Yosemite - Long Moderate Free Climbs
Many long moderate free (or nearly) climbs are found in Yosemite Valley.
I attempt to list them here, and give a few details on some of them.
See also long hard free climbs.
Not that the long "hard" free
climbs are necessarily better than the "moderate" ones.
Certainly I have enjoyed many of the moderate climbs (often more than once).
A few of them are easily some of the best rock climbs in the world.
The definition of "long moderate free" climbs is rather arbitrary;
the climbs included here are at least 10 pitches and 5.10
or easier. There are also many great climbs which are not this long.
- East Buttress - 5.10b
The crux move on this route is bewilderingly hard to
figure out. It stymied me for years, until one of my partners
showed me how he did it.
- Lost Arrow Chimney - 5.10a (5.10d to rim)
A demanding route. Once described to me as
"three times harder than the Steck-Salathe'".
See also Layton Kor's quote, "the day you do the Arrow
Chimney is the day you work harder than any day of your life."
- Yosemite Point Buttress Direct - 5.9
- Royal Arches - 5.7 A1 or 5.9
Can combine with a route on North Dome to extend the fun:
For these combinations, it is easiest to stash a car on Highway 120
at the Porcupine Flat trailhead. Naturally this is only possible
when the road is open (usually May 31 to early October).
- South Face - 5.8
- Priceless Friends - 5.10a
- Crest Jewel - 5.10a
(adapted from the photo by John Sheard on p.6 of Yosemite
- Crest Jewel Direct - 5.10d
FA: Daniel Dingle, Steve Swan, 6/2002
bolted by hand on lead with 3/8" bolts
photo, topo and beta
- North Ridge - 5.10d R *** (11p: 4 5.10)
Glacier Point Apron
Galactic Hitchhiker 5.10a A2 or 5.11b
Just haul on a couple of bolts on the crux pitch, and this
route is 5.10d, or pull on a few more to reduce it to 5.10a.
Still, 39 or so pitches is a long route.
- Coonyard Pinnacle + Coonyard to Oasis 5.9
- Point Beyond Direct + Angel's Approach + Lucifer's to Oasis 5.9 R/X
- Steck-Salathe' - 5.10b or 5.10b A2
A hold broke off the Wilson Overhang pitch a few years ago,
increasing the free climbing rating (that pitch is now 5.10b ow).
A2 applies if you aid the old Headwall pitch (it goes clean, and
can be done without aiders).
Higher Cathedral Rock
- Northeast Buttress - 5.10a
The pitch above the 5.8 squeeze can't be done at 5.8 (the
version to the right is more like 5.10b and has a scary loose
flake). It's probably easiest to go straight up.
The final hard pitch is probably easiest on
the right side. The "5.8 hand" to the left is more like 5.9 fist.
Middle Cathedral Rock
- East Buttress 5.9 A1 or 5.10c
- Sacherer-Fredericks 5.10c
Gets very little traffic. The end of p3 is reachy and somewhat
runout above a fixed pin. p4 is rumored to be hard for the grade.
- Kor-Beck 5.9
Many awkward moves are found in the corners.
- Central Pillar of Frenzy 5.10d
Little traffic above the first 5. p6 is fairly nice and
sustained. An old story claims that grabbing a small vine was
required to free one of the upper pitches. Try it and find out!
- Stoner's Highway 5.10c
- Paradise Lost + DNB finish 5.10
- Direct North Buttress 5.10b
- DNB start + Ho Chi Minh Trail 5.10c
- North Buttress 5.10a
Lower Cathedral Rock
A few shorter routes that nearly make it to this list:
- Half Dome, Snake Dike - 5.7
- Glacier Point Apron, The Punch Bowl - 5.10a R
- Lower Cathedral, Bridalveil East - 5.10c
- Stanford Point, Breezin' + Wind Chill - 5.10c
Please send any comments or corrections to Clint Cummins: