Bishop's Terrace, Church Bowl 5.8

 
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Yosemite Valley, California USA

  • Currently 5.0/5
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Summary of All Ratings

SuperTopo Rating:   
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  • 5
 (5.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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  • 5
 (4.4)
Your Rating:     (none)
Rating Distribution
26 Total Ratings
5 star: 58%  (15)
4 star: 27%  (7)
3 star: 15%  (4)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Travis Haussener

Trad climber
Salt Lake City
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   Aug 5, 2013 - 04:28pm
A fun route but too varied for me (bring two #4's if you're at your limit)...also I think the first pitch of Commitment and Jamcrack (both pitches) are at least a full star better than this route IMHO.
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Park

Trad climber
Reno
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   May 13, 2013 - 01:57am
Bishop's Terrace is a phenomenal climb, especially the glorious 2nd pitch. I climbed Bishop's Terrace for the first time with a 60m rope in one continuous push. On the 1st pitch make sure to use long slings/runners to avoid rope drag. The 1st pitch is a 5.7 lieback crack with good pro. But the 2nd pitch is where the action really begins. The 2nd pitch is the best single 5.8 pitch I've ever climbed. The 2nd pitch is vertical and exposed and starts off with 5.7 hands to a wide section about half way up. Make sure to save #4 Black Diamond C4 Camalot for pro in the wide crack to the left. Then go straight up and right to 5.8 double crack stem. I found it difficult to place any gear at the double cracks and had to just run it out to the top of the pitch. Right near the very end of the 2nd pitch there is a bomber hold that comes just in time. The double cracks crux (5.8) on the 2nd pitch definitely grabbed my attention and you just have to go for it! Make sure to bring a second rope and rappel off right on bolts.

Amazing and very fulfilling lead climb!
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protour

Trad climber
Yosemite, CA
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   Mar 19, 2013 - 12:24pm
Avoid rappelling over the route itself, it's easy for the knot to get stuck in the hand crack immediately below the anchors. The wall to the right of Bishop's Terrace is steep and offers little opportunity for your rope to get stuck
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little Z

Trad climber
un cafetal en Naranjo
Nov 3, 2012 - 06:27pm
 
the bench, still lookin' good Oct. 2011 (usual crowd scene at the ...
the bench, still lookin' good Oct. 2011 (usual crowd scene at the base)
Credit: little Z

N. Cal, did you not see the comment below that the bench was declared an eyesore and removed by NPS?

Nice line but the rock is pretty slick from so much use. I was sort of hesitant to stick my jam-scarred hands into such a grody recess coated with all sorts of body fluids. Would be better to do it in early spring after the route has had a nice douching.

Long rope and 1 pitch is the way to go.

Credit: little Z
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Nor Cal

Trad climber
San Mateo
Nov 3, 2012 - 03:08pm
 
I was getting ready to rebuild the bench again. But it's gone. The last "rebuild" got trashed and someone even stole one of the two coat hooks we put on the back of the bench. Oh well.
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phylp

Trad climber
Upland, CA
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   Nov 2, 2012 - 08:21pm
Brigham, what I was refering to is the pitch ABOVE what is shown in supertopo, not parallel to it. It's the pitch above the fixed anchors.
If you look at the topo in the Reid's guide, they show the line I'm talking about. It shows a dotted line (face climbing) leading to the right from the anchors and then going up a 5.6 crack. It's this face section that has a lot of loose dirt and smashed rock right now.
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bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
Nov 2, 2012 - 02:46pm
 
See the pic. I recommend taking the right crack. It jams well and is cruiser!



Save a #2 camalot, but it's a solid bunch of moves. Run it out!
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karodrinker

Trad climber
San Jose, CA
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   Nov 2, 2012 - 02:44pm
Briham the wide section is an easy layback, or an awkwardish wide shimmy.
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bergbryce

climber
East Bay, CA
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   Nov 2, 2012 - 02:25pm
Three stars max. The splitter section was short (15'?) and the required crowd experience can detract or add to the experience.
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briham89

Big Wall climber
santa cruz, ca
Nov 2, 2012 - 02:20pm
 
Got it. Thanks! I'll have to re-check this one out soon
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bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
Nov 2, 2012 - 02:18pm
 
You may have been too far left. If you traverse out right the crack is highly manageable. There are 2 cracks. Go right.
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briham89

Big Wall climber
santa cruz, ca
Nov 2, 2012 - 02:13pm
 
Although it's not shown in the Supertopo book, the second (or third depending how you do it) pitch of Bishop's Terrace goes right from the belay anchors and then up a short 5.6 corner, then continues right on the huge terrace under the roof.

