YOSEMITE, Climber on Royal Arches

Climber on Royal Arches

Tom Oetzell traverses high on the Royal Arches route in Yosemite Valley. More...

YOSEMITE, Climber on Royal Arches
Tom Oetzell. traverses high on the Royal Arches route in Yosemite Valley.

Royal Arches is an idiosyncratic route that can be great fun for the capable climber, or a nightmare for those less expereinced, fighting bad weather, or just having a bad day. The climbing is interesting and varied, and the views exhilerating.

Originally rated 5.9, the Pendulum Traverse done free will make you mutter. Until its demise in 1984, the Rotten Log pitch was uncertainty at its best. Not to worry, uncertainty remains, and there are many choices to be made on this climb. The final traverse into the forest on the last pitch is an exercise in pine needle and lichen covered, water polished slab climbing. Then there's the descent down North Dome gully, an adventure all of its own.

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