much out on the rocks) a lot of "what you see" is not what you end up getting, "after the fact"....

well, some day when i am able to let some of the projects rest a bit more, i may study more on these maps... i always loved maps, and rock climbing ones are a neat discovery here at supertopo...


glad you had a great trip...
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jun 8, 2010 - 01:35am PT
Great TR, Alexey! It was fun to visualize the climbing from your descriptions. I had heard the Left Side was original / stout, and your TR backs it up. Pretty cool looking, too.

I would like to get back up there and replace some more bolts - if you want to go back sometime for the Dihardral, keep me posted on plans and I'll tag along to jug a line and work on the bolts (I'm not climbing so hard these days).

I know Tom McMillan replaced a couple of anchors there - they must have been the top anchor and the Right side / Dihardral.

Big Wall climber
So Cal
Jun 8, 2010 - 01:51am PT
Thanks for the Trip Report! Glad you got up there! I'll go back there with a bolt-kit next time. I'd like to do the Left Side on the next visit.

Trad climber
The land of Fruits & Nuts!
Jun 8, 2010 - 02:03am PT
Awesome TR. Slab Happys been on the radar for a couple years.

I can show you how to replace a bolt if you'd like. It's not rocket science!

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Jun 8, 2010 - 02:09am PT


Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 8, 2010 - 03:37am PT
Love to see more pictures on this one, and also on the Dihardral, which rarely gets done I would think.

Trad climber
San Jose, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 8, 2010 - 05:24pm PT
Thanks for positive feedback, I'll try to write other reports if I climb something new and good.
For me, time to write this short report took about same time as we climbed it...
Clint , I love to go with you to climb Dihardral and replace rappel bolts, thanks for the offer.
Let's do it after summer heat brake - in end of September- early October.
It is interesting that next day we met Tom McMillan, - he used to climb with Wes long time ago - so he mentioned about bolt replacement on Slab Happy he did, but we understood that it was on Right side.
The bad ancor I am talking is in the middle of the face where on Topo is letter "D" and arrow down and it crossed by route call "The Happy Ending"
On the top of the pinnacle no bolts at all, but relatively new slings with biners around the block.
And on top of P1 of Center route ancor "C" consists of two good ASCA bolts, but we skipped them since we did rap with two ropes. But there is no way to skip crappy "D" ancor if you rappelling from top with two ropes. Even 2 x70 will not reach "C"

Trad climber
Berkeley, CA
Jun 8, 2010 - 05:40pm PT
Bump for good stuff and new inspiration.

Social climber
Santa Cruz Mountains/Los Gatos
Jun 8, 2010 - 06:05pm PT
nice TR.
thought the second pitch 5.9 on the Dihardral was among the hardest 5.9's I've ever done.
good rock up there though
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jul 11, 2012 - 05:36pm PT
I am pleased to report that Roger Brown has replaced all the old bolts up on the Slab Happy Pinnacle routes, including:
 the scary rappel anchor described in Alexey's report here
 other belay/rappel anchors, including the anchors on top of the Silent Freeway
 protection bolts, such as those on the free version of the Center Route and the Happy Ending.
 protection bolts on the original Center Route p1, which goes right to the long crack after the second bolt, where the free version goes left

This was made possible by Steve Hordley and Sonia Buckley, who climbed the Left Side route on Memorial Day weekend and fixed 2 ropes to the top of the pinnacle. It was a very hot day, but they waited until the route went into the shade at 3pm and then ran up it!

See also Levy's nice photo TR of the Center Route (free version) from 2009:


Oakland, CA
Jul 11, 2012 - 06:38pm PT
The chimney size was friendly, pro - good and abundant and I found myself tuning the lip of the roof with rare moment in my climbing life - 5.11 crux done -and I am not even pumped. WTF? Answer come 15 feet after. - You are not pumped dork because you did not pass the crux yet!

Alexey, you are far and away my favorite TR writer on this site. Your writing kicks ass, and you always climb the interesting, seldom-visited lines. Nice!
scuffy b

heading slowly NNW
Jul 11, 2012 - 06:59pm PT
They're right--this is a great little trip report!

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jul 11, 2012 - 08:09pm PT
Nice report! Doesn't get done nearly enough.

right here, right now
Jul 11, 2012 - 08:38pm PT
All hail Steve Hordley and Sonia Buckley for the bolt replacement!
Well done and thank you.

And yes, nice TR Alexey.
One of the all-time better "obscure" routes to do in Da Valley.

Merced, CA
Jul 11, 2012 - 09:26pm PT
Good news about the bolt replacement. Now I can go back up there (in the fall) to do the Center Route.

Slab Happy Left is stellar, just as good as Moratorium. Silent Freeway is also a must-do, though probably one of the more sandbagged 5.10's in the Valley. The Dihardral is a bit more dirty and the climbing is less enjoyable, but it's still worth doing.

Gym climber
Jul 12, 2012 - 11:18am PT
Ho man, what a great TR, one that makes me want some of that. Thanks for the mojo Alexey!

Yosemite Valley, CA
Nov 25, 2012 - 10:39pm PT
Bumping this excellent TR to add that I made it back up there this weekend to climb the Center Route. I think the Left Side is still my favorite just because I prefer steep burly cracks over techy face climbing, but really the Center Route is probably just as good. The first pitch is maybe the best 5.10 face climbing pitch that I've done in the Valley. It's an unlikely line up a relatively steep and glassy face. There's several cruxes and the climbing is always interesting with lots of sidepulls, pinches, slopers, and mantles, not just smear..smear..smear like you get at the GPA or something.

I was also impressed with how masterfully bolted it is. I wouldn't add any and I would take any away, and each bolt is drilled right where it ought to be. The result is that any time you're pulling a 5.10 crux you've got a bolt right next to you, but the 5.8/5.9 stuff is sufficiently runout that the whole thing feels "sustained". Getting to the first one is especially thought-provoking and I spent a good 10 minutes floundering about, trying to figure out how to get up there without killing myself. Then I unlocked the correct sequence with the correct hand and foot holds and it turned out to be way easier and more secure than I could have imagined.

The second pitch is pretty cool too. An easy traverse leads to a bolt and then the feet run out but you still have good edges for your fingers. The 5.9 offwidth after that isn't quite the push-over I thought it would be, especially since my biggest piece was a #4. It was also pretty damn hot on the route since this week has been unusually warm for late November. I had a week off before Thanksgiving and we went climbing in Red Rocks, so this was a great "welcome back to Yosemite" sort of route to remind us that nothing's ever easy in the Valley.

We also collected a fair bit of trash around the base. I'm not sure if this all floats down from the East Ledges descent or what, but here's just some the crap we picked up. The only "booty" we found was a DMM Wallnut.

Thanks again to the ASCA for reviving this gem from "death route" status. I definitely wouldn't have ever gone up there while it was sporting those 1/4"ers.
Messages 1 - 23 of total 23 in this topic
Return to Forum List
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks

Try a free sample topo!

SuperTopo on the Web

Recent Route Beta