Name this YV Obscurity #3


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Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Original Post - May 16, 2006 - 12:38am PT
I know I am violating some posts/hour rule, but this is the last thread I'll start tonight (but I might just add to some other threads bumping them to the top... sorry).

On Sunday we were worked from the previous two days of obscure climbing... we were lazing around in the morning. On our drive in through the Arch Rock entrance we spied Melissa and Jay having a nice breakfast... we circled around and parked with them. Great morning to be in this company. Jay brewed us a couple cups each of high-test coffee which got our mojo working. After we delayed enough Melissa and Jay went off to their climbs and we to ours.

This climb is close to other popular routes, but I don't think it ever gets done. There are two visual hints for your guesses. The first photo is at the base of pitch 1, with one of the belay ledges of the popular climb in the background:

The second picture is ablegable leading the first pitch, the route goes up to the tree, then continues in the same weakness to the upper vegetation. I know someone out there knows this climb... maybe even to have done it...


Monument Manor
May 16, 2006 - 12:56am PT
Commissioners Buttress...Illusion?
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - May 16, 2006 - 01:11am PT

Trad climber
one pass away from the big ditch
May 16, 2006 - 01:27am PT
come on, that has to be on Commissioner Butt?!?

Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - May 16, 2006 - 02:06am PT
what route on Commissioner Buttress? come on!

Trad climber
one pass away from the big ditch
May 16, 2006 - 02:35am PT
The 5.7 route of course, no disrespect actually, there are only 3 listed climbs in my guidebook and one was guessed already. :)

Forgot the name and going to bed now.

Sleepy night night time, time to cuddle up with a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - May 16, 2006 - 02:46am PT
OK, Munge the three climbs in Reid's listed over there: Illusion 5.10d R, CB 5.9 and...

Trip report: May 7, 2006
Ed Hartouni & ablegable

Commissioner Buttress

After Five

route description from Roper's Climber's Guide to Yosemite Valley 1971 ("green guide") page 96

II, 5.7. TM Herbert and companion, 1968.
Several hundred feet right of the Nutcracker is a steep, broad break in the cliffs, containing an undue amount of bushes and dirt. At the extreme right side of this break, and just left of a very steep, clean buttress, lies an obvious chimney system. Although the lower section is dirty, the upper part contains some enjoyable climbing. On the 1st lead be sure to approach the belay tree from the left. Higher, follow chimneys to the top.

Now come on y'all, you've done After Seven and After Six, where's your sense of completeness?! This climb even has a topo in Reid's!

OK, well it takes a partner like ablegable to find a climb that is short, has a quick approach and is generally in a very busy area but is never done (almost never... anyone done it?).

Here is ablegable approaching the tree from the left, just like Roper says... except he tried it from the right first... no go that way, well, maybe some of you sport climbers out there could do it... and it's only 5.7!

Higher up on the thing we found an old piton... and the hummocks are still intact... you haven't lived if you've never climbed on hummocks!

Oh ya, Commissioner Buttress is just next door... and it looks great. Here's the third of a three person party approaching the first belay.

Another physical old school climb. Also loose, be careful out there! Anyone ask TM who the companion was? my guess is that he couldn't remember in '71, unless it's Roper himself... anyone care to speculate?

OK, I hope I don't see any of you out there on the obscure circuit!! it wouldn't be obscure anymore. But I have a sneaking suspicion that we'll be all alone.
Patrick Sawyer

Originally California now Ireland
May 16, 2006 - 08:36am PT

hummock climbing...
scuffy b

Chalet Neva-Care
May 16, 2006 - 11:04am PT
The obvious white scar to the right is the 2nd pitch of
Elusion (Meyers got the spelling wrong). Squeeze behind the
edge of the flake which is really thin at the edge.
A squall came through when I was in there. Climbing in an
80 degree radiant oven with snow blowing horizontally
six inches in front of my face. We got snowed off (mid-May)
and did it the next week.

May 16, 2006 - 11:13am PT
Nice TR, Ed. Probably did the route far more than justice...
susan peplow

Winner of Diet Challenge!!!
May 16, 2006 - 03:16pm PT
"Oh ya, Commissioner Buttress is just next door... and it looks great"

Let me put your mind to rest.....IT'S NOT!


