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!!! :)
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.
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
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!
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.
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.
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 ;-)
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
Packin' the #6 for the runnout face
Slinging heads from a chimney when you only have one #5 and one #6 for 60m of OW
Tom cranking past the 10c crux into the finger crack with the aid of camera tilt.
The views are terrible
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
Full 60+m 5.8 pitch of hands on the left and fingers on the right
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..............
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.
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.
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!!
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... ;)
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....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 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.
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, 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.
I'm glad someone's out there gettin' it done! I used to think good rock was a limited resource, but lately I've seen soo soo much on drive-by's in different areas that I can't see it all getting tapped out.
Limpingcrab, I was just over at that MP sight, nice share on girth hitching the belay loop, ,
limpin' tell them to add a second loop to the belay loop ! If they worry about the force: Work, on the webbing,
Say WOW to this !
this is a March. . . . but the rewards look worth a bivy or a five day?
The prominent chimney is the Boardwalk Chimney. I would say it one of the best first chimney leads because it protects well in cruxy sections and is really secure. Looks steep as hell from across, but it is actually fairly slabby. So in the upper section there is a 5.6 squeeze that is tough, but difficult to fall out of. Feels real though when you are leading! As far as a 3 pitch 5.8 chimney/OW route, this one is great. All pitches are almost 60M long. No bolts. Good creative gear belays.
But....don't go there! It is a shitty place!!! No crowds, water is like 30 seconds from camp if you are a slow walker, lots of unexplored rock, the views constantly bother your eyes, no choss on routes, even in chimneys and offwidths.
Seriously though, the only thing that is kind of tricky is lack of a maintained trail. We picked the best route from camp to the base of the Lower Tokopah Dome and placed frequent cairns. But getting to camp requires cross country travel for a few miles. Honestly it is fairly straight forward and you won't bushwhack much, but your typical cragger won't like it.
Also, we put in a rap route which is great for it you have two 60M ropes. Walk off the west side is quicker. If you go from the east side it is more scenic and has a cool waterfall, but stay low when you get down. Don't traverse the base, go like 300 ft lower or you will endure 5.13 R X bushwhacking. Worst bushwhacking I have had in my life.
Few from this weekend
Homeboy just got to camp. This place sucks!
Credit: Vitaliy M.
The views are sort of nice and the rock is too good!
Credit: Vitaliy M.
I noticed the chicken heads are very convenient for rope stacking. :)