New Dawn, El Capitan A3 5.8


Yosemite Valley, California USA

  • Currently 4.0/5
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Rating Distribution
3 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 33%  (1)
3 star: 67%  (2)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)

Big Wall climber
Typewriters and Ledges
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   Apr 2, 2014 - 03:13pm
All pitches to Texas Flake went clean without any above-average trickery in Sept 2013

Pitch 1: Easy hooks, rivets, fixed heads, and a bit of C1 to the anchor. Make sure your second knows how to lower out to clean a penji.
Pitch 1 New Dawn showing pendulum rope
Pitch 1 New Dawn showing pendulum rope
Credit: j-tree

Pitch 2: Clean with fixed pieces. Toaster sized rock came off and I left it on one of the ledges.

Pitch 3: "Easy" C3f, Haul to here from the ground on two ropes.

Pitch 4: Hooks and fixed heads to C1 after the arch.

Pitch 5: Hooks over a ledgish buldge, then camhook after camhook after camhook.

Pitch 6: Longer pendulum than it seems, camhooks to establish in new crack. Horrible Flared chimney-esque squeeze thingy to reach the belay

Pitch 7: Short, easy, bad haul

Lay Lady Ledge: Large and comfortable. Flat areas to sleep without rope or harness.
Morning on Lay Lady Ledge
Morning on Lay Lady Ledge
Credit: j-tree

Pitch 8: There are very loose blocks on pitch 8 that are not marked in the topo.
Completely detached death blocks on pitch 8 (I tensioned left to t...
Completely detached death blocks on pitch 8 (I tensioned left to the crack to get around it then tensioned back right)
Credit: j-tree

Pitch 9: Leapfrogging #4 cams with long runouts or freeclimb it.

(Nose Pitches)
Pitch 10&11: You can link these pitches if you are soloing. Rope drag would be impossible if being belayed. It looks like you can avoid the two pitches by heading straight up from belay 9 and reach the anchors on the right side of Texas Flake via aid, but I didn't go that way. Probably not worth it to try unless you're in high season or a busy weekend and don't want to get caught in the Nose Conga Line. Hollyclimber's post below about leaving your haulbags at the belay is the minimum you would want to do.

Belay on the right side of Texas Flake is 1 3/8" bolt, 1 1/4" bolt, and a machine head rivet.
Pitch 10 anchors (Right of Texas flake) New Dawn
Pitch 10 anchors (Right of Texas flake) New Dawn
Credit: j-tree

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Whitemeat, a rivet is either a 5/16" x ~1" machine head screw hammered into a 1/4" hole or a split-shaft 1/4" buttonhead or screwtop bolt. A dowel is exactly what it sounds like, a cylinder of aluminum that you slide into a hole (and that can slide right back out if the conditions are, wrong.

Trad climber
San Luis Obispo, CA
Sep 30, 2013 - 11:32am
anyone know how the route is doing? how are the bolts/loose blocks/rivits/dowls? good anchors?

what is a dowl/rivet anyway?

Big Wall climber
El Portal, CA
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   May 30, 2008 - 11:47am
Major detailed beta to follow. Read at your own spoiler risk.

Our ascent was in May 2008.

We were very happy with our large cam selection (did not feel it was too little or too much) which was hard to select from the topo description. We took 1 old 3.5 cam, One new 4.0 cam, One old 4.0 cam, One new 5.0 cam. The 5.0 cam was the least used, but needed as noted below and brought on any pitches marked as big on the topo.

Also, it really helps if you bring key hole rivet hangers. Many anchors have rivets or hangerless bolts, and these keyhole hangers make these much more reasonable anchors. Also, the keyhole hangers sometimes work on the rivet pitches, so MAYBE they will catch a fall. And, if you are back cleaning rivet hangers, they are faster to back clean. You will also need the tiny skinny rivet hangers for a lot of the rivets and you want to bring 1/4 inch nuts as recommended on the supertopo. Its nice to have a 3/8 nut too as we used one off of one of our bolts twice. If you do this, the rivets are mellow. If you don't do all of this, it will be scary.

