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