Serenity Crack 5.10d

 
  • Currently 5.0/5
Search
Go

Royal Arches Area


Yosemite Valley, California USA


Trip Report
Serenity-Sons attempt to rim (Photo TR)
Wednesday February 1, 2012 4:29pm
Last weekend Nutjob and I reaped the benefits once again of this bizarro-winter we’re having.

Having done Serenity to Sons multiple times (I think eight trips up between the two of us), we thought why not do it again? Then Nutjob guessed we should try to take it to the rim and see what’s up with the last three or four pitches.

We left Oakland around 4:15 and were parking at the Ahwahnee by 8:00, having taken the long way to avoid the Brunhilda boulder that’d made sport of the 120 a week earlier.

On the approach we could tell that we were going to be first on route, which is strange for a warm Saturday morning.





Not sure what to do about rack for the lesser-known topout pitches, we just took an extra #3 and a #4.



P1, the weirdest pitch of the day, never sure if it's great or good, or what the deal is, but eventually you hit the anchor either way:


P2 was my favorite pitch this time, though usually my favorite pitch is the first real pitch of Sons:


P2’s sweet crack change in 4 pics:





Bolt patch job on the p2 anchor:


Top bit of p2:




Looking down at same:


Scott wanted a rematch on p3, this time just placing a good cam from the stance and firing for the ledge. Worked out well. (Edit: there are 4 cams stuck in the left crack more or less where Scott is in this pic.)


P1 Sons:




We linked some through the next hand pitches, which are incredible. Pretty soon we were at the top ST anchor, where on the ST topo the scrawled words “Don’t even think about it” point up.

First pitch off of the anchor had some moderate runout face to a new-looking bolt, then a mantle to the tree in the second pic, then an extremely flakey/dirty traverse to a rounded corner system and a belay in a bay bush:

Moderate face with new bolt:






Climbing out of that evil bush to start the next pitch:


We eventually got up close enough to the rim that we felt like we could touch it, but decided to pull the plug and rap.



We cut this tat, which was digging into the pine’s bark:


Replaced with this, so easy raps for anyone else who wants to continue up:


We had a few hours more of daylight, but with only one headlamp and one set of walkable shoes between us, the descent was going to be more than we wanted. We could have rapped from the rim back to the ST top anchor, but those upper pitches are loose and dirty, and we didn’t want to be pulling ropes and sending down all kids of widowmakers onto the popular pitches below.

We’ll go back and finish it some time, it seems worth it, and will probably walk down the N. Dome gully, or rap the RA raps, or make a scenic day of it and hike out the Falls trail.

On the way up above the last ST anchor for Sons, I saw what looked like a new anchor one pitch up a separate crack system that splits the face above the dead tree. The anchor is just below the bush on the upper left in this picture:


Anyone know what this is? That crack line, though overgrown, looked a lot better than the stuff we were climbing. Wonder if it also goes to the rim?

Bonus tree update: the belay stance tree on top of Sons p1 is looking spindlier than ever. How does that guy manage to cling on season after season…
Credit: le_bruce

  Trip Report Views: 4,096
le_bruce
About the Author
le_bruce is a climber from Oakland: what's not to love?.

Comments
Did you like this Trip Report? Got something to say? Don't hold back...
Comment on this Trip Report
moacman

Trad climber
Montuckyian Via Canada Eh!
  Feb 1, 2012 - 04:36pm PT
Good job lads....

Stevo
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  Feb 1, 2012 - 04:40pm PT
Serenity/SOS is huge on my list...when I get a bit better. Thank you for posting. Beautiful climb.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
  Feb 1, 2012 - 04:48pm PT
Your "first pitch" with the new bolt (newly replaced, actually) is the last pitch of Sons of Yesterday.

You guys were heading up the corner which is Ahwahnee Buttress.

The direct finish to Sons above the dead pine tree is called Xanadu, 5.8 .
There are bolted anchors with no chains, so you can rap it back to Sons, if you bring slings to replace the old ones.
The top anchor is a big pine tree (not easy to find from the top).
The cracks are often overgrown and the last pitch is loose and very dirty.
It is lower angle / easier than Sons, so it's unlikely to become popular.
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
Author's Reply  Feb 1, 2012 - 04:52pm PT
Clint - that makes sense. We were headed up Ahwahnee Buttress, then. Though overgrown for sure, Xanadu looked pretty fun. There were newish looking slings on the 1st anchor above the dead tree.
scuffy b

climber
heading slowly NNW
  Feb 1, 2012 - 04:55pm PT
Are any of the Sons pitches the same as Ahwahnee Buttress?
Do people typically not climb the last pitch of Sons of Yesterday,
with the slab climbing?
Dos XX

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
  Feb 1, 2012 - 05:32pm PT
Hats off to the guys who're actually out there gettin' it done! Excellent photos, by the way.
PhilG

Trad climber
The Circuit, Tonasket WA
  Feb 1, 2012 - 06:04pm PT
Stellar job up a beautiful climb.
Warmed up my winter's day!
cragnshag

Social climber
san joser
  Feb 1, 2012 - 06:04pm PT
I remember that last pitch with the one bolt being an exciting finish to the S.O.Y.

I climbed it back before the Supertopo came out, so I guess I didn't know that you "weren't supposed to climb it."

Too bad, probably most folks these days never do the last pitch because the book tells them to stop. The power of suggestion...
A5scott

Trad climber
Chicago
  Feb 1, 2012 - 06:05pm PT
yeah, nice climbing... great pics

tfpu

scott
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
  Feb 1, 2012 - 06:08pm PT
Dudes and dudettes! When in doubt, go for the epic! Reposted is my woeful tale of my first time up Sons of Yesterday, circa 1986, from an earlier thread on North Dome Gully:

"Third or fourth time I did the NDG, it was the ex and I and we did it in the dark with no headlamps. Man, what an epic. We had done serenity to sons of yesterday. Somehow (don't even ask me) I thought SOY went to the rim. It didn't. (the route was pretty new at the time). We had one 150' rope that we had borrowed from Lechlinski. So we wound up finishing up Awhanee Butress in a very dark dusk. Ran along the rim in super late twilight. Wound up starting down too early, some really sketchy downclimbing. After 100' or so we realized we we in the wrong gully, had to rope back up and lead outta there. So we get out and find NDG in the very, very last light. Did it on our hands and knees. The talus field at the base was a full-on Braille gropefest. Got to the car way way after dark. Would not recommend this to anyone. It would have been much smarter to simply do a forced bivvy on the rim. Another bullet dodged."

Stay thirsty, my freinds.
Zander

climber
  Feb 1, 2012 - 06:53pm PT
Good job guys!
I've never done Serenity or Sons but I was thinking if I did I'd go to the top. Now I will.
Thanks for the post and pics,
Z
Mr_T

Trad climber
Northern California
  Feb 1, 2012 - 07:23pm PT
Supposedly the big rockfall that hit the minivan in the Ahwahnee parking lot was triggered by a crew doing the upper pitches of Sons... Not sure how much truth there is to the tale.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
  Feb 1, 2012 - 07:30pm PT
Aw, man - so close to the summit!

Does Serenity start just left of the Devil's Bathtubs then?
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
Author's Reply  Feb 1, 2012 - 08:15pm PT
BVB, I know that you're right. Now back into the workweek, I'm regretting it.

Scott wanted to continue up, and he and I both knew he was right and I was wrong, but I had the water-knot tied 'round the tree and the rap threaded through the rings before true negotiation could even begin. Usually we go for it, this time I was wanting to get home before only the dog was up and about back in Oakland.
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
  Feb 1, 2012 - 08:19pm PT
If I had a favorite route, Serenity and Sons might be it. Done it countless times, including following it blindfolded. So great!

Peace

Karl
Gene

climber
  Feb 1, 2012 - 08:33pm PT
FYI
Credit: Gene
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
  Feb 1, 2012 - 11:01pm PT
I can attest to the fact that a "motivated" team can really gun those last pitches of Awhanee Buttress, from the top of Sons of Yesterday to the rim. A lot of fast, easy climbing with few short sections of 5.9, maybe easy 5.10. We probably covered that ground in maybe 40 minutes. The only way we knew we were on a route was a couple of bolts or a fixed pin here and there. We figured out later we'd done last last part of Awhanee Buttress. In retrospect, if you're doing Serenity to SOY there really ain't much reason to miss out on the pleasure of tagging the rim.

Nice TR, btw. I don't recognize a single pitch of SOY! Is there still packed sod/dirt in the back of those excavated cracks?
Roxy

Trad climber
CA Central Coast
  Feb 1, 2012 - 11:06pm PT
that filled my sails with stoke!

great pics as well. tfpu!
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
  Feb 1, 2012 - 11:12pm PT
Neat adventure. Now you guys need to go do Awahnee Butress from the deck...and if you still want to keep rockin' the winter sunshine, the climb between SOY and Awahnee to the tree on top of SOY is Daughter's Direct. You may get the second? (10d/11a...bring small nuts and probably still lead with a nut tool.)
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
  Feb 2, 2012 - 11:00am PT
Great stuff.
tahoe523

Trad climber
Station Wagon, USA
  Feb 2, 2012 - 12:51pm PT
Great TR. I was the girl climbing below you as you were rapping. At the expense of some exhausted, confused bears and having a potentially busy fire season ahead, we had a blast, too. A perfect winter route when the days are dry. Thanks for sharing the photos.

