Am doing a California Road Trip with family in the summer and will be in Yosemite for a few days in August and have negotiated a day pass to go climbing. Will probably have to hire a guide. Cathedral Peak has been suggested by a friend. Anyone know if there is a US version of UKC or can recommend any guides?
Royal Arches. About 1500 feet of mostly fairly relaxed climbing. We loved it. if you get an early start, by the time the August sun turns the valley into a cauldron you'll be in a four pitch West facing corner and out of the sun. You'll still burn your hands on the rock of the final slab though!
In our experience you'll need a guide for the descent - we happened to meet a local at the top who'd done it several times before and he still wasn't sure.
Or I can second the Cathedral Peak suggestion - nice approach and descent make it a really nice day out with a fabulous needle-like High Sierra summit thrown in, and of course it's cooler at 10,000 feet.
A bit harder but brilliant is The North Face of Fairview Dome at 5.9 and also nice and cool being up at Tuolomne Meadows. About 1000 feet but only the 1st pitch is 5.9; it's short crux felt E1 to me. The second pitch is one of the best I've ever done and about 5.8, then the climbing eases off but is still good.
Royal Arches as already mentioned or the iconic Snake Dyke on Half Dome. Both are excellent and would surely be contenders for world classic rock status. The descent from Royal Arches can be a nightmare if you come down the gully but abbed down which was fairly straight forward with bolted anchors but intimidating.
You little liar ;-) Who are you to say that.... I remember back in 76/77 doing the Sword of Damoclese underneath you and Pete who were soloing it. Close on Pete's heels his chalk bag inverted and we were all lost in a huge cloud of the white stuff. The pair of you strolled it, very casual you were.
I think you were just back from the Valley, there's no way you would have thought the East Buttress anything more than E1!
Almost anything in the valley will be too hot out of the shade.
Snake Dyke on Half Dome: VS all the way with a VS 5a slab crux next to a bolt and lots of VS 3c. Its a long walk in so you need to start this real early (or late and move super fast). It will also likly be very hot so not the most practical day out. Queue problems likely.
Royal Arches, made to sound cruxy but HS all the way with a few HS 4b moves and lots of HS 4a and bold HS 3c/b if you do the simple pendulum; or E2 6a free (maybe E1 5c if the safe friction slab moves are on cold rock... or with a bit of sneaky weight on the the pendulum gear ). Furnace in august so super early start needed.
Regular Route on Fairview Tuolumne, HVS 5b crux with lots of super sustained HVS 4c above but eases with height when you need to start to motor. Queue problems very likely.
Cathedral Peak, Tuolumne, HS 4b with some VS 4b variations so you can bypass queues if you know how. Will be a bit warm as it's in the sun. Tenaya Peak is another slightly easier long starter at about S 4a and less sunny.
As it happens I was in the Valley this August, did Snake Dike in a very long and strenuous day with wife and nipper accompanied by mate Loz, climbing as two pairs. Did Regular Route (again), understandably much cooler.
The rest have all been done at other times, I don't think the grades are particulalry studly, and FWIW the most memorable day - out of five trips to the Valley, was getting to the top of Half Dome with family and Loz, no one on the summit bar us. Magical.
I started Snake Dyke barely able to feel my fingers on the cold rock and nearly finished with heat stroke. Hundreds of tourists witnessed my final wobbley slog to the top and quite a few were scowly when we overtook on the outside down the ladder. Regular Route was iced on the 1st pitch. We waited for the temp to go up to mearly zero centigrade in the car, hoping no one would queue jump us...listening to Muse belt out "...and this iis the end, yeah this iis the end, of the wooorlld, .." ...and finished in the dark as one of our three was wilting from cold; when the sun hit us on the rib pitch below the roof it was glorious. Both early Sept, both magical.
We did the direct start which is harder than the rest of the route but in my opinion spoils the flow. My mate led that which was a wise decision as even though there is not much pro it is where the leader needs it. I got to the bolt seconding and, just as the metal of the krab scraped against the bolt as I removed it, my foot slipped and I swung a hell of a distance down and across. One of the longest falls I've ever experienced so it's ironic I was seconding.
I did it around about that same time. I seem to recall a series of leftward leading grooves one on top of the other. We reckoned it was about E2,5b. The first direct pitch however was a lot harder and as I said made the route a little less consistent.
Hmmm, I'd say that's a bit of a sandbag right there! I'm ashamed to say that I failed to SECOND the second pitch in 1978! We bailed. Sadly never been back. Very belated apologies to Chris Hunter - hope you found a competent second eventually!
> Me and my mate were climbig E4 on a regular basis at the time.
So was I! Even now I have this vivid recollection of looking up at Chris's feet as he was leading. They appeared to be on relatively good holds all the time and he just kept moving upwards with no problem, yet when I got there they'd completely disappeared!
> I have this vivid recollection of looking up at Chris's feet as he was leading. They appeared to be on relatively good holds all the time and he just kept moving upwards with no problem, yet when I got there they'd completely disappeared!
I've often wondered whence you acquired that particular trick!