Hermaphrodite Flake, Stately Pleasure Dome 5.8

 
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Tuolumne Meadows, 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
 (3.6)
Your Rating:     (none)
Rating Distribution
9 Total Ratings
5 star: 11%  (1)
4 star: 44%  (4)
3 star: 33%  (3)
2 star: 11%  (1)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Aug 25, 2003 - 11:08am
 
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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Ben Townsend

Advanced climber
Mill Valley, CA
Jul 31, 2001 - 04:27pm
 
On 7/23/01, the bolts on the pitch above the flake were in bad condition. Many of the hangers had been hammered semi-flat (including one on the belay at the top of that pitch), and although they were all clippable, they did not inspire a lot of confidence. A NPS climbing ranger inspected the pitch shortly after we finished it, but it's not clear what action NPS might take, if any.
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Tad

Intermediate climber
Mill Valley, CA
Sep 10, 2001 - 03:46pm
 
Good route for getting some confidence on a lieback flake, and its 5.4 rating and "4th" approach are good lessons in Tuolumne grading.

Not as well known: Great place to practice calf-burning .10 & .11 face - look to the anchors to the right, partway up the route - set a TR (top belay), lower, work the face that's the big white area in the photo on this site.
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Lincoln

Mountain climber
Nepal
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   Sep 23, 2001 - 05:05pm
Anyone got any idea why those bolts above the flake seem to have been flattened and then bent back up? I haven't had a chance to get up and take a look, but that's the word on the street. I've always liked that route, and I'm curious as to why someone would trash it. I think I know one of the guys who put it up, and he is quite possibly the kindest man on the planet, so I can't imagine why anyone would want to chop his route... just curious.

-Link
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Greg Barnes

climber
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   Oct 1, 2001 - 03:48pm
To answer Lincoln, the bolts were flattened because the route was rap-bolted with a power drill straight over the start of Eunuch (which had only one bolt, the nasty 1/4" bolt which is about the 5th bolt on the current thing). The second pitch was then placed through blank polish to make it 5.10 and highly contrived, and the crack at the top has bolts right next to it. So that's why someone flattened a few hangers. Didn't do a good job, and the route is still there, and I thought the bolts were OK, especially since there are so many of them. Fun route, but I bail left to the 3rd pitch anchors of West Country (5.8) rather than do the direct (contrived) finish at 5.10. Greg
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Chris Alonso

Intermediate climber
May 31, 2002 - 09:26pm
 
I climbed WestCountry this morning (the route to the left of Hermaphrodite) and from the route could see the bolts still there on the 3rd pitch of Hflake. There are chopped bolts below and left of Hflake (between Hflake and WestCountry), which may have been a cause of confusion?

The dome is dry. There is some snow on the top - which makes the long walkoff a little wet, (but it still beats the hell outta the deathslab normal descent in my humble opinion).
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Greg Barnes

climber
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   Jun 3, 2002 - 07:38pm
No, those chopped bolts - actually hangerless bolt studs - are from a different (additional) bolted route. You'll find two studs under a flake just right of the belay for the first pitch of West Country.

The third pitch bolts are all still there, many flattened and re-bent, including anchor bolts. Still, this is one of the best protected easier slabs in Tuolumne. No fixed chains on the top of that pitch, we left slings and rap rings there a few days ago.
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abe

Novice climber
Jun 3, 2002 - 08:04pm
 
"Deathslab descent" off of Stately Pleasure? No way.
For some reason I love that slab descent.
Can be a bit trickly in spots, you can rap off the tree at the steepest spot. But I wouldn't call it a deathslab by any means.
Gotta love friction in the meadows.
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radical

Intermediate climber
Jun 3, 2002 - 09:43pm
 
Yup, I agree Abe..A little hasty rap to start ya off if ya have to, but after that it is is all fun. Like getting two routes in one.
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RopeGirl

Novice climber
Jun 10, 2002 - 04:38pm
 
As of 6/10/02, the bolts at the top of Hflake appeared in good shape and the bolts up pitch 3 were okay although the hanger on one is loose.

Of the three belay station bolts, at the top of pitch 3, the two outside hangers were good, but the middle hanger is still bent out enough that I couldn't get a screw-gate into it. However, one of my thinner 'biners fit okay for that middle bolt and with the other two feeling secure, I wasn't concerned.

The slings and rap rings are still there.
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5.10b4me

Advanced climber
Jul 12, 2002 - 01:37pm
 
the easy descent between Stately Pleasure and Harlequin domes looks horrendous, i.e. the bushwack from hell. anybody done this?
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bob

Novice climber
Jul 12, 2002 - 09:06pm
 
"the easy descent between Stately Pleasure and Harlequin domes looks horrendous, i.e. the bushwack from hell. anybody done this?"

Yeah, it's not that bad. But why bother? Climb through the notch at the top of the headwall above the slabs descent, and walk west down slabs till close to the bottom, then cut back south toward the road. Much quicker and easier than going down the slabs or between S.P. and Harlequin.
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Rich the Brit

Trad climber
San Ramon, CA
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   Aug 19, 2003 - 03:53pm
A lot of confusion above about current status of the bolts on the Boltway at the top of the flake. I climbed this route Sun 8/17/03 - here is latest status.

