Zee Tree, Pywiack Dome 5.7

 
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Tuolumne Meadows, 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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Your Rating:     (none)
Rating Distribution
24 Total Ratings
5 star: 4%  (1)
4 star: 50%  (12)
3 star: 38%  (9)
2 star: 4%  (1)
1 star: 4%  (1)
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Aug 25, 2003 - 08:08am
 
The American Safe Climbing Assn. may have replaced anchor bolts on this climb. To find out visit the ASCA Replacement Page

The ASCA is a non-profit organization dedicated to replacing unsafe anchors. To learn about helping the ASCA click here


DONATE NOW
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Rich the Brit

Trad climber
San Ramon, CA
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   Aug 11, 2003 - 11:19am
Guess I will be the first to post beta on this one...

Climbed this with Jim on Sat 8/9. 1st pitch is good (knobs and scoops). Next 2 pitches are easy but very little pro. Exit crack is easy and fun 5.7 - a short lie-back protected with large cams 3-4".

Travel light - just take 10 draws, 1 cam each 2 to 4" (BD 2, 3, 3.5 & 4) and a couple of large nuts or red/yellow aliens.

Descend from N/E corner of dome. Easy 40ft rap, but might be worth taking your own rap/tat and biner. Nothing we saw looked very permanent.

This climb is a nice way to end the day (car to car in under 3 hours), but it isn't stellar climbing. A nice route for new arrivals to practice their slab skills though.
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Jon

climber
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   Oct 24, 2003 - 04:48pm
Hey,

I was on the route in early October 03 and wanted anyone to know that I cleaned up the rapell anchors and put on a new sling. The ones I pulled off were dated 1988. The rap tree is a big tree, but it is not very tall at all, you have to look over the edge to actually see it.

Hope this helps fellow climbers out.
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Laddie

Trad climber
Reno, NV
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   Oct 26, 2003 - 05:54pm
Did the route on 10/25. Fun route to do, nice face climbing on good knobs. Walked over to the top of Dike Route and rapped down that instread of going to the top and walking off. Only a couple of older bolts on the route down low. Would have been 4 pitches if he hadn't rapped down Dike Route. Started high up on the slab, went past the first two bolt anchor and ran out the whole 60 meters of the rope.
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Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
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   Aug 30, 2004 - 03:19pm
Climbed the first two pitches of this route on 21 August 04.

Folks seem to rappel the route to the tree then to the ground, rather than just rap from the second bolted anchor (top of second pitch) and walk down. No rap gear on first set of anchors (not sure there needs to be, especially as 2 60m ropes reach easy downclimbing/hiking terrain from the second pitch anchor anyhoo).

Fun route. Good for "day of arrival".

-Brian in SLC
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Alexey

climber
San Jose, CA
Sep 13, 2004 - 10:42am
 
On September 12 I was tried to find two belay bolts where route should start - and did not. I also was not able to spot bolts line of pitch 1 .
It seems to me that route was chopped. Correct me if I am wrong ...
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ct

climber
CO
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   Sep 15, 2004 - 02:20pm
The bolts are there, exactly as marked in the Supertopo. The first anchor bolts are very difficult to spot from the ground. You have to solo up a bit of 4th class to get to them. After that, the bolts go up and right, then back left by, and then above the tree, and are easier to spot. The first few bolts above the first belay have older hangars and are hard to spot until you're almost on top of them. The bolts generally get better as you go up, and all the belays have bomber, newer bolts.
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Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
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   Sep 17, 2004 - 06:45pm
While climbing the dike route in the past, I've seen a lot of folks searching for the first anchors. Here's where they are. Look for the obvious tree. Below the tree is a small roof. Down and right of this roof is an really small Z shaped roof. It's only about 8 inches high. The anchors are just left of this Z shaped roof, following a bit of 4 class but just before a steeper section of rock.

If you intend to rap before the rap anchors run out, and nobody is on the dike route, you can rap from the anchors on top of the 5.7 pitch to the first anchors on the dike route with two ropes. Then back to the start

peace

Karl
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MAC

Ice climber
Truckee, CA
Oct 14, 2004 - 10:24pm
 
Freed to within 30 feet of the tree and could not find bolts or anchors. Spent a solid 10 - 15 minutes looking at the top of every seemingly correct spot and downclimbed after no luck. I even tried with binoculars from the ground. Did someone run off with the hangers? Good luck, put on the x-ray vison for these babies if they're there.
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cgw

Trad climber
Santa Barbara
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   Oct 15, 2004 - 10:34am
Seems like a lot of people have a hard time finding the hangers, as did I. Reference the photo and the ST topo to spot the very beginning of the climb. The bolts are hard to see until you're pretty much right on top of them. Go up steep 4th class, the hangers are there, just as the rock turns green with lichen. I soloed around the 4th class slabs for quite a while before seeing the hangers. By then I was within 15 feet of them.

We rapped this route from the top of Dike Route (2 ropes), by bypassing the last 5.7 lieback section to the top (which might be worth it if you want the long descent option over the back and down the talus field by Aqua Knobby). Traversed the exposed slab to the slings. As it was getting dark we were glad to spot slings at the next rap station. From there, it takes a keen eye in the darkness to find the next station (rings), just above the ledge, shown in ST.