And, on that note, all of the needed rivets are present. So, if Byer chopped anything on the New Dawn to the WEML, it didn't impede our progress, or someone else already replaced it. And, we are short.

Death block comments by previous writers are true, but really no big deal. After all, its still there! Just watch yourself on P3 and you will be fine. No other looseness to speak of on this route.

P3- A bit spicy as there is now only one bolt on this pitch. Its mostly heads with an occasional alien to keep the rating to what I would call A3.

P5- Ok, I lied already. Right off the belay as you start P5 heads up for a loose block.

P6- From my partner, this says "horrible" next to that 4.5" section. :)

P7- What do you know-a bad haul. There are two bolts at this station.

P8- Very long, maybe 170 feet?

P9- Also very long, and there are two bolts at this anchor that I used for the follower and then hauled off a natural anchor.

We abandoned our bags at P9. Then we free climbed up to Texas Flake Ledge. From there, we rapped down to free the bags and did the haul there. The anchor here has one good bolt, one old quarter incher and one new rivet (to the side for a ledge, but could be incorporated). The quarter incher should be replaced. (sorry, we were still warming up to this whole bolt replacement idea).

P12- There are two fixed pins that make up the former A2 section. A fixed blade up to a fixed beak. This beak could come out (as we placed it) and I beg the next party to try. It really needs to come out to make this pitch A something now instead of C2F.

LINKING BETA: I really think it would be a bad idea to link 12 and 13. If you were to do that, you would have to do 2 mostly sideways hauls instead of one. Also, we linked 13 and 14 and I thought this worked really well because the moves are reachy and A3+ on P14 and having the ability to get tension from above because of the lower down on P13 really helped make this pitch go. We got our line stuck on a tiny baby flake near the belay of P12, so make sure your line is clear before you tighten it up. But, from our experience, if that does happen, we recommend keeping the bags docked, following the pitch to the lower out, lowering down and fixing the haul line, then, swinging back to the bags to release them.

P 13 There is no A2 on this pitch before the lower down.
P 13/14 - please be careful with the horizontal detached flake! A party was injured and rescued here in Oct 06, so keep that in mind when nailing behind this flake.

P14 - A huge vermin hook was in my opinion REQUIRED for this pitch.

P15 was longer than indicated on topo, at least 150.

P16 definitely plenty of gear available on this pitch. Not a full pitch of heads and rivets

P17- The old #4 (so bigger than a new one) was helpful on this pitch.

P18- What can I say HORRIBLE! That hole on the topo should say 10" with mandatory free and if you aid any of it desperate super hard grovel (at least if you are 5'2"). Bring the big cam. Taller people may be able to stand on a hook on the left wall and reach a placement for the big cam. I stood on the hook and got no where, tried to squeeze this thing with my full rack on and struggled, aided with a 3.5 in the back of the crack (horrible) squeezed somemore and with much effort got the old 4.0 to stick with MAYBE 1 cm of each lobe touching. Then, I got on it and tried not to shift it and desperately got a green alien in above that was really really bad. Then, I got on that and got in another good piece. Even tall people need to know to bring the big cam and maybe try to go light on gear. This hole seemed to be past 100 feet, so we couldn't tag anymore (its not low like shown on the topo). Or, maybe I just suck!

P 19- 85 feet? Try 160.

Someone recommends linking pitch 19 to the Byer anchors (which are blue) at the top of the 5.9 wide, and then linking the second half of 20 with 21. I don't recommend this. First, the linking looked questionable for both pitches and the haul to 19 was good where the link looked like a bad haul. Then, it really helps to have your belayer at the normal belay when you lead P 21. The pitch is tricky and reachy and I called for tension a lot. This wouldn't have worked so well if I had linked the pitches. Again, not sure if the haul would have gone as well on the second linked pitch. P 20 goes fast. Bags are pretty light at this point. Linking benefits look minimal if any. Also, note that the person recommending this below appears to have not actually done the link.

