Braille Book, Higher Cathedral 5.8

 
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Yosemite Valley, California USA

  • Currently 4.0/5
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Summary of All Ratings

SuperTopo Rating:   
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  • 5
 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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  • 5
 (4.2)
Your Rating:     (none)
Rating Distribution
16 Total Ratings
5 star: 44%  (7)
4 star: 38%  (6)
3 star: 13%  (2)
2 star: 6%  (1)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Alpamayo

Trad climber
Sacramento, CA
May 17, 2013 - 09:40am
 
Definitely not true.
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LuckyJack

Trad climber
Novato, CA
May 17, 2013 - 03:01am
 
My partner and I climbed E Buttress of Middle in pretty good time last weekend and he says Braille Book is MUCH more difficult. True? It doesn't seem like it should be from the book. I know it has some 5.8 OW and chimneys, but...
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CKTRAD

Trad climber
San Francisco, Ca
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   May 13, 2013 - 03:39am
Hands down the best 5.8 I've ever done. Make sure you're offwidth, flare and chimney technique is dialed. Amazing last pitch which has an exposed look down the whole wall of the Northeast Butress. And a nice jug fest to the summit. Spectacular views of Higher, and Lower Cathedral Spires for the entire climb. Oh, and the summit views are jaw dropping. Don't forget the camera!
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Archie Richardson

Trad climber
Grand Junction, CO
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   Aug 10, 2011 - 03:07pm
A 5.8 for the 5.9 climber. Sandbag crux, but not-to-worry, extra 4" cams will get you up pitch 4, no need for anything bigger.
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Brad Roth

Trad climber
Milford, CT
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   Jul 3, 2011 - 01:01am
Pitch 1 in morning light
Pitch 1 in morning light
Pitch 1 in morning light
Credit: Brad Roth
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Damian

Trad climber
London
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   Jun 24, 2011 - 12:18am
Brad - that's great thanks; really appreciate it.
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Brad Roth

Trad climber
Milford, CT
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   Jun 21, 2011 - 09:05pm
Will do, Damien. I'll get them off tomorrow.
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k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Jun 21, 2011 - 04:39pm
 
Photos correctly inserted from Brad's thread:

Pitch 1 in afternoon light.
Pitch 1 in afternoon light.
Credit: Brad Roth

Divinely inspired final pitch... we heard a chorus of angels, we think...
Divinely inspired final pitch... we heard a chorus of angels, we think...
Credit: Brad Roth

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Damian

Trad climber
London
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   Jun 21, 2011 - 03:24pm
Brad!!

I take it all back and I have maligned you unfairly! Please accept my heartfelt apologies and a complete retraction of all my previous remarks!

You are a gent, and I very much appreciate your rapid response on this. You have also confirmed my faith in the climbing community as one where trust and acting with integrity still hold sway.

It would be great if you were able to return my glasses to me. I am still in the US on a family holiday so no need for expensive international postage.

If you could priority mail the glasses to 11508 Green Road, Wilton, CA 95693, and let me have a return address, then I will send you cash for the costs of the postage. I'll also throw in an energy bar to compensate you for the hungry ravens!

Thank you again for responding on this and letting me know. Look forward to receiving the glassess, and glad you also enjoyed the climb.

Kind Regards
Damian
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Brad Roth

Trad climber
Milford, CT
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   Jun 20, 2011 - 12:28am
Damien,
I have your sunglasses! A raven made me do it! My partner saw your stuff, and thought it was mine when we got back to the base. He tossed it my way, if you noticed it moved. I didn't know why he was tossing his stuff to me. We eventually figured about someone else had left things. We found to pieces of hand tape, also. Curious.

The glasses must have tumbled out, and I thought they were mine, which I had been missing. I had bought new ones, and a lens popped out and apparently found its way from pitch 3 to the base.

Your 20 yr streak of no thefts is still alive! I'd be happy to mail the glasses back to you. If you were missing some energy bars, so were we. We found wrappers spread out when we got back. Ravens or rodents, we think. They also got to my individually-wrapped Preparation H butt wipes, and opened two or three. So we know their butts are clean.

