Yosemite Valley, 1982. Rock climbing continues to flourish in Yosemite National Park, and each year there seem to be more climbers in the valley than the previous year. Certain areas are extremely crowded on the weekends in the spring and fall, notably Manure Pile Buttress, Five Open Books, Sunnyside Bench, Church Bowl and Glacier Point Apron. Even the Cookie Cliff, long known as having the most consistently difficult climbs of any crag in the valley, teems with climbers during these periods, despite the fact that a landslide destroyed the approach road in April. An excellent new guidebook written by George Meyers appeared at the end of the year, and it is hoped that this will serve to spread out the climbers, both neophyte and expert alike, in the years to come. One of the main differences between now and the scene of ten years ago is the ever-increasing number of foreign climbers. Americans are a distinct minority in Camp 4 (officially known as Sunnyside Campground, but still called Camp 4 by most climbers) during spring and fall seasons. New routes continue to be done, both big walls and short free routes. Some of the best are listed here: El Capitan, Lunar Eclipse (VI, A4). A 14-pitch route to the right of the Zodiac, climbed by Steve Schneider and John Barbella. El Capitan, Mediterranean Route (VI, rating unknown). This route starts to the left of the Salathé, crosses that route at the Half Dollar formation, then stays between the Muir and Nose routes to the top. It was climbed by four brothers from Spain, Miguel, José, Carlos and Javier Gallego. This is apparently the first all-foreign first ascent on E1 Capitan. Liberty Cap, Direct Southwest Face (V, 5.10, A5). A steep difficult route to the right of the original Harding-Rowell-Faint route, climbed by Rick Cashner and Werner Braun. Mount Broderick, The Unemployment Line (IV, 5.9, A3). An eight-pitch predominantly free climb which ascends the smooth southwest face of this dome, climbed by Alan Bartlett, Steve Gerberding and Jim May. Higher Cathedral Spire, Higher Aspirations (VI, 5.8, A4). Twelve steep pitches to the right of the Frost-Robbins route on the northwest face of the spire, climbed by Steve Bosque, Rick Derrick and Kelly Repp. Tunnel Vision, (I, 5.11 + ). On the wall above the Cookie; John Bacher climbed this difficult direct line above Gait of Power. Moongerms, (I, 5.11 +). Another Bacher problem; this is the finger crack immediately right of Hairline on Elephant Rock. Happy Days, (I, 5.12 –). Climbed by Werner Braun, Chris Belizzi and Rick Cashner; this is a finger and hand crack on a wall to the east of Arch Rock. Chow Chow Chow (I, 5.10 + ). This is a long thin comer on the east side of Loggerhead Buttress, climbed by Bruce Morris and Dave Yerian. Skid Row (II, 5.8). A three-pitch face climb on North Dome to the left of the west-face route, climbed by Dimitri Barton and Alan Bartlett. Pure Essence (II, 5.11). High up Eagle Creek on its left side is an unnamed wall containing this two-pitch overhanging hand and fist crack, climbed by Don Reid and Werner Braun. New Testament (I, 5.10 + ). This climb starts with a hand traverse into an overhanging crack. It eventually joins Resurrection on the Chapel Wall, and was climbed by Don Reid and Rick Cashner. Static Cling, (I, 5.10 – ). Located near the walk-on approach to the middle of the Rostrum; Don Reid and Rick Cashner climbed the left side of a giant flake. The Lay- bacher (I, 5.11 –). Adjacent to the first rappel leading to the base of the north face of the Rostrum is this perfect 90 × 90 degrees comer, climbed by John Bacher, Mari Gingery and Mike Lechlinski.
Alan Bartlett, Yosemite Mountaineering School