Trip Report
Adventures in Tokopah Valley
Tuesday June 10, 2014 2:08pm
DISCLAIMER:

I do not claim that every pitch and every climb that we have done on Tokopah Domes was a definite first ascent and I do know for sure that other routes have been climbed on these formations. We did a lot of research and figured out where some of the other climbed routes on the domes went but decided to climb up terrain that seemed virgin. Even if some of these have been climbed, I value the adventure and first ascent experience that we all enjoyed. All climbs were pretty good, but Tokopah Reality (5.11 700ft) stood out as a super awesome line that other people SHOULD go climb! Especially if you live in SoCal or Fresno area, it is a must!!!! My friend and I all thought it had one of the best pitches that we climbed anywhere!! And if you want info, check out the pages on MP or PM me! All routes went ground up, for those who care. BUT, we plan to come out and rap bolt and chisel two finger pockets at some point...so get out there and climb your test piece death routes before we get the hardware!! :)

Crux of Tokopah Reality. Bro, if you want to ONSIGHT, DON'T WATCH ITTT!!! :)


There are A LOT of photos and stories that I posted on my blog. Re-posting all of them would be hell, and I am lazy, so please go through the inconvenience to click the link if you are interested:
http://vividrea1ity.blogspot.com/2014/05/tokopah-reality-fa-511-600ft.html

Here are a few for the preview:


Lower Tokopah Dome with routes we did drawn in. Purple line, the unknown route, actually extends to the ledge. Not sure if it was aided or freed. Photo ripped from another awesome blog - southernsierraclimber.blogspot.com


Oh the scenery is awesome!!


The rock around is awesome too!!


The climbing is bad ass!!! Me on the crux of Tokopah Reality. Incredible pitch.




Flawless granite


Wild Knobs!!


Upper part of Santa Cruz Dome (Upper Tokopah Dome)


Daniel leading the last pitch of Beauty and the Beast


Daniel following an awesome face pitch on Beauty and the Beast


Oh yeah, the views..


Pretty water falls


Amazing 60M OW. Starts from handcrack on the right, crank into the thin crack left and into the OW from there


Offwidths!


Crankin!!


Badass dikes!


Chicken, chicken...CHICKENHEADS!


Awesome climbing on these knobs and chicken heads


SICK SLAB too!! Tom sending Welcome to Wallmart, which he bolted on lead. Pitch one is BADASS. Credit where credit is due!

MP BETA PAGES:
Lower Tokopah Dome
Tokopah Reality (700 ft 5.11) http://mountainproject.com/v/tokopah-reality/109058210
Welcome to Wallmart (550ft 5.10+) http://mountainproject.com/v/welcome-to-wallmart/109060275
Boardwalk Chimney (550 ft 5.8) http://mountainproject.com/v/the-boardwalk-chimney/109058617
Beauty and the Beast (650 ft 5.11- A0) http://mountainproject.com/v/beauty-and-the-beast/109066966

UPPER TOKOPAH DOME:
Usually its Sunny (800ft 5.10c) http://mountainproject.com/v/usually-its-sunny/109037437
Tan in November (400ft 5.9) http://mountainproject.com/v/tan-in-november/109072019

  Trip Report Views: 1,662
Vitaliy M.
About the Author
Vitaliy M. is annoying gym climber from San Francisco.

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mucci

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
  Jun 10, 2014 - 02:18pm PT
Bitchin!

Man, hard to beat southern Sierra stone. You guys should have kept this to yourself!

Love that shot of you leading the chicken head headwall.


Classic.
RyanD

climber
Squamish
  Jun 10, 2014 - 02:43pm PT
Wow!

That was awesome. Thanks V!
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Author's Reply  Jun 10, 2014 - 02:46pm PT
Mucci, I hiked out there like four or five times and have a strong desire to do exploratory climbing in other places. Seemed like my other friends are in similar boat. CA has TOO many spots where you can explore and climb new routes. To be honest, I really want others to come out and enjoy it! Tokopah Reality is really a MUST do climb IMHO!
It is fairly hot there and mosquitoes are kind of bad. But it will be a great spot on a cooler summer weekend or in the Fall/Spring.