Ninja edit: although late comers fully accept the risk of climbing below other parties, anyone looking to head to the rim should still try to do their best to tread carefully above Sons. There is a lot of loose rock above!

Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Maestro, Ecosystem Ministry, Fatcrackistan
  Feb 2, 2012 - 12:55pm PT
Scuffy I did that last pitch of Sons every time I've done the route, lost count, you could sling a nut behind that rotten bolt for the one tricky move past it. I don't recall seeing many parties bailing on it that last dog leg crack is pretty cool rail walking.

Good to hear the bolt has been fixed, seemed botched from the get go.

DMT
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
  Feb 2, 2012 - 01:07pm PT
Scuffy, Ahwahnee climbs its own line but shares the 2nd and 3rd belay with Serenity and the summit of SOY. SOY is one of the most fun hand cracks ever (including the crack walk on the last pitch!), but the crowds are nutters and you need to rap into them. The route up the middle (Daughter's) has a bolt anchor in an awesome crystal hole at the start of the last pitch, and I've been curious to know if you could rap onto Awahnee from it creating a go-around for downward-bound traffic, but I've never been back to see if this would work.
Darwin

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
  Feb 2, 2012 - 01:07pm PT

Nice adventure climb in the Valley and nice TR, Bruce and Nutjob!

When you go back to tag the rim, maybe go for a honking long day, Serenety, Sons, rim and the regular route (S Face) on North Dome. I couldn't come close to doing it, so it's easy to suggest.

tfpu

Darwin
scuffy b

climber
heading slowly NNW
  Feb 2, 2012 - 01:28pm PT
Thanks, Gene and Dingus and Melissa.
I think I see.
Does Ahwahnee Buttress go up the terrain to the right, at the start of
the SOY jamcracks?
The one time I did the climb, the finish seemed unremarkable, but I do
understand that many people hate slab climbing, easy or not.

The descent did take us quite a while, as we were obliged to wait a
long time at Sunset.
As we started the climb, I was worried that we might hold up people
behind us, but we didn't encounter anyone until Sunset Ledge on our
descent.
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
  Feb 2, 2012 - 01:38pm PT
Does Ahwahnee Buttress go up the terrain to the right, at the start of
the SOY jamcracks?

Yes. It does a shitty old bolt ladder from over by Trial by fire to join Serenity at the top of 2, takes a nice 5.7ish layback to the left of the Serenity crux (good sneak around for high gravity days), and then heads off right from the ledge, and rejoins at the SOY summit tree.
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
Author's Reply  Feb 3, 2012 - 12:39pm PT
Shinto, too funny - I'm sorry I didn't get to introduce myself in person, could have thanked you for the RNWF beta from last year.

You guys were super cool about letting us rap over you, which turned out to be key for us because our rope got tangled in one of the four fixed cams deep inside the crack of Serenity's third pitch. Getting it free chewed up a bunch of time. I finally had to cut the rope while on rappel, a spooky experience I never want to repeat, especially with the tragic recent history on that particular rap. Using a blade on the same rope you're rapping off of - not a comfy feeling. Must have checked my thinking and cut-point 30 times before hacking away.

As I was walking the rail on that penultimate pitch a #2 BD cam came unclipped from my harness and took the ride. I hate to lose gear with a passion. I scoured the base near Trial by Fire later, but no dice. Someone heading up to the Superslide will probably find it on a ledge, but it plunged from the top and is probably as good as dead.
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
  Feb 2, 2012 - 02:32pm PT
There are FOUR cams stuck in that dinky little pitch? What a mess. Get 'em out. Sounds like a Facelift project.
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
Author's Reply  Feb 2, 2012 - 02:39pm PT
Four of 'em, all in the same spot more or less. One looks super recent - an orange Link Cam, not too buried, that will probably come out without too much hassle. I'd sooner trust my fallen #2 than a brand new Link Cam, though. Biased opinion.

