Serenity Crack, Royal Arches Area 5.10d

 
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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
17 Total Ratings
5 star: 76%  (13)
4 star: 6%  (1)
3 star: 18%  (3)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
LongAgo

Trad climber
Apr 16, 2013 - 11:18pm
 
Historical note: there was no bolt on the first pitch when Chris Jones and I did the first free ascent of this route way back when. Of course, in those days, we used pins and maybe a baby angle tied off provided the protection, or a thick lost arrow or .... Glad to hear some say the right cam or nut now does the job and the route is back to how it was.

Tom Higgins
LongAgo
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
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   Apr 2, 2002 - 09:39am
climbed this route yesterday in what felt like 80 degree temps (in april!) not another party on the route. a few damp sections on the first pitch but otherwise dry.

some notes on the SuperTopo:
 on pitch two, I did a variation that Peter Croft told me was the key to feeling secure on the route while soloing. instead of traversing right where the topo shows on thin and scary face moves, i traversed down low. the moves were only slightly easier than the standard way but they were much more secure. also, you can place a piece up high and essentially do the move on toprope. it looks like the crack is filled with munge, but in reality, it has great finger locks. i will put this in the next edition of the topo

 the conditions felt so hot that i chickened out on leading the 5.10d pitch. I also wanted to check out a variation that Greg Barnes had told me about. instead of climbing the 5.10d, i traversed left into Ahwahnee Buttress and climbed a 5.9 pitch (the Reid guide sandbags this pitch and calls it 5.7). the 5.9 involved liebacking a rounded corner and felt slightly insecure, especially since some of the gear was placed in decomposing rock. This pitch is easier than the 5.10d pitch but not as straight-forward or classic.

 i only brought one 60m rope which is the way to go. all the rappels on the rap route are 90 feet long
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Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Sep 9, 2002 - 10:13am
 

Went up to do this route yesterday arount 2:00 hoping that the crowds would have thinned out. There was a party on both the 2nd and 3rd pitches, and two parties on the first (the follower of a party of 3 finishing and the leader of the next group heading out.) Another party was waiting behind them.

We did Trial by Fire up to Super Slide instead. It was and easier (at least the part above the "5.8" OW/squeeze flare) and mungier route, but it still had some nice spitter cracks and was a lot of fun. There are brand new rap anchors all on all of the pitches, even on the two connector pitches that aren't in the Reid guide. Bring 2 ropes to rap.
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pbnjay

climber
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   Feb 28, 2003 - 09:04pm
whoa...it is well worth mentioning that the first 25 or so feet of this climb is UNPROTECTED, and the climbing is not trivial! you can get a good cam in about 5 feet below the bolt, but only if it is narrow (.75 camalot won't work--needs to be a tcu, or narrow fcu). this is a serious section and it will scare any new 5.10 leader.

The first pitch is horribly scared, which gives it a manufactored feel--thus the 3 stars
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Greg Barnes

climber
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   Mar 3, 2003 - 11:15am
pbnjay - the first 30' or so are unprotected/really bad pro, and a lot of people freak at that. There's a hard move or two off the deck getting into the "crack."

BUT, in all fairness, after that first move it's 5.7 or 5.8 slabby climbing with good pinches and such, and for someone intending to lead 5.10a (let alone 5.10d), it should be "trivial". I led it the first time in early season with lots of water running down the crack, I hate slab, and I'm not a great climber by anyone's standard (when I led it my hardest trad lead ever was a 5.10a), and it really is EASY. It's just head games, a lot of people want good gear or they freak, no matter what the climbing is like.

To help my head game on that pitch, I just think "if I fall I'll just slide back down, not likely to do more than bust an ankle at the worst..." Stay calm, weight on the feet, and chill out - do that and you'll see that it's actually easy & fun!

