The Surprise, Five Open Books 5.10a

 
Search
Go

Yosemite Valley, California USA

  • Currently 3.0/5
Sort 24 beta reports by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
What is route "beta"?
Submit Beta on this Route
Summary of All Ratings

SuperTopo Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (4.2)
Your Rating:     (none)
Rating Distribution
5 Total Ratings
5 star: 40%  (2)
4 star: 40%  (2)
3 star: 20%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Manhands

Trad climber
bay area
Mar 12, 2014 - 01:07pm
 
yeahÖi thought the "surprise" was the ants... that seem to be very hungry.
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
Brokedownclimber

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
Jan 26, 2014 - 06:44pm
 
I've done this route twice, by the original line and the crack (5.10a) finish. I always thought it was the ant tree belay after the first pitch?
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
Jan 23, 2014 - 11:16pm
 
I've always thought this is the best of the routes over there at the books. What is the "surprise" anyway? Surprisingly good climb?
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Jan 23, 2014 - 08:55pm
 
I have done all three variations. I liked them all. I think one can not go wrong on a fine Spring day but to climb all the books on the bench. A good day's outing. Wish I was there now. I miss Yosemite.
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
jeekay

Social climber
San Francisco
Jan 21, 2014 - 01:54am
 
There's fixed nut which protects 5.10c traverse (it's 1-2 feet higher than bolt used to be and looks pretty solid). Overall the route is pretty good. Though this 10c traverse was not obvious for me at all.
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
mongrel

Trad climber
Truckee, CA
May 18, 2009 - 08:07pm
 
Not beta, but I can't help but comment: Holy cow, Ed H, 80m rope??? Where'd you get that thing? At this rate, pretty soon the Nose will be a 3-pitch route with a bit of simul.
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
LowNRight

Trad climber
CA
May 18, 2009 - 07:10pm
 
We did the FOBIAD last weekend. The .10c is five stars. That was the best of the five climbs. The bolt at the .10c would have been nice but a .33 alien (black) will fit in the under cling on the left. If you donít mind a possible pendulum fall a better 3/8(blue) or .5 alien (green) will fit in the crack thatís on the right. Thereís a good stance there so you can take your time and think about if you want to fall on a marginal .33 alien or penji fall on a better bigger cam.
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Feb 15, 2009 - 07:22pm
 
I think there are a couple of bolts being discussed... one is protecting the crux on Werner's Ant Tree the 5.10c pitch that can be a variation to pitches 1 and 2 on The Surprise. This bolt is gone because it was not a part of the FA.

The third pitch of The Surprise is the "5.8" pitch which is quality.

The bolt on the p2 traverse (we did it in one pitch, however, with an 80m rope) of The Surprise is still there.

Finish with the 5.10a variation... this is a lot better than the traversing end.

I haven't done it yet, but by all reports do this in three pitches, 5.10c, 5.8, 5.10a for a "five star" classic climb.


Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
NYZoo

Trad climber
Gunks
Feb 15, 2009 - 11:51am
 
In a posting below it mentions that the bolt is gone on the traverse.. Another post mentions it still being there.. Anyone know if it is still there or not? Spicy climbing if the bolt is really gone...
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Oct 29, 2008 - 01:55am
 
There is an old 1/4" bolt on the traversing p2 which has a Leeper hanger and is out of the rock quite a ways. I wouldn't trust this much, probably should be replaced.

The final "tight hands" crack on p3 can be avoided by moving right and running out a bit of climbing on features, if you have run out of the appropriate sized gear. This final crack bit is technical, and takes 0.75" and 1" gear.

There is a single bolt at the end of p3, so you also need gear for the belay anchor.

The 5.10a finish on p4 is the absolute way to go. You can sew that puppy up with smallish gear. It is a great finger/small hands crack! And probably safer than the delicate friction/balance traverse on the original route...
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Oct 28, 2008 - 08:59am
 
I have done all three variations, and the 10c is very good. Speaking of hornets, I've been attacked on Caverns years ago.

But nothing was as bad as when Ed Barry, Dave Hitchcock and I were headed up to the Braille Book and a swarm of HUGE hornets attacked us. I had eight stings and the f*ckers also bite. Not nice and I am allergic to bee/hornet/wasp venom. My left hand swolled up to the size where I could do any off-width if I wanted to as a fist jam at the time.
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Oct 27, 2008 - 11:42am
 
Great photo trip report on climbing all the Five Open Books routes in a Day

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=707959
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
del cross

climber
Oct 21, 2008 - 12:18pm
 
"We were climbing Commitment on Sunday and a party to the right of us on the Caverns were attacked by Hornets."