I haven't done this route in 2 years, but I remember the supertopo version showing going up a wide crack "with hands in the back." I've got big hands and that thing was on OW for me (this is right before the double crack 5.8 finger section). Does the way you are suggesting go around this? Just curious.
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JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
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   Nov 2, 2012 - 01:43pm
I've done the route in the rain, and in the heat. I've also done it via its original approach from the top of Church Bowl Chimney, which is an option few do these days. Too bad, because there are some fun face climbing moves that way that you miss with the standard approach.

No matter how I've done it, though, I think it's one of the greatest of the old chestnuts. Five stars, for sure.

John
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karodrinker

Trad climber
San Jose, CA
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   Nov 2, 2012 - 01:32pm
This route is fun as hell, glad it's all good after the rock fall, hopefully!
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nutjob

Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
Nov 2, 2012 - 01:17pm
 
I've only done Bishop's Terrace a couple of times, but I think it's a super-fun route with no approach hike and nice views from the top. It's a fun alternative for a rainy day too.



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Adamame

climber
Santa Cruz
Nov 2, 2012 - 11:39am
 
NPS removed the eyesore of a bench from the base of Bishop's Terrace. If someone would have maintained it, than it would still be there.
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Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
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   Oct 31, 2012 - 10:55pm
I removed the bench and placed it under Braille Book. That's the new 5.8 to do! (super cool) I think Ejesta is also better. Not sure why the hype is around Bishop's Terrace..OR how about Sellangenella?! That one is almost as cool as Braille Book. Can't be beat as a combo with Commitment or something there..Actually I did Bishop's Terrace after climbing Commitment/Sellangenella earlier in the day, maybe that's why it seemed kind of lame..

Agree with previous poster Bishop's Terrace is no more than 4 stars, more like 3
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Nor Cal

Trad climber
San Mateo
Oct 31, 2012 - 10:30pm
 
Where did the bench go? I know some board were broken, but this was not a result of the rock fall. We were ready to put some new boards on it this. We would have used the existing hardware like last time.
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The Guy

Trad climber
Portland, OR
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   Oct 31, 2012 - 06:03am
I can't give it more than four stars due to the short length of the exposed 5.8 hand jam/stem bliss. Went from the tree to the anchors with a 70m rope and then rappelled to the tree and down climbed some 3rd. A double rack, from a Camalot 1-4 and singles .5, .75 and 8 slings was perfect.
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phylp

Trad climber
Upland, CA
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   Sep 30, 2012 - 11:34pm
Although it's not shown in the Supertopo book, the second (or third depending how you do it) pitch of Bishop's Terrace goes right from the belay anchors and then up a short 5.6 corner, then continues right on the huge terrace under the roof. I just did this Saturday and wanted to report that the rockfall of this year in this area has caused quite a bit of damage/debris to accumulate along the first portion of this pitch, the right traverse from the belay.

The nice crystal dike that you used to be able to walk across is now totally shattered and very loose. Above it is a big accumulation of very loose dirt. Once you attain the corner all is well again but if you decide to do this pitch be prepared for a little spookiness until this debris gets cleared away. Since it was a Saturday and there were lots of people below I did not want to do any gardening.
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Rankin

Social climber
Greensboro, North Carolina
Jun 12, 2012 - 11:50am
 
Free soloed this route once. The climbing went great but the descent seemed treacherous. I remember there was some traversing across a slab and a downclimb of a dihedral. It felt adventurous and it's debatable whether I would have been better off downclimbing the route itself. Of course, people climbing the route with a rope can just rappel. Super fun route either way and a Valley must-do.

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Yowester

Trad climber
Yosemite West, CA
Jan 23, 2011 - 12:24am
 
This was my first climb in about 9 years. Truly enjoyable climb! Did it in one pitch, which was not bad at all.

Note to anyone reading this planning a trip soon (Jan. 22, 2011): The folks ahead of us got a cam stuck about 3/4th's of the way up. We all tried getting it out without success. It might be far enough inside the crack to not interfere with the climb, but just be aware.

