Selaginella, Five Open Books 5.8

 
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Yosemite Valley, California USA

  • Currently 3.0/5
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Summary of All Ratings

SuperTopo Rating:   
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  • 5
 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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  • 5
 (3.4)
Your Rating:     (none)
Rating Distribution
15 Total Ratings
5 star: 7%  (1)
4 star: 40%  (6)
3 star: 47%  (7)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 7%  (1)
climber007

Trad climber
San Jose, CA
May 20, 2013 - 11:06am
 
Did this route finally about a month ago or so... was looking for a cruiser day with a bit of adventure climbing mixed in to take my fiancé on... so we linked it up with commitment..

I did it in 3 pitches with a 60m rope.. I definitely did not find the "official" route.. at least not all of it.... which I am sure is awesome too.. but I really enjoyed my accidental variation... which for lack of something else to call it I will call "Selaginella Direct" 5.10b

for anyone who cares... (or happens to get off route too and wants info on a reasonable finish alternative)



p1 - went knot to knot from the start to the first fixed pin somewhere in the middle of official p2.. basically right where you traverse left onto the low 5th bit.. belayed off the pin and a couple cams there, hanging belay.. but decent stance.. fine for a party of two.. would suck with 3

p2 - off the belay.. did the normal low 5th traverse and then started climbing upwards.... tried to follow the topo for the correct route but somehow missed/couldn't find the next official traverse left, so I just kept climbing up the big corner system for a long way until just before it became very unreasonable and unprotectable wide climbing.. found a great alcove to belay from there..you cant really see the alcove until you arrive at it.. but its literally right at the point where continuing any further in the corner would mean ruthless unprotected off-width climbing for a very long way.... probably something on the order of 5.10a/b climbing for the last 30 feet to gain this alcove... protected fine though.... was not quite knot to knot on this variation.. but not too much rope left either.. about 185' pitch..

p3 - from the alcove did an improbable looking face traverse (probably 5.8/5.9 and super exposed/FUN) then down-climbed about 20' in a awesome 5.7 hand crack in order to gain another 5.7 hand crack which goes back up and trends left'ish.. the 5.7 perfect hands crack once you start back up-climbing lasts about the same 20' you had to down climb, but from here the climbing gets harder, about 5.9 fingers and lie-back... you have to run it out a bit here to protect your follower from a penji... the climbing is secure, but exposed... and your last piece is just off the belay... so DONT blow it here... if it seems too sketchy for you.. you can always pro up this section then once you get high enough.. call a take a lower back to back clean the stuff which will create a bad penji for your follower... from this point there is a myriad of crack options to choose from... I took what seemed like the path of least resistance... was super FUN and ranged from fingers to face to hands.. definitely some 5.10 climbing in this bit.. but plenty of rests in between short sections of 5.10'ish stuff.. the whole time your trending up and left'ish following this system of cracks and features.... then at some point you basically rejoin the official last pitch and finish out on that crazy (FUN) big flake thing to finish and pull onto the rim... for the follower in this variation, where you had to run it out to protect the penji off the belay.. your follower will have no choice but to do a tension traverse.. or attempt about 15' of decomposing 5.11 face moves to connect the two crack systems... if you have radios then they could ask for slack and do the same down cimbing you did on lead.. which is easy climbing.. but of course without radios its impossible to communicate from the top-out point back down to the alcove belay... this pitch was also on the order of 185'


anyways... as I said im sure the official route is awesome (for what it is anyway)... but I had a BLAST doing this interesting variation... and it was super fun... very "direct".. and fast...

we did commitment in two pitches, and selaginella in 3.. we jogged the upper falls decent trail down.. and were back at the Mountain Room having lunch and coffee before noon! ;-)

Dustin
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brooks8970

Trad climber
Oakland, CA
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   May 8, 2013 - 12:32am
Great route. Linking 2 + 3 may be tempting on a 70m line. Don't do it.