PS: If you want to do some SICK aid, you can take an arching crack under the giant roof and possibly nail under a thin flake that goes through it. It seemed a bit blank in a few spots so you might do a rivet/bolt hole ladder or whatever, but it seemed pretty wild.
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
  Jun 10, 2014 - 02:50pm PT
F'n Sweet!
TFPU
Tad
Flip Flop

Trad climber
Truckee, CA
  Jun 10, 2014 - 03:00pm PT
Stoke factor 10.
PAUL SOUZA

Trad climber
Central Valley, CA
  Jun 10, 2014 - 03:00pm PT
BADASS!! Way to git after it!

Dude, if you ever need a partner, hit me up! I'm here in the 'No. ;)
dirt claud

Social climber
san diego,ca
  Jun 10, 2014 - 03:05pm PT
Awesome man, that area is full of FAs to be had. You should check out all the stuff near Zumwalt meadows on the Kings Canyon side too. Thanks for the TR, great pics!!
rincon

Trad climber
Coarsegold
  Jun 10, 2014 - 03:06pm PT
Looks good!
W.L.

climber
Edge of the Electric Ocean Beneath Red Rock
  Jun 10, 2014 - 03:09pm PT
Looks like you guys are going cherry picking there and man do the results look enticing. Freaking exceptional work, man. Way to crush it crusher braj!!!!!!
skcreidc

Social climber
SD, CA
  Jun 10, 2014 - 03:49pm PT
Wow. You all got a lot of work done. And there is even stuff I might be able to do. So these chicken heads, fields of chicken heads...how many were snapping off on ya? The ones I were able to see up close look pretty solid... Serious Q Welcome to Walmart looks interesting.


Either way, NICE WORK!!!

Edit; just read your blog and MP post. Very nice work. That chimney looks fun too.

Thanks for putting all this up.
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
  Jun 10, 2014 - 04:26pm PT
Oh this looks AMAZING.

Plus bonus Ricki Martin jam?! PLUS the Reach-Around Flake? It's overwhelming, man.

Quality!
drljefe

climber
El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
  Jun 10, 2014 - 04:22pm PT
Nectar.
Radish

Trad climber
SeKi, California
  Jun 10, 2014 - 04:48pm PT
Great Adventures!! Nice Job with all the routes up there. Alpine country. Where did you take the pic showing the lines drawn up on the Dome from??
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
  Jun 10, 2014 - 05:02pm PT
Thanks for sharing.

Looks great.

Rudbud

Gym climber
Grover Beach, CA
  Jun 10, 2014 - 05:34pm PT
You forgot to tell about the special rack needed for the domes. A minimum of one 12 pack is always worth the leg burn.

We should head back soon...
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Author's Reply  Jun 10, 2014 - 06:52pm PT
Radish, check out the caption for that photo. I took it from the internet. I had a few photos of them from the watchtower, but nowhere as good as that for showing the lines etc.

Tom, we should in the fall. Its fairly hot and mosquitoes are bad.
HighTraverse

Trad climber
Bay Area
  Jun 10, 2014 - 06:55pm PT
caught my attention!
What do you figure for a reconnaissance hike? 5 hours round trip?
I'll be out that way in September but won't have time to do a real climb.
Captain...or Skully

climber
in the oil patch...Fricken Bakken, that's where
  Jun 10, 2014 - 10:25pm PT
My Buddy Phil & I climbed around some out there in '96 or so when we climbed the Watchtower......There's a STACK of cool stones to clamber on, huh?
TFPU, even!!!
RyanD

climber
Squamish
  Jun 11, 2014 - 12:04am PT
I just did another lap on this & watched the vid(missed it on the onsight read).

Proud line you guys picked!


Swingin around like a boss and shet.


