Regular Route, Sunnyside Bench 5.4

 
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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
 (3.3)
Your Rating:     (none)
Rating Distribution
25 Total Ratings
5 star: 4%  (1)
4 star: 20%  (5)
3 star: 76%  (19)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
cultureshock

Trad climber
Mountain View
Mar 10, 2014 - 10:07am
 
Don't do this route right now. It was a muddy waterfall on Saturday. Wait a few weeks for it to dry out.
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khanom

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
Mar 10, 2014 - 07:05am
 
The walk off requires two feet.
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looks easy from here

climber
Ben Lomond, CA
Mar 9, 2014 - 08:59pm
 
Does rapping the route require 2 ropes, or can it be done with just 1?
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0ri0n

Trad climber
El Portal
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   Feb 24, 2014 - 08:58am
OK a few things. Beautiful easy rock for perfect day valley views, perfect route to take first time climber visiting Yosemite wanting an experience, or like the topo said to take non experienced girls swimming.

So the first time we did this we didn't look at the topo much and drank a few to many cobras, so i ended up staying left in the gully way to long and battling some wet mossy steep ass mung fest the whole while cursing to myself "f*#king Yosemite 4th class" found a fixed nut someone bailed on and bailed back down then found this steep dirty wide crack that took some boulder moves to get us onto a small pillar left of the real route, from there it look liked some hard bolted face headed out right. Anyone know what these routes are?

Well we came back the next day and did the right one, cool nice and mellow. The 4th class first pitch was move technical than the "tricky boulder problem" or any of the 5.5 in my opinion.

ok I'm done ranting, cheers
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revsonyas

Mountain climber
Castro Valley, CA
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   Nov 5, 2013 - 03:54pm
I wish I had read through all the comments before getting out on the rock! It was confusing to see the bolts above the second belay ledge/platform. We climbed up there, continued further up that gulley off route, and then had to lower and rappel down to go the right way. If the topo had simply had the bolts marked that are off route, with the explanation that they are there for rescue training, that would have saved us some time and exasperation.

Also, everything people say here about the descent is accurate. It seems like more than 300 yards across to the very obvious descent gully. It is second class, with occasional exposed areas you wouldn't want to walk off. You totally need shoes to change into if your climbing shoes fit like most climbing shoes. My partners didn't have them, and it was a slow, painstaking descent, not to mention a quick trip up the beginning gully in the almost dark to retrieve them.

It is a beautiful view of the valley, especially when the trees are turning color, and it is clear to see the landmarks all around. Totally worth doing, and mostly nicely protected. The chimneys can be at awkward angles, so carrying a pack is a pain (but you still want to bring shoes, water, and a head lamp just in case).
Third belay from the manzanita bush - facing uphill we went right up t...
Third belay from the manzanita bush - facing uphill we went right up the exposed slab, rather than through the overgrown gully.
Credit: revsonyas
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Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
Nov 4, 2013 - 08:05am
 
Paul, I don't know if a rap route still exists anymore. The glue in bolts near the top of the route are hammered flush with the rock. One could sling thru them theoretically.

Yeah, newbies have a tough time with the trail. I enjoy it, as long as there isn't much water flushing down the hillside.

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Paul Martzen

Trad climber
Fresno
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   Oct 3, 2013 - 02:29pm
Took a beginner up this nice route and had a pleasant time on the route, but a difficult time on the walk off. Nice walk over to the top of lower Yosemite Falls. The walk off over to the talus field above the stables was pretty horrible for my partner. Took us a couple hours. I have not been on this trail in ages, so I can't remember if it was ever better. Now there are a lot of very loose areas close to the top of the cliff. Several places the trail crossed steep sand that funneled unobstructed to the cliff edge. My poor partner was pretty terrified. For someone used to that kind of exposure and scrambling, I can see the 30 minute time, but we had to go slow.

It would have been faster and more pleasant to have down climbed the route, but next time I might figure out a rap route. Did not see any bolts, but there were rap slings on a few trees.

Google Earth shows the distance from the top of this route to the horse trail by the maintenance yard and park stables as about 1/2 mile. The sign on the trail at the stables turn off gives the distance to lower Yosemite falls as .8 miles.
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khanom

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
Apr 24, 2013 - 09:05pm
 
Also noticed that block a few weeks ago. Wasn't loose the last time I did the route. Nature is awesome.



Don't pull on it.
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PAUL SOUZA

Trad climber
Central Valley, CA
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   Apr 24, 2013 - 08:21am
This past Sunday we went up Sunnyside Bench. On P2, at the base of the pinnacle, just under a dying tree, there is a large block that is loose. I didn't have any webbing or cord to secure it and there was no safe place to move it to. I estimate that it is around a hundred pounds and right above Jamcrack.

