South Face, North Dome 5.7

 
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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
 (4.4)
Your Rating:     (none)
Rating Distribution
9 Total Ratings
5 star: 44%  (4)
4 star: 56%  (5)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
climber007

Trad climber
San Jose, CA
Jun 3, 2013 - 10:20am
 
Did this route over Memorial Day weekend. Here was my TR

http://www.supertopo.com/tr/South-Face-on-North-Dome/t11965n.html
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Stevee B

Trad climber
Oakland, CA
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   Jun 3, 2013 - 02:05am
Reference the redmarked topo in the photos, in retrospect it looks to be spot on - no 5.8 up high, just more 5.6-5.7 on rough edges. The P3 traverse move is a mindblower. Pretty glad I brought a 5.11 leader with me for that one. As a "one move" 5.9 leader, that one would have backed me off. Also agree, bring three #2 cams if you have them.
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noal elkins

climber
Jul 11, 2011 - 01:59pm
 
Pitch six and the 5.8 sustained lie back section on pitch seven can be linked with a 70 meter rope for a super lieback pitch. Just past the grassy vegetated section where the liebacking ends a semi-hanging belay can be set up with a #3, a #2 camlot and a .4. Have to agree with the previous post that some additional cams or a couple of link cams could be handy for the 5.7 lieback on pitch 5 if you do not feel comfortable running it out a bit. This route has it all runout friction, chimneys, sustained liebacking, cracks, and route finding. If 5.8 is your limit this could be a very challenging undertaking.
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John Ely

Trad climber
DC
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   Sep 22, 2010 - 09:00am
This was a wonderful outing. Beta above is all pretty good in my view. Don't try this one if '5.7' is your limit! We walked down from the upper road, and found the approach long, and the gully to the south of north dome manzanita laden and scratchifying. As it was our first and only time up there, we got confused by the first set of trees leading on to the face above the approach to the route. If you come this way, may sure you avoid this confusion. The main route picture clearly shows this upper ledge system that is to be avoided.

I would have liked a few more 1-2in cams for the long and strenuous layback cracks. Maybe a couple of the small link cams if you have them.
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Oxymoron

Big Wall climber
total Disarray
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   Sep 20, 2010 - 10:22pm
Best route I've ever done on North Dome.
The Best.
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towerofpower

Trad climber
sacramento, ca
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   Sep 20, 2010 - 10:19pm
Linked with Royal Arches on Friday. The 5.7 traverse from the corner to the south face was awesome and well protected. The 300' of liebacking was sustained with few rests near the top. For me was definately harder, at least physically, than Crest Jewel, as well as more time consuming. Made for a long day but great challenge.
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gent

Trad climber
portland, or
May 17, 2009 - 04:28pm
 
I agree with pretty much all the previous posters: taken the rating and on paper the route looks casual but turns out to be an amazingly physical and burly Valley climbing adventure!
Great rock quality and the location make for a memorable day of climbing... that comes at a price. I'd have given the route five stars, if it hadn't humbled me so thoroughly.
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steele

Trad climber
CA
Apr 7, 2008 - 10:21am
 
Like the guy from Italy says, this ain't no 5.7-- it's a Yosemite 5.7 on steroids, basically in the 5.8 realm. The pitch 3 move is actually easy except for the route-finding, pitch 4 can be "runout" and the final pitches are definitely sustained. I would only recommend this route for 5.9 and above leaders in good physical shape. Coupled with RA this is one of the better and more obscure routes in the Valley.
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davidji

Social climber
CA
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   Aug 29, 2007 - 11:34pm
We did it on a brand-new 60m rope--I understand ropes are usually a little long when new, and shrink with falls.
*Linked pitches 1&2, but second simulclimbed up the slab a little so leader could reach 2nd belay.
*Pitch 4 was fine. Rope was long enough.
*Linked pitches 6 & 7, but second had to simul a little to a good place to sit in the chimney.

There was no rope drag at all on pitch 3. After you've traversed into the seam it's 5.low for the rest of the pitch. If you place pro low, I expect you will get rope drag. But it isn't necessary. Thanks Couloir for keeping me mindful of this.

