South Face, Mt. Watkins C2 5.8

 
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Yosemite Valley, California USA

  • Currently 5.0/5
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2 Total Ratings
5 star: 100%  (2)
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Buju

Big Wall climber
the range of light
Jun 7, 2010 - 10:56am
 
Did it last weekend...here is what I can remember...

We had a 70 m rope, no iron, 1 #5 and 2 #4s

In general, this route felt a lot harder to me than Half Dome. Usually when I see the "5.8 C2" rating, I think the climb will be a hike. There was a lot of runout climbing. As the route is now, I woudl rate the climbing we did 5.9+ C3. I don't mean to scare anyone, because this climb was FUN and beautiful. It is a must do for any valley climber!

Pitch 1: WAY long...we had to simul-climb a bit, even with a 70 m rope.

Pitch 2: pretty simple...2 raps with a 70m

Pitches 3 + 4: link easily

Pitch 6: probably about 160 ft long...

Pitches 7/8: tricky routefinding and poor pro over blocky 5.9 and 5.8. We could not find ANY 5.9 finger crack.

Pitch 9: The last bolt is missing in the bolt ladder (see previous post). I bypassed it by penji-ing right and free climbing some 5.10

Pitch 11: This pitch has a badass ledge on it. It could sleep up to 4 people

Pitch 12: Routefinding off of this ledge is tricky. When standing at the 11th belay, you look up and right to a splitter little crack. This seemed like the way to go. It was C1 until you bust a couple of 5.9 face moves to get to the anchor.

Pitch 14: This was hard climbing. I gardened out a couple of placements.

Pitch 15: This bolt ladder is in incredibly poor shape and really needs some help...

Pitch 17: NO FUN
Pitch 18: WAY FUN
Pitch 19: SUPER FUN!
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TeleK

Mountain climber
San Francisco
May 4, 2010 - 05:52pm
 
Here's a TR from 2 years back... I think I posted this somewhere on supertopo.

http://telek.smugmug.com/Climbing/S-Face-of-Mt-Watkins-with-Nick/5245091_LKtGN
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Mike Dahlquist

Trad climber
Oakland, CA
Jun 10, 2009 - 01:47pm
 
http://www.summitpost.org/trip-report/519850/mount-watkins-south-face.html
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Mike Dahlquist

Trad climber
Oakland, CA
May 28, 2009 - 10:56pm
 
Brett Marty, Saylor Flett and I climbed the route over the weekend. Pins are completely unnecessary, we didn't bring any and didn't need any. Hybrid Aliens (like always) were very helpful. We replaced one bolt on the first rappel with a 3/8 x 3.5" bolt, and added one to the second rappel. The time bomb on the top of pitch 9 went off too, Brett managed to mantle and pull himself over the top after it levered out as he was pushing off his top step. It would probably be difficult to get past this move without replacing the bolt. (hook placement?)
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
May 24, 2009 - 11:05pm
 
great route photos here

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=590534
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Feb 3, 2009 - 10:46pm
 
great photo trip report here

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=778437
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Jul 25, 2008 - 01:21pm
 
Fist ascent account by Chuck Pratt:

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=637156
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cgw

Trad climber
Santa Barbara
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   Apr 3, 2007 - 12:43am
We climbed this route over the second weekend in March.

Useful beta to know would be:

Pitch 1: These are both 35m raps (we had a 70m rope).

Pitch 2: This pitch does not begin with hooking. Free climb up right into left facing corners, aiming for the prominent tree.

Pitch 7: Face climb off right, then wander back left. We did not find a prominent 5.9 finger crack that looked well-travelled.

Pitch 12: There is no visible bolted 5.9 face option. In fact, there is no way (as far as we could tell) that this terrain would go at that grade.

Pitch 13: Penji right off the bolted belay, then reach left and clip the fixed pin you can see straight up from the belay. The downward pointing horn above the belay moves if you tug on it!

Pitch 15: This pitch starts with two very large ledges. We belayed from the lower ledge, from which free var. bolts go up and right.

Pitch 19: This pitch is justifiably dificult to draw on a topo. Free climb up the cool lieback crack (5.6), then go around the corner, head left up the bolted face, clip a hidden fixed blade around the arete, then clip the new 3/8" bolt right over the roof, with the entire South Face below you. Sweet!
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Mr_T

Trad climber
Northern California
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   Jul 7, 2006 - 05:57pm
Only got to below Sheraton Watkins 4 years ago. Had three people rather than two - made everything painfully slow. Way too hot. Would have run out of water well below the summit. Bailed.

If the upper pitches are any reflection of the lower ones, this is a damn good route. Approach to the base of Watkins is fairly easy - use your head, it's not that long. However, it is longer than you think getting up to the starting ledge. If the creek is going, you'll be able to fill up near the base.

Lower pitches had some solid 5.10 - pretty fun stuff.

I vaguely recall bringing a #5 for one of the OW sections.
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The Randy One

Trad climber
Denver
Mar 31, 2006 - 10:54am
 
Kinda echoing "Pappy" here: what is the deal with this route? Did RNWF of Half Dome in a day last year without too much trouble, would like to do this same on this one. How much more involved is this route? How good is this route? Cool free-climbing? I'm ok up to 11+ or so: how much hard (11+-12) climbing is there on this rig? Any special gadgets required for the the short clean aid sections?

Any help greatly appreciated.

Randy
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Pappy69

Social climber
Beef Curtains, Neb.
Oct 16, 2005 - 01:05am
 
How cool is this route, anyway? Good free-climbing?

How does it go in-a-day compared to HalfDome RNWF?

Thanks
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mtnyoung

Trad climber
Twain Harte, California
Apr 8, 2005 - 12:50am
 
Yeah, huh? I think your description is to Half Dome(and the screwup, if it is one, means, alas, you're human too. But you knew that. Welcome to the club).
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clustiere

Trad climber
Twain Harte, California
Apr 5, 2005 - 05:35am
 
Isn't that the betta fer Half Dome???????????
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Mt. Watkins - South Face C2 5.8 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click to Enlarge
Photo: Nabeel Atique
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