Leave the #4 at home. It's not necessary.
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KabalaArch

Trad climber
Starlite, California
Mar 12, 2012 - 02:09pm
 
The Munginella /Selaginella link up was my first climb in the Valley...a November I think, we finished in light snow. TC and I had started in the Pinns - One of the greatest sandbags in California. After a 5,4 warmup, we sent the Salethe on the Hand. 5.6...except you’ve got to be a 5.10 climber to lead it.
So, with clouds sweeping the Berkeley Hills, we decided, what the heck, let’s go the Valley.
I hadn’t led much before. Possibly nothing at all.
I drew the 2nd on Munginella. The 1st, and I guess the 3rd on Selaginella. I do not remember any bolts, nor FP’s. Friends were a few years in the future. Hexes and some primitive stoppers. But, there were plenty of trees and chicken heads to tie off.
Above the 3rd pitch of Selaginella, a myriad of cracks led upwards, each with bail tat. I would have never found the left traverse without TC - the best pitch of the entire choss heap.
The final bit involved a large flake, above a large run section. On lead I guess it’s about 10 feet of OW. With a TR, on the other hand, I simply hooked over its top edge, performed a flying horse mount, sticking it legs straight and stable.
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photonez

Big Wall climber
San Jose, Armpit of the Bay!
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   Feb 28, 2012 - 10:24pm
Finally made it up this route. I didn't get any pro on P3 until the bolt and piton. Is this normal or am I the only one that doesn't place pro into loss rotten rock? The final pitch was bitchin!
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mrbaksh

Trad climber
Fresno, CA
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   May 30, 2011 - 12:54pm
Great route.
After clipping the bolt on P3, there is the option to climb straight up some cracks and then traverse over to the belay tree. You can also keep traversing left (this traverse is the shiznit). Then climb up via crack or face to the belay tree. If you are clipping the bolt, make sure you have a looooong sling. If not,there is an already slung piton left of the bolt, clip it if you trust it.

P1 of this climb is lovely. and very memorable.

There is no need for any any gear more than 3.5". I saw some people with some big ole' cams, and for sure they did not need it.
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throwpie

Trad climber
Berkeley
May 26, 2011 - 09:54am
 
What I DO remember about Selaginella...Mouse and I starting too late and walking down the trail in shorts and t-shirts, pitch black with just a book of matches to light our way. Light a match, memorize what you can see in its meager light, and walk that far. Light another match... Ah, youth.
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PAUL SOUZA

Trad climber
Central Valley, CA
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   May 26, 2011 - 09:45am
On May 21, 2011, we linked this up with Commitment. I led the first pitch. After the traverse, I began to see red ants running around. As I worked my way up, they were zeroing in on me. I clipped the piton and hurried for the tree only to find the entire belay station covered in red ants!! I was getting mauled on my legs, arms, and neck. Meanwhile, I managed to daisy in to the rap slings, I told myself to keep it cool and not f@#$ this up, untied from the rope, threaded it through the rap rings, retie, and had my partner lower me off. Little buggers were still coming at me down the rope. I cleaned on my way down and swore the route off. My arms and legs were covered in red dots from the bites and I still have flashbacks....LOL
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Bertrand

climber
California
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   Apr 26, 2010 - 12:07pm
This weekend, the lower routes suffered from wetness and algae, but Selaginella was bone dry.

And the route....incredible! rigorous, adventurous, super fun moves.

* I would suggest an extra extra long sling if you protect the little wedge chimney coming up to the ledge on P3, just before the wild step-across. otherwise it's the dilemma between heinous rope drag and an unprotected follower.
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
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   Jul 9, 2009 - 01:21pm
I just got this beta from a supertopo user: While climbing Selaginella yesterday we were a little confused for a
moment about belay 3. In the SuperTopo there is what appears to be a
left facing arete where we observed a right-facing corner with a
larger than fist sized crack (2"-4" pieces for the belay). There
doesn't appear to be a piton at that belay anymore either.
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KP Ariza

climber
SCC
Nov 24, 2008 - 11:33am
 
Followed Grant Hiskes on this route in 1986 on sight soloing. The neat location and fun climbing overshadow the semi dirty and loose sections.
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Dire Wolf

Trad climber
Fresno
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   Nov 24, 2008 - 11:10am
One of the best routes of the grade I've done. Killer hands on P.1, Great run-out and adventurous face climbing; awesome. However, the route is much more commiting and dangerous than the trade routes on the five open books, and I can see some moderate climbers getting shut down and lost on the route.
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
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   Oct 27, 2008 - 08:39am
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
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steele

Trad climber
CA
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   Mar 7, 2008 - 10:43pm
good link with munginella and upper tiers but your ass might get lost. good variety from off-width to fists to hands. need route-finding skills after p2.
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Nor Cal

Trad climber
San Mateo
Oct 7, 2007 - 04:23pm
 
The tree stump in the first pitch is gone! It's very dirty in there with several loose block.
We were the first to climb it on saturday and several parties came behind us. I am hoping that with continued traffic the dirt will eventually be gone. So, who pulled the stump?
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the Fet

climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
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   Nov 20, 2006 - 10:31am
At the top of munginella/commitment traverse quite a bit to the right on the way to the base.