2 double rope raps to the ground. Rapping the route was way faster than the standard descent, though carrying a 2nd rope up this route was a little much.
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Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
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   Jul 26, 2005 - 07:56am
Gosh Ricardo Maybe 5.10 climbers shouldn't be disappointed when 5.7 starts to seem easy.

Given that the TM face climbs that actual 5.8 leaders can handle can be counted on one hand, I don't think the bolting on Z tree is inappropriate.

Peace

Karl
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spyork

Trad climber
Tunneling out of prison
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   Aug 8, 2005 - 09:34am

I too had problems finding the 2 bolt anchor at the start. I blame my eyesight thats starting to go. I wandered around for 15 or 20 minutes while my partner below got nervous.

I loved the headwall at the top. I wouldn't skip that part of the climb.
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Greg Barnes

climber
Aug 10, 2005 - 10:15pm
 
Roger Brown replaced the first 4 pro bolts last week, which were rusty 5/16" buttonheads with "big Leeper" hangers (actually HME/DMM hangers, look like oversized Leepers).

Thanks Roger!
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Bilbo

Trad climber
Truckee
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   Sep 26, 2005 - 09:36am
This is a strange way to start a route, you climb unprotected on 5th class terrain for 20-30 feet trying to find some anchors that are invisible. When I found the anchor I felt like it should have been the second bolt on the climb. After that the real crux is fun and mentally scary slab moves to a first bolt. After that the angle drops and the friction feels much better as you cruise to the top of the dome.
The final headwall crack is fun and will take #4 friend, #4 Camalot & #4.5 Camalot.
ST says 40' rappel off NE side, we found a 100 foot rappel off of a Tree to another 40 foot tree rappel to the ground, putting us on the East Side.
This route needs a marker on the first anchor, it would be much less dangerous if you didn't have to stand on greasy knobs for 10 minutes trying to find the START of the climb.
Mentally not 5.7 more like 5.8, physically 5.6.
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Scott Bullock

Trad climber
Merced, CA
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   Sep 26, 2005 - 12:11pm
Yes finding the anchors is weird - but I would hesitate to call it 5th class which would indicate a fatal fall. You would have to pass out to fall off those knobs and if you did you would simply slide and or roll down the slope.

I found looking for the anchors part of the adventure. ST does suggest roping up at the ledge below the anchors in order to bring up less experienced climbers on belay...

S
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Gene

climber
Oct 14, 2005 - 12:28pm
 
Non-strenuous great fun for overweight geriatrics.
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Gunkie

Trad climber
East Coast US
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   Nov 7, 2005 - 09:33am
Fun climb and a quality route [July 2005], but we missed a bunch of protection bolts on two or three of the pitches. We really didn't need them and it made for a more exciting and memorable climb. We're Gunks climbers and not used to spotting bolt hangers in the midst of a sea of boilerplate slab with bumbs all over the place :)
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Floyd Hayes

Trad climber
Hidden Valley Lake, CA
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   Jul 5, 2006 - 10:20am
Climbed it with my 14-year-old son on July 2. The location of the first anchor was described earlier by Karl Baba: "Look for the obvious tree. Below the tree is a small roof. Down and right of this roof is an really small Z shaped roof. It's only about 8 inches high. The anchors are just left of this Z shaped roof, following a bit of 4 class but just before a steeper section of rock." Actually the horizontal roof is shaped more like a Spanish tilde (∼) than a Z and the bolts are about 10' left of this roof, at the border between the darker rock above and paler rock below.

The 180' pitch above can be split into two pitches (and a shorter rope used) by belaying at the ledge with a small tree; the anchor can be formed by slinging the roots of the small tree (PLEASE be careful with the poor tree, which had a split trunk and appeared to be dying, and will break off if you lean or pull on it) and the bolt beside the tree. Pitches 5 and 6 as depicted in SuperTopo can be linked and are class 4. The steep crack of the last pitch is stellar and shouldn't be missed.

The descent to the north is easy. Hike to the summit and wander perhaps a hundred feet down class 3-4 slabs to the northeast where the ground is closest and look for slings around a block (we didn't see a station on a tree). After the 40' rappel walk about a hundred feet north to a cairn and then scramble down easy talus.
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outdooreric

Trad climber
Mammoth
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   Aug 30, 2006 - 04:09pm
Once we located the first belay bolts (see Karl's description), we were able to do the route in 3 pitches with a 60m rope with no simulclimbing. Pitch 1 as shown in topo, link the next two and belay under the roof as shown in topo. The last pitch climbs to the top from there.
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truckee trad

Trad climber
truckee
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   Aug 14, 2007 - 08:37am
Karl's description for finding the first bolt anchors and the start of the climb is accurate. What helped the most is search along the line where grey colored rock meets light colored rock. We too linked the second and third pitches and had just enough rope to set-up an anchor (.5 to 1 inch) at crack. The last 5.7 section at the top is worth doing (takes up to 4 inches)
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Simmeron

Trad climber
Reno, NV
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   Sep 2, 2008 - 10:47am
I agree with the other posts in that the crux is finding the first bolts (Thanks for the beta Karl, I walked right up under them). If you know where to go, the climbing isn't that hard, but if you don't . . . I'd say if this pitch has you spooked, you may want to consider bailing.

