The Surprise, Five Open Books 5.10a
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'
OverviewThis 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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Five Open Books HistoryClimbers 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.
StrategyFrom lieback cracks and steep faces to offwidths... [full history for SuperTopo members only!]
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