That party was on The Surprise, not The Caverns. A woman stepped on a yellow jacket nest and received a number of stings/bites.
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
Senor Pinche Wey

Big Wall climber
OB
Oct 20, 2008 - 11:26pm
 
We were climbing Commitment on Sunday and a party to the right of us on the Caverns were attacked by Hornets. The leader sounded pretty upset and was stung several times. I don't know any more details but WATCH OUT for hornets!

I know this isn't the route forum for The Caverns I just want to make sure that people got the word.
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
clustiere

Trad climber
berkeley ca
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Apr 19, 2008 - 01:03pm
Yeah the bolt was gone so I avoided the ant trees. Why was this chopped?
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
ccampb

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Mar 12, 2007 - 06:35pm
 
Those two stoppers are mine. A little misread of the topo (and not looking hard enough at the actual rock) had me showing up at the crux without the necessary thin gear to protect it properly. That, plus a missing bolt, and back to the ground I went.

I definitely wouldn't recommend falling on them -- I thought they were good enough to lower off, but not much more.
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Mar 12, 2007 - 06:16pm
Seems like the crux move could be heady w/o the bolt, but not unreasonable. There is good small pro to be had at the top of the lieback. But if the nuts are fixed, how bad can they be? Cables frayed, something like that?

Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
Impaler

Social climber
Oakland
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Mar 12, 2007 - 04:47pm
I climbed the direct start variation yesterday. It's a great route from start to finish. The bolt at the 10c crux has been chopped. You can still see where it was. There were two fixed stoppers at the top of the dihedral that looked very marginal. If you use those don't fall and clip in with long runners. Otherwise, you'll experience some horrendous rope drag. I also suggest not using the pin that is right above the 10c. It only creates more rope drag and is cracked. Surprisingly, the bolt at the second belay was still there (right next to a perfectly good crack). 3rd and 4th pitch are best linked with a 60 m rope.

Vlad
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
stella

climber
cali
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Dec 23, 2006 - 08:37pm
If you do this route, do the Werners Ant Trees variation. Five star route this way. First pitch lieback with a balancy crux move (with a bolt), beautiful double hand cracks on second pitch, and a fingers splitter for the third pitch. Last pich is forgettable but the rest is awesome.
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
Duke-

Trad climber
SF, aka: Dirkastan
Dec 13, 2006 - 11:09pm
 
Its the goods!!!
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
caughtinside

Social climber
Oakland, CA
Dec 7, 2006 - 01:45am
 
Ok, I suck. I just stayed in the corner, and did the dirty 5.8 way. Traverse? Who knew?

Anyway, I found myself 30 feet above a rusty 1/4" bolt, with my next piece another 20' below that, pulling around a blind corner. Thrilling.

As my partner said to me when we topped out, "That was bullsh#t, dude."

but then we continued on up selaginella, a much nicer route!

i was trying to describe what we did to a guy later on:

"We were trying to do the Surprise" and then told him what we did.

"Oh, you did the Surprise all right, you did the Old Surprise."
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Dec 7, 2006 - 12:46am

Star-rating goes for the direct (Werner's) start. Doing it this way gives an awesome first and last pitch, with ok to good pitches in between.

Good pro all the way up, and Werner's has some really fun moves on it. The .10+ crux is protected by a bolt.

A climb I'll repeat for sure.
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
Mei

Trad climber
...was...
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   May 16, 2005 - 02:48pm
Did this on May 15 after a wet winter. When the Caverns was soaking wet, this route was perfectly dry.

Follow the topo carefully and don't miss the traverse to the right at a tree with slings. While we were high up on the route, one party missed the turning point and continued up following the corner. According to my partner who communicated with them by shouting, the corner above the turning point did not look good and the party had to back down. There are slings above the turning point that are deceiving as they make you think the climb continues up, but from what I saw, they are most likely bail slings left behind by parties who got off route.
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Jun 5, 2003 - 05:24pm
 
The normal parking area for this climb, The Lower Yosemite Falls parking, is closed permanently. This means that to climb an routes and Five Open Books or Sunnyside Bench you need to park either at the Yosemite Lodge or Camp 4.
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
Five Open Books - The Surprise 5.10a - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click to Enlarge
Photo: Chris McNamara
Submit Beta on this Route
 
*What is "Route Beta"?
It's climber slang for information or tips on a route as in, "what's the beta on that route?" As a service to fellow climbers we ask SuperTopo guidebook users to post tips and updates to this website if they have relevant information to share after a climb.