Magic Mushroom, El Capitan A3 5.7


Yosemite Valley, California USA

  • Currently 4.0/5
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Feb 16, 2011 - 10:29am
Great Magic Mushroom Trip Report Here

Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Jan 20, 2011 - 10:44am
Here is a link to first ascent history of magic mushroom el capitan
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Jan 20, 2011 - 10:38am
here is a great thread Sunkist vs. Magic Mushroom vs. Mescalito?

and another great thread Horse Chute, Horse Play, or Magic Mushroom

my opinion: horse chute is a good route. magic mushroom is a classic. go classic.

Big Wall climber
Jul 26, 2010 - 10:54am
I'm planning on starting up the shroom a week from today and wanted to see if I could get some input from other supertopo members. This may take a second to explain and since this is my first supertopo post I apologize ahead of time if this is an inappropriate place to post this kind of thing or if I ramble on a bit. About 6-7 years ago I spent 2 summers in Yosemite with the express purpose of climbing el cap and have done little wall climbing since. I did SF of the column, leaning tower, lurking fear, zodiac, Muir and the Nose. For each of these climbs I was with an inexperienced partner (some trad following but solid rope handling, cleaning) so I led all the pithces, set up belays/bivies, etc. Since then I have done some A2-3 aiding in north conway NH (Prow, Mordor Wall)as well as at Looking Glass in North Carolina (Glass Menagerie, Invisible Airwaves) and spent my spring break in Zion getting up Moonlight Buttress, Touchstone Wall, and Spaceshot. The first question is what would be the better route to rope solo on el cap. Mescalito, Shield, or Magic Mushroom. I keep reading about people spending 2+ weeks on mescalito and I only have about 12 days to work with. Shield looks incredible but I would not look forward to hauling on FreeBlast. So I'm trying to figure out which one of those routes would be the best choice for a soloist. I'd much prefer doing some spicy aid to getting strung out on some free climbing while soloing too. Also saw the previous post on this site saying Magic Mushroom is MUCH harder than the supertopo suggests. Comments? Thanks for your help!
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
May 11, 2009 - 02:13pm
Here are some free ratings for Magic Mushroom from Tommy Caldwell.

Pitch numbers are from the SuperTopo Big Walls Book -

Tommy freed the first 4 pitches of the muir wall to start.

6 - 13b
9 - 12a
10 - 13a
12 - 12a
13 - 12c
14 - 5.10

on 15 you climb to the top of a pinnacle then up and right on two bolts (13b) into Fligh of Albatross. The next pitch is 5.11c. Then you cut left on a 5.11 runout and loose pitch to belay 18 of Magic Mushroom.

19 - 12c
20 - 13c
21 - 13d
22 - 14a
23 - 11a
24 - 13c
25 - 13a go straight up on Jolly Rodger? (instead of doing pendulums to Chickenhead Ledge)
26 - 5.11
27 - 14a
28 - 13a - traverse way left. kinda runout
29 - 5.8 awesome knobs

Sep 30, 2008 - 02:19pm
In general the route is harder than the SuperTopo conveys. Be ready for awkward aid and nailing, especially in pitches 15-24. Noted corrections/additions:

Route passes through and right of bay tree. Tension left to belay. (Or face climb from below?) Belay stance left of corner on the slab, 2-bolt belay can be backed up small gear in crack above bolts.

110', bolts are somewhat hidden from below

160' A2-

120' up to #5 Camalot

100' A1 Topo is poorly drawn; tension left at bolt after roof, climb up to belay after left traverse

C3F, cams to 3"

A1 Peckers, 7" cam + 8" cam useful

Fat bolt above roof at thin crack start

Cracks up to 1" left of exit stance--good hauling location

175' from the highest bolt on Mammoth

115' A1

125' A1

110' to Gray Ledges bolted belays, 160' to Mushroom belay above Gray


115' A2+

120' A2

120' 3 belay bolts

110' A2 3 belay bolts

> 100' A2+ fp @ 2-bolt belay, few cams to #s 2 & 3 Camalot

70' 2-bolt belay on tiny slab right of crack, few cams to 1.5"

A2F, 2 fat bolts right of corner above belay, no slab at belay, 12" x 18" flat stance, 4 bolts @ belay


A3/A2 continuous

A2, bolts before first penji, extra belay left of real belay

A2, bolt above hook before ledge

Left crack to ledge

Combine easily with 60m rope without backcleaning roof

Rack suggestion:

1 beak
2 ea Peckers #1, 2, 3
1 med KB
9 LAs
2 Z-tons or other stacking pins
2 ea baby angles
2 ea sawed from baby to 1", 1 sawed 1.25"
3 hooks: Cliffhanger, Grappling and Talon; 1 oversize hook optional
2 ea nuts/micro nuts, offsets useful
1 ea #0 + #1 TCU, many 4-cams from blue Alien to #3 Camalot, few #4-#6 Camalot sizes, all sizes Hybrid Aliens useful
2 cable rivet hangers
head kit just in case
tie offs

Two deadheads removed (the only ones I saw), fixed gear looks generally good. Good bolts at all belays except first which can be backed up. Good rock, no notable loose sections.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jun 3, 2008 - 06:40pm
Magic Mushroom was free climbed using variations by Tommy Caldwell and Justen Sjong in May 2008. Six bolts were added to protect variations on p6 and p27 (3 bolts on each). For aid climbing, please ignore the bolts or clip them as pro, and do the route as clean as possible. More details on the free ascent at:
Philippe Batoux

Mountain climber
Annecy France
Jun 3, 2008 - 02:48pm
We climbed Magic Mushroom mid may.
We were really surprised to find 2 bolts in the second A3 pitch, this decrease the interest of the route and the difficulty of the pitch.
Nevertheless the route is nice and long, the difficlties are homogene.

We didn't use any heads, rurps just a few birdbeaks. we climb clean most of the route using less than 12 pins.

El Capitan - Magic Mushroom A3 5.7 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click to Enlarge
Photo: Chris McNamara
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