Royal Arches, Royal Arches Area 5.10b or 5.7 A0

 
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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
 (4.6)
Your Rating:     (none)
Rating Distribution
53 Total Ratings
5 star: 62%  (33)
4 star: 34%  (18)
3 star: 4%  (2)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
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   Jun 16, 2008 - 12:27am
I got this beta from a supertopo user:

My partner and I climbed royal arches last week and a large block broke free on the 5.6 lb on pitch 11. Thank god it smashed onto the ledge above the team following us and didnít hit anyone. It has seriously modified that section, since there is now a horizontal stance half way up the flake (see picture) I donít think the pitch gets downgraded though, but Itís a bit easier with the stance.

Just thought Iíd pass the info on.



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schaffner

Trad climber
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   Sep 20, 2010 - 07:55pm
We did this climb the last weekend. We are usually pretty slow, so we started 5:15 with headlamps in the chimney. Finished climbing (we didn't do the 16th pitch) by 10:30 but had to wait for a guide explaining rappelling to his clients. Even with a 60m rope we were able to save 2 or 3 pitches by using intermediate belays. I'm sure you can use a lot of nuts on this climb, but we wanted to be fast and relied on cams. Next time, we probably wouldn't bring any nuts or only half a set. Also we didn't feel the need of having so many doubles for cams, we probably only needed doubles for the .5 and .75 C4.

We attempted RA a couple of weeks ago and got off route after the 5.5 polished gully. We ended up in a chimney followed by the choice of an offwidth crack or a dicey dihedral (see red line on picture), we were expecting 4th class. As we realized later, our route actually brought us to belay 7, but at that point we had climbed only 4 pitches and thought we would be completely off route and retreated. This time we think we took the correct alternative (magenta line).

Credit: schaffner
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
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   Mar 9, 2001 - 11:34pm
This is one of the few routes that climbers of every ability climb regularly. The reason: whether you climb 5.7 or 5.13, Royal Arches is great adventure. There are a few classic pitches on Royal Arches, but mainly the route is memorable for the 1400 vertical feet it lets you gain at a moderate grade. The route climbs a series of ramps and ledge connected by the pleasant cracks and face moves. Almost every belay offers a great ledge to hang out on and gaze across the Valley at Half Dome, Glacier Point and Sentinel. This is a must do for all Yosemite visitors.
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the Fet

climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
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   Nov 17, 2009 - 02:52pm
RobTheis, We did not see any evidence of rockfall altering the route.

Thanks Clint! for adding the rap station between the 10th and 11th rap station on the Supertopo. It's now very easy to rap the route with a single 60M.
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sjellison

Mountain climber
Range of Light
May 4, 2010 - 01:59am
 
super straight foreward. Bring your snorkle and flippers for p10. just take your shoes off after the penji- the 5.10 part is too wet. you get sprayed in the face pretty good on the traverse which feels AMAZING- best part of the climb. put a green c4 in the water if you want and then move a belay to the left of the water. bit left of what it shows in supertopo. just put the stuff that needs to be dry on your back. Looked kinda sketchy and wet to go past the rap anchors to the rim so we just drank beer and rapped. SUPER fun cruiser route!

Did it 5-2-10
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cliffhanger

Trad climber
California
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   Sep 12, 2010 - 03:12am
Most people are off route on the last pitch traversing into the forest. They take what only seems to be obvious; the very low route with poor protection and a gnarly 5.8 traverse across water polished, often wet rock. The real route keeps very high thru well protected class 3 features with a final well protected 5.6 30' traverse across the slick water course to the forest. I took the low spicy route many times until my free solo when I thought there must be an easier way.
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schaffner

Trad climber
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   Jan 9, 2012 - 03:26pm
Climbed this on Saturday again. Weather was perfect and aside from two soloists, we didn't see anybody on the route.
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jfailing

Trad climber
PDX, North Slope, The Open Road
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   Jan 17, 2012 - 10:10am
Climbed this route over the weekend - it was completely dry, no wet spots whatsoever, thought we stopped at the rap station at the top of 15 (could be wet past that?).

Saw nobody on the route except for a party of two near the very top. We simuled most of it and pitched out a handful of sections.

Rapped with a 70m rope - lots of raps... Total took about 4 hours car to car.

What's the speed record on this climb?
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Lennox

climber
just southwest of the center of the universe
Jul 4, 2012 - 11:55pm
 
The spring is running well as of 6/26.

If you look at the picture of the route to the right and see where the top of the route goes through the little forest--you'll notice a wet streak below that forest. The spring saturates much of the ground there and then some of the water from the spring seeps out below the forest.

If there is even a tiny wet streak below the forest there will definitely be a good flow to the spring, and even if you can't see any wet streak, that spring is likely still running; it's pretty reliable.



My best time was 1:24 ctc in 2004. I usually do it in about 2:30 for fun. I've never done the raps, and don't plan to; I like the hike down.




(edit)
And about Crest Jewel, Vince Depasque and I simuled RA then did the 10 pitches of Crest Jewel in 2 simul pitches in ~1993. We took around 25 runners to make draws with, and only had to skip a couple bolts. I don't know our ctc time or the other parts except for Crest Jewel taking 1:01, and even though we thought we wouldn't do better than about 1:30, Vince got pissed because we'd gotten so close to breaking an hour and hadn't.
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brooks8970

Trad climber
Oakland, CA
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   Apr 16, 2013 - 04:07pm
Climbed on April 14th. Lots of water, but easy to avoid. We skipped the last pitch and rapped off 15, but it looked to be in reasonable shape.

Linking beta with dual 70m lines, YMMV:

Up:
A 70m will allow you to link pitches 2, 3 & 4 in two pitches using the intermediate belay; pitches 7 & 8; and pitches 11 & 12. Alternatively, you could link 5-7 in two pitches, using the intermediate belay; and 7 and 8, but we didn't. We were careful & scant with pro, so rope drag was not an issue. If linking, be careful where you run your rope around the 11th belay tree. i.e. go left.

Down:
Double 70m on the rappel route, we were able to link 1 & 2. The topo says 245 ft, but it went ok with rope stretch. We also linked 3 & 4, and 5 & 6 with room to spare; and 7 & 8 with 4th/3rd classing with a safety net of ledges to the 9th rappel station. The 3rd class from 9 to 10 is more like 4th class. It was covered in pine needles when we were there and a misstep in the wrong spot would be fatal. It's late in the day; I would take the time to set up an extra rap. We couldn't find 11 in the dark, so we rapped off the first belay tree using a single 70m line. We were lucky not to get ropes stuck there. I'd look for the alternative next time.
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Rob B.

Intermediate climber
Oakland, CA
Apr 7, 2001 - 06:03pm
 
A good friend of mine just did Arches last weekend (3/31/01) and had a blast, but did climb through a minor 'waterfall' up high on the route somewhere.
RB
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Sarah

Trad climber
Bishop
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   Apr 9, 2001 - 07:05pm
I climbed Royal Arches last year in May while the waterfall was raging. Needless to say, it made the route pretty interesting and I did slip get pretty wet (good thing it was hot out)! The waterfall definitely increases the adventure of this awesome climb!
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David Murray

Trad climber
AZ
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   May 4, 2003 - 05:27pm
Climbed Royal Arches on 4/27. Great climb, but a little wet. If a friction traverse is 5.6 dry, what is it when there is flowing water? The wet tranverses 5.4 and 5.6 are a little intimidating, but once your on it you stick pretty well.
The first pitch 5.6 chimmey is wet, we decided on the 5.7 variation, which is a pitch not to be missed. Far better than that wet chimmey. All in all, 5 star climb !!!

Came down the NDG route, but that is another longer story. The descent gets a negative five star rating.

Dave M
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Bill Whiteley

Intermediate climber
AZ
Jun 25, 2001 - 03:45pm
 
Royal Arches is a fun adventure with ok climbing. If you are going to do the North Dome Gully Descent make sure that you have directions with you or hook up with one of the many parties on the route that have done the descent before. If you think you will just naturally happen upon the descent you are wrong and it can be dangerous. Also there is a spring on the last pitch that you can obtain water from. I don't know how pure the water is but it tasted ok and I didn't suffer any ill effects. Have fun.
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Jeff Rutland

Intermediate climber
AZ
Sep 4, 2001 - 01:55pm
 
Climbed this route with Frog Labor Day weekend. Can't believe we waited so long to finally do this fine climb. The SuperTopo was killer. The rap route is bomber and the way to go. We took two 50m ropes, but were told by the climbing ranger (Link) that it can be rappelled on one 60m and we saw extra rap stations but I still would not recommend this because it would be twice the # of raps. Take headlamps, we started early and still did the last three raps in the dark.
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Jeff

Intermediate climber
AZ
Sep 13, 2001 - 05:38pm
 
We went to Yosemite last weekend and used SuperTopos to climb Selaganella and Royal Arches. The topos were fantastic, especially for Royal Arches. I wanted to give you some feedback, which are mostly formatting stuff on the Royal Arches topo.

1. Pitch 1 chimney: above where it says, "move belay 260' east" there is a floating "0'" and an "11" just to the left of the symbol for the 1st belay. I assume these are suppose to be together indicating 110' for the first pitch.

2. On the last rap of the rap route shown on pg. 43, there is a second anchor between the 160' rap and the ground for single rope raps. This is useful for folks who want to just climb the first few pitches to check things out (as we did the day before climbing the whole thing).

3 Many of the pitch distances only show the first two numbers, or first number or are missing all together. I think this is just a formatting issue. It shows up this way both on the screen and when printed. Affected are: pitch 1, 2, 3, 6, 14.

4. The second 1/2 of pitch 14 was confusing. What would have been helpful is if some features to the left of the belay or the dirt ledge were drawn in so we had a reference when trying to figure out where to go for the 14th belay.

5. We were told that the rap route can be rapelled on a single rope now. When we rappelled, we saw lots of intermediate anchors, so it's something to check out. I don't think I'd do it that way because it would be a lot of raps, but it's nice to know.

