Piece de Resistance- Fairview Dome


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Kevin McLaughlin

Topic Author's Original Post - Feb 12, 2011 - 09:58pm PT
I did this route- late 90s with Steve Cheyney - Hard crux pitch ( the book claimed .11c) felt much harder- broken holds was my guess...... Anyway... The locals we spoke to scoffed at hearing we had just done this route .They basically called us liars - in so many words. To their knowledge the route had not been done for a long time-maybe years....?? Does anybody know anything about this route or any story to go with it ? I do recall the last pitch being full length and only getting a single slung horn for pro . 5.9 I think. Zero chalk on it and two pins that were supposed to be one belay lifted out when I went to clip into them about the third or fourth pitch. It sure did not seem to have had anyone on it recently. I always wondered why..... so I guess now I am asking . Why? We really enjoyed it. HHhmmm...... Any info would be appreciated . Thanks

Sport climber
mammoth lakes ca
Feb 12, 2011 - 10:09pm PT
Liar........................................ :]

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
Feb 12, 2011 - 10:13pm PT
I think you answered your own question, as to why it doesn't get done that much.

Feb 12, 2011 - 10:18pm PT
LongAgo, where are you...

Social climber
Davis, CA
Feb 12, 2011 - 10:23pm PT
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Latitute 33
Feb 12, 2011 - 10:26pm PT
Did this route in 1979/80? with Al Bartlett and most recently in 2005 with Vern Stiefel. The crux pitch had definitely changed in the 25+ years. On my first time leading the crux, there were a number of thin edges/flakes at and after the first short traverse left that were completely absent the second time. (In fact, I broke one foothold while leading it the 1st time. The holds were the thin flaky type edges that eventually break - leaving a solid hold or none at all)

The route was always hard (5.11d/12a) in EBs, and even though the second time I led it I had much better shoes, the crux was thinner and required using some very tenuous smears. It still seemed very hard, probably harder.

What struck me the most on the most recent ascent was the poor shape of the fixed gear. The only new bolts were at the belay on the dike traverse route [Separation Anxiety] that runs across Fairview (also the belay below the crux and above the 11a pitch). All the other bolts were crappy 1/4 inchers, with many hanging out or manky. The scariest point on the climb the 2nd time was the semi-hanging belay just below passing over the arch onto easier ground. Two crappy bolts, no other gear nearby, standing on a "ledge" perhaps 1.5 inches wide on a smooth face with 800+ feet of exposure. I didn't even hang on the bolts, but stood there belaying, trying not to weight them. Glad Vern was solid and didn't fall.

Absolutely great and varied climb, but all the fixed gear (except the one belay) is in dire need of replacement.

Trad climber
Feb 12, 2011 - 10:31pm PT
The locals we spoke to scoffed at hearing we had just done this route .They basically called us liars - in so many words.

I don't know dude, that seems so unlike Yos.


Famous line, one of the last of the classic era. FFA during the transitional period. I'd love to do that rig.

Edit: the clown already linked to higgins's story.

Social climber
Davis, CA
Feb 12, 2011 - 10:44pm PT
that's the page from the Tricksters and Traditionalists article. The earlier thing I linked was a supertopo post longago cross posted to his site about the route.

Feb 13, 2011 - 12:14am PT
Great route. Just what Randy wrote. Last time I did it I just got sick of those bolts. I took a bunch of little ones on that foil looking hanger up higher after the little traverse. I have thought about replacing those. Unfortunately thoughts don't do much for replacing bolts. It certainly would be a service. Sean Kriletich and I replaced the anchors after the third pitch when we did Separation Anxiety.
Blah blah.
Anyhow, Piece is certainly a fun route. Get on out there folks!

Bob J.

Trad climber
Central Coast
Feb 13, 2011 - 12:52am PT
Good send kevin! Search no farther and relish your accomplishment!
Kevin McLaughlin

Topic Author's Reply - Feb 13, 2011 - 01:11am PT
Thanks for so much feedback to all . I guess after all these years I had forgotten about the nature of the gear on this route . It is slowly coming back to me now ........ Thanks again folks.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Feb 13, 2011 - 02:56am PT
Maybe Roger could get interested in replacing the bolts on this route and others on Fairview.
He has mentioned it in the past.
Just hike a couple of 600' static lines to the top and all the old 1/4" bolts could be replaced fairly systematically by moving the ropes from one side to the other.
He is running out of bolts to replace in the Valley anyway!
It would be a lot easier than the work he did replacing Autobahn and nearby stuff last summer.
Greg Barnes

Feb 13, 2011 - 10:26am PT
Tuolumne is dangerous to jugging long fixed lines - only one sharp knob in the wrong place and you can quickly get core shots. Roger and Karin and I put a core-shot in a 11mm static very quickly when working on replacing Bombs Over Tokyo. You would have to be really careful trying to treat Fairview Dome like the Valley as far as long fixed lines.

Fixing the lines then doing one route at a time, top down (no jugging back up), is the best call in my opinion. So it might be best to plan very carefully as far as the replacement. Maybe multiple rebolters and try to get particular routes done all at once.

I'll help out anytime I can make it up this summer - hiking ropes to the top at the very least!

Feb 13, 2011 - 11:07am PT
Yeah, I bet I could be persuaded to do a job or two, but please can someone do Burning Down the House so I don't have to preview?

If someone wants bolts replaced on a route you want to do, but don't want to see beforehand I'll do it if you do BDH. Greg? Anyone? Beuller?

Bob J.
Greg Barnes

Feb 13, 2011 - 11:19am PT
That's a lot of terrain with not many bolts...might need to bring binoculars to find bolts, even while rapping down! Hope you can get to belay 3 from above - might want to talk to the kid and shipoopi first about whether belay 3 needs 2 bolts if the topo is accurate and it's a 1-bolt belay.

(I don't think I'll have the time to work on any Fairview route in reality other than maybe one day if I'm lucky, and BDH is not a run in and do fast sort of route).

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
Feb 13, 2011 - 11:24am PT
I described my mind-taxing experience on Piece de Resistance in a "slab" thread, here:


I can't remember the exact year but it was probably somewhere in the range 1989-1993. I would estimate that the crux pitch was about 11.d at that time. Sometime after those years there was a big rockfall on Fairview and I remember hearing stories that Piece was one of the routes that had been physically changed due to rockfall damage. Don't know if there is any truth to that.

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Feb 13, 2011 - 11:35am PT
Great thread.

No pix, no pix, NO PIX!!!

A friends backyard with the neighbors wifi
Feb 13, 2011 - 12:21pm PT
I'll help with any of that rebolting, I'm there all summer. But, talk is cheap...

Yosemite/ Truckee
Feb 13, 2011 - 12:28pm PT
A little off- topic, but we replaced the bolts on Fairest of All last season, with support from Greg and the ASCA. We worked ground up for two reasons. First was so we could climb and enjoy the route, and second, it would have been pretty hard to find some of those bolts from above without prior knowledge. Most of the lead bolts were replaced on lead, 'cause I didn't want to climb above 'em! The condition of some of the lead bolts was really bad, I pulled one out with a sharp tug. I'm not too familiar with "Piece", but you'd probably have to spent some serious time finding those bolts if you rapped in. Maybe fixing off intermediate anchors on the way down could solve some of the traversing/ sharp edge/knob problems. There are lots of great routes on that dome that nobody ever does, probably in part to the condition of the bolts and anchors. Thanks to Greg, we have all the stainless we need, all that;s left are some forearms!!


Yosemite/ Truckee
Feb 13, 2011 - 12:30pm PT
Dave, I'll take ya up on that offer!
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