I also noticed less words on this tr than usual. I always enjoy your writing but this rapid fire injection of banger photos into my cortex was equally great. This new Moosedrool style seems to be catching on ;-)
kaholatingtong

Trad climber
Nevada City
  Jun 11, 2014 - 07:08am PT
wow. tfpu. looks pretty awesome.
eKat

Trad climber
  Jun 11, 2014 - 07:14am PT
WOW. . . what a place. . . those elongated, platey knob units are really cool.

TFPU!
limpingcrab

Trad climber
the middle of CA
  Jun 11, 2014 - 08:19am PT
Nice! Tom (rudbud) and Vitaliy are the real deal! When I lead new routes I turn into a big sissy but they just go for it! Great pictures, but you wrote some good stuff on your blog so you should be less of a lazy bum and copy/paste it on over. Except you can leave the part out about me dropping our haul bag with all the water, food, bail gear, drill and approach shoes :)

Upper Tokopah Dome (AKA Santa Cruz Dome) and Lower Tokopah Dome
Upper Tokopah Dome (AKA Santa Cruz Dome) and Lower Tokopah Dome
Credit: limpingcrab
Packin' the #6 for the runnout face
Packin' the #6 for the runnout face
Credit: limpingcrab
Slinging heads from a chimney when you only have one #5 and one #6 for...
Slinging heads from a chimney when you only have one #5 and one #6 for 60m of OW
Credit: limpingcrab
Tom cranking past the 10c crux into the finger crack with the aid of c...
Tom cranking past the 10c crux into the finger crack with the aid of camera tilt.
Credit: limpingcrab
The views are terrible
The views are terrible
Credit: limpingcrab

And if anyone is interested in the other route on the upper dome here's a teaser and the topo. Good intro to the area and not super committing.

Matt on the glorious final headwall
Matt on the glorious final headwall
Credit: limpingcrab
Full 60+m 5.8 pitch of hands on the left and fingers on the right
Full 60+m 5.8 pitch of hands on the left and fingers on the right
Credit: limpingcrab
Crappy topo
Crappy topo
Credit: limpingcrab

le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
  Jun 11, 2014 - 09:14am PT
Limpingcrab: WOW! Thinking just changed from "ought to get there this fall" to "MUST GET THERE THIS FALL"

Damn, guys, nice going - I mean look at that stone!
Radish

Trad climber
SeKi, California
  Jun 11, 2014 - 01:05pm PT
Whoa........Gonna have to clean my glasses!! Thanks for the Kudos Vitaliy!! Again, you guys are the Pioneers and I'm at the edge of my seat reading your posts. Thanks for sharing and Thanks for setting me straight! Looking forward to seeing more..............
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Jun 11, 2014 - 02:56pm PT
Kool!!!!!
Stoke!!!
lars johansen

Trad climber
West Marin, CA
  Jun 12, 2014 - 08:19am PT
Absolutely beautiful, thanks.
lars
The Larry

climber
Moab, UT
  Jun 12, 2014 - 08:51am PT
Must get out there.
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Jun 12, 2014 - 09:00am PT
Fuk Fuk Fuk......


Well done men!
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Author's Reply  Jun 12, 2014 - 10:06am PT
High Traverse, about 2.5 hours one way plus whatever time you would want to spent up there exploring. The place has a lot of rock and I could see myself spending several hours walking around there.

Radish, even though I have not met you, Daniel told me so much good stuff about you that I feel like I know you. Maybe I do a little through your awesome blog too. I see a lot of cliffs where I would love to climb some day on it. I really appreciate all the guys that post a lot of cool spots around our state to the internet. Climb on!
PS: Where did YOU take that photo from? :)

Thanks for all the positive comments, some of you should get out there, and if anyone wants to go there this Fall, PM me at some point. I think I might run out of partners to go there haha. Or if I don't, would be welcome to come up with us. There are a lot of cool pitches up there and we would be happy to give someone a little tour. Its one of those places where one would be happy to have other guys/gals to share the adventures with. Campfire would be a lot more fun with more than 3-4 people.
ground_up