I know these are kind of nit-picky, but you seemed real serious about wanting feedback. Some of the coolest things about your topos are the distinction between tree types and the distance of each pitch. Knowing the distance of the raps was super helpful for locating the next station especially as it grew dark. The preliminary pages are killer (history, etc.) Thanks for making these!
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
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   Sep 14, 2001 - 09:19pm
UPDATE TO RAPPEL ROUTE
Thanks to NPS Ranger Keith Lober, the Royal Arches Rappel Route can now be rappelled with one 60m rope*. Here are the updates to the topo:

 There is a new station between rappel 1 and 2
 instead of going to what the topo calls rappel 3, go to the tree
 use the bolted anchors between rappels 4 and 5
 there is a new bolted anchor between rappels 6 and7

* - NOTE: yes, you can rap the "rap route" with one rope, but it does involve a small amount of down climbing (more like "down sliding") near the bottom. Early in the season this would be very difficult if not impossible due to that bit of "down sliding" being totally underwater...
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Greg Barnes

climber
Oct 22, 2001 - 01:02am
 
As of this afternoon (Sunday Oct. 21st) the rap webbing around the big tree at the final rappel was missing. Since you need a really long sling to make it around the huge tree and we didn't have one, we instead went back down the route (easy, a bit of 3rd class) to right above the chimney. Here, go out left to the very toe of the buttress, and there is a two-bolt rappel station. It's a 100' rap if you stay left when rappelling, or about 115' if you go straight down. The bolts seem at first kind of funky, but are 3/8" buttonheads, and in my opinion look pretty bomber. Or, you could bring some long webbing - probably 10-12' sections - and rap rings, to replace those on the tree.
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TOM

Advanced climber
Feb 9, 2002 - 10:23pm
 
My worst Yosemite experience was in the Fall of 1983: A Camp 4 discussion included an unknown climber bragging about killing the falling log pitch. 'Why? Why not leave it for others?' There was no logical answer. I remember being grateful that I'd been able to experience this fine feature before it was trundled. It was 100% in character with this fine climb. Now that it's gone there is some sort of work-around which I don't really want to know about.
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tom

Advanced climber
Feb 9, 2002 - 11:25pm
 
Oh, yeah. The North Dome Gully descent. I'd forgotten this one in the last missive. You'll want to KEEP MOVING before descending. The further you go up the gully, the less likely you'll fall onto the Death Slabs. It's tempting to descend early, but DON'T. Keep moving towrds Mt. Watkins until it is obvious you can scree-ski down into the gully.
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Dan Russell

Advanced climber
Apr 1, 2002 - 05:57pm
 
We did the route at the end of March, and the 4th class pitch after the pendulum was soaked. But leading the waterfall proved to be the most classic part of the route! Highly recommended route. Also, thanks Chris for the bomber rap stations. They're easy to find and everywhere, and no stuck ropes if you do it right.
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George Patterson

Intermediate climber
Apr 15, 2002 - 03:58pm
 
Very HOT in the Valley with Hi temps 79 deg and lots of sun. Sunday April 14 a party of two, we had the entire Royal Arches to ourselves. The route was relatively dry until after the pendulum with a brief amount of water. It was relatively easy to get past the seasonally wet spot. Truly a beautiful route in the spring when the weather holds.
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Novice climber
May 28, 2002 - 12:54pm
 
Some dummy has cut the rope @ the pendulum on RA so the it has no extra length- pbly (i can only guess) because some other dummy stuck it in the crack on the other side, thinking it was funny, & the rope was then (maybe?) cut to prevent that? who knows.

either way, the dummy who cut the rope did it right below the last knot & didn't burn the ends, so they are going to fray & erode that knot. the knot 1' above is fine to clip above, but is somewhat high to grab for the swing.
as this route sees frequent unroped traffic, that is now a scarier than necessary section for the soloist.

it is likely that this will be somehow fixed in short order, but be aware if you go up there anytime soon w/ out a rope.
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steel

Intermediate climber
May 31, 2002 - 02:49am
 
Climbed RA 5/30/02 with Kenny. A few observations:(1) 93 degrees was the high temperature-- bring plenty of water and start at first light. (2) The climbing is mostly easy crack climbing-- even the pendulum pitch can be freed at about 5.10a/b(unless you're Phillips) with very good protection. It took about 5 hours to complete the climb. (3) North Dome Gully sucks-- I believe the rappel route with two 60-meter ropes is much safer and quicker than breaking an ankle or getting lost at night in the gully.
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Howard

Intermediate climber
Jun 4, 2002 - 02:37pm
 
May 19, 2002.
Great topo! Nothing wrong with it for me but could understand relating the topo to the face if not overly experienced at route finding. Rap route is great. Must brush up on my rap. route finding skills! Miss the first staion and went sailing down to the ends. Had to ascend back up. Only advice is keep looking left not right!
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JB

Intermediate climber
Jun 11, 2002 - 07:02pm
 
Is there water in the creek at the top of Royal Arches at the end of June? Planning to link with North Dome and want to know how much water to bring.

As much fun when I did it last year as it was 20 years ago! Or was that 25 ..
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Charlie Kim

Advanced climber
Jun 21, 2002 - 05:04pm
 
Did the route last sunday (6/16/02) with Kaman Chan and Mark Labarge, and it is bone dry. I haven't seen it this dry before (I've been doing it once a year for the last 4 years). In fact, the watercourses on the first 5 pitches are completely dry, and you can skip these pitches by scrambling up the 3rd class gullies if you want to move faster.

We did the raps, and boy were they looking good (thanks ASCA). Huge bolts, huge rap rings. Just be sure to stay to the left of the bushy ledges (left when you're facing the wall in rap position). Went right once, and it got ugly ...
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up2top

Novice climber
Jun 22, 2002 - 01:31am
 
Has the crappy pendgy rope been replaced? The last knot was a disaster waiting to happen when I was there around Memorial Day. I'd love to hear the TR from the person who has this thing blow on them if it doesn't get replaced. I morbidly wondered where I might bounce if it happened when I had to clip it. In retrospect, I should have attached cordalette or a sling to the knot above it and left it as a route donation.

Ed
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c4

Novice climber
Dec 6, 2002 - 03:16pm
 
A question I have been wondering for a while. On the 2nd to last rappel (right before you cross over the route), you have two choices. You can downclimb the easy chimney bit or you can swing over to two bolts, leave a biner, and rappel from their. My question is, is that a seperate route? I notice that any time I leave biners/webbing on those bolts they dissappear.
(assuming 1 60m rope)
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hmmmm

Novice climber
Dec 6, 2002 - 05:46pm
 
splurge on another rope.
the $ saved will be made up in saved biners and bonus free time.
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ricardo

Gym climber
San Francisco, CA
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   May 28, 2003 - 11:20am
did this route on 5/25/03 --

arrived at the base and there was 3 parties on the regular start and 3 parties on the alternate start.

.. we queued up and got ready to go on the chimney pitch.

luckily we passed the only slow party (that ended up bailing on the 5th pitch), everyone else moved at a good clip, with only minor waits at some belays ..

.. linked some pitches together, and were at the 15th belay at 4:00 pm...

.. the penji was not as exciting as i thought it would be .. (pretty short -- but new rope on it!) .. my favorite pitch had to be the friction traverse on the 14th pitch.

.. rapped the whole route with 1 rope (15 raps!) ... until we got to the last rap, and then just did a double rope rap -- got a bit of course at the bottom of the rap route, since there was a fixed line on the tree, and decided to descend that instead of rapping -- bad idea .. there was lots of knots to pass on the line, and the line went into the waterfall .. so we had to do a rap off of two rusty 1/4 inch bolts in order to get back on the rap route... (the tension traverse to get back on the rap route was pretty scary too)

car to car in 12 hrs on memorial day weekend -- not bad!

    ricardo
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Jeff Sands

Ice climber
New Orleans
May 29, 2003 - 06:57pm
 
Wet in May - take your shoes off for the traverse after the pendulum. Crowded, crowded, crowded - so frickin' crowded. I bet we lost four hours due to traffic and ended up spending a chilly night in the jungle due to a night-time finish. Hats off to the 6 soloists who blew past us.
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steve haigh

Trad climber
palo alto, ca
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   Jun 2, 2003 - 11:56am
climbed this on Sunday June 1. awesom, we were the only climbers we saw all day, perfect weather, great route, some nice challenges but easy enough to get up 13 pitches in 8 hours.

rap down took forever! one 60m rope would have done it but we dragged a second along which i would not do next time. some water on the second pitch but not a problem. pendulum was a blast. there's a fixed rope on it. most belays in the shade.



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Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
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   Jun 2, 2003 - 05:34pm
Just a quick note for those thinking of doing the raps with one rope. It's doable and the ropes pull easy but..

You will have to downclimb easy 4th lower on the rap route in a couple places.

That would be harder if it were dark.

Peace

Karl
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Larry

Trad climber
Bisbee
Jun 3, 2003 - 08:47am
 
One -- 60 METER -- rope at least, right Karl?

And that's if you don't go to the rim, which is the whole point of Royal Arches, IMO.
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Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
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   Jun 3, 2003 - 10:36am
Yup, you have to have a 60 meter rope. The last time we did it, we climbed the last pitch to the forest and just went back across to rap. Some folks find the adventure more complete if they walk down. To each their own. I've even downclimbed the route.

I would recommend that everyone who climbs Royal Arches at least be prepared to hike down. (Bring some light shoes) Crowds can be a problem and the raps can get so constipated that hiking down could start to seem wiser to parties who plan to rap.

Peace

Karl
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August West

Trad climber
Where the wind blows strange
Jun 6, 2003 - 04:16pm
 
The route is almost completely dry. The last 5.4 friction slab still has a wet streak. We lowered from a rap ring at the top of the slab to get past. The third and fourth class exit up to the rim is wet, but climbs easier than it looks.