Greg
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raincoast

climber
Mar 11, 2003 - 12:53am
 
Have not been on Serenity in a couple of years but I do remember an slot between two of the pin scars about 2/3s of the way to the bolt that takes a good size 3 or 4 Rock.
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pbnjay

climber
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   Mar 16, 2003 - 12:44pm
i hate to argue, but I will stick by my advice on this one...although my conscience is clear, now that at least someone has brought up the runout. it is not even mentioned in the guidebook. anyways, new 5.10 leaders--who are solid at 5.9 are mostly not confortable climbing 5.8 s/vs 30 feet off the deck with a bad landing--hardly a slide down! those solid at the 5.10 level will be fine. perhaps, my memory is faultering, but i will go back to SC this spring and climb this horribly pin scarred, manufactured route again when it's not 90 degrees outside just to make sure. the higher up you go, the better (less manufactured) the climbing gets. i wonder how hard, if possible, the first pitch would have been had it not have been nailed up so long ago. those who love rock will be shocked at the state of the first 30 feet. my two cents Jay
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Bob Jones

Trad climber
san luis obispo
Mar 16, 2003 - 01:03pm
 
with all of the bolt chop happy people out there im surprized that one is still there. isnt there good pro a few feet after the bolt anyways?
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Colt45

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
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   Nov 12, 2003 - 06:28pm
I was able to get some reasonable pro before the bolt--bomber orange alien at ~10ft, then questionable but OK cam placements at ~25ft (2 cams of a red camalot, also 2 cams of a green camalot a few inches above that).

I saw a couple of potential nut placements along the way, but it seemed easier to just climb through and go with what I had.

That said, I agree that this section would be quite intimidating for someone just breaking into the realm of 5.10. However the rest of the route is well protected, fun, interesting, and spectacular!!

So, does anyone know why that lone bolt is up there? It is right next to the first place in the crack where you can easily get bomber pro. If there were going to be a bolt at all, I would expect it to be about 10 feet lower down. Just curious about the route's history.
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clustiere

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Nov 13, 2003 - 09:48am
 
I believe the bolt had someting to do with stopping the zipper effect that could easily occur here (if you chose to place many nuts.
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Jy

Trad climber
California
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   Jun 20, 2004 - 08:30pm
I recently did this route and the first thirty feet as I remember had two placements which I used, one as someone said at about ten feet off the deck and the other at maybe twenty or so, which does make the route somewhat runout but it was decently easy upto the bolt so if I had to do it again I would probably just push for the bolt and clip it, if you feel safe doing that, if not Id say put in the gear cause there are spots and do it. Have fun.
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malabarista

Trad climber
California
Sep 19, 2004 - 05:19pm
 
Pitch 1 is the hardest on the route. Less rests than pitch 2 and 3. I didn't seem worth it to place any gear before the bolt. It's a heady run-out, but the hardest moves before the bolt are right off the deck, you are at the bolt before you even know it. The rest of the pitch sucks up nuts.

We were carrying a second rope and a camelback. After leading the P3 crux I hauled them up (can easily be done with the other half of a 60m rope) so my partner wouldn't have to climb the 10D section with that extra weight.
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DavisGunkie

Trad climber
California
Mar 15, 2005 - 10:54am
 
as of Sunday 3/13/05 the first pitch was mostly dry, there was a small water streak but it didn't really effect any of the pockets.

though we decided to bail after the second pitch sinc eit was starting to rain kind of hard.

i was able to get two good pieces before the bolt on the first pitch, first was a brown tricam and teh second was an orange alien i think. though the climbing up to the bolt didnt seem all that hard compared to higher up.

it was a great day out, though a touch windy. i wish i could have finished the last pitch

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Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Apr 27, 2005 - 12:41pm
 
OK, the first pitch is NOT the crux of the route. That's why it's only rated .10a whereas the last pitch is rated .10d. In fact, in earlier versions of the guidebook, it was rated 5.9 and nobody quibbled about it. If you're having that much difficulty, though, you probably need to assess your prospects of sending the 3rd pitch.
Moreover, you can get pro before the bolt. I remember at least one good Rock, and though I climbed it pre-alien, I suspect you can probably sink a decent one or two of those. You're probably better off not dinking around too much trying to stitch it up like a sport's climb. Also, rather than trying to jam the pin scars, just pinch the fin of rock between them.
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WC

Trad climber
Flagstaff, AZ
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   Apr 27, 2005 - 02:06pm
I took malabarista's comments on pitch one to be refering to "hardest to protect" rather than the "hardest climbing on the route". In his second paragraph he mentions the P3 crux of the climb. Maybe I missinterpreted mal's remarks???

