50 greatest single pitches


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Social climber
Joshua Tree
Aug 5, 2013 - 03:20pm PT
Free climbing, of course:

Salathe' Headwall pitches. It doesn't get any better than that.

Some that come to mind as candidates for top 50:

Lizard Marmalade Direct, Mt Lemmon
Steve's Arete, Mt Lemmon
Tieranny, Obed
Running Man, Red Rock
p3 Our Father, Red Rock
The Fox, Red Rock
Equinox, JT
Black Diamond, JT
Eternal King, JT
Persian Room, JT
Separate Reality, YV
Energy Crisis, YV
Monster OW, YV
those fingercrack pitches on Lurking Fear
Butterballs, YV
Tips, YV
the long, linked 5.10 pitch(es) to the ledge on the Rostrum, YV
Champagne Jam, Sandrock
Fists of Fury, T-Wall
Chain Reaction, Smith
Darkness at Noon, Smith
crux pitch on Don Juan, Needles
Scirroco, Needles
Pirate, Suicide
Insomnia, Suicide
last pitch of Ishi/Quiet Desperation, Suicide
JCA's Wide World of Sport, Balch Camp


Trad climber
Central Valley, CA
Aug 5, 2013 - 03:24pm PT
Unrelenting 5.9 fingers on pitch 3 of "White Punks on Dope" &#40;5.9&#...
Unrelenting 5.9 fingers on pitch 3 of "White Punks on Dope" (5.9), Voodoo Dome, the Needles, CA.

Pitch 3 of "White Punks on Dope" (5.9), Voodoo Dome, the Needles, CA.

Trad climber
Aug 5, 2013 - 04:58pm PT
1st pitch of Metal Physics at JT
Sail Away at JT
Loose Lady JT
Run for your Life at JT
Being There at Williamson Rock
Flower of a Higher Rank at Suicide
1st Pitch of Bastile Crack in Eldo Canyon

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Aug 5, 2013 - 05:11pm PT
Credit: Largo

The first pitch of Hades (the pic with the short-shorts is from around 1982) still ranks as of the best - crazy variety, 150 feet long, exciting run outs, decently hard (5.12b), on diamond-hard rock.


Trad climber
Aug 5, 2013 - 06:26pm PT
Sinestra - IC
Aerospace done as one pitch - Eldo
Cheap Date - Lumpy
OZ - corner pitch
Crux pitch of All Too Obvious - RMNP
Airy Interlude traverse
Mr. Clean - DT
Fancy Free crux pitch
Belle Fourche Buttress - DT
One Way Sunset - DT
Max Factor - Vedauwoo
Spectreman - Vedauwoo
Black Dagger pitch - The Diamond
Earth Angel P2 - Dream Canyon
Doub-Griffith crux pitch - Eldo
P2 of Drifting - Red Rock

Trad climber
Putnam Valley, New York
Aug 5, 2013 - 08:39pm PT
No Exist, Sky Top
Catatonic, Daks
Peter Haan

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Aug 5, 2013 - 10:20pm PT
The Roof pitch on Salathe and then each of the Headwall pitches.
Soul Sacrifice on LCR
Vendetta, the roof pitch
Peter Pan crux pitch (#2) El Cap
The roof pitch, Goodrich Pinnacle left
Last pitch, New Dimensions
First pitch, Crack of Doom
Right side of Gollum (it's only 1 pitch)
Principal pitch on 3rd Pillar of Dana
Crux on Basket Case
Hourglass Left, Pitch #1
English Breakfast Crack, crux pitch
Lover's Leap: Direct N face pitch 3 over the roofs.

Aug 8, 2013 - 12:08pm PT
Pervertical Sancturay, crux pitch, The Diamond
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Aug 8, 2013 - 12:10pm PT
Has anyone mentioned the pitch above the roof on the Shield? It's probably the best pitch on the whole climb.

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Aug 8, 2013 - 01:23pm PT
Has anyone mentioned the pitch above the roof on the Shield?

Now that is a surreal pitch if ever there was one, Mark. With the belayer dangling at the lip of the roof. I remember leading this pitch and using almost all my gear. The lead was like 166 feet long and Mike Lechlinski had to upclip from the anchor so I had enough rope to tie off. We were up there early on, in the mid 1970s, long before the thing was pin scarred and those cracks were spectacular. But this pitch felt like climbing on the moon, it was so far out there and unique for the time. Maybe the crack is all beaten out now but the position will always fan your flames. Jesus, what air!