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mwickett

Trad climber
Tracy, CA
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   Nov 24, 2012 - 09:28am
My 11 year-old son and I climbed this route yesterday in the wonderfully warm and sunny late November weather. This was his first climb in Yosemite and second multipitch after doing Costanoan (5.4, 4 pitches) in Pinnacles a few weeks ago.

We got out of the corner early as indicated and did the jugs option up higher. I very much enjoyed the route and found it easily protectable where it needed protecting. I think I placed my yellow alien on every pitch since it fits so well in pin scars.

The descent was typical Yosemite for me and easy to follow, but since the trail is loose dirt 5 to 10 feet above large drops was not so enjoyable for my son, or for me watching my son. Still a trail and only 2nd class though; nothing sketchy. It did seem longer than the indicated 300 yards over to the drop down to the talus, but that's the nature of such descent routes.

Would do it again.
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kev

climber
A pile of dirt.
Sep 1, 2012 - 08:41pm
 
Descent is a little scary and much longer than advertised
You must have been off route on the descent. Very tame descent by valley standards and should take 20-30ish minutes - just don't take any of the sucker trails. I'd call the decent 2nd class.
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khanom

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
Sep 1, 2012 - 08:40pm
 
The way I gauge the descent is to make sure I pass the huge and really obvious boulder field -- you can look down and see almost the whole thing just before the little trail that leads you down.
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rogro

Trad climber
Sacramento, CA
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   Sep 1, 2012 - 06:23pm
On 5.5 variation of 3rd pitch there's an old piton that can be used for pro if you have a skinny sling to thread through the eye. Descent is a little scary and much longer than advertised. I'd say it's nearly 3/4 mile. Climbing shoes not recommended. Don't start down to the Valley until you can see your way clear to walk.
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briham89

Big Wall climber
san jose and south lake tahoe, ca
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   Jun 29, 2012 - 07:40pm
Pitch 1 didn't seem to be 90' to me. Belay at first tree you see (after moving the belay up for the start.) As others have said, communication from pitch two to three is near impossible. We made the mistake of looking at the first pool and thinking we needed to go farther.....DON'T DO THAT! haha. We ended up hiking all the way up to the base of the upper falls and jumping in a pool there. It was a long ass hike up there in the heat, although it was marked well with cairns....until the end where you need to down climb 4th class, kinda lucky we found the one place to get down. We were able to hike behind the falls when the wind was blowing in the right direction...would have probably been impossible to do that during higher flow. Here's to epicing on 5.4!!!! HAHA
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ImtheWalrus

Big Wall climber
Los Angeles
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   Oct 12, 2011 - 11:45pm
This is a great introduction to Yosemite multipitch climbing. The exposure is great, while still being extremely well protected. There's never really any sustained technical climbing, it's mostly just class 4 with a few 5.4 moves here and there.

I agree with the poster below, the "class 4" chimney in the beginning is the hardest part, mostly because it is so awkward. If you have a pack on, it gets that much worse. But at the top of the first pitch, the climbing gets much better. Spectacular views of the valley. A few airy steps and a small traverse with a 150+ feet of air below you make up the best part of the climb.

At the top of P1, make sure you traverse right, don't keep going up the gulley on your left. You WILL get off route.
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Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
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   Sep 21, 2010 - 11:13pm
There's no way the first pitch in the topo is 150 feet as we combined the first two pitches with 55 meter ropes.

There's also no way that 4th class chimney is 4th class. It's harder than the crux pitches for sure.

If you're soloing, you don't even need to visit the chimney, you can go right to the buttress after the first 30 feet and climb it until you traverse back right to the top of the chimney.

Peace

Karl
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tom woods

Gym climber
Bishop, CA
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   Mar 1, 2010 - 08:01pm
I used to do this one a lot. It's pretty easy if you go the right way. The trick is to leave the gully for the ridge on the right when the gully starts to look hard and mossy.

One thing I liked to do was to climb this thing in late summer then go down the falls trail.

It's probably not safe because the rock is so slippery, but I used go to the base of upper Yosemite falls and cross at the big cave. The way you have to go is right under the waterfall so you have to wait for the wind to move the water out of the way and dash across. In the late summer, the water fall is pretty small, but still incredible.