Who knows - It might be gone tomorrow! Enjoy!
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Limabean

Trad climber
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   Aug 2, 2010 - 01:59pm
Though lots of people have recommended doing this in one pitch, it's quite good as a two-pitch climb as well. The standing belay is reasonably comfortable after the first pitch, with the only disadvantage being that the first belay eats up some mid-size (#1/#2) camalots that could be helpful for the second pitch. Do it as one pitch if you want something sustained, don't mind long slings to prevent drag, don't mind 50m of rope weight pulling at you, and/or are comfortable with running it out between pieces.
This is a solid Valley 5.8 with a beautiful variety of moves, but if you want gear every 10' or so, bring 4-5 mid-size cams and a #3. There are only a handful of places for nuts.
Good bolts and rap rings at the Bishop's Terrace.
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Nor Cal

Trad climber
San Mateo
Nov 3, 2009 - 03:19pm
 
I have to agree that this climb should be done as one pitch. Last time I went there a pair was just rapping off. They had done the climb in 2 pitches and a mere 3 hours. I topped out before they were finished coiling their ropes.
I am not so sure that a 50 meter rope will do it in one pitch from the ground. I always use a 60 meter and there is not a lot of rope left over.
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Stewart Johnson

climber
lake forest
Nov 3, 2009 - 01:34pm
 
modern climbers go from the bench to the chains.
with some runners this is a great 50m first pitch.
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sDawg

climber
Nov 2, 2009 - 06:54pm
 
Hmm...I did manage to ruin this one. 3 hours of sleep + 2 5.10 climbs earlier in the day + climbing it as one pitch on a minimal rack + doing the wide section as an off-width instead of a lie-back = miserable at the top.

Under better conditions, though, the 5-star ratings are entirely appropriate. Keep a #2 camalot for the hand crack at the top, and bring a #4 for the aforementioned wide section (about 70% of the way up). You may want 2 of each of those pieces in those places if 5.8 is hard grade for you to lead. The first pitch is easy (5.5-5.6), and for most of the route you have multiple gear options. I haven't actually tried lie-backing the wide section, but my partner said it worked well, and I know that climbing it as an off-width is exhausting and ruins the beautiful hand crack above.
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Vendelkrakker

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
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   Oct 30, 2009 - 07:19pm
This route is so awesome that nothing can stop you from having fun on it, not even some jerk with attrocious safety standard tailgating you on the route.

Last friday, we were the only people on the route, mid afternoon, until another large and noisy party showed up. Their leader, who seemed to be in a great rush, went right up below the first belay where we were swapping gear. The first thing we heard out of his mouth wasn't "hi" or "mind if I hang out here" but, "You guys don't climb trad very often do you?" All I said was, "Actually, yes we do but you could wait below if you don't think we're moving fast enough." He shrugged it off and apologetically claimed not to be in a hurry. He then started bringing up his 2nd. While his second was mid pitch, he decided something wasn/t right about his anchor (just two cams) and preceded to remove and replace one of its pieces, leaving just a couple of cams between him and his 2nd (a polite englishman I should add).

Meanwhile, I was up the next pitch (a gem), got to the anchors and started bringing up my partner. The d#@&%e-bag as he affectionately became known to us almost immediately started up but way too close behind my partner. He would occasionally yell up comments to us. When he arrived at the bolted belay he set up his anchor off of just one bolt using one wire gate biner. This is what he brought up his second on.

When the englishman arrive, it was a big cluster f--- at the anchor. Mr. DB exuded d#@&%ebag all around himself, observing few personal boundaries and exhibiting zero tact. My partner and I wanted to get out of there ASAP, not the least because he and his second were anchored by one bolt off a single wire gate biner. I rapped down and waited for my partner.

When he arrived, he said, "Crap! I was in such a hurry to get out of there that I left your cordellette and biners on the anchor." We called up to ask the other team if they could please bring down our gear. That's when we found out that Mr. DB had gone ahead and set up a top rope using OUR gear for an anchor. Not only that, but he then refused to take it down until after they had rappelled and the englishman's son had TR'd the whole route- only after which would another guy climb the route and swap out our anchor. We had to wait about an hour to get our gear back (by then it was dark). But wait there's more.

Near the top of the route, the son of the englishman got a bug in his eye. When he got down, Mr. DB (who is now belaying for his other friend) tries to push the father out of the way to help the kid, but the kid says to him "F--- off!" I offered the dad a syringe from my first aid kit to irrigate his son's eye with water, which got the bug right out. Some time during all of this, Mr. DB had managed to get out his pipe and smoke some ganja WHILE HE WAS BELAYING! Now, I'd be the first to agree that a little medical MJ never hurt anyone- unless of course you're caught BWT (belaying while toking). This guy was out of control- not only being rude and pushy but entirely unsafe and putting both his party and ours at risk. If I could remember his name I'd publish it here so that everyone who saw this could look out for and avoid him. As it is though, if you do come across him you'll probably know it because he'll be that guy on your heels heckling you as he breaks every safety rule in the book.