I had previously gone down North Dome Gully twice. Both times in fading light and both times were multi-hour, mini-epic adventures by head lamp. Came down by daylight, with the supertopo descent topo in hand. The descent took a little over two hours and I thought it was pretty mellow (safer than the Middle Cathedral descent gully, in my opinion). Amazing what a difference it makes if you stay on route.

My advice is to study the topo closely and stay on the descent trail. Anytime you are not on rock (scree/dirt slope/forest/grass etc), you should be on a well travelled dirt path. If you are not on the dirt path, you are off-route. Don't be afraid to back up and look for a better alternative. Staying on the travelled descent path can save hours and getting off the path can get dangerous.
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orbusrex

climber
The desert, Arizona
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   Jul 21, 2003 - 02:26pm
Did it Friday July 18. Hot at the bottom, but the breeze picked up higher. (Really picked up at the start of the raps, go figure) Found a little shade at belays if you crouched near bushes. Alot of simul/ soloing due to easy scrambling. DEFINATELY take the 5.7 hand crack variation near pitch 7 or 8. (the one to the left) Awesome crack! Pendulum was ho-hum for my first ever aid move... short... but the rope was fixed and in good shape. Did the rap with one 60M and a bunch of down scrambling. Got my foot stuck in a 5.2 gulley on the scramble... had to have my partner come up and give me an artificial left foot hold!!! Only saw 1 other group when we were rapping... they had two 60M's. I say do the one rope raps because hauling a rope up there wouldn't be fun...

my 2 cents
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nickwild

Trad climber
redwood city, ca
Sep 11, 2003 - 10:13pm
 
Anyone know if I can do the rap with one 55 meter rope? If not, how sketchy is to make up the distance? Blank wall to the next station, or just 4th class downclimbing? Thanks!
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Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
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   Sep 11, 2003 - 11:43pm
I've rapped it several times with one 60 or one 70 meter rope. I prefer the 70 and would recommend not trying it with a 55 meter rope. You might come up pretty short where downclimbing isn't an option

PS thanks to whoever rebolted the intermediate rap station on the blank wall down low.

Peace

karl
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BR

Trad climber
The LBC
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   Sep 12, 2003 - 05:53pm
Did the raps (and the route) with Karl back in late May or early June on a single 60m rope. Karl's recollection may be better than mine, or he may have done it since, but I seem to recall pretty much coming up against the end of the rope once or twice on a blank wall where we would have been hosed without those extra 5 meters of rope. Then again, there are a lot of rappel anchors scattered around on that wall, and it's possible that there were alternate possibilities here and there.
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ricardo

Gym climber
San Francisco, CA
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   Sep 13, 2003 - 05:24am
when i rapped it with a 60m .. i remember there being at least 2 or 3 anchors that would have been impossible to reach with a shorted rope ..

    ricardo
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Eddie

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Mar 26, 2004 - 12:10am
 
Was wondering if this is reasonable to climb right now. How long a dry spell does it need? A few waterfall adventures are fine, but if its just not a good idea to climb right now, that would be good to know as well. Thanks, Eddie
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Neil

Gym climber
Here and there
Mar 26, 2004 - 01:12am
 
We did it a few days ago (March 23rd?). It was a bit tricky staying out of it for the first few pitches (2-4?) but not really a big deal. Finally had to climb through it on the pendulum pitch...got good and soaked, but it was a warm day so we dried out quickly. I'm not sure I'd have been as keen to give it a go if it was cold and windy...brrr! The waterfall definately added to the overall experience!
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Colt45

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
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   Apr 19, 2004 - 07:59pm
Climbed it yesterday (4-18-04). Surprisingly, the route was almost entirely dry!

1st pitch chimney start had a wet streak but it isn't too bad. The pin scars start (farther down the trail) looked completely dry.

And the traverse immediately after the rope swing has several wet spots, but always near positive footholds.

I had done the rappel descent once before. Since it is fairly tedious, we decided to try the north dome gully. With supertopo in hand, it is fairly casual! The beta, as stated below, is to just stay on the obvious, well worn path the whole way. Took about 2 hours. However this would not be so casual at night, or if it was raining. (Not that the rappel would be casual in the dark or rain either).

One more thing: there is a ~50' 4th class traverse scramble right after the end of the roped climbing to go around to the valley rim. This short section is very wet and very exposed so we used the rope. No problems otherwise.
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superlight

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
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   Apr 27, 2004 - 04:34pm
Climbed the Arches on Friday (april 23) and had a blast! While there was very little water on the route there was a pretty sizable waterfall after the pendulum and the 4th class finish was pretty wet (although we were able to do it without roping up). We got a fairly early start (7am) and only saw one other group on the wall and they were a few pitches below us!

Dont underestimate the North Dome Gully first timers, it took us almost as long to get down as it did to get up. It wasnt until we found some people who had done it before that we really got on track. The Best Beta I can give on that is that the Supertopo doesnt make the traverse to the gully seem as far as it is. You will go over two very low angle slabs and leave the second one at the trail up high. Then you will end up in a very steep V shaped gully. Keep traversing around that and you will end up pretty much on top of the Washington Column on an area that looks well traveled. Go up from there and you will find a trail that goes along the top of the hill. Go along that for a while and then you will do the exposed traverse and drop down the 4th class downclimb. After this Just slog down the gully and stay left once you get to the slabs and you will find a trail. I highly recommend getting someone to show you and heed Chris' advice do not do it at night or in a storm your first time! Good Luck!

Over all Route was just great, a must do!
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deez nuts

climber
Zona
Jun 28, 2004 - 02:02pm
 
Going to do RA this week along with South Face of North Dome, planning to Bivy on top of RA then South Face next day. Would like to leave extra weight on the bottom of the North Dome area, will I be passing by on my way to the North Dome Gully Descent. Does anyone know if there is H20 on top of RA? Thanks
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Bilbo

Trad climber
Truckee
Jun 28, 2004 - 04:39pm
 
Nutz,
Great spring at the top of Royal Arches, as soon as you hit the trees it is right there along with a flat bivi spot. We brought Iodine tablets for the H2O.
You pass by the base of North Dome on your walk off from the route, so leaving some stuff near the base works. Check out your descent before you get on the climb, moderate bushwhacking is required.
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Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
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   Jul 2, 2004 - 03:39am
My partner wrote a trip report about our Arches/North Dome linkup in the style mentioned a few posts below. You could check it out at

http://www.math.psu.edu/roe/writings/Arches-NorthDome.html

I strongly do not recommend leaving water or your bivy stuff at the base of the North Dome route as it's far out of the way from the descent of North Dome. You'd need to leave stuff closer to the rim where the trail to the North Dome gully from the Arches meets the approach to North Dome. It's going to mean some backtracking in any case and won't be a straighforward decision for somebody who hasn't done it before.

Peace

Karl
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kurtclement

climber
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   Jul 23, 2004 - 06:09pm
Just finished the route last night. There wasn't any one else on the route all day. Climbing was perfect. We went as a threesome, so much slower. We are all pretty inexperienced too. It was the first multi-pitch for the other two and my only multi-pitch was as the last man on RA last year. We got off route on pitches 6-8 but back on by the top of 8. I am not sure where we went wrong. The problem seems to be that there are too many options. I went off route on purpose twice first on pitch 5 instead of going up the pin scar we went to the edge of the path and then back and up. On pitch 12 looking for a better way. I went up to the left instead of down to the left. I would go that way again even though the climbing was way stiff. My advice is when in doubt head for the trees. Every belay except one was in a tree. Second on the rap descent don't skip bolts. We skipped one and it cost us more time getting to another rap than it would have to just rap shorter. Maybe I'll post a trip report in the future. Total time was 15 hours 6am - 9pm.
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Bilbo

Trad climber
Truckee
Jul 27, 2004 - 02:26pm
 
If you want to do link up with N.Dome look at photos;Yosemite Moderates;Image 10, you descend very close to the base of N.Dome so leaving gear close to the base does work, I don't know what Karl is talking about.
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
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   Sep 3, 2004 - 06:19pm
just got this beta from a supertopo user

I was on Royal Arches 2 weeks ago and found a real interesting and more
challenging variation up and right of the dead tree. It is not included in
your topo, and I think you should add it. Basically, you head right and up
about 30 feet from the dead tree to a belay at a tree with slings around
it---nice shady spot. Straight up from there is the most beautiful 5.9
offwidth---a full long pitch. Awesome climbing, takes large pro. From there,
another pitch, maybe 5.8, then another traversing pitch to the pendulum
bolts. What a nice way to up the ante a bit on this long moderate route.

This variation is not in any of my older guidebooks either. I asked around
the next day, and Ken Yager knew of the variation----so, check it out.
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Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
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   Sep 9, 2004 - 05:28pm
I don't see any descent shown in photo #10 but having done North Dome quite a few times I can tell you with certainty that you don't want to return to the rope up spot of North Dome or anywhere within 20 minutes of that spot unless you are planning to rappel Crest Jewel. Some of the worst brush torture in Yosemite lies waiting around North Dome.

Regarding Arches variations. There are also long variations in other spots as well as short variations. Early in the route there is a variation that heads up thin cracks just right of the giant dihedral that's just right of the raps.

Also, instead of the horizontal slab traverse realy high on the route, some folks head straight up medium to wider cracks to the rim.

Peace

karl
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Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
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   Sep 17, 2004 - 02:45am
Sprout, when you're talking about the second rappel, are you talking the second from the top or the bottom? The top rappels are no problem with a 60 meter rope. You might have just missed em. They are clearly mapped in the supertopo book.

Now down low there are a few scrambles that you have to do with a 60 meter rope. With a 70 meter rope on rappel #10 (on the supertopo map) you can make it to a station out left (west) and rap again, avoiding the 5.2 butt slide

Peace

Karl
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sprout

Trad climber
clovis, ca
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   Sep 15, 2004 - 04:43pm
We climbed this route on labor day with one 60 meter rope. The second half of our party had to turn back so my partner and i reached the top with only our one rope. We were fairly confident we had read that the rappels could be easily made with one rope. Turns out you can't. The second rappel puts you 30-40 feet above a large ledge, no bolts in sight. We thought to leapfrog pro but the crack closes right where the rope runs out. Had to leave 2 nuts and a brand new sling... The remaining rappels had bolts perfectly placed. Just that second one was a problem.