Some of that rock near the water fall is unbelievably dangerously slippery. Don't walk on it unless you know where you will land if you fall. People slide long distances on that stuff when it's even a little wet.
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kev

climber
A pile of dirt.
Mar 1, 2010 - 02:42pm
 
The pools have dried up and the bolts are gone.
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flak

Social climber
confusion
Feb 14, 2010 - 11:06pm
 
wertg
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flak

Social climber
confusion
Feb 14, 2010 - 11:03pm
 
ertyjkujk
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LB4USC

Trad climber
Long Beach
Oct 12, 2009 - 08:57am
 
Bolts on final pitch were not there as of October 10. Built anchor on manzanita.
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brainbucket

climber
May 11, 2009 - 01:06pm
 
Pretty good route, especially for the grade. None of the pitches are sustained, just short and protectable cruxes. I actually thought the first pitch (c4) had the worst fall potential. Lots of variety with the chimney, some slab, some crack, and the traverse. Follow the topo closely to gain maximum enjoyment.

The walkoff didn't seem too bad. Don't take any of the spur trails, just keep going until you have no other choice but to descend.
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the Fet

climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
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   Apr 30, 2009 - 01:45pm
The bolts on this route are for rescue training. Do not chop them.

Rapping is not a good idea; it's low angle and plenty of places to get your rope stuck.
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BoKu

Trad climber
Douglas Flat, CA
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   Jul 23, 2008 - 01:28pm
I did this route again on Friday 18 July 2008. I climbed it with Mrs. Ku on our 21st anniversary. It was her first multi-pitch climb.

The estimate of 250 feet between the top of the last pitch and the walkoff trail is a bit long. I trailed a rope up the scramble, and the 60m got me to a tree about 10 feet below the trail.

Oh, and thanks to whoever left the cordalette and two locking biners. May the booty gods smile upon thine future endeavours! Pity you didn't use the bolted anchors about five yards to the left.
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Matt Leonard

Trad climber
Oakland, ca
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   Jun 23, 2008 - 10:46pm
As others have said, indeed a good, easy multi-pitch route. The final pitch can be tricky routefinding, so use long slings unless you know where you are heading. We had a lot of rope drag, and as mentioned, difficult communication between belayer and climber.

The bolts are indeed there on the final pitch - and there are adequate trees for the other pitches to rap from. We ended up walking off though, we were looking for the elusive pools up top, with no luck. When you hit the top, hang left towards the falls on some faint trails, and you can get pretty close to the falls and to a great viewpoint or picnic spot.

On the final ~250 foot 4th class scramble, I did surprise a rattlesnake, which made me glad we stayed roped up even on the easy terrain. Would have been a long fall had the rattler really spooked me, but at least not all the way to the ground. The descent is a little confusing. DON'T drop down until you hit the obvious talus field.

But despite these things, a really pretty climb, and great for a newer leader.
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YetAnotherDave

Trad climber
Vancouver, BC
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   Apr 28, 2008 - 05:45pm
as of yesterday there are rap bolts at the top of the last pitch, and a sling on a crappy dead tree halfway down. We only had one rope, so we walked off - we also thought the walkoff was way longer than described in the topo, but pretty straightforward. If you do the 5.4 'jugs' variant on the last pitch watch for some teetering blocks on your right - pretty easy to send them right onto the falls trail if you're not careful.
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Floyd Hayes

Trad climber
Hidden Valley Lake, CA
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   Mar 14, 2008 - 10:11am
The climb is so broken up with trees, flakes and boulders that I imagine a rope would easily get tangled or snagged if you rapped down the route. The walkoff isn't difficult, although I thought it was much longer than the SuperTopo guide suggests (300 yards). A few years ago my son and I were deceived by a few faint trails descending sketchy gullies which ended in dropoffs, and then had to scramble back up to the trail. We continued east along the obvious trail as far as we could go until it eventually switch-backed down a very broad, talus-filled gully above the maintenance buildings. Don't leave the trail to descend earlier or you'll quickly wind up in class 5 terrain. I could imagine somebody getting stranded or worse if descending too early.
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Domingo

Trad climber
Paraguay
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   Mar 10, 2008 - 02:52pm
The rap bolts got chopped Friday (I climbed it Thursday and Saturday). There's no belay slings, either (they constantly get removed), so bring a cordolette!

Be wary of the third pitch. There's a ton of potential for rope drag, and if you choose a belay spot too early, you'll run out of rope. You're not going to be able to hear your partner at all, so make sure you've got a good tug system in place to communicate.

It's a great place to take people who want to start leading or who don't climb much but want to climb in the Valley.