2 pitches from the top off the flake to the top of the dome:

The first is tightly bolted as per topo. All bolts appear to be in place and are usable. Whether you want to use them all is questionable - a mixture of old bolts with homemade hangers and newer metolius bolts. However, enough of the new bolts to make it safe. Pitch ends at a 3 bolt belay/rap station.

The second pitch has 2 excellent bolts leading to the easy parallel exit cracks of West Country. At this point you can decide whether to finish by these cracks or climb through them to the Boltway bolt belay. If you wish to continue on Boltway, a third good bolt is located below and slightly right of the cracks.

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Crodog

Social climber
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   Sep 27, 2005 - 03:04pm
Climbed the first two pitches and then rappelled from the anchor at the top of the flake with a Mammot 60m rope. I ended up about 5 feet above the next set of rapell anchors (what to do?). I measured my Mammot rope against a Sterling 60m rope and found that the Sterling was about 10' longer which would have made a big difference. Next time I will use my 70m rope.
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Floyd Hayes

Trad climber
Hidden Valley Lake, CA
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   Jul 5, 2006 - 02:13pm
I'm surprised this climb is rated only three stars, although I see others have rated it four. The flake itself is the best multipitch sub-5.5 route that I've personally climbed, and of course it can be climbed several different ways. It's clean, committing, a wee bit strenuous (maybe underrated?) and reasonably well protected with terrific exposure and a fantastic view. I think it's much better than comparable "beginner's" routes in Yosemite such as Sunnyside Bench--Regular Route (three stars), Aunt Fannie's Pantry (one star), Monday Morning Slab--Right Side (one star, but I think it deserves two), and Pywiack Dome--Southwest Slope (ignored by SuperTopo). Okay, I haven't done the first half of Eichorn's Pinnacle--North Face (four stars), but I did the second half of the climb on the last pitch of West Pillar and agree it's a classic. Hermaphrodite Flake is a great route to take beginners up, although the exposure and the rappels might be a bit freaky for them...
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Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jul 24, 2006 - 12:36am
 
Made it to the top of the flake today with a 70m rope from the start. We did the undercling variation to the right. My guess is that any of the other variations would work.

A 65m would work too if your belayer stood on the flakes at the start.

We made the top in 3 pitches easily well before the thunderstorms.
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asheemm

Trad climber
San Francisco, ca
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   May 14, 2007 - 08:15pm
We climbed this route last weekend, but found that a lot of the anchor bolts marked in the SuperTopo have been stripped. I noticed the boltless studs to the left of the flake.
The anchors at Belay 1, and at the top of the route have been stripped.
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Floyd Hayes

Trad climber
Hidden Valley Lake, CA
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   Jun 13, 2007 - 07:35pm
What is the current status of belay/rap bolts on the flake?
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Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jun 14, 2007 - 02:56pm
 
Up there several times since the start of the '07 season... that is not to say that bolt choppers haven't been at work in the meantime, but most of them will respect the oldest topos... so if the bolts were noted, they are probably still there... YMMV however...




On top of the flake a great bolt station to launch you onto Boltway or Eunuch.

On the climber's right side there is a rap station well below the tunnel exit, and a station at the tunnel exit.

From the top of the flake, you can rap with two (2) 60m ropes to the approach traverse to Great White Book. If you have limited ropes you can take advantage of the intermediate rap/belay stations (but I haven't done this so you should ask around more).

Have fun!
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Floyd Hayes

Trad climber
Hidden Valley Lake, CA
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   Aug 10, 2007 - 11:55am
I'm surprised the various guidebooks barely mention the fun and well protected 5.7 overhang on the left side of Hermaphrodite Flake, which I climbed this past week. It was certainly more challenging than the standard 5.4 right side. When I threw down the two ends of the ropes (for rappelling) from the top of the flake, one rope end surprisingly got stuck in the chimney but it came out easily with a tug from above. What is the hangerless bolted route between Hermaphrodite Flake and West Country? It's a real eye sore.
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truckee trad

Trad climber
truckee
Aug 14, 2007 - 06:26pm
 
Climbed the flake to the boltway this past weekend. There's actually five bolts on the third pitch (10b variation) before entering the lower of the two crack systems. The third bolt is invisible from the belay stance and I pretty much climbed right past it. Did note there doesn't seem to be a rappel anchor at the top of West Country for rapping off. Found a single bolt with rap ring where an anchor could/should have been, but I didn't put my life on the line........descended via headwall instead.
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Simmeron

Trad climber
Reno, NV
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   Sep 9, 2008 - 03:00pm
Climbed this over the weekend. We were the first on the rock with an 8am start and then by 10am the crowds materialized. Two parties on Great White Book and two parties on West Country, but noone on Hermaphrodite. Maybe we scared 'em away with our double rope rappels ;-) A fun climb if you're looking to have a mellow day.

The first pitch is not very memorable or exciting. Think of it as an approach pitch.

