Beta for Dihedral Wall, El Cap, Yosemite

Updated July, 2000


6 LA's: (1 ea. #1, 2 ea. #2, 2 ea. #3, 1 ea. #4)
Angles: (Lucky short angles work well)
1 ea. 1/2"
2 ea. 5/8" to 3/4" (one which is sawn)
2 ea. 1" sawn
1 ea. 1.25" sawn
1 set brass offsets
2 sets offset nuts
1 ea. blue/green/yellow Aliens
1 set Hybrid Aliens
2 ea. Camalots to 4.5"
hooks: Pika big hook, cliff hanger, wide Leeper cam hook
2 aluminum heads
8 rivet hangers
4 ea. 1/4" coarse wingnuts


My rating (not new wave mucky-muck): VI 5.9 A2 This climb may go clean, if it has not already. And, as I write this, some guys are trying to free the whole enchilada. So far, the first 4 pitches go at 5.12ish. In general, this is a good climb with lots of variety and is a good intro to nailing. The upper pitches (pitch 20+) get interesting with chimneying and lower angle gullies ­p; unless you traverse Thanksgiving Ledge for the West Buttress exit.

Topo: McNamara's super topo; Brad Jarrett, Tom Evans topo in Mtn. Store (Curry village); and Reid's Big Wall Book.

Sun: Hits the face at 12:30PM for the rest of the day.

Approach: Takes 30 to 45 minutes from El Cap flats.

Hauling: Good for first 16 pitches, some snags for remaining pitches.

Anchors: The ASCA re-bolted until p18. Old or natural belays at p17, and on/after p19.

Bivy options: P5, P7, P9 (ledge for one), P13, P15, P18, P21/22 (Thanksgiving Ledge)


P1: 5.7, A1+; 165' from ground, 95' from top of 3rd class pedestal. Width 0.4-2.0" Scramble up 3rd class section to rough stance with bolts. Free 5.7, then A2 with hook and large sawn, back to some free, 5.7, before reaching spacious ledge.

P2: C2, 120', width 0.4-1.0" Free climb up left to a nice nut-frenzy crack. Cam's too.

P3: A2, 120', width 0.4-1.0" Large sawn helpful.

P4: A2, 120', width 0.4-3.0" Large sawn helpful. Make sure you go beyond the old belay (under the roof). 3 (50m) ropes make it down to ground via anchors on face. Face anchors are okay for hauling, but I would back em up by tying onto upper fixed line.

P5: A1, 120', width 0.4-3.0" Large sawn helpful + an LA. 4 (50m) ropes will make it to the ground via anchors on the face. Face anchors are okay for hauling, but I would back em up by tying onto upper fixed line.

P6: A1, 115', STEEP, width 0.4-1.5" A couple fixed pins + some of your own stuff gets you to the 1/4" rivets. I placed nuts on the rivets and left them, so all you have to do is sling with a beefy rivet hanger. There are about 8 rivets.

P7: A1+, 140', width 0.4-2.0" Forget the expanding, thin section. Cam's, nuts, rivet hangers and two (big Pika) hook moves. Good (sb) bivy below the Black Arch.

P8: A2, 130', width 0.4-2.5" My favorite pitch of the climb. LA's and cam hook.

P9: A2 (lower) & 5.9 or 5.6/C2 (upper), STEEP, 165', width 0.4-4.0" Continue on Black Arch (cam hook, LA), rivet ladder for a ways, pass old belay and free/aid (cams/nuts) up corner system. Use long runners to scramble down 20' the left-side of pedestal, through weeds to belay/bivy ledge. Haul from bivy ledge. If you are not staying at this ledge for the night, I suggest a natural belay at top (right-side) of pedestal (#1/#2 camalots, slung block) to save the down-climb hassle.

P10: A2, 110', width 0.4-3.0" Off the upper pedestal, reach high for that first rivet (right hand undercling in pin scar), then up multiple rivet/heads plus the occasional cam/nut/pin.