The tree stump at the top of 1 is just dead roots in the crack, hard to see from the ground.

The 5.7 OW on the first pitch was the strenuous crux of the route. Make sure your gear is on the left side of your body.

Bolts at the top of 1 still gone. Bummer if you just wanted to do the 1st pitch 10a variation, or needed to bail. They weren't really in a great spot anyway though (when you pulled your rope it could get stuck).

On the start of the 2nd pitch I liebacked the 5.7 OW while seconding, it was much easier, might be tough to protect that way, but much less physical.

As mentioned below, keep your eyes peeled for the belay at the top of the third, I almost missed it. One good bolt, one missing bolt, just the sleeve left in the rock. Good pro opportunities (~0.75") nearby though.

The wild 5.8 traverse was the best part of the route IMO. The 5.8 finger moves off the ledge were fun too. I didn't see a fixed pin. The 5.8 lieback, 5.8 stem, 5.7 fingers was really good.

Great location, but only the 4th pitch was really good climbing.
Descent kind of sucks because you head uphill to the falls trail, then the falls trall goes up for a while before you start heading down.
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Duke-

Trad climber
SF, aka: Dirkastan
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   Nov 17, 2006 - 07:17pm
Yes- There was deffinately some dirt up there, but that should'nt stop you. My buddy Rob and I (from the car) blasted up Mungenella to the base of San. in an hour. It took a moment to find the base, but two other parties directed us. It was twilight by then, so they wished us luck. Rob set off and breezed the continuous and slightly awkward first pitch, in style. I took the second. A bit blocky if I recall, it has been a couple of months. Rob took the third, but went to high and missed the traverse. I found it on the way up and crossed over to investigate. A couple of moves over a gap, which looks a long, long ways down. I then reversed the moves, told Rob and then went back to belay Rob while he traversed above "the traverse". Since he was already on the sharp and it was rapidly becoming dark, he set off from where he was and cruzed the last pitch. I turned on the lamp and enjoyed a night pitch. Coupled with a route on the first tier, this is a "must" for the link up. Fun route, great evening!
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ricardo

Gym climber
San Francisco, CA
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   Nov 8, 2006 - 02:27pm
I love this route -- its part of my favorite linkups ..

doing something on the 1st tier .. and then doing salaginella .. great day of climbing in the greatest place on earth ..

.. the last pitch is a nice "Gym" type of pitch .. juggy with alot of lunging between holds...
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Ken Zemach

Trad climber
Redwood City, CA
Nov 6, 2006 - 08:01am
 
If you do the 5.9 start on the right hand side, the first pitch might be worth doing. Might. However, other than the traverse with the big drop beneath you, I found nothing particularly intersting on this climb, other than several large loose blocks with chalk 'X'es on them, flakes that flexed when you pulled up, munge, grit, and inconsistent climbing. Not only will I not do a repeat, but I DEFINITELY wouldn't take anyone up it if there were a gumby party above....

There are so many nicer, obscure climbs out there.
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bspisak

climber
Oct 29, 2006 - 11:31pm
 
This climb deserves a black hole rating - it's so bad, it sucks stars away from other nearby climbs.

The one thing it does have in abundance is a bit of everything: grit, dirt, loose rock, wandering unasthetic line... If you want Yosemite classic climbing, this is definitely not it.
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Gary Carpenter

climber
SF Bay Area
May 27, 2005 - 05:06pm
 
You're welcome. The bolt was there but the hanger had been stolen. I replaced the hanger about a year ago. Glad to hear it's still there. Nice climb.
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August West

Trad climber
Where the wind blows strange
May 26, 2005 - 07:43pm
 
Thankyou for whoever put a bolted hanger back on the third belay (and I hope it lasts).