I thought the most fun part was the P3 traverse, but the move at the beginning seemed scrunchy, and my tall partner found it hard.
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luca

Trad climber
milano italy
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   Sep 7, 2006 - 08:59am
did the route in august with my wife and two daughters 11 and 13 y.o. we forget the topo and was a tricky business find the traverse to the right on pitch 3.the last three pitches were too committing for the elder one of the daughters for leading, so we tied all together. the liebacks are stout and committing for the grade. we did crest jewel last year and we find it less committing and climbed it quickly. the bushing from porcupine flat is enough bad, but bearable: take 1,5-2 hours. I think the route need a confident 5.9 leader: it's never really difficult, but it is impressive and sostenute. a great adventure for the grade, surely more committing that the fairwiew's regular route at tuolomne (we did it two days later and we compared). it is better rated 5.8 than 5.7!
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Couloir

Trad climber
Yosemite, CA
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   Oct 13, 2004 - 06:41pm
Did this route a couple weeks back. The slab climbing on the first pitch gets a little harder than 5.6 near the top(I found it more scary than the runout on pitch 4). The second pitch is much shorter than the 90' the topo lists(50-60ft). The traverse on the 3rd pitch is very confusing(good luck finding it). We had horrible rope drag after the traverse and had to break the pitch into two. 4th pitch was excellent(best on the climb). The chimney on the next pitch was tough. The second chimney goes easy and you can lieback the corner to the end of it and have as good a belay as it shows lower down in the topo. The last pitch is easy but a little confusing. We went right a ways before heading up, but it was dark so we didn't really know where we were going.
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Craig Knoche

Trad climber
Mammoth Lakes
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   Jul 4, 2003 - 10:14am
Did the route on 7/26/03 and had a great time. Beautiful liebacks & jamming, exposure and views of Half-dome, up and down valley. Overall, my partner and I thought it was a more sustained climb than the regular route on Fairview - although no one move was tougher than the (often wet) P1 crux on Fairview.

On approach: stay west as long as possible to avoid the dense manzanita.

On climb:

1 and 2nd pitch can be linked. Topo lists 2nd pitch as 80', but its much shorter, perhaps only 40-50'.

3rd pitch has crux move, it's committing, but protects well, perhaps tougher for 2nd carrying a pack, since it's a little overhanging. Use long runners going around to limit the rope drag.

4th pitch was LONGER than 60m and required about 10' of simulclimbing to get to the belay. It's not clear where someone would belay if on a 50m as the last 40-50' is on slab.

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Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
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   Apr 28, 2003 - 08:56am
Rapping Crest Jewel- the anchors are bomber but some of the raps are very, very diagonal and it's not super easy to see the bolts if you haven't just climbed Crest Jewel. I've done both and it's almost certainly faster to just hike down the watershed to the west of North Dome. You just don't want to descend North Dome without descent beta.

The first time I did North Dome was by soloing the South Face. It scared the crap out of me. Then I tried to descend by staying close to the dome. I had to swim through the worst imaginable sea of brush. It would have worked the crap out of me, but I was already out of crap

Peace

karl
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JS

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Apr 27, 2003 - 08:54am
 
Another option I've never tried but was recommended to us - rap down Crest Jewel (all super bomber bolted anchors) hike over to the top of Royal Arches and rap down that.

We did the hike down through North Dome Gully - the manzanita coming down from North Dome is no fun!
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None

climber
Nowhere
Apr 23, 2003 - 05:46pm
 
1. Bushwhack down the west side of North Dome and then work across the slabs until you pick up the trail that leads to North Dome Gully. This way is probably the fastest, but has epic potential if you're unfamiliar with NDG.

2. Head north from the summit and pick up the rim trail. Then head left and follow it to the Valley via the Falls trail. This is easy walking, but it's pretty long. You'll probably get down after the bar closes.

3. Same thing, but go right and follow it to Snow Creek. I think this is even longer.

4. Hike out to the Tioga Rd. and have someone pick you up or else try and hitch hike.

5. Basejump. Probably not a good idea.

I've gone ways 1 and 2 and can't exactly recommend one over the other. The first is shorter, the second less hassle.
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LGB

Trad climber
Sacramento, CA
Apr 23, 2003 - 05:30pm
 
I am looking for beta on getting off of North Dome. I'm looking to do either this route or Crested Jewel combined with RAs this spring. Thanks.
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Apr 11, 2003 - 06:45pm
 
I got this bit of beta from a friend who just tried the route:

The best way to retreat from the first belay is to rap way left for 100 feet (one 60m rope works).
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ET

Novice climber
Mill Valley, CA
Oct 15, 2002 - 02:02pm
 
DIEhedral-
Is that Freudian typing?
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Rich the Brit

Trad climber
San Ramon, CA
Oct 14, 2002 - 05:30pm
 
I consider myself a decent 5.8 or one move 5.9 leader (Nutcracker, Commitment, Haystack, South Crack, etc). I had a beginner in tow and we backed off the 5.7 traverse on the third pitch. Just couldn't see a way to escape the diehedral without committing to an irreversible move, with my gear well below my feet. Definitely stout for a 5.7 move.