For the second pitch we did the tunnel through and what an adventure. It was a cool feeling sitting at the belay and peering up into the shadows behind the flake. How often do you get to tunnel for 80 feet through a cave-like feature like this? Would like to go back and climb the right variation next time. The climbing here is runout, but its easy (and surprisingly strenous for how easy it felt) and if you fall you probably won't go anywhere. When you exit the flake, you get hit by the exposure and head up some slightly run-out liebacking. It wasn't bad as the moves are all there, but it did feel like a sandbag at 5.2. Welcome to Tuolumne.

We climbed the 3rd pitch before we rapped off (1st pitch of the boltway) and it is bolted pretty tightly for Tuolumne, but then again, it is at the top of a 5.4 climb. Loved the knobs and scoops on this pitch. There was one useless looking bolt about the 4th or 5th one, but its right after the crux and the climbing eases up after that.

We would have liked to climb the fourth pitch, but since we were rapping off we didn't want to chance the rappel anchors being chopped. Anyone know the condition of those anchors on the fourth pitch?
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Sep 13, 2009 - 09:39pm
 
I got this beta from a SuperTopo customer:

Hi. A friend and I climbed Hermaphradite Flake and then went up the Bolt
Way. At the anchors we found 4 (or 5) closely spaced bolts that paralleled the right facing overlap up and to our left. I followed those bolts. There was one more bolt above me and to the right (presumably where the 10b was.) We didn't find any 5.8. It was just a few easy steps over to the overlap and there was no 5.8 going up the overlap from there. You may want to climb that again sometime and compare it with your topo.
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10b4me

climber
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   Sep 14, 2009 - 03:49pm
I climbed this with my ex gf back in July, 2002.
After leaving the belay at the top of the flake we went straight up( the bolts were hard to see as they kind of blended with the rock color).
At the bolted belay my gf got the lead. she went slightly to the left.
this move was probably 5.8. after this move you reach the crack that diagonals up to the right. the crack climbing was no harder than 5.4.
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amora

Trad climber
Diamond Bar
Jul 12, 2012 - 10:43pm
 
I am planning on doing this climb in two weeks, does anyone have beta on the descent?
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karodrinker

Trad climber
San Jose, CA
Jul 13, 2012 - 12:26am
 
just climbed the great white book yesterday, Riley and I down climbed way left of where we probably should have, ended up down soloing 5.5+ slab, kinda sketch balls. Probably stay in the big corner system off to the right, we didn't rap off the tree but I kinda wanted too:)
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rhyang

climber
SJC
Jul 13, 2012 - 01:51am
 
4th class slab, doable in five tennies. And/or rap off tree if you get spooked.
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khanom

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
Jul 13, 2012 - 11:58am
 
People get freaked out by the slab descent, but please just look at the angle. At the very very worst you can sit down and butt scoot. You will not slide!

It just really bugs me to see that beautiful tree tied up with webbing.
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kingpin

climber
methdeathsto ca
Jul 30, 2012 - 10:46am
 
Super fun. The tunnel was a blast. What manky bolts on the pitch above the flake. ASCA? Slings and rings were gone from the tree as of 7/28/12. The downclimb is manageable but a little spooky. A couple of slings around the tree is surely better than seeing the poor thing sawed in half by unprepared people rapping directly off of it. Chopping that rap station was lame IMO.
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Silver

Gym climber
Jul 30, 2012 - 03:16pm
 
Chop the tree down. Just kidding!

Hey just an FYI there is a walk off and it only takes about 5 more minutes than the down climb and or rap off the tree.

There is also some pretty good climbs on the back side/ walk off if you care. You'll see them splitter cracks in a very nice location with shade in the afternoon.
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surfstar

climber
Santa Barbara, CA
Aug 1, 2012 - 05:44pm
 
As of 7/30/12, the quicklinks and rings are gone from the 3rd belay. Donated a couple biners as we didn't plan for topping out.
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Ed H

Trad climber
Santa Rosa, CA
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   Aug 19, 2013 - 05:51pm
We did this route twice this year. The first time we did the tunnel then the Boltway (easy). The 2nd time we did the 5.8 var start (in Reid book) then right side of flake. The 5.8 var is fun, but pro is thin (I had to back off and let my partner finish). I like the right side better than tunnel - great line, and can rap off with 2 ropes. If you do top out, there are 3 ways down.

1. Walk off spooky 4th class slab (spooky for me and newbies)
2. Rap off tree (takes too long)
3. Walk off back side (up and over west side)

I prefer the the west side walk off - mellow and was well marked by cairns

Ed
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khanom

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
Jul 30, 2012 - 11:14am
 
I used to remove that "rap station" pretty regularly (untying... there is nothing to "chop"), but now I almost agree. Since too many are such pussies they can't manage a little down hill, I think that short of inducing these wimps to grow a pair, it's best to leave it up there in the interests of protecting that tree. Or even put in some bolts. Oh, I can't believe I just said that.


I, and many others, will continue to walk down that in our Tevas.
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Stately Pleasure Dome - Hermaphrodite Flake 5.8 - Tuolumne Meadows, California USA. Click to Enlarge
This route ascends a flake in the mirror-image of California.
Photo: Chris McNamara
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