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Carmine Santa

Boulder climber
Stanhope, NJ
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   Sep 3, 2007 - 03:12pm
Just got back from the valley did this route with my fiancee. It was my first time leading anything in the valley and her third multi-pitch trad climb. The climb was great fun! good exsposure on the third pitch made for some quality views and exciting climbing. Only found one fixed sling at the top of the first pitch. A small but strong bush at the top of the third combined with a root made the third pitch anchor. We did the 5.5 variation. Remember to place some gear at the top of this crack because the climb traverses right immedetly after and my lack of gear made for a scary swing should the second fall. The hike down is as every one mentioned a bit sketchy. just take your time and watch for loose dirt and rocks. A must do if your looking for easier multi-pitch climbing in the valley!!
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Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
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   May 24, 2007 - 04:23pm
Non-trivial and cruel is often nature's way.
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Gumbelina!

Social climber
Meatchicken
May 24, 2007 - 10:13am
 
Fun climbing, my husband led up to the 2nd tree at the top of the first pitch but that was easily corrected once I downclimbed and scouted around the corner. Like others have mentioned, the lower tree on the right has a good ledge around to the right but looks unlikely until you're actually on it. Great exposure & views higher up, easy and well protected. I can not find anything kind to say about the walkoff though. The trail is mostly loose dirt and is very slippery in numerous places very close to the cliff edge, and the talus field is more of the same. The route had rap slings & rings, I would strongly recommend either using those or leaving your own, as the walkoff is definitely not trivial, and a bit cruel considering the grade of the climb. Definite DFU on the walkoff.
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Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Dec 22, 2006 - 07:54am
 
Munge told me to post beta here...

Did this route as part of the "solo circuit" in the last couple of years, probably did it back in the '70s in some early visit to the Valley. It is a cruisy climb and could be considered as a much less strenuous and shorter (especially if done ropeless) approach to the base are of Lost Arrow and Yosemite Point Buttress.

There is a bit of tricky route finding if you are ropeless, moving out onto the buttress and out of the corner, which should be scoped out before you are using the climb as the quick way up.

Great views of the Lower Falls, and in the summer I'm told a wonderful skinnydip...
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Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
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   Jun 12, 2006 - 02:02pm
"The topo says you can retreat by rappelling from fixed slings, but I didn't find a single sling on the route, and I'm certain I was on-route the whole time."

That's b/c someone decided that the route would be better if they install bolted anchors with rap links throughout...Most likely this was the same individual also thought the route would be better if some trees were sawed off...Most likely the same person that added bolted rap anchors to Royal Arches. The bolts are gone (I had nothing to do w/ it). It seems to me that part of the fun of a "good first multipitch" would be building your own anchors.

In any case, you shouldn't expect bail sling to remain in situ. Leave your own if you must bail. Otherwise, the walk off is really enjoyable, and you can alway rope up for bits if you're worried about not being able to "DFU". Just be careful of the many people who are likely climbing below you.
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BoKu

Trad climber
Douglas Flat, CA
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   Jun 12, 2006 - 06:57am
I did this climb on 11 June with my 12 yo daughter; her first multi-pitch climb. I took the topo pages 107 through 110 with me, and it seemed quite accurate for both the climb and the descent. The "tricky boulder problem" shown at the top of the second pitch is above a big ledge and protects easily. I remember pulling the move and thinking, boy, that was kinda tricky, and then seeing it shown on the topo and knowing exactly where I was.

I brought RE Comets .5 and 1 through 4, Camalots 1 and 2, some medium to large nuts, and about 8 24" slings. That and some bail gear was plenty of stuff for us. I never placed the .5 cam, and the few nuts I set were mostly to give my daughter practice cleaning them.

As promised, the route is a good, low-key way to see the sights and get in some climbing. As others have noted, the roar of Yosemite Falls drowns out any meaningful communication on the third pitch, so have your signals worked out in advance.

The descent is definitely nontrivial. The trail over to the talus is a DFU affair; however it is fairly clear and we had no trouble recognizing it when we got to it.

My only regret was not having enough time at the top to search out the pools. It'd be nice if they were shown on the map.
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Duke-

Trad climber
SF, aka: Dirkastan
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   May 5, 2006 - 08:05pm
Hey all you out there-
I have done this route several times, but only topped out once. Make sure your partner has some love for the valley gully. I went with several of the ladies over the years as a good intro climb, and I received an over all negative response.

