Indian Canyon Ladders


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Topic Author's Original Post - Aug 10, 2010 - 06:12pm PT
(I think these are QITNL's pictures) The ladders have been mentioned in a few ST threads , and I found a short description on SummitPost : "An interesting feature found in the canyon is the presence of a partially buried telecommunications cable that was installed many years ago in the canyon. It lies along the eastern most end of the canyon, exposed in places where it is secured with chains and steel cables to the rock. The most exposed section is found about halfway up the canyon. While it seems a travesty that such a thing was put here in the first place, it must have been a phenomenal engineering effort to place it in such a difficult location. I have no idea if it is still functional or exactly what purpose it serves, but if anyone knows please post some information here."
This might be another project for the FaceLifters . . .

Scott Cole

Trad climber
Sunny California
Aug 27, 2010 - 01:17pm PT
The Indian Canyon "trail" is a neglected classic. It is the only Via Ferratta in Yosemite, and should be left as part of history. For a canyon that basicly starts at the deli it gets very little traffic and is one of the quickest ways to the valley rim. There is some good climbing up there, and some beautiful scenery that is worth the hike, if you are willing to leave the paved trails.
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Topic Author's Reply - Aug 27, 2010 - 01:43pm PT
Thanks QITNL . I came down the canyon one time , and went to the base of Lahamite falls and saw wire etc up there . Maybe the ladders will become the de rigueur descent for Royal Arches , Washington Column instead of NDG .

Trad climber
San Jose, CA
Aug 27, 2010 - 01:53pm PT
Could you post a map as to where this is? It would be cool to take that instead of the NDG!

Trad climber
Aug 27, 2010 - 04:51pm PT

Eric Beck

Sport climber
Bishop, California
Apr 7, 2011 - 01:36pm PT
Another via ferrata is (was?) Lady Mountain in Zion. It was quite rickety when I did it in the 60s. I may have been removed since then. As I remember it climbs 2000 feet in a little over a mile.

Troy, MT
Apr 7, 2011 - 01:50pm PT
Fun stuff up there. There are some phenomenally good boulders in that canyon too. Some really fun v1-v2 highball aretes. Fun stuff if mosquito free.

Trad climber
Bay Area
Apr 7, 2011 - 02:31pm PT
Cool snake!
Great shot of two people atop what I believe is Arrowhead Spire, not Arrowhead Arete, which runs up the ridge to the right.
I've always wanted to get up Indian Canyon

Gym climber
Berkeley, CA
Apr 7, 2011 - 07:15pm PT
I traversed above this along the "rim" of the valley (from top of RA over to Yosemite Falls Trail), and loved the general area. Definitely tons of adventure in Yosemite, lacking only for time and imagination to find it.
robert jones

Trad climber
santa cruz,ca
Apr 22, 2012 - 11:21am PT
Just did the via ferrata up Indian Canyon and had a great time. A bit troubling to see all the crap left behind by the Phone Co. folks. Definitely be a good fall cleanup project!

Jun 8, 2016 - 06:47am PT
I made the hike up Indian Canyon yesterday. I left the Valley Loop Trail at the wooden bridge that crosses Indian Creak. Stayed on the right (east) side of the creak the entire way to the rim. The latters are about 1\3 of the way up. When I saw the first latter, I cut back into the actual creak bead and scrambled over boulders to bypass the latter system. After passing the falls, there is a hand cable layed all the way to the top. If you go, be prepared for a lot of bushwhack. I was unable to stop along the way due to the swarming bugs.

Social climber
From the Time Before the Rocks Cooled.
May 17, 2018 - 08:12pm PT
Back in the mid-seventies, we climbed Knuckle Buster partway up Indian CanyonŚprobably the same year as the FA. As I remember, it was a fine, straight-in finger crack that was 5.10b or c. Recommended. The approach up Indian Canyon was a fine introduction to Yosemite's only 'via ferrata'.

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
May 17, 2018 - 11:28pm PT
Doh! I had some pics from up at the top... looks like they are lost to the sands of time:

Joe, are you still lurking out there? I think the pics were from your camera.

Trad climber
May 18, 2018 - 01:02am PT
Damn! The ones at the New River Gorge are really impressive. Built with wood!


Trad climber
Santa Cruz, California
May 18, 2018 - 06:53am PT
the not-too-stupid

The proud, the few!

Jim Henson's Basement
May 18, 2018 - 07:13am PT
Another impressive ladder at the New River Gorge^^^ Theres several sets of these getting in and out of steep areas. Didn't see any wood ones though.
Wade Icey

Trad climber
May 18, 2018 - 09:42am PT
huge rockfall up there year before last(?). Anyone been there recently? Think some of the ladders may be history.

Social climber
May 18, 2018 - 02:11pm PT
That's an interesting story. I remember going down Indian Canyon after doing the Royal Arches in June 1960. It was a lot of talus boulder hopping and more tiring than the climb and we didn't see anything of ladders or cable, but that doesn't mean it wasn't there. A 3 inch cable probably holds 200 pairs of copper which might have served everything from the Valley to Tuolumne and the eastern park entrance. Based on an acquaintance with older phone technology,I imagine the cable was put in during the 50s-60s, no earlier than late 40s. The museum probably knows.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
May 18, 2018 - 05:22pm PT

Trad climber
May 22, 2018 - 10:58am PT
I wonder if that rockfall was the free standing pillar called A-5 Pinnacle that I did the FA of. When I started to drill the rap anchors you could feel the entire pinnacle vibrate. I had my partners rap off of a gear anchor and belay me from the wall. That thing seemed ready to go at any time.
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