Southwest Face C2 5.8

  • Currently 4.0/5

Liberty Cap

Yosemite Valley, California USA

Trip Report
Blackouts and Bush-Wrangling on Liberty Cap
Thursday October 29, 2009 12:29pm
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to haul a grade V bag up Royal Arches? Hopefully this TR can save you the trouble of ever having to find out how "fun" it really can be!

With 10 days off in between a couple courses I was working for Outward Bound in the Sierra, I headed into the Park to play on some little big walls. My initial plan was to solo Ten Days After on Washington Column, but some major stuck rope issues (scary!) forced me down after my second day on the wall.
After a couple days of getting my stuff down and decompressing with an ample supply of Cobras courtesy Ottowa Doug at the El Cap Bridge, I teamed up with my buddy from El Portal, Andy Esparza, to go climb a route on Liberty Cap that had always captured my interest.
Credit: Hoots

We racked up and hiked up the John Muir Trail, serving as amusement to the parched and dusty tourists who were amazed at the size of our packs (and that they weren't full of beer.) The best part though, was stopping for water along the trail, and several different people, thinking my open haulbag was a garbage can, threw their trash in it!
We made it up to the base, fixed a pitch, and went to hang out at a pool below Nevada Falls to relax and fill up our water bottles.
The next day came quick, and we started taking care of business pretty early. The second pitch featured a bitchin' 5.9 handcrack, and I got to lead the best pitch of the route, a super steep hook and rivet ladder out a steep corner.
Credit: Hoots

Credit: Hoots
Andy, Still looking stoked before he discovers he has to penji off a 1/4er with no nut! Woot!

Credit: Hoots

Credit: Hoots

The climbing overall was OK- a combination of decent climbing accompanied by some really low quality bush-grovelling. I likened it to Dante's Nine Circles of Hell, as experienced through shrubbery. The mini-epics were plentiful, including me leading the 5.6 chimney/c3 crack when my headlamp suddenly died, and one of Andy's approach shoes taking the plunge off the last pitch, leaving him to hike barefoot back down the trail, but the location was unbeatable.

Credit: Hoots

Andy beginning the "fun" pitch.  There were a lot of strange moaning s...
Andy beginning the "fun" pitch. There were a lot of strange moaning sounds coming out of the squeeze higher up!
Credit: Hoots

Getting to look over at Nevada Falls all day long, looking at the tourists getting way to close to the edge and screaming, "YER GONNA DIE!!!" was priceless, and topping out and getting to look up into the Little Yosemite Valley was well worth our arboreal labors.

Note lack of shoe! Sorry Andy!
Note lack of shoe! Sorry Andy!
Credit: Hoots

  Trip Report Views: 3,708
About the Author
Hoots is a climber from Tacoma, Toyota.


Oakland, CA
  Oct 27, 2009 - 06:59pm PT
That 'fun' pitch looks cool. Thanks for the TR, enjoyed it.

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
  Oct 27, 2009 - 11:28pm PT
Nice what route was this? Turkey shoot?

Gym climber
sawatch choss
  Oct 28, 2009 - 12:27am PT
So THAT'S Nevada Flake...
Josh Nash

Social climber
riverbank ca
  Oct 28, 2009 - 01:28pm PT
is from toyota tacoma......that had me laughing all morning! good trip report!

Trad climber
Fresno CA
  Oct 28, 2009 - 03:39pm PT
Thanks for the TR. I've had my eyes on that thing for about 40 years.

'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
  Oct 28, 2009 - 06:05pm PT
Good stuff, cheers!

Trad climber
Hustle City
  Oct 28, 2009 - 06:57pm PT
Bravo Boys!

Mountain climber
Marooned, 855 miles from Tuolumne Meadows
  Oct 29, 2009 - 01:43am PT
Great report on a beautiful dome. Glad to get a close up of it. Sounds like there were a lot of other tourists there besides you.

Trad climber
Merced CA
  Nov 4, 2009 - 08:23pm PT
props guys! Looked like a good climb for sure

  Nov 5, 2009 - 06:59pm PT

Trad climber
Fresno/Clovis, ca
  Nov 6, 2009 - 04:31pm PT
super cool

Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
  Nov 7, 2009 - 12:48am PT
Looks like fun! Thanks for beta on keeping haulbag closed tpo avoid catching extra garbage!
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
  Oct 17, 2011 - 10:13pm PT
Liberty Cap - Southwest Face C2 5.8 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click to Enlarge
Photo: Chris McNamara