The Surprise, Five Open Books 5.10a

   
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Yosemite Valley, California USA

  • Currently 3.0/5
Avg time to climb route: 2-3 hours
Approach time: 20 minutes
Descent time: 20-30 minutes
Number of pitches: 4
Height of route: 350'
Overview
This is a dirty 5.8, a good 5.10a, or an awesome 5.10c depending on which pitches you start or finish on. We consider the 5.10a variation the standard route because the 5.8 original route is much less classic and more runout. Unlike most Five Open Books routes that ascend big corners, The Surprise mostly climbs splitter cracks on a clean face. This route is usually uncrowded. It's tricky but possible to pull through most of the crux sections on gear.
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Climber Beta on The Surprise
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Five Open Books History
Climbers have always appreciated short approaches, so it’s not surprising that the area around Lower Yosemite Fall attracted attention in the 1960s. Only minutes from Camp 4 lay a wealth of possible routes on the various tiers of cliffs. One trouble: these cliffs were not exactly composed of pristine granite. Trees, bushes, munge, loose dark rock—you name it, these cliffs had it. In a valley renowned for its sparkling white granite, this place was an aberration. But let’s not forget that approach! - Steve Roper

FA: Wally Reed and Jim Posten, 9/63.

Strategy
From lieback cracks and steep faces to offwidths...   [full history for SuperTopo members only!]

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Approach
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Descent
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Everything You Need to Know About Yosemite Valley
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Source: SuperTopo Guidebook Staff Last update: March 12, 2014
Five Open Books - The Surprise 5.10a - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click to Enlarge
Photo: Chris McNamara
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