And still we had fun which is a testament to this climb's awesomeness!
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zeta

Trad climber
Portland, OR
Apr 20, 2009 - 06:32pm
 
I finally led this route this past weekend, my first Yosemite 5.8! It's a fantastic route. Definitely need a #2 cam for the last section (after the double hand crack)...For me, the double hand crack wasn't as bad for me to lead as the section after it and right before it. There's plenty of protection which was great for me. I definitely recommend doubling up on #1, #2, and #3, especially if you're just working your way into 5.8s.

enjoy!
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sharon

Trad climber
Bay Area, CA
Apr 20, 2009 - 11:17am
 
If you left a shiny new rope on the bench at Bishops Terrace on Sun. 4/19, drop me a note with a description at s.flygirl@gmail.com.
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Floyd Hayes

Trad climber
Hidden Valley Lake, CA
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   Jun 23, 2008 - 04:39pm
If, like me, you are not well endowed with arm strength and wonder how pumpy the climb is, you never go more than 10 feet without a great rest spot or great pro. And you won't be pumped at all if you use good technique. One of my partners dropped a Motorola radio from >100 feet. It smashed into pieces, but we managed to find the broken battery cover and the on-off knob, put them back on, and it still worked!
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Sketchy John

Trad climber
Bay Shore, NY
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   Apr 28, 2008 - 09:03am
Bring at least three - #2 and #3 and two #4 to protect it well. I climbed it in one pitch with a gunks rack (largest piece a single gold camalot) and was in way over my head walking it up the last 20ft.
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Duke-

Trad climber
SF, aka: Dirkastan
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   May 5, 2006 - 11:12pm
Hey all you out there!

This climb is that good. I did it (again) on 5/2/06 with my buddy Chris, and the only problem was the line. But we found some down time releaver and chillaxed. This is one of those climbs you wished went on forever! And for all you gear heads out there; I just bought a #2 link cam, and it sat perfectly in the head wall crack (on the left, above the pin) at the top of the climb. From there it is a super hand-jam fest to the top. Pure Heaven.
Much love,
-Me
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Nor Cal

Trad climber
San Mateo
Dec 5, 2005 - 11:42pm
 
Did a little Bishops Terrace "bench" work on 12-3-05.
Before

After

We were short on board and will replace the last old one on our next trip. Also placed some coat hooks on the back for packs and jackets.
We had a hack saw so we cut out the cam that had been stuck in the parallel cracks.
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Bryce Breslin

climber
Oakland, California
Oct 18, 2005 - 08:22pm
 
One of the best places to watch the sunset while being only a pitch up, especially this time of year.
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fear

Ice climber
hartford, ct
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   Sep 19, 2005 - 03:59pm
Frigging great route. Solo a little bit to the tree 20' up and belay from there for a single pitch with plenty of slack.

Stay in the left corner/crack for the original line. A line steps right about midway that gets a little wide and hard to protect. I ended up downclimbing from this for a bit. Still easy though.

With this left line up to a #3 Camalot seemed to protect well, albeit a bit tipped out but still safe.

Perfect jams in bomber clean rock with as much pro as you could possibly place(or carry).

-Fear

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wes

Trad climber
Arizona
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   Jun 13, 2005 - 07:46am
Extremely clean up high. very good hand crack. I really loved it. I just wished it was longer. I didn't wnat it to end!! it is a must do climb to its quality and location. 30 sec walk!
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Bilbo

Trad climber
Truckee
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   Jun 22, 2004 - 10:37am
The way to finish this climb is to go up and over to Bishops Balcony. What a killer spot! Then rap with single rope off the end.
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chewy

Trad climber
Boulder
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   Jun 21, 2004 - 06:21pm
This was my girlfriend's first valley climb, and she cussed the whole way, but I'm damn proud of her!

Regarding rappelling, we were able to rap right over the route with some careful rope tossing. I suppose if there is a line, rapping down to the side is better, although I remember this being really dirty, and still in the trees. Pulling the ropes then becomes interesting.
We had just a few meters of rope left using 2 60m ropes. Nice bolts... Thanks!!!
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WC

Trad climber
Flagstaff, AZ
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   Jun 18, 2004 - 08:04pm

Yep, this climb is a good one.

Glad to see that most posters are running the first two pitches together into one long one. I thought that the climb was better that way and it avoids an uncomfortable semi-hanging belay.

On my last trip up Bishop's Terrace we climbed a third pitch, up the corner to the Terrace. The climbing isn't that great, but the end location is pretty cool. The Terrace is a great spot to hang out at the end of a long day. I remember rap bolts at the far end of the terrace, but can not remember the rap distance off the top of my head. (so, unless you can find out, take two ropes...)

