Rock fall is likely a VERY serious problem for this cliff. There are acres and acres of loose rock up above it, including a big rock fall that happened on El Cap last year. I would not recommend climbing here.
(As a bit of evidence, the route photo shows a huge pile of rubble at the base of this cliff.)
Super fun climbing! The super topo shows 7 bolts but there are only has 3. The original route only had 3 bolts on it not sure why or who added more (unethical without the 1st ascentionist permission) so this is no longer a good 1st 5.9 lead as it is a little run out. 1st bolt is a ways up but on very easy terrain and can be protected by the smallest of cams. In between bolts the terrain is easy 5.6-5.7, interesting moves and cool climbing on crystals. At the little roof you can get a smaller cam in. All in all a typical good Yosemite 5.9/5.8, slightly run out but not bad with fun moves on great rock and new bolts.
A friend and I were all excited to climb this, but were surprised to discover we could not locate the first bolt. We happened to have both the Reid guide and the Supertopo, and noted the strange discrepancy of beta.
Now I find out the bolts were chopped. One must wonder of course how the retrobolts appeared; were they placed with permission, was there discourse, and did the chopper (may their testicles burn with fungus) know of any of it?
I did look at the gear options; they are marginal, and I don't carry aliens. I guess if the objective is to keep riff-raff like me off a precious climb so it doesn't get glazed over, it'll work, but frankly the chopper is waging a losing battle in Yosemite. All they've done is added to the collection of scars.
I first did this route when it still had 7 bolts, and back then it was a pleasant climb, and would have made a good first 5.9 friction lead. Since, somebody has chopped four of those bolts; the quality of the climbing isn't good enough to merit sticking your neck out that far, it is a shame. The three bolts remaining are good; the belay bolts are pretty old. I didn't think the natural protection was very good, the leader is faces long falls onto poor gear on sloping rock.
The first time I see Supertopo to be so much off on gear.
The recommendation says “7 quickdraws”. Actually there are only 3 bolts on that climb as of today, and I couldn’t find any remanding of the other 4. The first bolt is somewhat 40ft off the belay and may be 60ft off the ground.
The present bolts are at 3,4, and 6 bolts as by topo drawing.
Good gear, even may be not always straightforward, is very possible. Take some selection of small aliens and small to med nuts.
All 3 bolts are new Metolius stainless, anchor is 2 Zn-platted buttonheads with SMS hangers, in reasonable shape. Anchor is a bit higher than it seems from the topo and hard to see from the ground and from the last bolt - but it is easy o see where to go for it.
First 5.9 lead recommendation – well, up to you, really
Photo: Chris McNamara
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