Anywho... think twice before you try it without two ropes.

Rest of the climb was beautiful! Going back in a week or two to try again.

p
"You can't buy 5.12"
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johnny2plat

Trad climber
San Luis Obispo, CA
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   Sep 28, 2004 - 12:17am
There's been a lot of discussion on whether you can rap the route using a 60 meter rope. Yes, you can! I just did it on Friday and it's by far the best way to go. We followed 2 parties that were rapping on 2 ropes and (of course) skipping the intermediate rap stations. We ended up catching up to them and waiting for them even though we had to use the intermediate rap stations. I wouldn't even consider bringing 2 ropes on this climb. However, a note of CAUTION! If your rope is a bit short, or exactly 60 meters, you could rap off the ends! Some of the rap stations are exactly the length of the rope! Be sure you (1) measure your rope to confirm the length and (2) tie knots in the ends so you don't rap into the ether world. Better yet, bring a 70 meter rope & send your partner first just to make sure. Tell him/her that it's a priviledge to go first & you would like to take time to enjoy the view. Be especially careful on rap 10 which formerly dropped into the 5.5 polished gully of Pitch 2 of the Arches. Swing really far to the left at the end of your rope and you'll find the bolts (these are not shown on my Supertopo book).

I would also suggest bringing a few long slings (6' to 8') in case you end up rapping off trees. Bring lots of water, a light jacket and a headlight. It doesn't really take 7 to 10 hours to climb the route. However, you could easily get stuck behind slower parties and wait 2 hours like we did. We ended up touching down just as the sun went down. The 2 to 3 hour rap estimate is about right. Throw in a few Clif bars and you'll be glad you did.

This is a fantastic route, be sure to take copies of the route topo & the rap topo with you. This is a great climb that you will remember forever.
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matty

Trad climber
San Luis Obispo, CA
Apr 3, 2005 - 03:55am
 
Advice for spring time climbers. When rapping the route you may want to consider rapelling from the top of pitch 1 as the other rapell stations end in a river if/when water is flowing down the route. IF you do use the suggested stations for the last rapells just stay left on hte rapell to avoid landing in a pool. Lates-
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bgreenlee

Trad climber
Oakland, CA
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   May 16, 2005 - 10:14pm
We just did Royal Arches this past weekend. The traverse on pitch 9/10 (right after the pendulum) was very wet. The quantity of rushing water made it look scary, but it was totally fine. I kept my shoes on, as did most people, but some went barefoot.

All told, 9 hours up, 3 hours down (rapping w/ a single 70-meter rope). We figure a good 3-4 hours of our climbing time was spent waiting for parties ahead of us. Oh, and don't forget the sunblock. I got burnt to a crisp.
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ricardo

Gym climber
San Francisco, CA
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   May 17, 2005 - 12:18pm
bgreenle ..

i think you guys were the party that was rapping ahead of us..

we got one of our ropes stuck on the upper rappels .. and had to abandon it .. if anyone picks up a 8.2mm x 60m red bluewater line, drop me a note.

if you go do the arches .. prepare for crowds .. we started at 11 am hoping a late start would mean less people .. but ran into a traffic jam at the pendulum ..

we were back on the ground at about 7:30 ..

    ricardo
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August West

Trad climber
Where the wind blows strange
May 26, 2005 - 07:34pm
 
I did part of this route on May 25. I have done this route several times and on pitch 7 (of the supertopo) I have always gone left into the obvious (and very good) 5.7 hands in groove. Supertopo shows this as a variation. When the route is dry, I think this is a funner way to go. However, when the route is really wet, the "4th class" up to belay 8 is difficult and unpleasant. Following the "standard" route keeps you dry up until the pendulum.

I've climbed this route early season before when pitch 10 had water flowing over it, but not as wet as I saw it this time. I didn't feel like getting my shoes (I'm not up for barefoot climbing)and rope soaked, so I talked my partner into bailing.

From the bolted A0 pendulum, it was very easy to bail with one 60m rope. Every rap was from a solid tree (some had slings, some we added slings to) and the rope pulled easily.

The large tree to the right of the alternate starts had good webbing on it with rap rings. Supertopo shows this as 160' rap to ground or 70' rap to bolts. The intermediate anchor has old bolts (although I have rapped off much worse). It also meant the rope landed in a pool after the final rap.

Only one other party on the climb.
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Sascha

climber
Oakland, CA
Jun 1, 2005 - 04:51pm
 
Anyone climb this over Memorial Day weekend -- has it dried yet?
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Dapper Dan

Trad climber
Menlo Park
Jun 9, 2005 - 02:32pm
 
the route still has some wet sections . the pendulum and the traverse left to the tree is basically a water course still , very wet. the last pitch slab is wet making it a bit more scary . other than those two areas water is not really affecting the route. North dome gully descent is slimy and soft in some of the 4th class areas so be careful there......
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Rocky

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Jun 22, 2005 - 04:26pm
 
I plan to do RA and Crest Jewel in mid July. I just want to be sure that there is water available at the top of RA. I saw that there was earlier in the spring, but just checking now.
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Fingerlocks

Trad climber
where the climbin's good
Jun 24, 2005 - 10:55am
 
Plenty of water there now. The RA climb itself is getting close to being dry with just a bit of water on the travese after the tension move, a bit more water than that on the final slabs, and the still rather wet rock on the 3rd class exit section.

The stream left of the route was flowing well.
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BoKu

Trad climber
Douglas Flat, CA
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   Aug 26, 2005 - 11:19am
A friend and I did RA on 20 August 2005. The climbing was great, and I enjoyed it a whole bunch. The weather was perfect, and there were only six people on the route all day (us, a party of three, and a soloist). However, we didn't go fast enough (my fault) and we forgot to pack the headlamp, so we got benighted on the ledge at rap 8. No big problem, we just waited for dawn and finished on 21 August. If we'd had the headlamp, the moonlight would have been plenty of light to finish.

Being a trad noob, about the only good bits of climbing beta I can offer are: Make sure you carry the topos for the route and the raps. The route seemed to like lots of 1" to 2" gear; we had 4 or so #2 Robots and on some pitches placed them all. The hardest climbing is the first pitch chimney, which is probably harder for the follower. Taking a tip from a soloist I watched on 17 July I hauled our pack on the start with a 4-foot runner, that worked fine though it briefly got stuck at the chockstone.

We did the raps on a single 60m, and that worked fine. I found the bolts that johnny2plat mentions in his post - thanks, bro, it was great not having to do that 5.2 butt slide! We also rapped down the 140' ramp on rap 9; the rope got us past the steepest of it. The only sketchy parts were the scramble to the bolts on rap 8 and coming around the corner to get the bolts at rap 10. I think I probably should have taken a quick belay from the dead tree when going out to the rap 10 bolts. The slings were on the tree at rap 11, and there was a nest of webbing at the three bolts at rap 11-1/2.

Our ropes did get hung up once, when we pulled them at rap 3. However, my partner was able to swing over to the ledge there and free them fairly easily.

Edit add 27 October 2005: If you're tempted to descend the North Dome Gully, flip to page 144 of the SuperTopo guide and read the North Dome Gully page. And maybe carry it with you along with the route and rappel topos. I didn't see the North Dome Gully page until just today; I sure wish Chris had included a reference to it in the Royal Arches section of the book. Oh well, I still think it's a great guide!
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Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Nov 20, 2005 - 11:00pm
 
I did this today with Aaron and John... nice.

We really rolled on this, basically after the first pitch, we fouth classed up to the base of the 5th pitch. Then ran out 60 m pitches up to the pendulum pitch, (three pitches) having the two seconds climbing simultaneously. At the pendulum pitch, we used the pendulum, but did this one at a time, running it out to the big oak. From there we went up the corner on the layback flake to the oak, and across to the pine (before the flakes that take you up to the big pine) the alternate belay shown on the SuperTopo just after 11. From there to the tree (belay 13) is about 215'. Seconds climbed together on that pitch and for the rest of the climb.

It was the first time I used the pendulum (usually free the moves), it was fun!

We did the route in about 8 pitches. Starting at 8am and everyone landing in the forest at 1pm.

The little stream up there is still running!
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Echo

Trad climber
San Diego, CA.
May 24, 2006 - 12:25am
 
Quick question, but does anyone know if this route is dry by now? Im planning on climbing it next week and wanted to know if it was gonna happen... I tall depends on how dry it is... Thanks in advance.

Cheers,
Jonas
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ricardo

Gym climber
San Francisco, CA
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   May 24, 2006 - 12:13pm
i was in the valley on saturday and checked it out from the road

it looked pretty good for this time of year ..

the waterfall through the pitch after the penji has a small waterfall .. in my opinion its doable..
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davidji

Social climber
CA
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   May 24, 2006 - 04:53pm
Last week it was plenty climbable, but we took off our shoes for two traverses through the water. Second one mightta been OK to leave the shoes on.
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Bill S.

Trad climber
Modesto
Jun 5, 2006 - 11:20am
 
June 5, 2006 - Climbed route. Small amount of water running down the pollished gully on P-4. Minimal water after the pendulum. Some water on the next pitch. The rap for #9 appeared to be missing. There as an upended tree nearby, but we were not able to locate the fixed slings. Maybe someone cleanded them, not sure. Left a sling and biner on one of the big trees. Increadible climb. Start early and climb fast. We finished at 6pm (still light!).
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vegastradguy

Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV
Jun 17, 2006 - 01:43pm
 
did the route again last week- good as always.

couple of things-
as of last week, the pitch above the big ledge after the penji is wet- the tree is definitely 'on' for the moment!

the raps were straight forward, but watch the pulls at the end, the ropes just want to land in the water.

finally- anyone else notice the fixed head on the 5th or 6th pitch (the first pitch off the terraces)? how weird is that?
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malabarista

Trad climber
Portland, OR
Jun 20, 2006 - 04:45pm
 
Yeah, saw 2 fixed heads on the route. WTF?
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FJclimbsrocks

climber
Jul 19, 2006 - 10:48pm
 
Making my first trip to the valley in two weeks, and RA is at the top of my hit list. Just curious about the fixed pednulum though...to those of you who have climbed the route recently, what kind of condition is the fixed line in? Thanks.
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vegastradguy

Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV
Jul 20, 2006 - 09:05am
 
fixed line is fine- i clipped it for pro when i climbed it in june this year and didnt sweat it too much.
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the Fet

climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
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   Oct 9, 2006 - 02:10pm
Doing the raps with a single 60M is fine.

Did the route Sunday Oct. 8, 1 day before the 70th annniversay of the FA!

Here's how we did it with a 60M with some easy simulclimbing to speed things up.

Did the regular start, then put away the rope for the walk to the start of pitch 2.

My partner led up the right option of 2 (a lot better than the polished gully), then kept going up the left side variations on 3rd and 4th pitches while I simuled, to the base of the 5th. This was a good way to pass slower parties.

My partner led up 5 past the regular belay, to the alternate belay. From there I led to the top of pitch 7 (so pitch 5-7 in two pitches). Then we did pitch 8 normaly.

My partner led 9 the pendulum pitch, and got about 20' from the tree at the top of 10, I simuled, while he walked over the ledge to the tree.

I led past belay 11 to the alternate belay on the left (rope drag was bad though).

My partner led to the top of 13 and setup a belay at the bush/tree on the start of the the traverse.

I led the undercling traverse, and ran out of rope about 30' from the anchors on the top of 15, my partner simuled as I made it to the bolts.

Climbed the route in a little under 4 hours.

On the supertopo the rap marked 2 is the one you can just make with a 60M, make sure your rope is centered.

The rap marked 7 (if using 60m scramble last 10 feet) is no problem, just some 3rd class down to the next ledge.

After the rap marked 8, the supertopo skips where rap 9 would be. There is a tree with rap slings about 30' under the end of rap 8, but there's no need to rap, it's just a 3rd class gully under the tree to walk down (about 150') to the rap station marked 10 next to the dead tree.

At the end of rap 10 (100') you can swing left to a new set of bolts (not on the supertopo I have) about 40' above the ground, or straight down into the 5.5 polished gully, where there are rap slings on a chockstone or you could butt-slide (no thanks).

It tooks us 2 hours to do 15 raps with a 60M.
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Rockie

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Oct 9, 2006 - 08:56pm
 
Is the stream at the top running?
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bda

Trad climber
Bay Area, California
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   Nov 13, 2006 - 02:53pm
Excellent route. Fun little variation below:

One or two (depending on how you do it) pitches after the pendulum traverse pitch, probably pitch 13, but in any case I'm referring to the pitch that ends at a belay at the bush/tree on the start of the fun 5.4 undercling traverse.

Instead of trudging up the 5.5 stem grunge, take an improbable looking finger seam 15-20 feet to the right. Beautiful line (probably 90+feet long), goes at sustained 5.7, and is protectable.
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sharon

Trad climber
Bay Area, CA
Mar 14, 2007 - 12:57am
 
Has anyone climbed RA in the past week? Thinking about heading up this weekend and wondering how bad the water might be. Thanks.
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sprout

Trad climber
clovis, ca
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   Mar 14, 2007 - 04:59pm
We went once this time of year and the water felt great on the traverse. You are able to bypass it up until that point. I haven't been up there yet this season but the webcam looks like the arches are pretty wet.

p
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mareko

Trad climber
San Francisco
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   Mar 14, 2007 - 06:02pm
I'm taking my partners up RA (there 1st time) in April. Keep us posted about the water on the wall.
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le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
Mar 15, 2007 - 01:51am
 

Last weekend (March 10-11), the Arches looked pretty soggy. Have a backup plan just in case. With the time change and the abnormally warm temps we've been having, a lot of the valley is doable. This weekend climbing in the shade was much more comfortable than climbing in the sun...
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ricardo

Gym climber
San Francisco, CA
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   Mar 15, 2007 - 11:51am
we climbed it on saturday 3/10 ..

we expected alot of water .. and were surprised when we found very little water on it ..

the falls coming over the arches were very small .. most of the runoff was in the early pitches ..

100% doable ..
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mareko

Trad climber
San Francisco
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   Mar 15, 2007 - 02:49pm
Thanks for to weather info. We are pumped up and ready to hit the valley for a week!!!
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sharon

Trad climber
Bay Area, CA
Mar 16, 2007 - 02:04pm
 
Thanks for the beta. We'll have 2 groups of 2 climbing Sat. 3/17. I've been hoping to do this climb for years, so am very psyched to get a great spring weekend for it.
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sharon

Trad climber
Bay Area, CA
Mar 19, 2007 - 12:47pm
 
The route was beautiful this weekend - we had 4 parties of 2 and all completed successfully. The only water obstacle was two easy moves after the pendulum; you will get your feet wet.

Regarding the rap, the single 60m was fine right up to the very last rap from bolts near the dead tree, which requires a double rope to accomplish or a sketchy downclimb. Seems like one more set of bolts should be installed to make it a very sweet exit.
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the Fet

climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
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   Mar 19, 2007 - 03:45pm
There already is another set of bolts to your left (if you're hanging from the rope). I missed them too, they are farther left than you'd expect.
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Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Mar 19, 2007 - 11:06pm
 
the Fet,

We were using your notes from Oct. 2006 on the rappel route, and I rapped down about 70' on our doubled 60m from station (10), and tensioned left as far as I could, but I couldn't see the wall down and left. Since your notes suggested it was a full 100' to those bolts, I didn't want to chance coming up short, so I bailed upwards at that point, batmanning 70' back to the station.

I see in your note today that you "missed them too". If so, then how do you know it is 100' to reach them? It was also pretty hard to tension even as far left as I went. It seems if you slipped out there, you might swing pretty fast back right and hit the corner with the stream.

It seems like a more useful place for a station (10.5) would be 80' or so down from (10) and visible from 10, so rappellers could see the station from (10) and verify that their rope reaches it. (In the past, I've done the downclimb out right from (10), but it seems strange after all the rap stations above, that a last good one is not right below (10) ). Maybe the stations were placed when there was no water running?

Photos from our climb:
http://www.stanford.edu/~clint/rep/07317/index.htm

[Edit 12/3/07:] On 12/1/07, I added a new rap station as described above - 85' below (10). Two SS bolts and double ring hangers. It is a semi-hanging station, so it's probably easiest to have one person rap down from (10) on a single strand to the big ledge, and then the second person can rap to the new station (10.5) and do a second rap (also 85') to the big ledge.

On the supertopo of the rappel route, it suggests there are bolts on top of the first (chimney) pitch which can be used to rappel that pitch. I have not seen any bolts there. However, there is a block/tunnel where a sling can be tied if one is not already in place; there is also a tree 15' above this block. From the block, it is an 80' rappel to the ground at the base of the chimney.

Here is a low-res and edited version of the Supertopo for the Royal Arches rappel route, showing the details described above:

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the Fet

climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
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   Mar 20, 2007 - 12:28pm
I see in your note today that you "missed them too". If so, then how do you know it is 100' to reach them?

I rapped to the end of a 60M, didn't see the bolts and moved right to the polished gully.

When I got to the ledge I looked back up and I saw the bolts at about the same height where I got to the polished gully but farther to the left than I expected. They do seem too far to the left, but since I didn't use them I can't really say if they are in the best place or not.
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Greg Barnes

climber
Apr 4, 2007 - 03:17pm
 
Hey Clint, those anchors are WAY left, kind of past a very blunt arete/feature (but there's another anchor even further left with webbing - these had chains I think). You'd have real trouble getting to them if you have 2 ropes due to the drag of the rope ends in the gully. Even with a single light rope, it's too far over for most folks to get to comfortably. We had no problem with a single lightweight 70m last fall, but I'm used to tension traversing (and staying in tension traversed positions for 20 minutes of hand drilling...). I assume they are so far over so you can rap when the water is really raging.
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Jordan Ramey

Big Wall climber
Calgary, Alberta
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   May 14, 2007 - 04:25pm
BEWARE!! There is a detached dead tree at rap station 4. It broke off completely (rotted) when I touched it 5/12/07. It is 6' right at the first bolts after the first tree rap. It is tied to a live tree with blue webbing. DON'T dislodge it when anyone is rapping as it has a good chance of hitting someone.