Have fun.
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Michael Golden

climber
Mountain View, CA
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   Jun 17, 2004 - 08:47pm
You can reach the ground with a single rap on two 60m ropes if you descend into the gulley to the climbers right. Don't rap down over the climbing route. This will avoid tossing ropes onto the party behind you. There will be a party behind you on this popular route. Rapping to climber's right will make the inevitable long line for the route go faster.

*

I lead this climb in May, having followed it once two years before. It was a thrill for a fledgeling 5.8 leader.

As you climb the blocky section off the first ledge, look carefully for an easy face traverse left into the crack leading up to the mini-roof. Don't avoid the roof by going up the wide crack behind the big flake. The crack leading to and through roof is most enjoyable. The wide crack behind the big flake, less so.

If the wide section above the roof makes you nervous, a #4 camalot protects it nicely. The wide section is physical, but not too hard.

Karl Baba taught me how to hand jam (Thanks Karl!), so the 5.8 crux at the top was pure pleasure -- super exposed but if you climb thoughtfully, the hand jam and stemming moves are all there. I saved a yellow camalot to plug into the bottom of the twin cracks. Perfect.

I was grinning like a fool by the time I reached the anchors. Also sweating like a pig. If you climb in one long pitch on a single rope, use long runners, not just regular-length over-the-shoulder slings, to extend your placements near the bottom of the climb to avoid rope drag.

**

Caveat Emptor: What the hell do I know? I'm a fledgeling 5.8 leader.
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DavisGunkie

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Jun 17, 2004 - 03:35pm
 
i did this last time i was in the valley, it was sweeet, way more of apumpre than i expected.i did it to the bolts in one pitch with plenty to spare and i have 60's , i was using my doubles, but i don't think that made that much of a difference.

agreed that the wide section was definitly the crux for me. did a lot of flailing thrutching to get something secure in there.
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Mountain Man

Trad climber
Outer space
Jun 17, 2004 - 02:55am
 
This climb will go from the ground the the bolts in one pitch, 60 meters, but by inches.
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10b4me

Trad climber
Outer space
Jun 14, 2004 - 12:22pm
 
Climbed this on June 12. a very good route for the grade. it was my friend's first Valley route, and he raved how good it was. I found the wide section below the roof to be the crux.
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red rover

Novice climber
Outer space
Jun 25, 2002 - 05:39am
 
Climbed this route in one pitch using the left hand start and a 60m rope. What a blast! Have the second
ready to climb incase your rope comes tight before you reach the anchor- our rope was just long enough to tie into
the anchor. Enjoy.
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Charlie

Novice climber
Outer space
Jun 24, 2002 - 12:22pm
 
Awesome climb; thoroughly enjoyable. We did it in two ptches; belayed at the tree. Very nice, solid jams - hands a fingers - all the way, with good feet as well. The splitter crack was awesome. You can place great protection before you start it. Rapped off right with two ropes. I'm spoiled by this awesome climb.
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Matt

Intermediate climber
Outer space
Apr 2, 2002 - 08:50pm
 
This climb goes rather easily from ground to anchor w/ a 60m rope (bring another to get off).

The 1st portion is easy rock- if you feel pressed you may want to belay @ an intermediate point. If you set much gear down there you'll be glad you did so w/ slings.

A #3-1/2 cam is plenty big enough (near the top).
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tom

Advanced climber
Outer space
Feb 9, 2002 - 10:15pm
 
Move from the top to the Bishop's Terrace sloping ledge under the obvious roof. At the far east end are rap bolts. That way, you can scope the high/fine crack that splits the Bishop's Balcony and then come back to aid it. I solo aided the thing, and it was a great way to learn solo cleaning a roof pitch on rappel. I don't think anybody has freed this roof, so there is plenty of room in the Guide Book for the ambitious.
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Bryan Bower

Intermediate climber
Outer space
Feb 7, 2002 - 05:41pm
 
Bring a #4 cam or run it out on 5.7
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Rob

Intermediate climber
Outer space
Nov 11, 2001 - 03:11pm
 
Bishops Terrace is a great climb. The best way to do the climb in one pitch is for the party to solo the 5.6 finger crack (left most start) to the ledge about 25 feet up, you can anchor your belayer in here with some small cams, climb up the easy rock until you can cross over to the left, about 20 feet up, in to the crack head up through the small roof. Use a 60 meter rope and run it to the anchors. Don't forget a 2nd rope for the rap off and some sling so the rope drag does not make the pitch any harder.
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Ryan Crochiere

Novice climber
Outer space
Nov 5, 2001 - 03:45am
 
This route is doable in one pitch from the ground to the ledge after the splitter hand crack.
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Church Bowl - Bishop's Terrace 5.8 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click to Enlarge
Church Bowl has on of the easiest approaches in the valley.
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.