P11: A2, 120', width 0.4-4.0" Usaul rack with sawn pin or two.

P12: A1+, 100', width 0.4-3.0" The Fake pitch. The flake is NOT expanding. Rivets on the top-side of the flake. Usual rack with sawn pin or two. Water will drip on you if you bivy here.

P13: A2, 120', width 0.4-4.0" Flaring in the beginning (awkward) then easing to A1 plants (the farming pitch). Better bivy.

P14: A2, 110', STEEP, width 0.4-2.0" Festering, oozing, slime on the first section (notice rusty pin in slime), then return to steepness, passing a mini roof with two bolts (one lower, one after mini roof).

P15: A2, 110', STEEP, width 0.4-1.5" Probably the crux of the climb. Triangle roof. Lots of variety with rivets, pin, nuts, off-set cams. Watch the rope from getting wedged after the Triangle roof. Belay under roof off. Variety of good bolts, okay bivy location.

P16: A2, 130', STEEP, width 0.4-4.5" Watch the rope on the sharp-edge of the roof (may want to duck-tape the edge) off the belay. A2 with two rivet transfer (plus optional hook) to wider crack + some plants. Upper section is 5.10 or C1+.

NOTE: Hauling from pitch 17 to summit is lower angle and may have some snag sections.

P17: C1+/5.9, 140', width 0.4-4.0" Another farming pitch, lots of greenery, but the angle eases off. Variety of clean gear and climbing. Natural belay on the left 5.9 crack (multiple #1 camalots), belay takes 1-3". Don't go too high, otherwise the next pitch awkwardness will make your belay difficult.

P18: C1+, 140', width 0.4-4.5" The 5.9 (1-3") crack goes back over to the awkward flaring section higher up. Nice bivy belay with multiple bolts.

P19: A1, 150', width 0.4-4.5" Flaring, awkward 5.9 ramp on lower section, A1 higher. Pass obvious roof (visible on the right) via left side and go past the lower fixed pin belay (Horse Chute merger) and go to upper fixed pin belay at base of the Black Cave.

P20: 5.9 chimney, then A1+, 130', width 0.4-4.0" Awkward, hard chimney to rivets across lower part of the roof, then A1+ variety. Natural belay in gully next to old bolt on right side of gully. Belay takes 2". Nuts, #1, #2 Camalots.

P21: 5.10 gully to Thanksgiving ledge, 165', width 0.4-4.0" A huge grunt. Moaner pitch. Take the whole rack or have your buddy pass the pieces. At the end, try to stay left, on the 5.10, 3" section. Otherwise, the A2 exit on the right takes many, many LA pins. Haul on the left, from the tree and fixed pins in the crack on Thanksgiving ledge.

To W.Buttress (optional exit) is 180m (600'). 4th class DOWN (or rap fixed lines) for 20m, then up along the ledge. I suggest fixing a full 60m along the ledge, after the rap section. Check out Lurking Fear/West Buttress beta for final pitches.

To continue on the Dihedral Wall, here's the scoop (I did not go this way):

P22: 5.8, traverse. Go 100' west and rap 40' down 4th class section (manky, fixed ropes). Climb (5.8) for approx. 100' and set up natural belay.

P23: 5.8, A1, 140'. 5.8 up and A1 on left side or tension to chimney, then up. Bolt and natural belay.

P24: 5.9, 165'. Up corner, 5.9 initially, then EZ section (?). Belay in huge gully.

P25: EZ chimney, A1, 165'. Up EZ chimney, traverse right on A1 bolt section, then up to natural belay stance.

P26: 5.10 squeeze, 160'. Pitch climbs a series of large blocks. After first one, climb on left side. Rumor is that the 5.8 and 5.10 squeeze sections are mandatory free climbing.

P27: 30' of 4th to the top!

Dihedral Wall TR

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