On the fourth pitch, I must have missed the first bolt because I only clipped one bolt about 60' off the belay. The climbing wasn't hard at all and it was super fun, so I guess it was a good intro for me to some slab runouts.

And definitely do the last pitch. Its a great end to this climb. I didn't feel comfortable liebacking the crack, so instead I climbed it like the offwidth on West Crack: right leg in the crack, left leg and both hands out on knobs left of the crack. My rack for this climb is 9 slings (two being double length), maybe a set of nuts, and a .4 camalot (what Supertopo calls a .75. You know, the small grey one) up to a #3 and a #10 hexcentric in place of the #4 cam. The #5 seems too big to haul up a slab route. On the fourth pitch, we ran it out to the top of the left facing corner, which let us do the route in 5 pitches, if you count the 4th class start as a pitch.

A fun semi-mellow route.
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Toreador

Trad climber
York, UK
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   Sep 25, 2008 - 08:37am
Glad I wasn't the only one to have a hard time spotting the first bolts! Can't comment on the grades in any authoritative way as it was our first climbing trip to the US - but to us the 5.7 slab pitch felt more like 5.8, and the final 5.7 lieback crack closer to 5.5! Great fun either way, and highly recommended to anyone whose linmit is around the 5.7/5.8 level. I can see how those operating at higher levels might find this too tame.

We found the rap off the top easily enough. Just walk to to the far side of the dome, as far as you can go before it gets steep again. You'll be on a flat area - look to the right (east) of this and the slings are obvious, round a large block.
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surfstar

climber
Santa Barbara, CA
Aug 1, 2012 - 02:46pm
 
[below] You were off-route. Only buttonhead left on ZeeTree is the most tightly spaced bolt on the first pitch.
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Argon

climber
North Bay, CA
Sep 27, 2012 - 11:12pm
 
Has anyone climbed this route recently? We could not find the initial belay bolts and found only two bolts on the first pitch - and only one below the tree, not 5 as shown in the guide (and 9 total on the first pitch). I've seen the pictures of the starting point and read Karl Baba's description. We were all over that area and couldn't find anything. Can anyone confirm that the bolts are still there? If they are, I'm going back right after I get my eyeglass prescription checked.
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Andy Middleton

Trad climber
Cow Hampshire
Sep 28, 2012 - 05:27am
 
We climbed this towards the end of August, and the bolts were all there.
Yes the starting bolts are notoriously hard to see, but once you find those the rest are easier to spot.
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Grippa

Trad climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Sep 28, 2012 - 05:49am
 
The first bolts are the 2 belay bolts higher up the large scoop above the ledge system used to traverse over to the route. They are higher than some will want to group solo so beware. Look down and right of the tree halfway up the first pitch.
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Chris Brent

Trad climber
San Francisco
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   Sep 28, 2012 - 12:32pm
The first double bolt belay is still there (or it was in August). Karls description is excellent, except that the bolts are level with the Z shaped roof and left of it. For some reason in reading his description I expected them to be lower. I still didn't see them until I was about 10 feet away. If you head directly up to the scoop and tree you should run into them, or be very close to them. Oh and take gear and do the last pitch, the layback is really nice and fun after the slabs below.
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ricardo

Gym climber
San Francisco, CA
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   Jul 25, 2005 - 11:35am
climbed this route on saturday ..

i was pretty disappointed .. its fairly easy climbing and over bolted.

.. we walked off.. i think rapping this route is probably a bad idea considering how much traffic it sees..

... i cleaned the rap anchor at the summit tree ..
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lazide

Big Wall climber
Bay Area, CA
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   Jul 5, 2006 - 03:58pm
A fun, easy romp if you are confident on 5.7+ tuolumne friction. A bit difficult to see the bolts at times, but not bad.

I roped up at the base and went straight to the first anchor (my second wasn't as comfy on tuolumne friction, and appreciated the rope for the 3rd/4th class) - it just reached with a 70M, but 'simulclimbing' 2nd/3rd class slab is no big deal.

Don't forget the big cams for the finish! Technically not any harder than the 5.7 slab crux down low, but slick and intimidating looking if you've never done it before. If you don't want to do it, you can traverse over on 5.0 friction to the top of the dike route and rap.

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lywang

Trad climber
Providence
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   Jul 23, 2011 - 08:18am
At the bolts for the top of the third pitch, there are two rusty buttonheads that look like they would tear right out of the rock if the leader fell. Above that, the first bolt is a spinning rusty buttonhead that doesn't inspire a lot of confidence given what the belay bolts are, and the lack of gear above that spinning rusty buttonhead. They should be replaced for the safety of the climb.
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Pywiack Dome - Zee Tree 5.7 - Tuolumne Meadows, California USA. Click to Enlarge
Photo: Chris McNamara
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