For a very doable climb, that fourth pitch is amazing (wild traverse left and then up and left). I can't think of a 5.8 pitch that I enjoy more in all of Yosemite.
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MikeL

Trad climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
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   Jul 26, 2004 - 07:24am
I wouldn't ignore the alternate 5.9 start towards the bottom of the first pitch. The blocky moves into kind of a bulge / little roof that lead into an off-hands was an interesting challenge. A little too hot this last weekend to finish it all though. Next time!
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ricardo

Gym climber
San Francisco, CA
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   Jun 28, 2004 - 07:42am
on the 3rd pitch there is a variation that is not marked on the topo..

if you want to avoid the squeeze (awkward) climbing in the slot, you can go right before entering the slot around the feature, you will find a crack on its right side ..

takes great pro, and i think goes at 5.8 .. anyone else tried to avoid the awkward slot climbing by going around it?

    ricardo
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CBWB

Trad climber
CA
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   Jun 20, 2004 - 04:43pm
Climbed the route on June 18th, it is a fun outing when linked with one of the lower routes. A few comments about the climb..

Pitch 1 is fairly physical for the grade, a little sandy at the top (had to empty my shoes), has pretty good .5-2” gear opportunities (didn’t use 3-4” pieces).

Pitch 2, the top of this pitch is designated as 5.0 in the STopo guide. I found the last ten feet to be 5.7 with gear opportunities for one ~.5-.6 and one 2”.

Pitch 3, the “5.8 awkward hands” should be “awkward ow past chockstone”, 4” gear to have this move well protected. The left bolt has been removed from the anchors at the top of this pitch.

Pitch 4, the “5.8 fingers” is more like “steep 5.8 wide hands” and requires several hard moves before gear is placed to prevent bad ropedrag. The steep flake that Karl Baba recommends is to the right and defiantly the way to go. A belay stance is available above the “5.8 lieback and fingers” if ropedrag or communication is a concern. From here the protection on this pitch is not great; however, the flake is easier than it looks.

Enjoy the route!
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Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
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   Sep 11, 2003 - 08:31pm
The first pitch has some loosish rocks and sand on top of it where you belay, to avoid having the rope knock this stuff down on your partner, there is a directional that you can place in a crack/flake on the main wall.

There is no chimney climbing necessary in the chimney where you can climb to the right, but it comes in handy to finish the first pitch where having your back to the main wall will let you use some helpful holds on the outside edge of the crack.

After the airy traverse, don't climb the obvious crack in the corner but start up the steep flake that has a fixed pin in it. Way secure and fun!

It is a pretty burly climb for the grade. I called it the 5.7 Astroman when the only move rated 5.8 was on the traverse. When things start to look hard, keep looking, there's usually some hold/flake or crack to rescue you

Peace

karl
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YosemiteCamp4

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Jul 8, 2003 - 10:38am
 
This route rocks! The last pitch is the most amazing pitch I've done at this grade in the Valley (including Nutcracker, Bishop's Terrace, etc). It give you a little bit of everything.

This is a must do link-up with Committment. And you can't beat the descent trail!
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
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   Jun 5, 2003 - 02:24pm
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.
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ricardo

Gym climber
San Francisco, CA
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   May 19, 2003 - 01:05am
got majorly spanked on this route yesterday 5/17/03 .. i'd led bishops terrace and nutcracker , so i thought i was ready for more valley 5.8 and chose this route ..

.. boy, i guess not all 5.8's are created equal .. i was thoroughly gripped on the offwidth 1st pitch.. the shinanigans continued as my partner refused to listen to me and tried to link pitch 2 + 3 together, just to get stuck in the squeeze chimney due to rope drag .. -- she had to be rescued by the party above us who threw her down a toprope ..

.. the airy traverse from the 3rd belay was awesome! .. -- since i was on toprope i skipped the flake finish and instead face climbed the wall right of the flake -- fun toprope moves..

    ricardo

ps .. watch out for rockfall, we had a nice larger than softball size rock land 2 feet away from us while waiting at the 1st belay.. it was knoced down by a party above us ... while standing on the 3rd belay i saw a huge rock fly off from above us and land on the trees below, it was large enough to make a loud noise when it hit the branches below. (looked like it had been dislodged from the trail above the climb)
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Karl Lew

Trad climber
ca
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   May 10, 2003 - 08:49pm
I like this climb for its hand-jam cardio P1, its wacko route finding and its fearsome flake finish. The walk-off down the Falls trail is also a nice change from manzanita wrestling.

NOTE: Somebody (GRUMBLE) chopped the bolts on Selaginella P1, thereby forcing rappel retreats down the route that other climbers might be ascending. The former P1 bolts permitted a less congested rappel off to the left. *SIGH*

Weather gorgeous today. Climb still burly. Could never figure out why Selaginella P1 is 5.7 and Bishop's Terrace is 5.8. Weird. Bishop's Terrace is easier.
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Greg Barnes

climber
Sep 21, 2002 - 12:11pm
 
Thanks for the beta Melissa.