Great call, Mark

Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Aug 8, 2013 - 01:42pm PT

The anchor is a little bit higher now but that pitch, aside from the very bottom, was never too difficult and simply made for placing truck stop nuts. I think for those reasons its very lightly scared.

BTW, aside from the roof, it's the most overhung pitch on the climb.

A vertical pano of two of Tom's photos.
A vertical pano of two of Tom's photos.
Credit: Tom Evans

Trad climber
Aug 8, 2013 - 02:54pm PT
Surely DEW Line (11c) at Lake Louise has to make top 50.
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Aug 8, 2013 - 03:04pm PT
You're talking about that steep A1? I was thinking about that too, but thought the Triple Cracks is more iconic and so mentioned that on my list. However, that's a great pitch. Piss easy but steep. I remember looking down between my legs and seeing my buddy belaying me from the portaledge and the huge sweep of El Cap beneath you. You climb it, just marveling at the position, the exposure but you're not freaked out of your mind because it's so mellow and, well, fun. Just Amazing.

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Aug 8, 2013 - 03:13pm PT
It was the positon, not the difficulty, that made that Shield pitch so dope. The crack swallowed nuts like crazy.


Trad climber
Oaksterdam, CA
Aug 8, 2013 - 04:22pm PT
+1 for Sinestra, IC

+1 for every part of Airy Interlude, Needles- especially linked in 2 pitches

Linking the last 200 Feet of Positive Vibrations, Hulk

Last Pitch of Vision Quest, IC

Stem Box Pitch of Rimshot, IC

Stem Corner on OZ, TM

The second pitch of The Crucifix, YV

The 2nd and 5th pitches of Western Front, Russell

If you can solo it- does it count as a single pitch? That would open up some options

Hate to talk smack- but Blue Sun???? You need to get out more


Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Aug 8, 2013 - 04:27pm PT
Yeah....position is everything.

Credit: Cragman

Trad climber
Elk Creek, Idaho
Aug 9, 2013 - 02:05am PT
A list of outstanding pitches in the Tetons might include:

Open Book, Garnet Canyon, Pitch 3
Irene's Arete, Garnet Canyon, Hanging Tooth Pitch
Lower Exum Ridge, Black Face Pitch
The Snaz, Death Canyon, Pitch 6

The South Buttress routes on Mt. Moran have a multitude of great pitches...Pitch 3 and Great Traverse pitch of South Buttress Right are unforgettable ...

Trad climber
Nov 4, 2013 - 08:59pm PT
I will add more later but, so far, my favorite single pitch climb (and probably my favorite pitch ever) is:

Illusion Dweller 10b, Joshua Tree National Park

Other notables:
EVERY pitch (though the chimney pitch is especially memorable) on Whodunit 5.9, Tahquitz
P1 and P2 on Long Climb (with P1 Wong variation) 5.8, Tahquitz
Sail Away 5.7, Joshua Tree

Trad climber
East Coast US
Nov 4, 2013 - 09:21pm PT
Random great pitches I've led and can remember that feeling of being totally in the moment....

Last pitch of Inferno, Whitehorse Ledge, New Hampshire
Arch pitch on Fruit Cup Wall, Cannon Mtn, New Hampshire
Pipe pitch (when it still had the pipe) on Whitney-Gilman Ridge, New Hampshire
Linking all of Disneyland into one pitch, Gunks
Linking all of Son of Easy O into one pitch, Gunks
Last pitch of Westward Ha, Gunks
Last pitch of Cruise Control, Gunks
Linking all of Slip of Fools into one pitch, Gunks
6th pitch of the Prow, Washington's Column Yosemite Valley
First Zig-Zag pitch on RNWFHD, Yosemite Valley
Last Zig-Zag pitch on RNWFHD, Yosemite Valley
Boot Flake pitch on the Nose, El Cap Yosemite Valley
Last pitch of the Nose, El Cap Yosemite Valley


El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Nov 4, 2013 - 09:24pm PT
F*#kin A, no love for The Forks???
Pick one and add it to the list.
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