I loved this climb. Great finger locks most of the way, a cool crack switch on P2, and the crux coming right at the end of P3. One of these days I'll have to continue up Sons...

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ThomasKeefer

Trad climber
San Diego
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   May 16, 2005 - 01:40pm
The crux section is pretty thin fingers but not as long as the topo suggests. The section where you step up onto the grey knob is prob 10a and then it is about three harder moves to pinching some easier pin scars.
Also, my partner moved half way through the crux crack and then stepped right onto a slabby section to finish at the anchor... just another possibility that actually looked pretty neat, although it definitly would change the nature of the crux.
Great route... crowds galore though!
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BEN York

Mountain climber
Arcata CA
Oct 24, 2005 - 09:55am
 
the bolt is gone. i hope it stays this way, as the crack is perfectly protectable, and not very hard, compare with the rest of the route.
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sprout

Trad climber
clovis, ca
Oct 26, 2005 - 05:30pm
 
The bolt is gone, or you just missed it... !?
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Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Oct 27, 2005 - 05:10pm
 
According to posts on the Supertopo Forum, the bolt 22' up the first pitch of Serenity Crack was removed (and hole patched) sometime late on 10/20/05 or early on 10/21.

I climbed it on 11/5/05. A 1" TCU (Metolius #4 size) or a red Alien fits in a wide/oblong pocket 18" below the rust stain from the older 1/4" bolt. This is 20' off the ground. 5' higher are some handjams where more good pro can be placed, before you get to the crux moves on the pitch. The absence of the bolt has not prevented lots of people from doing the route over the past 2 weekends.

[edited 11/7]
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Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Oct 28, 2005 - 11:37am
 
I've also heard rumor of an orange alien or #4 WC rock also going in before the removed bolt.
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DavisGunkie

Trad climber
Davis, CA
Oct 28, 2005 - 12:30pm
 
well when i did it, i was able to get a good tricam ( brown or the next one up) and then higher up was able to get a bomber orange alien like 8-10 feet below the bolt i think.

i didn't think it was all that hard to protect, and that part of the pitch seemed fairly easy compared to the rest of the route
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Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
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   Nov 20, 2005 - 09:33am
Did this route again for the first time since the chopping. Got a bomber .75 camalot just inches below the patched bolt. No sweat.

If you wear really soft shoes, it will hurt more on the first pitch but you can use the crack at the crack better. If you wear stiffer shoes, the first pitch hurts less but forget about trying to toe jam the pin scars on the 10d

PEace

karl
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rick love

Trad climber
WI
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   May 27, 2006 - 11:37am
Just climbed Serenity Crack this week. The pin scars were wet on first pitch, but the rest was great. Sons of Yesterday (i thought was even better) Awesome climb. We had two parties in front of us but well worht the wait.
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vegastradguy

Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV
Jun 17, 2006 - 10:46am
 
karls right on that .75- i was really happy to get that piece in, especially because the first 40' of the pitch are soaking wet, which makes it a little more exciting! (if you're fast or lazy, depending, the crack dries up by noon or so....)

the crux is pretty wild- the feet are non-existent, but the locks are bomber. i just went for it- almost came off at the top, but thankfully didnt take the ride!

great route- and you ought to go to jail if you dont continue up Sons!
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Fingerlocks