Water was very avoidable on the route. Over 7 parties topped out with us bringing up the rear. Very enjoyable route. Rapping part of it in the dark made for a very long descent. Finding bolts with a headlamp is no easy task, but manageable. Just don't rap to far down.
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Floyd Hayes

Trad climber
Hidden Valley Lake, CA
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   Jul 6, 2007 - 04:58pm
The fixed line seemed VERY worn to me when I was up there with my 15-year-old son several weeks ago. Maybe it's time for ASCA to consider a replacement...
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Steve Wolford

Trad climber
White Salmon, WA
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   Nov 5, 2007 - 03:13pm
We did Royal Arches last week and had a great time on it. There were two parties ahead of us. As we were coming up to the fixed rope traverse, a large rockfall swept pitches 11,12, and 13 and would have taken out anyone in the vicinity, and we were concerned about anyone at the base. The party ahead of us told us it was caused by the lead party going up to the tree belay that started it and that there is a large amount of loose rock there. SO as we headed up pitch 13 we came upon some loose very dangerous large rocks poised in the small gully ready to go right before you reach the anchors. We side stepped around them, and made sure the rope did not touch them. But they are still there, ready to roll. So beware, the slightest bump will send these down. Scary! Maybe the rangers can dispose of these. I would have, but did not know if anyone at the bottom, so will need walkie talkies or cell phones to deal with the situation.
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waltereo01

Trad climber
Montreal, Canada
Jul 2, 2008 - 12:22am
 
Climbing this route mid-end Augustis realistic or just crazy because of the heat ?
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Floyd Hayes

Trad climber
Hidden Valley Lake, CA
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   Jul 2, 2008 - 02:59pm
Start climbing before dawn with headlamps. Much of the route is in shade until mid-late morning and there should be a breeze higher up. Don't underestimate the climb--if you belay and protect every pitch plan on 8-10 hours. I've often wondered why it isn't a grade IV. When I first climbed it in 1982 (loved the rotten log pitch!) we did it in 6 hours. Last year I took my son up it and led every pitch, protecting all but a few, and it took 9.5 hours. Dragging a second rope for the rappels slowed things down. If you're rappelling in the afternoon expect to sizzle--it took us nearly 4 hours in 95 degree heat.
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
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   Aug 14, 2008 - 09:10pm
Here is a great discussion with some photos of the old Rotten Log that was on the route:

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=217828
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ScottOn

Trad climber
MN
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   Sep 6, 2008 - 11:53am
A friend and I climbed Royal Arches on Sept. 5. The route's in fine shape. The bolt that protects the final 5.3 slab pitch is (as usual) an old button head with a spinning hanger, and that's the only pro on the pitch. Also, the spring just above the end of the final pitch is flowing, and delicious! Finally, a note to those looking to cross-country from the top of the route up to the Yosemite Falls trail or Snow Creek trail: it's a bushwhack. Especially if you haven't done it before, and especially if it's after dark, be wary! Have fun!
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Oscar

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
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   Sep 27, 2008 - 11:34am
I just did the route last September 23, 2008. Perfect conditions, all dry. I did it before in spring 2006 and had many wet sections, it was spooky, especially the end of pitch 11th, at that time I just could finish that pitch thanks to the hollow branch above, which I could barely reach and I almost poop my pants when I saw it was hollow (you don't see it from below).
We carried an extra 8 mm. rope for the rappels in the back pack, it's much better than drag an extra 10 mm all the way up. We didnítí have any problems until the eighth rappel where I could not find the chains so we need to keep rappelling from trees. Looks it happens often since we already find many slings around trees.
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Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Oct 19, 2008 - 10:27pm
 
did this recently, with Crimpergirl...
here's the link:
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=695121
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Icaro1974

Trad climber
CA
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   Oct 20, 2008 - 03:32pm
Second time I do this climb but the first time I lead the whole thing. Last week Oct 16 2008, me an a friend did the climb, It all went well but we where doing it slowly so when we got to the top we only had about 40 minutes or less of daylight.
We rappelled and the topo has a few mistakes according to us.
First of all the scale of the sketch can be misleading (and at night it felt worst. for instance rappel 2 shows and S shaped ledge which is there but is very very small and compared to the feature on rappel 1, well there is no comparison on the size and on the book they look about the same size. Between rappel 6 and 7 there is a bush that can tangle easely the rope which on the book shows as a pine tree (is not). Rappel 7 seems to be to the right of #6 instead of straight bellow. Between 7 and 8 you can count three sm-med ledges and then you see the bigger ledge.
On rappel 9 there are actually two pine trees on the left, and no (two) pine trees to the right, there was a fallen tree around threre, on the other side you can find a single pine tree, so we went that way, which is like some 3rd and 4rd class terrain to reach that pine tree, and is next to a polish gully,(similar to what the book describes) this route has seen some people going the wrong way, there was a very old 10.5mm rope tied to the tree, and bellow, you can find a pair of bolts (some 10-15 feet bellow) with a bunch of slings, then, some 20m bellow you find another pair of bolts. This bolts are old, rusty and 1/4 inch.
We made it safe to the ground using the bolts, although it took quite a while. Next day we went to get our ropes back and to check the rappel route to see where we got lost, and from the ground you can see those 2 pine trees on rap 9.
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
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   Oct 29, 2008 - 12:53am
Great Photo Trip Report here

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=709774
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Al_T.Tude

Trad climber
Monterey, CA
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   Oct 31, 2008 - 03:13pm
June '08 found one of the 2 P9 fixed pendulum lines cut, the remaining one with a severely compromised sheath.

Oct 17 - towed 70' of BWII 7/16" static line up to pendulum. Nasty old line had been replaced with new black single line tied to lower modern bolt and upper 1/4" el rusto bolt.

Replaced it with replica of original set-up; redundant 2 line 2 bolt pendulum with a series of convieniently placed knots.

Hopefully we'll get a few years use out of this one.
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
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   May 12, 2009 - 12:44am
great trip report

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=856455
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RobTheis

Trad climber
Los Altos, CA
Aug 30, 2009 - 12:38am
 
Anyone have information as to status of Royal Arches routes after the rock fall this past week?
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the Fet

climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
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   Nov 17, 2009 - 02:45pm
Climbed it on Nov. 15, 2009. Weather was perfect, route was dry, and we were the ONLY party on the route. If you can climb the route and rap it in under 8 hours this is the perfect time of year for it.

The bottom of pitch 5, 5.7 fingers in scars, is the crux (unless you climb the pendulum part). It's very similar to Pine Line on El Cap, so climb Pine Line to see if you are ready for the technical difficulty. I'd say they both are hard for 5.7 and a little tough to protect.

For the first time in 18 years of climbing I had a rope get stuck when pulling it down from the rap rings. Had to ascend the rope with Bachmann and Prusik knots, using the accessory cords I carry for just such an emergency. My partner belayed me with the other end of the rope. A messy knot was stuck in the rap rings, so the rope probably just naturally knotted itself on the way up. Everyone who climbs multi-pitch should be able to perform this type of self-rescue.
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Cdn Brian

Trad climber
MINNEAPOLIS, MN
Nov 19, 2009 - 10:34pm
 
Got there 6:00 on Sunday Nov 15, saw the caution tape and headed over and did Snake Dike.

Talked to the Rangers the next day. They told us it was closed. When we mentioned 'too bad we really wanted to climb it'. They said something to the effect. 'Oh climbers' that's different we are just trying to keep people away from the base. Enjoy'

The next day started first ligh. The route is dry, which makes it easyier. Found a lot undocumented 50/60 meter raps anywhere we might have got a rope stuck. Hit the bar at the lodge just after sundown.

There are rap anchors 2-3M just climbers left and a little downhill of the dead tree on the second last rap. Did not see them in the failing light. Tree is solid, but would have prefered to use anchors.
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Rhodo-Router

Gym climber
sawatch choss
Nov 22, 2009 - 03:33pm
 
That rockfall is way, way left of the route. Your period of greatest danger is the Ahwahnee parking lot.

Good views of the carnage from up on Serenity/Sons.
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Andrew F

Trad climber
Sunnyvale, CA
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   Mar 29, 2010 - 05:51pm
Did this route March 27th. As usual, the 5.5 gully, pendulum and the last pitch are wet; the rest of the route is dry. Small price to pay for the opportunity to climb it with no crowds. The fixed rope on the pendulum looks brand new (thanks!) No signs of any recent rockfall on the route. Go get it!
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Al_T.Tude

Trad climber
Monterey, CA
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   Apr 6, 2010 - 09:33pm
I was up there on Sunday, the day after you, Andrew. You're welcome for the pitch 9 penji line. The previous line's sheath was kaput and the core was seriously compromised...Yikes! Considering all the bolts that I've clipped over the years, it was an honor to be able to give something back to such a fun and popular route.
>
Wading across the pitch 10 cascade was the first time that I've rock climbed with ice water flooding over my hands and feet.!Fortunately my soles dried quickly. The party after me went barefoot.
>
There were only a few braided tendrils of water on the first ten feet of the final friction pitch 16. Pine needles in fall can actually be spookier! The slippery left traverse, just west of the spring on the climb out to the rim after the finish of the climb was almost the crux.
>
Water flows over the falls will likely peak in May as the high country gets a higher angle sun and longer days. Meaning: it'll get wetter before it starts drying up in late May.
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leanesbitt

Sport climber
Ft. Collins, CO
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   May 2, 2010 - 07:31pm
I've done this route several times. I'm going up again next weekend (5/9/10). Has anyone been there within the last two weeks? How wet is it?
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Professor

Trad climber
Logan, UT
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   May 22, 2010 - 06:06pm
The traverse after the pendulum is still a wet and wild experience as of 5/19/2010. Everything else is basically dry depending on the tides (No I'm serious, mornings in the valley see more runoff from the high country then afternoons).

A minimal rack is a very subjective question. I know many who would say shoes and chalk are all you need. Personally I like a set of nuts and about 6 cams from fingers to fists. Climbers new to the valley or trad may well want more than that.

Cheers,
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Zac R

Trad climber
San Jose, CA
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   Jun 8, 2010 - 01:22am
Climbed it yesterday, first time up. The waterfall wasn't bad - I was pretty much able to step around the wet areas in my shoes. Absolutely loved the whole route.

As for a minimal rack... I'd suggest cams from 1/2" up to a #2 C4 (two #2's is even better for the sustained hands). I actually didn't place a single passive piece on the route, even though I usually place plenty of nuts/tricams.
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Oliver Millington

Trad climber
Mar 6, 2011 - 11:11am
 
Hey,

I'm coming over from England in a months time, does anyone know whether RA will be doable in early April? Also is it acceptable as a first multipitch in the valley, given a couple of days on shorter stuff to get used to the rock?