Trad climber
mt. hood /baja
  Jun 12, 2014 - 10:19am PT
Holy Schiz .... Nice ! That is what it's about.
Will be planning a visit there .
Michelle

Social climber
1187 Hunterwasser
  Jun 12, 2014 - 10:41am PT
No Taco Bell Terror route name?? Lol always love your adventures.
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
  Jun 12, 2014 - 12:32pm PT
I first visited Tokopah Valley as a climber in 1971, shortly after Rowell told me about his Watchtower route, and took a comprehensive set of snapshots. I intended to return with climbing gear and feast on the plethora of unclimbed granite, but I got distracted climbing farther north in the Sierra. Looking at this trip report shows what a mistake I made. Great photos, report and climbing, Vitaly! Thank you for posting this.

John
Macronut

Trad climber
Fresno, Ca
  Jun 12, 2014 - 01:12pm PT
Holy crap you guys are some BAAAD dudes! Nice work. Thanks for paving the road.
snowhazed

Trad climber
Oaksterdam, CA
  Jun 12, 2014 - 02:25pm PT
super duper!
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
  Jun 12, 2014 - 03:11pm PT
Moma Mia pizza pie! That is some drool on my chin...
Radish

Trad climber
SeKi, California
  Jun 12, 2014 - 04:38pm PT
Thanks Vitaliy, Aside from reading about Honnolds lastest climbgasms, your adventures inspire me through out the week here at work.I check your blog too!Great Pics and Great Writing. Fortunatly, I'm right here working the Fire Crew in SEKI. I have a ton of stuff for my blog still and new rock wall Helicopter views too. Thanks again for the support and keep up the Good Life for all of us to check out!!
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Author's Reply  Jun 12, 2014 - 10:23pm PT
No Taco Bell Terror route name??

Michelle, that was for a different project. :)

JElezerian, I am glad you guys didn't :) Feel kind of bad about bringing light onto this area. Maybe I am ruining an adventure for someone in the future. But in the same time, maybe I am opening up a bag of cookies for those who want one and are willing to work for it now!

Radish, glad you like it. I do try to take exciting photos and get people excited to go climbing. I get a lot of excitement from looking at other people's posts. See a place, hear about a place and get sick with desire to experience it myself. MANY places on your blog that are on my list. Hope there will be some TRs in the future... ;)
johntp

Trad climber
socal
  Jun 13, 2014 - 06:49am PT
Bump for a BBST
lostinshanghai

Social climber
someplace
  Jun 13, 2014 - 09:31am PT
Vitaliy

“I do try to take exciting photos” True plus the TR.

Just want to know what Camera you are using. It’s all in the colouring or tones. Obvious not a plastic lens.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Author's Reply  Jun 13, 2014 - 10:48am PT
My favorite camera so far is Panasonic Lumix DMC ZS19, but I dropped it from the Rostrum last year. Replaced it with another Lumix which was a lot cheaper (under 100$) and smaller, but did not perform as well. These photos were from that one. Now the screen of the cheap Lumix cracked and I found a really cheap Nikon for 99$ that seems to be really good. Original cost was almost 300$, but it was from a refurbished web site so the price is a lot lower. I figured it would make a lot more sense to buy cheap cameras since I get them through a lot of abuse. Got a case for it, but dings still happen.
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
  Jun 13, 2014 - 02:53pm PT
I know that Nick Badurka (sp) did a climb out there in the late 70's..... said he put in a few bolts.

I think that is how these got named "Santa Cruz Dome" I may be wrong on that.

I started trying to climb the Watchtower in like 1975.... then John Long went and jumped the line!!! All Along the Watchtower.

But the LINE is still not completed, the top 40% is unclimbed.

Radish

Trad climber
SeKi, California
  Jun 13, 2014 - 04:22pm PT
Guyman....I think that one crack way up on the tip, the last pitch of "All along the Watchtower" got done by a couple of friends of mine back a few years. I know Scott Crosgrove worked on something up there too. Maybe he'll chime in here.
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
  Jun 13, 2014 - 04:54pm PT
Radish... if that is true, cool. How did they get up the blank section? I wanted to drill a bolt ladder, by hand- Harding style, but got talked out of it.