Trad climber
where the climbin's good
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   Sep 22, 2006 - 07:55pm
Both this climb and Sons of Yesterday can be rapped with a 70 meter rope.
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Duke-

Trad climber
SF, aka: Dirkastan
Dec 13, 2006 - 08:18pm
 
Oh so000 good! W/Sons. Dave G. took me up this along time ago.
-D
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Thanh

Trad climber
California
Apr 18, 2009 - 09:30pm
 
The bolt on the first pitch of Serenity Crack is no longer there. Someone decided to chop the bolt. In Supertopo, it shows a bolt about 20-25 feet up. However, as of April 15, 2009 it is no longer there. Bring some off-set (Aliens or TCUs) cams to protect.
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slobmonster

Trad climber
OAK (nee NH)
Apr 20, 2009 - 11:25am
 
Anchor atop the third pitch is a tat-nest. There are also two superfluous, older bolts below this anchor. If you're heading up and feel like being a do-gooder, consider bringing about 3' of chain, asst links and rings, a knife, and your best buttonhead-pulling mojo (and some grey epoxy.)
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Two Pack Jack

climber
The hills
May 1, 2009 - 08:13am
 
Pitches 2 and 3 link with a 70m rope. Use runners and nuts down low (bring two #8 BD nuts to conserve TCUs/aliens for up high). Crux is blue/yellow TCUs or Green/yellow aliens.
I agree with the lower post, next time someone is up there, bring chain and rap-rings to fix the tat, and some epoxy w/prybar to get rid of those sketchy 1/4".
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jfailing

Trad climber
PDX, North Slope, The Open Road
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   Mar 29, 2010 - 06:28am
So good! The pin scars on the first pitch were surprisingly mellow for me, as well as the stepover on the second pitch. The stepover can be protected perfectly with a yellow DMM offset nut. Made the mistake of trailing an additional 60m to rap from the top of Sons. Yellow and blue mastercams can protect the crux.

Had to pull on gear to get through the crux, so I'll have to come back and send it clean...
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karodrinker

Trad climber
San Jose, CA
Jun 12, 2010 - 06:15pm
 
Did this route clean last week, super route for learning to depend on fingerlocks. Thought the 10b traverse was more insecure feeling than 10d crux for sure. the whole climb is slabby thin fingers with mostly good gear. loved it.
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Jeremy Hadland

Trad climber
aptos
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   Apr 16, 2013 - 07:04pm
my buddy Caleb and i linked up serenity and sons April 13th, 2013. Fantastic day of perfect Yosemite crack climbing. Pitch 1 of serenity was basically a stream of water for the first 30-40 feet. That's a lot of fun when you're super led out cause placing gear in those pin scars is pretty much useless. I guess some earlier postings suggest some gear that might work but my advice is don't waste too much time sifting through gear cause almost none of it will work...just climb till it gets cleaner up higher. I placed 2 sketchy pieces 10 feet off the ground then nothing for 15-20 more feet..do the math. although the first pitch rated 5.10, it really wasn't that hard once you're off the ground. physical crutch here is getting off the ground. pitch 2: not too hard and I thought the step over was pretty easy..like someone posted earlier protect it up high with a nut before you cross (Caleb led this). Pitch 3: ridiculous 5.9 hand jam/lieback crack that leads up to another ridiculous 5.10d steep clean finger tip fest (Caleb also led this manly section). protected with 2-3 small offset nuts. don't hand around too long placing gear here unless you're comfortable hanging on 1 or 2 finger tips on near vertical terrain. oh, btw..did i mention finger tips?..nothing for the feet. lets up just a bit last few moves to the ledge.
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msiddens

Trad climber
Oct 25, 2009 - 10:59am
 
Anyone know if this area on the Arches is open? I heard through the grapevine that it was closed due to "recent" rockfall. I'm a little shocked though.....
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Royal Arches Area - Serenity Crack 5.10d - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click to Enlarge
Serenity Crack follows elegant line up horrible pin scars.
Photo: Todd Snyder
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