Great Yosemite Valley 4th Class Scrambles

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DJW

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Topic Author's Original Post - Jul 7, 2007 - 09:49am PT
I am interested in finding out about some great Yosemite Valley 4th class scrambles. Obviously, there tons of technical climbs. But are there any real cool scrambles, i.e. relatively clean, not major brushy bushwacks, not trail hikes, a couple hundred feet off the valley floor would be sufficient and spectacular view/setting. Can anyone pin point a couple of goodies for me??? Will be much appreciated.

DJW
Gene

climber
Jul 7, 2007 - 09:58am PT
Here you go. Have fun and give us a report.

http://www.summitpost.org/list/157844/valley-scrambles.html
Walleye

climber
The Land of the Big Stone
Jul 7, 2007 - 10:01am PT
LeConte Gully to the top of Grizzly Peak....
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Jul 7, 2007 - 08:17pm PT
This is mostly a scramble, with a few 5.7 moves thrown in. Great exposure, no bushwhackin if you go the right way, awesome views, and a fast, maybe the fastest, approach to Snake Dike.

Below Half Dome and to the west are three huge diagonal fracture lines going up and right at about a 45 degree angle, one under the Dome, one under the Porcelain Wall, and a third further west which leads to a brushy platform directly above The Silver Platter, a prominent clean slab with a staircase like feature up its left side. The Platter is easily seen from Curry Village and is in the guidebook. This western diagonal fracture/gully starts the scramble. It has large trees on it and sections of it look improbable from the valley floor.

Hike up the south side of Tenaya Creek from the bridge at Indian Caves. Not far from the bridge head up the forested talus to an obvious bowl at the lower end of the diagonal. Either slab climb directly into the bowl (easy 5th class), or find a more indirect and easier entrance to the left on ledge systems and broken rock.

Exit the bowl on the right of two possibilities leading up and right. When possible, traverse back left to the continuation of the lefthand bowl exit possibility. Follow the gully and ledge system, usually hugging the wall, up hundreds of feet to the platform above The Silver Platter.

From here move to the left side of the platform and scramble up ledges until the climbing gets harder. A series of mantels and pullups on small trees (5.7) for about thirty feet takes you to a low angle slab with a traversing fingertip crack. Follow this right (easy 5th) to easier ground and the upper half of the route. This section could be led with a 60 ft rope and some slings, but is easily soloable for a good climber. I was wearing Hiteks the first time I did it and Jeff Perrin had Teva sandals.

The next section of the scramble is the best. Instead of trying to cross the slabs to the right to get to brush covered slopes toward Grizzly Peak, follow the ledge system up and left, always opting for the left and more exposed option. The route skirts the edge of the cliff above the lower part of the route, sometimes separated from the dropoff by only small scruboaks. Most of the scrambling here is on clean, high angle granite sidewalks and up water sculpted granite gullys. The position is on the arete of the ridge at the junction of Tenaya Canyon and Yosemite Valley, with unobstructed views of both. We called the route The Skywalk for this.

Near the end of the ledge system, enter a secure, low angle squeeze chimney which ends at a ledge with big trees. A very exposed ledge system and gully leads up and left to a brief wrestle with a scrub oak and easy ground. This section could be led with the same 60 ft rope and slings.

Continue up the brush covered slopes leading up and left towards The Diving Board. To avoid the bush stay to the left again as far as possible on steeper more open terrain. Soon only steep, open and hikable granite slabs take you up hundreds of feet to the Diving Board.

The route is really just a giant switchback. The upper half is easily seen from Curry Village. The whole route is obvious in the background of Karl Baba's excellent shot (the panorama) of Crest Jewel, which has been posted several times on this forum.

It's possible to descend the route. I haven't downclimbed it all - did it with some inexperienced climbers and rappeled three times, at the top to the ledge with big trees, in the middle, to the platform above the Platter, and out of the bowl to the forested talus. all raps less than 80 ft from fat trees.

The fist time I did it Jeff and I descended the gully btw Broderick and Liberty Cap, a common Snake Dike approach, making a very enjoyable day of it.
WBraun

climber
Jul 7, 2007 - 09:03pm PT
Scrambling is great and there is tons of it in Yosemite.

But please, if you are going to scramble alone tell someone where you plan on going and returning.

That way "if" something does happen to you we don't have to waste our time scouring the whole Park or speculating where the fuk did this guy go?
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Jul 7, 2007 - 09:15pm PT
That sounds like a classic idea. It might give me the inspiration I need to hike to the Diving Board for a shot of the HD face I want. Then solo the Hike and down the death cables.

Here the view of the Warbler's warblings. Ya know enough photoshop to trace the route on this?



peace

karl
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Jul 7, 2007 - 09:31pm PT
Hey yeah that's it!

Thanks for posting that Karl. The route's in the lower right corner, with The Silver Platter and the brushy platform above it just inside the frame.

I don't know any photoshop, but the start is in that far right whitish bowl below the long prominent left facing, left leaning shadowed corners. Not the real white rockfall gullys, but further right. The route diagonals directly up and right at 45 degrees towards the left end of the big flat brushy ledge atop the Platter. My description should get you up it. The easiest route is always to the left (the most exposed option) after you climb the 5.7 part off the brushy platform above The Platter.

