Lost Arrow Spire

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Three of us will be in Yosemite for 1 or 2 days the first week of april. What is the time and difficulty of doing the top and traverse of the Lost Arrow Spire? Any suggestions on moderate (5.7 -5.9) half day free routes in the valley for a party of three?

-- DJOPP (penskeshks@aol.com), March 21, 1998


The Lost Arrow Spire is technically quite easy if you aid every pitch, maybe 5.8 A1. However if you are not fast at aid climbing you can easily be benighted. You really need at least one person who is an experienced aid climber.

Several parts of the climb can take up a lot of time if you have never experienced them. For example rapping past a knot (which you have to do at the very start) took me at least 10 minutes the first time I did it. Likewise rigging the Tyrolean takes some thought and you can waste tons of time there too.

If you are not sure you will be fast, I recommend you camp at the rim the night before so you can be sure to make it off the next day. Generally you will need 3 ropes. Your rack can be pretty light, but be sure to include at least 3 cams in the 3-4" range to aid the second pitch. All 4 pitches are quite short and combining them will save you time also.

For short free routes try The Nutcracker, Sunnyside Bench, or the 5 open Books Area.


-- George Bell (bell@advtech.uswest.com), March 23, 1998.

Another GREAT route in the 5.7 range is Royal Arches, but you might want to plan on a full day, depending on how fast you climb, especially in a group of 3. I have beta on doing the route in less than the given number of pitches using a 60M rope if you are interested...

-- Jim Leininger (hleininger@vnet.ibm.com), March 25, 1998.

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