Looks like we will be poking around up there this fall.

Again.... great score Mr. V and limpingcrab.

aldude

climber
Monument Manor
  Jun 13, 2014 - 05:23pm PT
Funky Neurosis....fa Badyrka,LiCon,Swanson.4 pitches,5.9....where is it?
limpingcrab

Trad climber
the middle of CA
  Jun 14, 2014 - 01:23am PT
Guyman and Aldude,
I talked to Nick B and he was really helpful in locating funky neurosis. It actually crosses It's Usually Sunny after the first pitch. They started in the corner and then took off up a crack to some big knobs while we took a thin crack into the corner and then followed the corner through the flare and all the way up, if that makes sense.

I also know a couple people who attampted the lower dome a while back but haven't confirmed any other routes to the summit there either. Many of th people who climbed in the area have been seasonal staff so it's hard to get solid historical info.
aldude

climber
Monument Manor
  Jun 13, 2014 - 09:46pm PT
Let's see a pic of Santa Cruz dome....as we called it from the Watchtower plz
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
  Jun 14, 2014 - 12:08am PT
hey there say, vitaliy... very nice trip report... nice pics, thanks so much!
limpingcrab

Trad climber
the middle of CA
  Jun 15, 2014 - 08:42pm PT
Let's see a pic of Santa Cruz dome....as we called it from the Watchtower plz

Here they both are from across the valley. Santa Cruz Dome (AKA Upper Tokopah Dome) and Lower Tokopah Dome.
Upper Tokopah Dome (AKA Santa Cruz Dome) and Lower Tokopah Dome
Upper Tokopah Dome (AKA Santa Cruz Dome) and Lower Tokopah Dome
Credit: limpingcrab

Here's a close up of the three known routes on Santa Cruz, the upper dome. Yellow= Usually It's Sunny, Red= Funky Neurosis, Green= Tan In November
Credit: limpingcrab

QITNL

climber
  Jun 19, 2014 - 01:49am PT
I was hiking with a buddy down there last weekend, my first trip to the area. Nice to see this when I got home. We were limping on the crab tracks of our forefathers.



Wider angle:



I had a feeling there was some climbing down there.
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
  Jun 19, 2014 - 08:37am PT
Crab... cool, diggin for the history.

Funky Neurosis.... Now I know, and you have saved me some walking.

Looking forward to visiting...

Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Author's Reply  Jun 19, 2014 - 09:10am PT
Guyman, do you think it is possible to get up to that crack that goes up the headwall on the Watchtower without aid? I read that you rapped the face at some point to check it out and you thought maybe ledgy climbing up right could be doable? I would love to climb that headwall. The Watchtower is a beautiful piece of rock.

So these domes are actually on the ridgeline, not far from the top of Mt. Silliman huh?
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
  Jun 19, 2014 - 09:50am PT
Guyman, do you think it is possible to get up to that crack that goes up the headwall on the Watchtower without aid?

No, The big corner is A4 ish, no real crack in that corner.. I don't think you could free the pendulium (sp) that gets you out to the right side crack system. The right side crack system is what gets you up and past the huge roof that caps the corner. Looking at the crack from that point, its still up above about 100 feet or so, blank face, overhanging...

I rapped off from the top down about 1/2 rope to get a look at the top of the crack.... its a good crack, goes to the top/summit directly.

I think that the crack will go, but getting to the bottom of it will take some aid.

Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Author's Reply  Jun 19, 2014 - 09:53am PT
I see. I guess that solves it. Will hike to the top, rap to the base of the crack, make an anchor and lead it from there. Or top rope it. Cool bananas!
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
  Jun 19, 2014 - 10:41am PT
Vitality.... you know the crack drops down the overhanging side of the Watchtower, goes down and becomes a water streak/ waterfall.

Looking fwd to the TR on that one.

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