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Toulumne Meadows and Royal Arches - 2003

On Tenaya Peak SE buttress After Tenaya Peak SE Buttress We bailed from Matthes Crest after p1, Victor decided ne would not make it back in time for work the next day.

Ann and I were in Yosemite last year. After spending a few days in Toulumne (pics above), we finished our trip in the Valley.

The highlight of the trip was Royal Arches, where we spent about 11 hours climbing the route, and just about that long getting back. Having heard horror stories about the North Dome Gully, and not wanting to risk a stuck rope on the rappels, we hiked out to the shoulder of North Dome, and back down the Falls trail. We had a little more than 1 hour of light left when we topped out, and headed east towards Washington Column, then north through a streambed, then up the slabs. Unfortunately, we lost the path of least resistance, and ended up very close to the North Dome wall. We ended up bushwhacking a lot up to the trail, which slowed us down considerably.

The route has several very good pitches, especially the middle part of the route up to the pendulum. No mandatory runouts, until the last pitch. The pendulum itself is very easy, I tensioned accross rather than swinging. The crux pitch comes after the long traverse that follows the pendulum. Pretty stiff laybacking, then some face climbing, then you go around / under / through a tree that is half dead (this is not the "rotten log"). The friction slab on the last pitch is intimidating, but goes easily.

It is a very fun route, especially if you are willing to run it out a bit, which I did not do. Otherwise time becomes an issue.

List of Climbs

  • Tenaya Peak SW Buttress (5.5 **) 14p
  • Hot Crossed Buns (5.6 *) (Bunny Slabs)
  • Wild in the Streaks (5.7 *) (Bunny Slabs)
  • Biscuit and Gravy (5.8 *) TR (Bunny Slabs)
  • Black Diamond (5.9 *) TR (Bunny Slabs)
  • Royal Arches (5.7 ***) 17p

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2002
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