You can sling that big flake and leave a big nut for backup to rap from there. That's what the lower party did in the rockfall accident in April (but they fixed their line, we retrieved it and brought it back to the SAR cache). You'd need some long slings though, not just shoulder-length...

Greg
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Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Sep 20, 2002 - 05:25pm
 
The bolts on the top of the first pitch were chopped. A natural anchor can be easily built for belaying. Just don't count on the bolts for bailing.
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Robin Weber

Intermediate climber
berkeley, ca
Sep 20, 2002 - 05:15pm
 
About the anchor that Greg replaced at the top of the 3rd pitch in April ... one bolt was removed completely and the hanger was removed from the second bolt. Slipped a nut wire over the bolt and set a second anchor in the crack to the left.
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Greg Barnes

climber
Apr 16, 2002 - 09:39pm
 
We replaced the anchor on top of the 3rd pitch of Selaginella today (Tues 4/16/02). One very bad bolt and a pin with a partially broken eye were replaced with two bolts in solid rock about 4' above the original anchor.

Greg Barnes & Karin Wuhrmann - ASCA
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SuperTopo
Alert!
Apr 16, 2002 - 07:19pm
 
Rock Fall Danger : many climber have been hit or nearly hit when climbers above them dislodged rocks from the end of the last pitch.

If you are climbing the last pitch, use extreme care not to dislodge rocks near the top. When belaying the follower, be sure that the rope is not running over any loose rocks.

Everyone should always wear a helmet when climbing in Yosemite. At Five Open Books, it is especially important.

If you are just starting the route and there are climbers above, you may want to wait until they have finished climbing. This is a hassle, and may not leave you enough time to finish the route, but it is the only way to be sure someone above does not send a rock only your head.
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eric

Intermediate climber
Mill Valley, CA
Mar 25, 2002 - 01:20am
 
sharon, you are on the money. nice varied climbing, a little dirty cuz it's outside thank god. i soloed it last fall on a "get my valley feet" day and it will cetainly stay a staple.
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sharon needles

Advanced climber
Mill Valley, CA
Mar 23, 2002 - 10:24am
 
dirty? i think this route is rather buffed. it makes a great solo, really fun, sorta spooky. do one of the lower climbs first then after this route head up the trail to VIA AGUA on the upper falls, also a great solo. this makes for an awsome day!!
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Nor Cal

Trad climber
San Mateo
Mar 3, 2002 - 06:22am
 
Yes Jim, that was my partner and I behind you two. Thanks for keeping in sight long enough for us to follow you up, you guys were better than any topo. We thought we were fast, but the leader in your party rocked!
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jim

Novice climber
San Mateo
Feb 27, 2002 - 10:13pm
 
hey rob....was that you and your p behind us last firday? great route, never done it before, a bit of a dirty climb, and some loosy goosy rock surfaces but fun otherwise. unfortunatly i forgot to go look at the falls, although it is a really good idea if your already up there....
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Greg Barnes

climber
Feb 25, 2002 - 09:06am
 
Thanks for the reminder Rob - that 3rd pitch belay does have a super-nasty bolt and some pins in less than optimal rock. Make sure to get good backup pro. We will try to get to this anchor in the next few months and replace it. If you do run across bad bolts, especially on popular routes, email me at greg@safeclimbing.org with the details!
Greg Barnes, ASCA Director
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Rob

Intermediate climber
Feb 24, 2002 - 07:38am
 
We did this climb after Commitment and did both routes in just over 4 hours. There are bolted anchors at the top of the first pitch. I think we could have combined the second and third pitch with a 60 meter rope and lots of runners. We belayed the top of the third pitch at the large horn/ledge just before the airy traverse. There is a bolt and piton at this ledge, the bolt is really bad and the pin left something to be desired. I was able to place some cams to supplement the bad fixed gear. We may have belayed in the wrong place, but I sure enjoyed hanging out on that ledge and would recommend it for the belay. Great views of the tourist at the lower falls. The fourth pitch had the crux move on it, but the crux was short and easily protected, I also could not see the leader on the fourth pitch after he did the traverse, and I could not hear him. Walk over to see the falls after you climb this route. We were back at the car by 3pm.
Total of about 5 1/2 hours car to car.
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Five Open Books - Selaginella 5.8 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click to Enlarge
Selaginella with the variation start on the left.
Photo: Chris McNamara
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