Cheers!
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nutjob

Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
Mar 6, 2011 - 10:54pm
 
Oliver, it's always doable. Just sometimes there's more adventure than others! In the worst case, you'll go home with a great story :)

If you've done multipitch in other places (so you basically know how to build anchors and swing leads), you're good to go. Bring a headlamp. And pay attention to the beta about the 2nd or 3rd rap to avoid getting ropes caught. North Dome Gulley only recommended if you came up short on the adventure quotient and need to spice it up for your first visit.
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HighTraverse

Trad climber
Bay Area
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   Mar 7, 2011 - 02:57am
I give it 5 stars because it really is a classic.
North Dome Gulley only recommended if you came up short on the adventure quotient and need to spice it up for your first visit.
nutjob gave you good advice but my preference is to take the North Dome Gully descent in good weather and daylight. You get to do the long, scary slab traverse last pitch and then struggle to find the right way down the gully. A fitting end to a fine climb.
I got good advice long ago: don't try North Dome Gully your first time if it's getting dark. Be prepared to bivvy at the top of Washington Column if you're not going to get to the bottom by dark.
Top of the climb is about 1700 meters elevation, nearly 6000 feet. Could be sub freezing up there at night in April. The route will likely be very wet in places. Look down near the start of these posts for trip reports in April and May. Each year's weather is different.
Read all the posts on this thread.
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Zander

climber
Mar 7, 2011 - 11:08pm
 
Hey Oliver Millington,
If you are coming over from England to the valley for the first time you want to have the full experience. . . . The Royal Arches route ends at the rim. If you rap the route you won't actually finish it!! Don't rap the route on your first time. Do the North Dome Gully. OK, if you are really slow and you get to the rap station and you are freaking out about the NDG descent and the sun is setting- then do the raps. But know you didn't do the route. The North Dome Gully is not that bad. Pay attention! Read the Supertopo beta. It will be fine.

The last roped up pitch of the climb is really cool. There are no holds- it is just friction, 5.4, not hard, just fun. Then there is a really cool spring tucked in the trees. A magical spot. Then you scramble to the rim. It is good stuff. Start the route early and do it.

My 2 cents,
Zander
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nutjob

Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
Mar 8, 2011 - 01:45pm
 
OK, HighTraverse and Zander changed my mind. It really does give the full experience to finish with North Dome Gully. The final slab exit and rim top-out on Royal Arches is a key part of that route experience.

I was biased against it for your proposed first time visit because of my first (and only) experience with North Dome Gulley:
1) I had never seen any map or read the beta for the descent. The only thing I knew was "don't drop down too early or you'll hit the death slabs." I wasn't even sure which gully was "North Dome Gully" when looking at it from the ground (e.g. near Glacier Apron)
2) We were done with RA and Crest Jewel and back down on top of Washington Column with 1-2 hours of daylight left. Should have been easy.
3) I saw a huge white cairn atop a ridge east of Washington Column, and assumed if I got there I would find another cairn to guide the way.
4) After traversing high and getting to that cairn, we followed trails and ended up on hands and knees in manzanita tunnels next to cliff drop-offs by headlamp. We bivy'd in July sharing one emergency blanket with chattering teeth and body convulsions all night.
5) Next morning, we backtracked to the cairn, and saw a fixed rope down lower in the sandy gully immediately west of that ridge. We followed that and it was pretty easy route finding from that point on ("go down") but it still took a while. We probably missed an easier trail cutoff just to the east of the actual path of water's least resistance.

So bottom line: read the descent beta, and daylight helps to find the right entrance into the proper descent for North Dome Gully, and don't get suckered too far if that white cairn is still there atop the ridge. Once you're descending in the correct gully, no big deal.

If you do decide to rap, still do the slabs over to the forest, stock up on water, and come back to the rap stations.
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Wade Icey

Trad climber
www.alohashirtrescue.com
Mar 8, 2011 - 01:49pm
 
fixed cord on NDG? Sketchy.
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kev

climber
A pile of dirt.
Mar 8, 2011 - 03:10pm
 
The old fixed cord (if it's still there) marks the start of the gully and it's 2nd class scree there - the cord is old but you don't need it - it just makes it easier.
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johnny2plat

Trad climber
San Luis Obispo, CA
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   Apr 7, 2011 - 12:22am
Anyone climbed this in the last couple days? Can anyone comment on the "wetness factor" on the RA route? I am planning on bringing up a RA N00b in a week or so but don't want to waste a bunch of time looking at wet rock. Thanks, John
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j-tree

Big Wall climber
Typewriters and Ledges
Apr 7, 2011 - 11:01am
 
Biggest wetness issue is on the first pitch, traversing pitch and topping out pitch (if not rapping)

Using the yosemite webcam from the meadow will allow you to get a good feel for the wetness of the route.
http://www.yosemiteconservancystore.com/DSN/wwwyosemiteassociationorg/Content/Webcam/Original/Large/ahwahnee_large.jpg
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Climber Joe

Trad climber
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   May 25, 2011 - 11:07pm
Did this on 5/24. Only 2 other parties all day. Wetness an issue on 10th and 11th pitches. I just don't know how people can go left, through moss-ridden slippery blankness, just after the penji. We took a cue from another party who went lower, using the underclings under the post-penji ledge.
We started as two teams of two, quickly turned into a party of four, and a very long 20 hr. expedition with a game of hunting for rappel bolts in the dark.
If anyone finds the blue rope on the first rappel rope on May 25, please contact me at jsp1001 at gmail. (you can tell what kind of night it was).
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Attila

Trad climber
Debrecen, Hungary
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   Jun 6, 2011 - 03:41pm
We climbed the route on June 3rd, my birthday. :-) Starting as late as 11 am, we haven't seen a single soul the entire day. The "polished gully" on the second, third, and fourth pitches was practically a waterfall, climbing around it on the alternative routes wasn't too bad except for the time loss. The 5.10b friction traverse on the ninth pitch was a lot of fun with the bomber pro of clipping the fixed rope. The rest of the traverse was also super wet (picth 10), but climbing a bit down from the anchor solved the problem easily. For me, the most annoying place was the dripping wet 5.7 "awkward stem" on the top of pitch 11, which I climbed around from the left on the short 5.9 variant. Having already placed our bigger cams, I resorted to girth hitching a flimsy tree branch there (it did hold the second climber later :-)). We rapped after pitch 15, but the topout pitch did look a bit scary with all the water. Not wanting to rap into the aforementioned "polished gully", we had to do a bit of climbing around to get down towards the bottom of the wall, but nothing scary. Fun route, best birthday cruise ever. :-)
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jvSF

Trad climber
San Francisco
Jun 22, 2011 - 01:59am
 
anybody topped out the route recently?
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rizzuh

Mountain climber
San Francisco, CA
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   Jul 10, 2011 - 07:13pm
Was up there 4th of July Weekend. Some water on the penji traverse and last pitch but nothing too bad (ropes stayed dry for the most part). Hiked up to Porcupine Creek... still a bunch of snow up there so I'd imagine moderate water will probably be there til late July.
Credit: rizzuh
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AGSmith

Mountain climber
Austin
Jul 10, 2011 - 07:39pm
 
JVSF, some buddies and I topped this out back in June. There was much likely more water back then, so the last pitch was a bit dicey. IF it is dry, the traverse should be rather straight forward. The fixed line past the end of the pitch looked in good condition, however I'd double check the knots before starting out. Also, its a 5+ hour bushwack / walk off to upper yosemite falls.
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jvSF

Trad climber
San Francisco
Jul 11, 2011 - 07:03pm
 
We topped out the route on July 9. We started at 5:30am and there were already four parties on the route! The last 10 ft of the last pitch slab traverse was wet (at 830 am). My partner led and lowered down into the pine needles and then climbed back up to the trail. I traversed across in between wet streaks which was pretty terrifying since my shoes were already wet from the wet munge at the beginning of the pitch. We continued up to the South Face on North Dome for a full day. We descended via the north dome gully and made it back to the Ahwahnee around 9pm.
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Roald85

Trad climber
Los Gatos,CA
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   Sep 6, 2011 - 02:10pm
Awesome day of climbing on Labor Day weekend. There were 3 of us so we had 2 60m ropes. We started around 7 a.m. Only ended up using one rope on the way up, middle climber used a butterfly knot to tie in. We started by trying the bolted climb just to the left of the chimney, it had to be at least a 5.10+, I didnt try it but both climbing partners had trouble and they are solid 5.11 gym climbers. We led the first pitch with little gear, a couple pieces, and then scrambled/soloed to the 5th pitch, there were only a few spots that were kinda sketchy. This saved a lot of time, only reason we didnt solo higher was because we were carrying packs and with the second rope tied to our pack kinda threw our balance off. The leader of the next few pitches, up to the pendulum, used minimal gear, if any. I think the most gear we used on any one pitch was maybe 4 pieces, didnt use any nuts or cams 3.5 and above. Its simple climbing and bringing a ton of gear only added weight. Luckily we didnt run into any water. We decided to rappel down using the 2 60m ropes. The first rappel put us about 15 feet above a tree rappel station, so we unclipped and scrambled down to the tree, very sketchy. Didnt realize it until the second guy came down that we had skipped 2 stations and they were all to the rapellers left on the face. There are plenty of bolts on the rappel route and the only time we had trouble finding the stations was on the first 180ft. We went from station 1 to the trees to the right of station 3, then to the bolts between 4 and 5, then to station 6, then to station 8, then to station 10 and then to the top of the first pitch to the bottom. On your way down if you're feeling unsafe you missed a station. If there was some simple scrambling, we did it and it usually led us to a belay station. We ended up getting down to the base of the climb around 4 p.m. We had one soloist pass us and then the next couple we saw were just starting the climb when we got to the base. This was an awesome, simple, multi pitch climb.
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briham89

Big Wall climber
santa cruz, ca
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   Oct 9, 2011 - 04:09pm
holy crowded batman!!! Started the route yesterday at 6 am and we were the first ones up the chimney, but once up, there were two other parties that had taken alternate starts. While waiting to start pitch 4...the pile up started. There were about 4 parties, and one party trying to link up crest jewel that "nicely asked" to pass. By the few pitches before the top it was very crowded. I wish I had my camera to snap a picture of 5 ropes going up pitch 12 (following included ducking under and over rope and gear, kind of a pain.) But with all that said, the climbing was awesome! Almost everyone we talked to was really cool and helpful. Everyone stayed really civil for how crowded it was. The super topo doesn't say to bring any 3" pieces but i found i placed my #3 c4 a few times. All and all a great day and I can't wait to go climb it again.
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HighTraverse