I guess the beta is that if there's a chance you're going to fall during the crux above on p3, don't place a hand-sized piece (or any piece I guess) in the left-hand side of the double cracks where they jog right and then back left after the steep bit. If you dog the .10d above, the rope will push the cam into the crack.
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Feb 2, 2012 - 10:51pm PT
Awesome TR, Thanks!
bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA/Boulder, CO
  Feb 2, 2012 - 11:57pm PT
There is a trick to doing the stepover on P2 of Serenity that makes it pretty darn EZ. Looking at the follower's footwork, he clearly didn't know the trick.
Darwin

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
  Feb 3, 2012 - 01:16am PT

RE step-over Bruce;


;-)

?
nutjob

Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
  Feb 3, 2012 - 01:36pm PT
I noticed there was a very well-trodden cross-over point about 20 feet higher than we traversed; where we went had lichen pretty intact. I just followed the way le_bruce went there. I suck at face/slabby stuff, but I couldn't see many features the way we went.

The higher traverse seems more featured with some sloping big knobs, but it's a bit longer between the cracks.

How many folks prefer the lower traverse? Is the "step-over trick" on the lower or upper traverse?
okie

Trad climber
  Feb 3, 2012 - 07:36pm PT
You guys are my heros: combining climbing with bushwhacking.
Blue collar men.
When are you going back to the right side of the Hourglass?
kingtut

Social climber
carmel, ca
  Jan 4, 2014 - 11:35am PT
Stoked to read your report and others responses detailing other more recent activity up there (Xanadu etc). Keep the flame burning, surprisingly good things come when the hummocks are finally defeated :).
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
  Jan 4, 2014 - 11:39am PT
Nice! That last pitch to the rim needs some gardening....eh!
RyanD

climber
Squamish
  Jan 4, 2014 - 01:25pm PT
Hey missed this one before!

Great job guys, lots of rad pics too. Thanks!
A5scott

Trad climber
Chicago
  Jan 4, 2014 - 02:21pm PT
love the pics guys! Iknow it's not a new TR, but looking at pics like these never gets old

scott
mooser

Trad climber
seattle
  Jan 4, 2014 - 02:27pm PT
I did Serenity in '79 with EBs, hexes and wired stoppers. Scares me a little thinking about doing it that way now (does that make me a cam-wuss?)! Was SOY an established route by then, or later?
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
  Jan 4, 2014 - 03:25pm PT
Sweet TR, and even better pics! Really gives a feel for the terrain you cover. It's on my short list, I just need to get stronger.
Batrock

Trad climber
Burbank
  Jan 4, 2014 - 03:48pm PT
Wow, that brings back memories. The last time I did that was 1984 and remember thinking this was what Friends were invented for. I loved it so much that I talked my brother into driving up from LA and climbed it with him a week later. I was a river guide at the time and would spend free time between Yosemite and Donner. Thanks for the memories.
melski

Trad climber
bytheriver
  Jan 4, 2014 - 08:43pm PT
much common ground here,glad everyone shares,,a classic still evolving,,great idea having another rap line,,or better,,take the long way home,,top out,,,some one just needs to tell me how to survive the crowds in the valley these days,,,
kaholatingtong

Trad climber
Nevada City
  Jan 4, 2014 - 09:19pm PT
totally thought i commented on this earlier, but it seems i was mistaken. TFPU.
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
  Apr 25, 2014 - 05:48pm PT
Just digging up old memories... I actually picked a random number for hopping back into the TR archives and stumbled on this page. I'm ready for another lap on this baby and finish the bushwack to the top!
Did you like this Trip Report? Got something to say? Don't hold back...
Comment on this Trip Report
Go
Royal Arches Area - Serenity Crack 5.10d - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click to Enlarge
Serenity Crack follows elegant line up horrible pin scars.
Photo: Todd Snyder
Other Routes on Royal Arches Area
Royal Arches Area - Royal Arches 5.10b or 5.7 A0 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click for details.
Royal Arches, 5.10b or 5.7 A0
Royal Arches Area
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

A surprisingly moderate passage on such a large wall.
Royal Arches Area - Sons of Yesterday 5.10a - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click for details.
Sons of Yesterday, 5.10a
Royal Arches Area
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Sons of Yesterday follows five pitches of great 5.10 cracks.
Royal Arches Area - Super Slide 5.9 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click for details.
Super Slide, 5.9
Royal Arches Area
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Royal Arches Area - Peruvian Flake 5.10a - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click for details.
Peruvian Flake, 5.10a
Royal Arches Area
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Royal Arches Area - Arches Terrace 5.8 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click for details.
Arches Terrace, 5.8
Royal Arches Area
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

More routes on Royal Arches Area