Best wishes. We loved the climb. [photo[photo
the view from the top, Tuesday, June 14, 3 pm.
the view from the top, Tuesday, June 14, 3 pm.
Credit: Brad Roth
id=206688]id=206687]
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Damian

Trad climber
London
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   Jun 19, 2011 - 12:43am
Climbed this route on Tuesday 14 June; avoided the crowds by heading up midday and climbing through the afternoon. Absolutely great climbing all the way, albeit pretty 'old school' bridging and chimneying, strong natural line and great to finish on a 'summit'. Would recommend it to any 5.8 climber wanting to see if you're ready for 5.9 in the Valley.

My only complaint would be in relation to the individual who stole my sunglasses from the rucksack we left at the bottom of the climb. There was a party of 2 ahead of us on the route who had obviously suffered some damage to a pair of shades (discarded lens at start of first pitch), and if one of you is the thief, then I hope you reap what you sow. Never in 20 years of climbing have I had stuff stolen that I left at the base of a route. You let all climbers down, and I hope if you read this that you feel bad, you a#$ehole (note the correct English spelling of a#$e).
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noal elkins

climber
May 18, 2010 - 02:37am
 
We climbed the route yesterday and discovered that pitches 3 and 4 can be linked with a 60 meter rope. 60 meters just makes it to set an anchor above the chimney (good for photos and to watch the follower) 70 might be better if you want to get to the bolted anchor below the start of pitch 5.This is from the pillar with slings at the top of pitch two to the top of the chimney/flare. If there is a typo on the topo for pitch three it is closer to 80 ft than 180ft.
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Oct 4, 2009 - 04:05pm
 
i just got this correction:
The Braille Book Topo lists the third pitch as 80 feet. I think you meant 180 feet. It's most of a 60 meter rope to get to the belay described by the topo (much to my dismay as I dumped most of my gear early, only to find I had much further to go than anticipated).
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Mar 25, 2009 - 03:44pm
 
here is a cool trip report

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=362029
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Al-Boo-Boo

Trad climber
Bay Bury Ya
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   May 14, 2008 - 11:20pm
Climbed the book last april. One cloudy morning my bro and I decided to go up there. We hauled ass on the approach, to beat the expected crowds. That wasn't the case though, we also had the route to ourselves. I was surprised by the quality of rock, I was expecting a little something more 'valley-like' Instead, it resembled that of a seacrag to say the least. The chimney sections were more like it, my kind of climbing. The route had alot of bail-out slings and some gear even. It begin snowing on us on the last 2 pitches, the snow made for some cool adventure climbing. Overall, the route was aaight' think
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oaktown

climber
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   May 3, 2007 - 02:24pm
Anyone ever done the 5.10 variation to the 5.8 chimney? Is it worth doing? I seem to remember it looked really good when I was there, but that was years ago...

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tahoemnts

Trad climber
truckee, ca
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   Nov 15, 2005 - 07:46pm
Just climbed this yesterday Nov. 14. Needless to say, there was no one around. Actually, there was no one in the whole park i think? Nice with not so many gapers around:) So we get up to the base and realized we had the topo for the wrong climb. But luckily we remembered the climb went "up"! So we found the start which is pretty obvious considering the pounding the ground takes. Found a nice new sling/biner someone left...thanks by the way. Pretty obvious where the route goes, so no problem there except for the last big off width pitch. I started leading the .10a into .10c before i realized where i was...but this is good practice too! Great climb, great knobs, great rock, great views, great no crowds...little nippley though...but we're not fair weather climbers living in Tahoe right? Quite the descent.
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Sascha

climber
Oakland, CA
Jun 1, 2005 - 04:46pm
 
I take it the route is dry as of now?
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NinjaChimp

climber
someplace in-between
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   May 24, 2005 - 02:49am
Did this on 5-22-05 after doing the Regular Route on Highter Cathedral Spire. The best 5.8 in the Valley that I've done, which includes all the classics except the ever-crowded Bishop's Terrace. Did the first 3 pitches in two rope length pitches with a 70M rope. Wouldn't recomend it unless your willing to run it out to avoid rope drag. If you don't mind a bit of air between you and your pro the long pitches make for an awsome outing.
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wes

