Traverse from South to North 5.7

  • Currently 5.0/5

Matthes Crest

Tuolumne Meadows, California USA

Trip Report
Matthes Crest TR 9/20/08 - lots of pics!!
Sunday March 29, 2009 11:53pm
Well, this trip report is a little late in coming, I've wanted to put up trip reports before but never found the time. I've got some serious motivation now though. Some of you may have seen my other posts on here about it, but I entered a photo contest where people vote for your dream photography project, and if I win, get $50,000 to make my dream come true. My project is titled "The high mountain people of the world." Please take a moment to learn more about it and vote for my project by clicking on this link.

Thank you and enjoy the trip report on Matthes Crest.

I spent quite a few weekends out in Yosemite Valley and Tuolumne Meadows this past summer. This was one of the best. My friends Zach, Goose, and I soloed Matthes Crest from the south to the north, going the whole length of the crest. And I climbed the Third Pillar of Dana for the first time. Unfortunately, I didn't take my camera with me on Dana. This was my 2nd or 3rd long free solo and it was great. There was a moment though, at one spot near the end of the crest, that got the adrenaline pumping hard. It was the last vertical bit of climbing before the ridge leveled out and it was kinda fist sized crack and a bit awkward, but I pulled it together and did it.

This was a little warm up boulder along the way to Matthes. The top out was kinda slopey. This was probabbly harder than anything we encountered on Matthes.

This is Goose, after the first few pitches gaining the ridge.

This is me hanging it out to dry

Can you say ex po sure?

An airy step

Surfin' the wave

One of the other parties on the crest

The whole crest

Hope you enjoyed, more may be to come.

And please vote for my photo project here,


  Trip Report Views: 2,540
About the Author
luquitos is a trad climber from santa cruz, ca.

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Comment on this Trip Report

Trad climber
Cheyenne, Wyoming and Marshall Islands atoll.
  Mar 29, 2009 - 11:54pm PT

Thanks for posting!

Trad climber
Northern California
  Mar 29, 2009 - 11:57pm PT
I so want to do that climb! Thanks for the bountiful pics. (I checked out your photos, great! Count on my vote.)
Timid TopRope

Social climber
the land of Pale Ale
  Mar 30, 2009 - 12:02am PT
Beautiful! I can see what looks like Matthes Lake in pic 4 of the Goose. Those little lakes on the west side of the Cathedrals make for one of the best off-trail hikes in the TM area (Echo, Nelson, Reyman, etc.) Great pictures, thanks for posting.
Dapper Dan

Trad climber
Redwood City
  Mar 30, 2009 - 12:19am PT
how does this climb go as a solo ?

will i sh#t my pants on the downclimbs ? if i soloed routes like cathedral peak , east butress of whitney , the conness ridges , etc. will Mathes Crest feel comparable ?

i know its a very subjective question ...

Trad climber
santa cruz, ca
Author's Reply  Mar 30, 2009 - 01:14am PT
if you felt comfortable soloing those other routes i think you'll be just fine. its such a blast, no other formation like it.
Delhi Dog

Good Question...
  Mar 30, 2009 - 05:45am PT
"Those little lakes on the west side of the Cathedrals make for one of the best off-trail hikes in the TM area

Hey Mr. Timid, let's go...
maybe there's another traverse waiting...

shoes + chaulkbag + flyrod + the goody good...

Off to Thailand next week...

Erik of Oakland

Gym climber
  Jul 31, 2009 - 01:48pm PT
what does the rack look like (party of two, not averse to simul-climbing)?

Trad climber
Hustle City
  Jul 31, 2009 - 01:54pm PT
Fun. Fun. Fun.

Trad climber
  Jul 31, 2009 - 02:15pm PT

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
  Jul 31, 2009 - 04:35pm PT

I gotta do that sometime.

Trad climber
Tunneling out of prison
  Jul 31, 2009 - 04:48pm PT
Simul-climbed it last year north to south with a light rack of single cams, nothing bigger than #2. A few stoppers and slings. Used a doubled half rope my friend had.

Rapped off the north tower to the notch and continued on. *I* would not solo past the notch if coming from the south, but that's just my opinion. I sure was glad I had a shell, the wind was gusting over 40 knots.

  Jul 31, 2009 - 04:51pm PT
Nice write up and trip.

Clean the sensor on your camera!
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Matthes Crest - Traverse from South to North 5.7 - Tuolumne Meadows, California USA. Click to Enlarge
The Matthes Crest traverse starts at the south end (right) and follows the cockscomb north.
Photo: Greg Barnes
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Matthes Crest - Anduril 5.10b R - Tuolumne Meadows, California USA. Click for details.
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Matthes Crest - Narsil 5.10c - Tuolumne Meadows, California USA. Click for details.
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