Trad climber
May 16, 2006 - 04:30pm PT
Thanks for the TR. You guys are having way to much fun!
See ya,

Big Wall climber
May 16, 2006 - 04:43pm PT
I have actually done this one (!) My first trip to the Valley - it was in 1990 and probably one of the first climbs I did in Yosemite, we had the green cover guidebook. I don't remember it being so chossy and grassy though...
Mike Dahlquist

Trad climber
Berkeley, CA
May 17, 2006 - 02:26pm PT

Did someone yell down to you "Is that After Five" from the top of Pitch 2, Commissioner Buttress route that day? If so, that was me...our paths cross again. Thanks again for the rope.


May 17, 2006 - 02:35pm PT
Has anyone else done any of the obscurities on the feature on the right in this photo from Edís trip report?

Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - May 17, 2006 - 03:06pm PT
yep... I believe it after I answered "yes" to your question you said "cool"

we definitely have to get out and climb together... when you get back from your adventures.
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Oct 28, 2008 - 09:35pm PT
I just added this route to the route database

Oct 28, 2008 - 09:38pm PT

Social climber
wuz real!
Oct 28, 2008 - 09:41pm PT
It's definitely either Harry Daley or the Burner.

Trad climber
novato ca
Oct 29, 2008 - 12:48pm PT
wow, not a trade rout but a strange classic

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Oct 29, 2008 - 04:58pm PT
Obscuritists Unite!

Sentinel Spire circa 1960 ......

Climbed this with Roper and Baldinger, who was a ranger at the time. Got in a bit of trouble with the Park Service on this one. Appears there were major complaints about "excessive and prolonged rock fall emanating from the area".

Having clambered over numerous terrains with Roper on many occasions I can well appreciate your fascination with the remote and obscure. I remember one hilarious time when we were lost in an area we had been numerous times. He wrote the friggin guide and we were lost.


Trad climber
all bivied up on the ledge
Oct 29, 2008 - 05:44pm PT
Wow! Almost forgot about this one. I did this back in June 1980. It ws kind of chossy. Yvonne (my English partner) thought it was great. Loved the hummock climbing.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 29, 2008 - 05:46pm PT
nice guido! Gary and I spied that spire on our Circular Staircase jaunt...

to paraphrase some rock climbing advert: "if you aren't getting lost, you aren't having an adventure!"

The Warbler

the edge of America
Oct 29, 2008 - 05:51pm PT
Super cool Sentinel Spire photo. Somebody's got a good eye.

Got any more from that era?

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Oct 29, 2008 - 07:05pm PT
Oh yeh, working on one right now.

Trad climber
Oct 29, 2008 - 08:46pm PT
where's DRC?, he's been talking up the hummocks all summer (discretely of course) and trying to get me to do this route. maybe it's time!

May 31, 2009 - 12:42am PT
Anybody who has done CB must have experienced the Alligator Lizards? W. Shipley had a great story - "snapping at me". Lets hear yours....

Trad climber
sf ca
May 31, 2009 - 03:12am PT
Bertrand, let me know when you want to go I'm down. DrC still has some problems with THC, otherwise known as Technical Hummock Climbing. He will most likely be seen at the Alcove Swing with his cheap ass Mammoth Mammory brew 18 pk right along side the "Pony" Tennies.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - May 31, 2009 - 12:40pm PT
from the Sentinel Rock/Sentinel Dome notch, a picture in profile from the west...

Sentinel Spire
I, 5.5, Warren Harding and George Whitmore. June 1954. First free ascent unknown. Seen from Camp 4, this is the spectacular spire which appears to rise from the left skyline of Sentinel Rock, fairly near the top. Actually, the pinnacle is situated on a massif separated from Sentinel by an enormous gap. From Sentinel Dome drop onto the Pohono Trail and follow it west until it is possible to walk out toward Sentinel. A few dropoffs can be navigated 3rd class. After reaching the enormous gap, turn east and walk down a sloping ledge which ends in a notch just west of the spire. Climb easy rock for 40 feet, then work up and right around the south side of the rock. The last bit ascends shallow cracks on the east face.

Steve Roper Climber's Guide to Yosemite Valley page 211, 1971
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