Trad climber
Arizona
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   Apr 7, 2005 - 01:22pm
my third yosemite climb as of last july. so... being a climber from Arizona I haven't hit up many offwdth sections of climbing. The 4the pitch...was hard as hell for me. Be aware that for newbie steep offwidth climbers you are really going to want a 4.5" and a 4" cam for this section for sure. All in all a great climb and I really felt alone in the wilderness on this one..heck of a hike...beautiful setting.
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Alexey

climber
San Jose, CA
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   Oct 4, 2004 - 04:30pm
We did this route yesterday. Third pitch is 140-150 feet , not 80 feet as on topo. I mentioned this because party above us was tried to link pith 3 and 4 ( both 80 feet on supertopo) and run out of rope and set belay station at very inconvenient place just after crux section of pith 4.
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Mei

Trad climber
...was...
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   May 24, 2004 - 03:07pm
As of May 22, 2004 the 1/4" bolt on top of Pitch 1 was till there. It seemed to be in a fairly good shape. The leader of the party behind us used it in his anchor system. Pitches 5 and 6 can be linked with a 60 meter rope. But I'll recommend it only if the second is not likely to fall at the traverse at the beginning of Pitch 5. Before I climbed it, I had been told wonderful things about the route; it turned out to be even better than I had expected. The climb reminds me of Red Rocks.
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Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
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   Apr 26, 2004 - 02:25pm
I was wearing my favorite t-shirt on the hike up to Braille Book last weekend. I got pretty sweaty since the sun was already hitting the talus, so I decided to leave the shirt at the base to dry and wore one that I had in my pack for the climb. The next morning when I put on the favorite T-shirt from the day before we discovered that some critter had found its salty armpits absolutely delectible and polished them off completely. You may want to hang your pack up!
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CA Dreamin'

climber
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   Oct 13, 2003 - 04:13pm
Braille Book is a good route that is different from other Yosemite Valley routes as it felt very "facey." In all honesty the hike is not that bad. Be sure to find the trail in the beginning so you don't go up toward the base of the East Buttress of Middle Cathedral. There are far worse approaches that I can think of that make this approach seem tame. I am a glutton for punishment though, so keep that in mind. It took my partner and I an hour from the car. The third pitch seemed longer than the 80' that Supertopo says it is, but that could just be me being a wanker. I would recomend bringing the number 4 camalot for the 4th pitch. It could prove to be useful. Supertopo gives you all the beta you need, so that's enough from me. If there is no one slowing you down, you complete the route in good time (within the 3-5 hrs that Supertopo recomends, which is very feasible), and you're a 5.9 climber, I would suggest doing the Regular Route on Higher Cathedral Spire after the Braille Book. That's a good day. Enjoy the route.
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Joe

Social climber
Santa Cruz
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   May 19, 2003 - 05:36pm
A stellar climb, but I'm not sure I would do it twice. The approach and walk off are truly a grind and the wait formidable. It was about a 12 hour day yesterday, with about a 2 hour wait for a party of 3 in front of us. Granted, we were not running to the base or back to the car, but we weren't sauntering either. We did see a bear last night on the walk out. The exposure at the end of the 5th pitch is truly stunning, almost 2,500 ft of air a meter or so below your feet. I can only imagine what it would be like to fall and hang in that air, probably give mere mortals a heart attack. I wouldn't want to bring a novice climber or anyone with a tendency to sketch over that edge.
Bring food, lots of fluid, sunblock, and layers of clothing.
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dougs510

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Mar 18, 2003 - 02:11pm
 
I did this route in June 2000. Braille book is all the 5.8 I ever want. I found it strenous, scary, and loads of fun! It's like it was saying to me "Welcome to the valley"
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Jason

Novice climber
Santa Cruz
Sep 17, 2002 - 02:59am
 
Just climbed it last Friday. Sweet route. It took us a couple of hours to approach, but we're slow! Although, Camp 4 was full, we saw and heard nobody on higher cathedral buttress or spire. Lucked out!