P 22 -Size is up to #2 cam. At least two bolts at anchor.

P 23 - Many bolts at anchor. Many blue black alien placements on this pitch.

P 24 - Wierd free moves to the anchor. At least two bolts at this anchor.

P 25 - Stay left and stay left. Rope drag wants to pull you off when you free climb at the end to the right to the anchors. Lots of bolts, but shorties can get all but one.

P 26 - bring up to #3 camalot. I had to do some stacking at the end because I ran out of the right sawed angle. I am thinking it was the 1 1/4 inch size that was the money size? Not too big, not too small, ran out and here come the stacks.

Have fun!


Social climber
Seattle, Wa
May 23, 2006 - 11:03am
That's definintely a death block. I tapped it when rapping down to the free anchor.

Also, if someone is looking for a cleanup project, there's a huge pile of climber trash (full haul bag, 5 gallon bucket, poop tube, and misc. camping gear) rotting away on Lay Lady Ledge.

(I grabbed a bunch of trash off El Cap Tower since I was rapping down from there.)

Big Wall climber
santa cruz, ca
Apr 28, 2006 - 09:17pm
As of 4/23/06 the is a huge 3'x2'x8" block that has shifted over the winter. It's on the 2nd pitch, just above the opional belay where it says 5.8 loose. you have to free climb over it so please becareful. This one will take out your belayer, your rope, and anyone at the base.

Big Wall climber
Sequoia Ntl. Pk.
Jun 18, 2004 - 11:35pm
I banged 5 pins in on pitch 25,had no offset aliens.
don't belive the hype,bring a hammer, you just might need it!!

Big Wall climber
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   Feb 17, 2004 - 08:32pm
Climbed this route in august '03 in six days with one pitch fixed.

Lambone: the rivets on the big traverse were generally in fair to good condition (most even have hangers) until the last 20-30 feet before the route joins WEML. Almost all rivets on WEML are super sketchy dowels that flex when you weight them. Definetly bring a drill in case one blows. The belays on the other hand were all bomber: at least 2 (usually 3) 3/8" bolts at every belay.

As christian has mentioned this route DEFINETLY goes clean so unless you rip some heads you will not need the hammer. Just be sure to bring ample cam hooks and aliens.

Some possible additions to the topo:
1. With a 60 meter rope one can link from the optional belay on pitch 2 (at a good ledge with good anchors) to belay 3.
2. About 20' below wino tower put "one 4" move".
3. On the second pitch off wino tower continue past the normal belay to a nice ledge at the beginning of the rivet ladder on the next pitch and belay at anchors here (part of the new Jim Beyer route I believe). From here continue to the base of the big corner thus making 2 pitches out of 3. not sure exactly sure on the new pitch lengths but it shouldn't be anything more than 50 meters.

Novice climber
Jun 10, 2002 - 12:20pm
Is anyone aware of the condition of the lead rivits on the traverse to Early Morning Light?
Christiaan Luneberg

Advanced climber
Dec 5, 2001 - 05:21pm
Climbed in a group of three (two of which had very limited wall experience- one had Done Triple direct two years before (Rudy Ramous) and the other had not done a wall (Christopher Manning) It took eight days but one of which was stuck in bivy due to storm. We were about half way up on 4th of July, 2001.
Only dubious anchor was at the traverse after the pendulum, good enough though
The hardest lead was the last A3, the second pitch from the top; it took about three hours.
We did the whole thing clean at about C4. The second to the last pitch was the C4.
The climb DEFINITLY goes clean- No hammers allowed!
El Capitan - New Dawn A3 5.8 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click to Enlarge
New Dawn is route number 12.
Photo: Galen Rowell
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