Will be back with a stonger partner.
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Steel

Intermediate climber
San Ramon, CA
Jul 13, 2002 - 12:20am
 
Pitch #3: Route-finding crux on this pitch. To exit the corner, move up flake that is past the belay tree, go about 5-10' more and then look right(this should be about halfway between the belay tree and off-route slings around a rock). The sidewall to the right should have several horizontal cracks on it and a circle/hole is about 1/2 way up this sidewall and makes an excellent right foothold. Horizontal cracks take 1/2" to 1" pro so you don't fall 15' back into the corner below. This "crux" is only about a 5.7 mantel.

Pitch #4: Be prepared to place thin pro and then run it out for 30'(5.6) to belay.

Pitches #5-8: All sustained liebacking with another 30'(5.6) runout to exit the climb.

Speed-climb Royal Arches in about 2-4 hours, hike 1 hour to North Dome, and prepare to spend about 4 hours on this climb. If you like VERY SUSTAINED liebacks and cracks that rate 5.7 and feel like 5.9, then do this climb! If you're not a comfortable 5.9 leader, then don't even think about leading this climb! The 5.7 rating is a sandbag.

Also, keep an eye on your time and the weather-- my partner and I saw storm clouds/lightning over Cloud's Rest/Half Dome on pitch 6. We topped out about 1 hour later, 5pm-- as tired as we were, we were the 2 idiots running away from the lightning storm that had touched down on North Dome(I bet 10 lbs. of shiny metal cams double well as lightning rods)! Since North Dome Gully was wet(and we didn't want to get stormed on rappeling Arches) we took the Yosemite Falls trail for 7-8 miles of hiking and reached the valley floor at 9pm. Jason, thanks for the fun and the big-balls leading on Pitch #4!
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mno

Novice climber
San Ramon, CA
Jul 10, 2002 - 02:08pm
 
Cams: 2 ea cams .5" - #3 Camalot (3.5 Camalot optional, extra small-med cams useful for belays)
Nuts: 1-2 ea #1 Rock to med/large (offsets useful)
13 draws/runners

P2 is short - stop @ big pine tree w/ rap slings
P3 routefinding crux: Old faded wad of slings through a rock hole in dihedral below a roof/block signify you've gone too far up the dihedral. Surmount right wall of dihedral on horiz ledges and cracks 35' above big pine. (Optional belay just after these moves on ledge @ base of shallow crack - better for voice contact if windy.) There's another wad of old slings around a tree 100' up visible from low on this pitch.
P4 save a red Alien or 2 for the last gear before the traversing runout to the ledge. Second can smear right out a golden dike (lower than leader's traverse) then straight up to ledge to avoid some fall potential.
P5 there's a short, wide section above a stance in the middle of the pitch - not to be confused with the chim at the start of P6 up higher.
P6 belay "stance" at end of pitch is questionable. Possible gear everywhere in this area for semi-hanging belay

Not one bolt or fp (well, one broken one) on the route

Stout for the grade

Warm up on Crest Jewel for the sporty slab sections

P4 mental crux, P7 phys crux

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Larry

Advanced climber
San Ramon, CA
Jul 2, 2002 - 10:37am
 
I'm surprised no one has mentioned what a show-stopper the traverse on the third pitch can be. It's 5.unrateable. I had two points of contact at the crux - my hip and the palm of my hand.

You also need to be comfy with runout smooth slab as well as chimneys on this climb.

The historic FA/FFA teams also help to make this a great climb.

Larry
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bob

Novice climber
San Ramon, CA
May 21, 2002 - 07:42am
 
Yeah, did it this past weekend. There were three parties on it - it's all Supertopo's fault! Supertopo also causes global warming. Just kidding of course. It's a fun route, but fairly stout for 5.7 - harder than Crest Jewel for sure! Great day of easy mileage combined with RA.
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chris mcnamara

Advanced climber
San Ramon, CA
May 20, 2002 - 10:22pm
 
the route should be in great shape right now. get up there!
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Chris

Intermediate climber
San Ramon, CA
Apr 15, 2002 - 02:58pm
 
I see from the route beta on Royal Arches that the route is in decent condition. What about continuing up to North Dome and doing the South Face? Possible yet? Lots of snow/ice/waterfalls? I'm arriving next Monday and staying for a couple of weeks. Any beta would be much appreciated.
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North Dome - South Face 5.7 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click to Enlarge
The South Face stays in the corner
Photo: Chris McNamara
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