The photo shows how direct this route is as access to the diving board and Snake Dike. Anyone who can solo Snake Dike would have no problem soloing it - it's much easier and 99% casual.

It's an amazing weakness and a really pleasant way to gain 3000 vertical feet.

Kevin
WBraun

climber
Jul 7, 2007 - 09:35pm PT
99% casual.

What's the one percent? 5.12D?

:-)
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Jul 7, 2007 - 09:42pm PT
That's a fine contribution Kevin. Looks like a good conditioning day excited, thinking and routefinding out in nature.

What do you know/see of those silver platter routes? Is there stuff worth doing in those parts?

Peace

karl
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Jul 7, 2007 - 09:43pm PT
Werner -

I mean 1% has serious consequences for a fall.

Meaning a visit by you and your buddies in the yellow shirts, if you're lucky.

You'd love it.

The route that is.
WBraun

climber
Jul 7, 2007 - 09:50pm PT
Yeah I know Kevin

That area has had a history of the yellow shirts responding to failed scrambles.
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Jul 7, 2007 - 09:50pm PT
I always wanted to check out the Platter proper, and the scramble would be the way to rap in. That inverted staircase deal on the platter's left side could be really cool.

The wall between the switchbacks has some nice long crack systems that are pretty grassy for stretches, but have great potential.

If I was footloose in the Valley again I'd probably be up there checking them out...
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Jul 7, 2007 - 09:56pm PT
When I first did the route (I've done it twice) we went the harder (lefthand) way out of the bottom bowl. It entailed some high angle bushwhacking through scruboaks, and we found a fifty foot piece of 1/8th inch parachute cord strung through there like some boy scout got in over his head at some point. Go up the steep gully on the right to get out the bowl. It looks wierd from below, but it's casual.
JOEY.F

Social climber
sebastopol
Jul 7, 2007 - 11:14pm PT
1/ Sierra Point...easy
2/ The Ledge trail...Stout!!!
Joe.
Tom

Big Wall climber
San Luis Obispo CA
Jul 8, 2007 - 03:44am PT
I don't know about "great", but the approach to Absolutely Free on the Three Brothers was 3rd/4th, and led up to a great crack.
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Jul 8, 2007 - 07:30am PT
The Gunsight between Lower and Middle Cathedral is a great Yosemite 4th class scramble.

The short walk to the top of Lower from the notch is nice for a perfect view of El Cap and up the Valley. Standing at the edge of the North Face you'd swear you could huck a rock into the river it's so steep.

Descend about 300 ft from the notch to Bridalveil Creek to see a rarely visited water scoured canyon with picturesque swimming holes carved into bedrock. One swimming hole is just behind the lip of Bridalveil Fall. You can peer over the edge there and watch the falls freefall 500 ft.

Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jul 8, 2007 - 08:53am PT
the approach to Steck-Salathe is 3rd class with a few 4th class moves... and it's a great place

Pick up the Roper Green Guide (Sierra Club) and thumb through it... lots of good ideas there.
ß Î Ø T Ç H

Boulder climber
the greasewood ghetto
May 11, 2009 - 12:35am PT
" The wall between the switchbacks has some nice long crack systems that are pretty grassy for stretches, but have great potential. "

True , Looks like there's face , dihedrals and splitters west of the Porcelain wall . Something in there would be an obvious link to directly climb from the valley floor to top of half dome and avoid the long approach to Snake dike in the process . http://gigapan.org/viewGigapan.php?id=14652
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
May 11, 2009 - 06:38am PT
A very cool scramble: 3rd class up the extreme right side of Sunnyside Bench (“climbers approach”) and via obvious terraces cross over towards the top of Lower Yosemite Falls. Behind the exact edge of the Falls is a huge pool hidden at the bottom of the cataract leading from Upper Falls. You can swim to the very edge of this pool and look down Lower Falls (just as you can with Bridalveil mentioned above) and into the Falls amphitheater. It is of course totally out of view from all vantages so you can be completely naked. Wonderful place to spend a whole day or plan a romantic rendezvous!! Of course only in summer and fall. You can exit either by reversing the route or continue up to the bottom of Upper Falls and crossing over to the Falls trail.
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
May 11, 2009 - 06:57am PT
Peter,

Good call - it's really beautiful up in there.

When the water's low in the Fall, you can scramble up the creek from there, padding up steep water polished slabs, past a few wide and deep emerald green pools, all deep in the gorge.

Don't think too many folks do that.


Cascade Creek above 120 is pretty cool all the way to the old Big Oak Flat Road.


When we did Sentinel Falls, we started the approach in the bowl at the bottom of the lower fall, and traversed up and right on a long diagonal ledge system. That takes you to a easy slab that leads you up into the drainage immediately west of Sentinel Creek. You can the follow that creek or the ridge between it and Sentinel Creek to the base of Upper Sentinel Falls or the rim.


The scramble into the Widow's Tears Ampitheater is really cool, and if you catch it at the right time in the in the Springtime, the bowl below is filled with wildflowers on the terraces that cross from one side to the other. One of the most secluded, wild and beautiful places I've been in the Valley.
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