Trad climber
Bay Area
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   Jan 9, 2012 - 05:42pm
I see several comments about the wet traverse pitch.
We did it on May 1, 2011, about as wet as it gets without actually raining. After the P1 chimney we simul-climbed in blocks of 3 - 4 pitches except for the traverse and the steep corner after it.
The traverse not really a problem when wet. We did the tension traverse to the ledge system and set a belay immediately as this was James' first tension traverse. Three cams in two cracks. The traverse was running fast with water across most of it. The traverse "edge" has plenty of good edges to grip your shoes. Good finger holds where needed. 3 solid cams can be placed. We stayed about the same level until over the pinnacle in mid picture. When the traverse starts trending down the far side of the pinnacle, just stay on the rib to keep your feet out of the watercourse. Not really a big deal. Belayed at the usual spot at the end.
On the next pitch, getting up the wet, mossy "5.7" corner with water streaming down the face was strenuous and hard to protect. This bit IS scary when wet, even getting through the tree.
The 1st pic shows the edges for your feet and two of our three cams on the traverse. The 2nd pic shows how wet the wall was.
We were running out of daylight so went down the standard rapp route. SuperTopo sketch and directions are excellent. Tricky but better than North Dome Gully in the dark.
The last pic from the bottom of the third rapp shows how much water was running.
Royal Arches Pitch 10 traverse. Running with water on 01 May, 2011
Royal Arches Pitch 10 traverse. Running with water on 01 May, 2011
Credit: HighTraverse
Royal Arches end of Pitch 10 traverse. Running with water on 01 May, 2...
Royal Arches end of Pitch 10 traverse. Running with water on 01 May, 2011
Credit: HighTraverse
Waterfall left of Royal Arches rapp route. 01 May 2011. Note the angle...
Waterfall left of Royal Arches rapp route. 01 May 2011. Note the angle of the trees. This is much steeper than the photo shows. About 80 degrees
Credit: HighTraverse
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mucci

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Jan 18, 2012 - 02:08pm
 
LOL!

50 something min, up and down
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jfailing

Trad climber
PDX, North Slope, The Open Road
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   Jan 18, 2012 - 03:55pm
mucci - 50 minutes is crazy dude... like, car 2 car?

Flasher: Blow me.
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steele

Trad climber
CA
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   Jul 9, 2012 - 02:43pm
In this area July 8th, barely any spring water, start 5am and drink as much as you can before climbing then bring minimum a quart or two to the top. Descent options 1: North Dome gully, two steep mi., one hour. 2: Rappel route cluttered, one hour. 3: Yosemite Falls, seven mi. to valley, three hours. My favorite: do the .9/.10 free, friction/short, then do North Dome .7/.8 sustained liebacks. Full rack, safely simul-climb(except pendulum pitch and the greasy one after it). Don't simul-climb ND unless you're a solid .10+ leader--sustained. Hike down ND gully. Average climbers like me will take ~12 hours for 24 pitches and a few hiking miles. Sidenote: looks like Mist Trail will be the next one to get regulated by NPS...
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Scraptee

Trad climber
Tacoma
Sep 11, 2012 - 03:59pm
 
As of 9/4 spring is flowing at ~ .5L/min. Nice surprise.
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Gozzo

Social climber
Merced
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   Sep 12, 2012 - 11:38am
Climb the route on Monday 9/10/2012.
The route is totally awesome. No running water and just one party in front of us.
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cody padrnos

Trad climber
corona ca
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   Jun 3, 2013 - 04:49pm
Climb this on May 29th, 2013

Good climb, straight forward, read topo and you'll be fine. I did bring a BD size 3 cam as not prescribed in the topo review. I used it many times, but I also did not have half size cams. I didn't use my nuts one time, maybe just me though.

Water was fine and avoidable. experienced most of it on pitch 3

Pitch 12 was the only real exposed pitch, but fun!

Start early because we got held up behind people for days.

2 60 meter ropes were good for us on rappel.

The repel was obvious on pitch 15. There are 3 bolts, but only 2 worth rapping off on! A 70 meter rope would help if you wanted to combine pitches, kind of wish I had a 70 for this climb. it was still great though.

Rock and roll and go climb it.
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DesertRatExpeditions

Trad climber
Flagstaff, Arizona
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   Jul 2, 2013 - 10:55pm
Climbed the Arches last Wed. Been a few years since I was last on it, but I found a couple of large flakes that seem ready to go.

First was on P8 from ST Free Climbs. The 5.4 Flakes area. Flake feels like it will go if it is liebacked on, however I did stand on it and was fine. This one may hang in there for another decade, or it might go at night on its own. Mostly just scary because it sounds hollow and is detached on all sides.

The other, scarier flake was on P12. Just above the lieback, above the midpoint tree, it is the obvious placement for a .5 Camalot. The flake looks like it is part of a larger, more solid rock. I placed a cam and pull tested it. The cam popped out and the flake visibly moved. Upon closer inspection, this flake has a hairline fracture about two feet right of the crack. This flake would definitely go, probably without too much urging.

Of course there are always loose sounding rocks on the Arches, but these two were especially scary.
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looks easy from here

climber
Ben Lomond, CA
Jul 28, 2013 - 10:27pm
 
Climbed yesterday, Saturday 7/27/13. Route was completely dry. There was a little water on the upper face to the west of the rap line, but none anywhere that a rope would land.

We must've gotten lucky: we saw evidence of a team ahead of us (approach bag at the base of the route) and we hung out for a bit (pun intended) above pitch 5 to let a team of simul-climbers pass us, but otherwise we had it all to ourselves.
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tooth

Trad climber
B.C.
Jul 28, 2013 - 11:55pm
 
Yeah, perfect conditions and only two great guys who let us pass... Thanks guys! We hiked down the gully, a first for me and not my favorite way down!
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elvisleg

Trad climber
bay area
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   Aug 12, 2013 - 08:01pm
This climb took us about 8 hours to climb the first time since we were so new to climbing (my first lead ever). Nowadays we just simul it and get it done in about an hour and a half.
This climb is just too good not to do at least once a season. The rock quality is excellent and the climbing is not strenuous at all due to the many rests and ledges everywhere. Great for fledgling leaders.
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steele

Trad climber
CA
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   Sep 13, 2013 - 11:14pm
Fastest to simul-climb-do the .10a pendulum pitch free, pro is good-nd gully keeps you from rapping into a traffic jam. Any good long variations anybody can recommend or maybe the old hanging boulders route beta?
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jvSF

Trad climber
San Francisco
Oct 28, 2013 - 05:40pm
 
Rap station 10.5 discussed below by Clint Cummins has been modified. This is the station listed at 85' above the 5.5 polished gulley. The hanger and rings on one of the bolts are missing. The other bolt and rings are intact and useable. We lowered one climber from rap station 10 the full length down to the big ledge. The second climber lowered down to the partial station at 10.5 and rapped/downclimbed off the single bolt down to the big ledge.
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Batrock

Trad climber
Burbank
Jan 28, 2014 - 12:17pm
 
Did this climb yesterday, started at 9am and were back at the car by 3pm. Simul-climbed the route with approach shoes and felt it was pretty casual. This was our first time on the route and had a blast. The large loose flake that CMac talks about down thread was past on the left on the face using a thin seem and crack and felt about 5.8ish. I am sure it would have been fine climbing the flake but the face out left looked interesting. All in all a fun day.
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JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
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   Jan 28, 2014 - 04:24pm
I found a couple of large flakes that seem ready to go.

First was on P8 from ST Free Climbs. The 5.4 Flakes area. Flake feels like it will go if it is liebacked on, however I did stand on it and was fine. This one may hang in there for another decade, or it might go at night on its own. Mostly just scary because it sounds hollow and is detached on all sides.

For what little this may be worth, that flake sounded hollow in 1969, too, and every year since that I've done the route. I should add that back then, we were placing pins (well, at least one pin -- there was a fixed Cassin soft iron pin at its base) in the thing, so it seemed even more likely to pry off.

John
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Tye

Trad climber
Massachusetts
May 18, 2010 - 01:48am
 
Does anyone know the minimum rack I could bring on this route and be fine with? Would I be fine with a set of nuts doubles mid-range, and a green and red camalot, slings, draws etc. What would people recommend?
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schaffner

Trad climber
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   Dec 13, 2010 - 12:22am
Just checked the route out this weekend. Looked pretty wet, water was running down the chimney start and there was definitely a small waterfall running over the pendulum pitch. So we backed off and didn't even start.
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Brent Mattix

Trad climber
Roseville, CA
Jun 22, 2011 - 09:47am
 
Went up yesterday. All clear. A little water in places, but nothing to fret. Only saw one other party all day.
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Liam

Trad climber
Berkeley
Jan 9, 2012 - 11:16pm
 
Awsome Climb ! Had to ditch a stuck a rope on the rap route last sunday. It's a Blue 8.2 (Half of a set of twin ropes) I have a REWARD (+ good climbing karma) if it comes back
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Rattlesnake Arch

Social climber
Home is where we park it
Feb 28, 2012 - 06:56am
 
Royal Arches Route (solo, car-to-car)
1. 0:52:26 -- Cedar Wright May 2000
2. 0:57 -- Dean Potter. Fall 1998
3. 0:57:04 -- Kevin Thaw. 1999

http://www.speedclimb.com/
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ZachW

Trad climber
Berkeley, CA
Jul 4, 2012 - 11:35pm
 
Anyone know if the spring at the top is running? We're doing the linkup with Crest Jewel and would rather not carry the full day's worth of water all the way up RA.
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On-Site Flasher 69

Sport climber
Riverside
Jan 18, 2012 - 01:53pm
 
nobody cares about your mediocre ascent of the royal arches. People pleases, stop posting stupid beta. Nobody cares about how fast you climbed a 5.7 route, or about how much people were on route that day, or about how much pitches you simul-climbed. Nobody Cares! I really hope this beta helps.
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Royal Arches Area - Royal Arches 5.10b or 5.7 A0 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click to Enlarge
A surprisingly moderate passage on such a large wall.
Photo: Chris McNamara
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