Anyway, there is still a rusty 1/4"er at the top of the first pitch. The climb is amazing with lots of wide stuff. As previously mentioned, bring the 3 1/2. The 5.8 grade seemed right on. Although, I did it in my approach shoes and it felt closer to 5.9 as a result. I was still pretty wasted from the approach. I'm not that strong yet! I do recommend good shoes for the approach as it is consistently 35 to 45 degrees straight up to the base. Tevas should suffice for the descent back to the base of the route. Bring enough water!!! We made it back to the car in the dark in about 1 1/2 hrs.
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Other Greg

Novice climber
Santa Cruz
Jun 17, 2002 - 10:48am
 
Recommended to rack up to #3.5 Camalot. You could probably use the #4 if you brought it. Just depends on how strong you are in the wide stuff. You can walk the 3.5 up with you and that works great.

We started just after 7am and we hiked up that morning. Approach takes just over an hour if you move steadily up the gully. Bivied at the base and starting at 10am...what's the point in hauling bivy gear up there?


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larry

Novice climber
Santa Cruz
Jun 13, 2002 - 12:15pm
 
Now we're getting beta from guys that bivey @ the base of 6 pitch 5.8s so they can start by the crack of noon?


Sleep in the valley & bring the 3-1/2.
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Max

Social climber
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   Jun 12, 2002 - 09:54pm
I thought this route was pretty darn rewarding, if a bit surprising at times. We were stupid enough to approach during the previous nite, and didn't start really until about 1000am. Don't do that if you have to be at work at 330 the next afternoon.... A 3.5 or 4 is definitely useable, but not necessary. dont hike up at night unless your familiar with the way, cause it sucks.
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Valygrl

Novice climber
Jun 12, 2002 - 02:59pm
 
I did the route May 24, there is a rusty old bolt at the optional 2nd belay.
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steelmnkey

climber
Vision man...ya gotta have vision...
Jun 12, 2002 - 12:10pm
 
Greg - we did the Braille Book last Friday (6/7). Unfortunately, we ran all long pitches and did the route in six. We ran the rope about 130 feet up to a decent ledge on the right side for our first belay, so we could easily have missed a rusty bolt. On the ledge just right above the top of the upper offwidth slot (our pitch four) there are two brand spankin' new bolts to belay from just below a short 5.7 hand slot. Other than that, didn't see any other bolts.
Hope this helps.
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Greg Barnes

climber
Jun 10, 2002 - 02:50am
 
Matt, or anyone else who's done it recently -

are the 3 bolts still rusty 1/4" with Leeper hangers? Especially that bolt at the pitch 1 belay?

We heard rumor that someone was going to replace them last year, but never heard back. I might go replace those soon if they're still bad. Or at least the one at the first belay.

Thanks - Greg
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Matt

Intermediate climber
Jun 3, 2002 - 01:06pm
 
This is a fun route.
We went up there to climb the NE Butt of HCR, but diverted because it wasn't a very original idea.

I have always heard this is a stout 5.8 ("come on- it's a bridwell route...") but we thought it was fairly casual, if sometimes a bit inobvious.

If you are a fledgling 5.8-5.9 leader, you will be challenged on this & you may think it's got some scary & somewhat physical sections. If you lead 5.10 & have climbed a wide pitch or two, it will be a pleasant & suprising line.

Bring a 3-1/2 cam (we would have liked to have it along!) Other than that you can go pretty light on the rack- there are some easy sections you can run-out & lots of good nut placements.

The belays on this route are great & the up valley views of the higher spire & Yosemite Falls kick ass- I was grinning all day!


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Higher Cathedral - Braille Book 5.8 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click to Enlarge
Photo: Chris McNamara
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