Yosemite - Midsize Hard Free Climbs
Here are a few shorter routes that still boast
at least 3 pitches of 5.11 or harder, but are under
9 pitches, so they miss the cut for the "Long, Hard and Free" page.
Most of them are probably overlooked, so they might provide
some interesting fun off the beaten track.
This is not meant to imply that climbs under 5.11 or
with less than 3 "hard" pitches are not interesting; it was
just a way to reduce the number of routes in the list.
long hard free climbs and
long moderate free climbs.
- Aftershock + Butterballs + Butterfingers - 5.11c
(3 pitches: 3 5.11 pitches)
- The Passage to Freedom - 5.13d A0 (7p: 3 5.11, 1 5.12, 1 5.13,
(New Dawn and variations)
- 99% FA - Leo Houlding, Jose Pereya, 11/99
- Climbing #191, p.16
- 5.12b R. Start on Mescalito; climb to within yards of the
first belay. Then climb a runout 5.12b slab to join New Dawn.
- left corner system
- 5.13d A0. traverse, groove, and Alfa Slab
From the left corner system, a 30' traverse to the right
corner system is done via a huge dyno between hollow flakes.
The crux groove follows, starting from a tight chimney stance.
A super to uselessly thin crack is in the back of the groove.
The last 40' is the Alfa Slab. A reverse mantle and tiny
holds lead to a balancy reach for the Alfa badge (Alfa Romeo
hood ornament riveted loosely in the middle of a 10' blank
slab, A0). A 6.5' double dyno from the badge reaches the start
of Lay Lady Ledge.
- 5.11, to El Cap Tower
- Demon's Delight - 5.11a (4p: 3 5.11)
- Burden of Dreams - 5.12b (5p: 2 5.11, 1 5.12)
- Never Say Dog - 5.11b (8p: 3 5.11)
- The Big Juan - 5.12b (6p: 3 5.11, 1 5.12)
Rixon's Pinnacle, Geek Towers, Ahwanhee Buttress
- Rixon's Direct South Face - 5.11d A1 (6p: 3 5.11, 98% free)
NOTE: this route has been subject to dangerous and continuing
rockfall from above since about 1988.
- Freestone - 5.11c (8p: 3 5.11)
- Pigs in Space - 5.12 (3p: 2 5.11, 1 5.12)
- Lighten Up - 5.12b (5p: 2 5.11, 1-2 5.12)
- Great Escape - 5.11c (4p: 4 5.11)
- Shockwave - 5.13b (4p: 1 5.11, 1 5.12, 2 5.13)
- Perfect Vision - 5.11c (7p: 3 5.11)
- Tour de Force - 5.12b R (4p: 3 5.11, 1 5.12)
- Crazy - 5.11d (7p: 3 5.11)
- Yellow Corner - 5.12a R (6p: 1-2 5.11, 2 5.12)
- Wet Lycra Nightmare - 5.13d A0 (?p)
- __% FA - Todd Skinner, Jim Hewett, 2004
- free version of Wet Denim Daydream
- West Face - 5.13a A1 (6p: 1 A1, 4 5.12, 1 5.13, 83% free)
- 83% FA - Leo Houlding, Jason Pickles, 5/2001
beta from Chris Van Leuven:
- A1 bolt ladder, to small ledge, 60m
- 5.13a steep groove, 50m or two pitches - 5.12d, 5.13a
- 5.12b traverse hanging ramp
This involves a long reach move. In 2005, Lynn Hill and Katie Brown
traversed a bit higher to avoid the reach move, which required
a hard boulder move.
- 5.12a/b X (50 foot runout to bolts), links with long 5.11+ crack, 70m
- 5.12c big roof. 20' of horizontal laybacking,
20' of bridging up a 45-degree overhanging groove
- 5.12a stemming
- 2nd FA: Rob Miller, Chris Van Leuven, 10/2003
"On the 24th of October, Rob Miller made the second free ascent of
Leaning Tower(V 5.13b A1) with Chris Van Leuven.
It was Rob's 9th day of effort on the route, which employed no fixed lines.
Rob preferred to climb to his highpoint each day.
On the fateful day, Rob took 1 fall on the difficult boulder problem
just before Guano Ledge. Rob lowered back to the third pitch belay
and dispensed with the 'low percentage' boulder problem second try.
Van Leuven, following free, could not manage the boulder problem,
but fired the rest of the climb. The route was first freeclimbed
(except for the first pitch which remains A1) by Leo Houlding in 2001."
Climbing time was 4 hours on the successful day.
- 3rd FA: Justen Sjong, Adam Stack, 3/2004
both climbers led and followed free
- 4th FA: Tommy Caldwell, 4/2004
Caldwell flashed the free pitches in 5 hours, using beta from
Adam Stack (who belayed him on the route).
- near FA: Jonas Waterman, Chris Van Leuven, 10/4/2004
After simulclimbing the initial bolt ladder, they alternated leads,
which Jonas taking odds and Chris taking evens. No falls were taken
(leading or following) for their 5 hour ascent. On the 5.12a X
pitch, Jonas led it by aiding the bolt ladder, then toproped it free;
Chris followed free. So that pitch was not led free; perhaps the free
variation needs improved pro.
- 5th?, 6th? FA: Lynn Hill, Katie Brown, 6/2005
Lynn Hill did the normal continuous free ascent in a day
Katie Brown freed the pitches over a couple of days,
partly because it got dark on the final pitch on the day Lynn Hill
2 days of work on the route and 2 rest days before the FA.
they freed the original bolt ladder on p5
- Hot Line with left variations - 5.12a (5-6p: 2 5.11+, 1 5.12a)
Please send any comments or corrections to Clint Cummins: