beta royal arches route : LUSENET : Mountaineering : One Thread

Looking for any interesting beta for royal arches route. climbing it in mid july. thanks

-- Chris Randall (, June 27, 2000


Chris, I sent you a file vis a e-mail of a description of doing RA in about 11 pitches using a 60-meter rope... Drop me an e-mail if you have further questions...

-- Jim Leininger (, June 29, 2000.

Just did the RA route at the end of May. The route and rap topos in Reid's Yosemite Free Climbing book are pretty accurate. A couple of additional comments:

1. The base of the climb is only 2-3 minutes from the Ahwahnee parking lot. From the far NE corner of the parking lot, start east on the dirt horse trail. After 1-200 yards, you'll cross a very small stream which drains runoff from the wall (I assume this stream is dry by mid-summer, but it should be very obvious). The cutoff to the base is no more than 50 yards past the stream. If parties are stacked up at the base, you can bypass the first pitch via a 5.7 crack about 50 feet to the right.

2. Continue traversing east, parallel to the wall, on the 3rd class ramp (pitches 2-4 or 2-5?). There are a few false ramps which may tempt you to a start ascending too early (rap slings on trees will be the giveaway). When in doubt, stay to the right of the water troughs paralleling the wall. When you reach the top of the 3rd class section, you will wind through a well-trodden section of manzanita for 50 feet, and should be able to see Washington's Column to the east.

3. You can string the next 4 pitches into 2 with 60m ropes (pitches 5/6, 7/8?? ... sorry, can't remember the pitch numbers in the guide book)

4. The pendulum point has a nice bolt (there was a fixed line to pendulum off when we were there). There's a nice ledge at the end of the pendulum to mantle off. The traverse pitch after the pendulum was wet, but it's a 4th class ledge.

5. I think the rap route has been largely retro-bolted. I've read warnings about potential rope snags in trees, etc. However, we found most rap stations with new 3/8" bolts and new hangars, plus a few additional stations not marked in the rap topo which help avoid tree snags. Most stations already had two rap rings ... bring some extra bailoff webbing to back up suspect webbing. All stations can be reached with 2 50m ropes. You can bypass a few with 60m ropes. Although we climbed on a near windless day, rope eating flakes do not appear to be much of a problem. The rap stations are on a blank face section, and the dihedral to the right did not appear to be carnivorous.

6. We left the Ahwahnee parking lot at 6:00am, and returned at 2:00pm climbing very leisurely. Rack consisted of a full set of stopper, a few cams, and long slings.

Have fun!

-- David Loh (, June 30, 2000.

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