That said, I loved it. Especailly when you are bored, or need some alone time, you can solo up till the hands traverse (approx pitch 3) and never feel exposed. Once you get out of the gully, (most of the posts I am reading, has the climber going to far.) by breaking right, enjoy the view above the tree line. Superb! It is basically a scramble to another scramble, with the exposure becoming more defined as you go. A fast team with a short line can simul the climb and be at the top in about 30 min. That said, there are alot of loose rocks and one slip is still one to many.
Much love and two enthusiastic thumbs up.

-Me
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the Fet

climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
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   Oct 11, 2004 - 07:04am
We went up there with a 5 year old, it was great.

The walk off is not trivial. The 'trail' has slid away in places and at a few places you are walking on loose dirt 20 feet above big cliffs. I thought this trail was just as sketchy as North Dome Gully or the Kat Walk. Because we had the 5 year old we stayed roped up like a glacier team until we were past this section.

The descent took us about 45 minutes.
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microcam

Trad climber
San Juan Capistrano. California
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   Oct 7, 2004 - 07:43pm
I did this route with my friend Dave last Monday, October 4th, on my first climbing trip to the Valley. We did the 5.5 variation and found it quite enjoyable as well as the exposed fingertip traverse that comes immediately after the crack. The walk-off was a little longer than we expected. All in all, the route was great especially for Dave who was only touching stone for the third time. The Super Topo was very helpful in keeping us on route.
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urbanfood

Trad climber
santa monica
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   Sep 30, 2003 - 05:56pm
i climbed this route last saturday, 9.27. i too missed the first belay spot and continued up the gully. advice: the belay station after the first pitch is at the first tree with a small ledge. belay here. i saw it and didn't think it was right, but it is. there's a small ledge, but it gets bigger once you go around the corner. don't continue to the second tree about 30 feet up (if you do, you can still go right and get back on the route at the second belay station as toshi described).

the third pitch is the best pitch. if you look at the topo it shows a 5.4 jugs and 5.5 flake to the left of it. the jugs are exposed and unprotected so i went left and did the 5.5 flake and traversed across to a tree. then you climb straight up from there. the descent takes at least 45 minutes.
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ttoshi

Trad climber
Oakland, CA
Sep 26, 2003 - 09:01am
 
I missed the ledge to the right after the first pitch and continued up the gully. If you continue up the gully past another tree, then the climbing is trivial and there is an obvious ledge that goes right. If you go that way, then you join the regular route near the top of the second pitch close to the tricky boulder problem. On the third pitch, don't go up the ramp to the left towards the corner. Instead, go around the face to where the 5.5 crack is--this isn't extremely obvious unless you are looking for it. The descent took longer than 15 minutes for us. With the 300 yard hike to the talus field and the hike back to the base of the route, I think 30 minutes is more reasonable.
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smitty

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, Ca
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   Aug 18, 2003 - 10:22pm
This was a neat climb...go swimming. Bad ants on the last pitch, and a rattlesnake on the way down.
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Castro

Trad climber
Philadelphia, PA
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   Jun 22, 2003 - 09:06am
My husband and I just did this route in early June. great route, however, it was an extremely windy day and that mixed with the noise of the falls made it nearly impossible for the leader and belayer to hear commands in between the 2nd and 3rd pitches.
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Andinistaloco

Mountain climber
Flagstaff, AZ
Jun 14, 2003 - 07:18pm
 
Damn, I'm going to have a hard time placing gear blind....

Thanks - you enabled me to find the problem. I've got Yos. Ultra Classics. It only has 79 pages. After an hour of looking for the higher pages, I realized it must be a different book....

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David

Trad climber
San Rafael, CA
Jun 9, 2003 - 05:27pm
 
I'm sorry to report that yes, you are indeed blind. Or...perhaps I'm hallucinating. I think one of us is afflicted. ;)

I'm seeing Approach and Descent info on page 108. A description on page 109. Topo on page 110.
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Andinistaloco

Mountain climber
Flagstaff, AZ
Jun 9, 2003 - 04:46pm
 
Don't know if this is the right place to post, but I had a question. Was taking a new climber to Yos. and thought this'd be a good easy route... unfortunately, while I have the book, this route doesn't seem to be in there (unless I'm blind or missing a page!). I realize it's an easy route but a little info about it - especially the descent and approach - couldn't hurt! Appreciate hearing from anyone if they know....
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Jun 5, 2003 - 02:26pm
 
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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Sunnyside Bench - Regular Route 5.4 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click to Enlarge
Photo: Chris McNamara
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*What is "Route Beta"?
It's climber slang for information or tips on a route as in, "what's the beta on that route?" As a service to fellow climbers we ask SuperTopo guidebook users to post tips and updates to this website if they have relevant information to share after a climb.