American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, California, Glacier Point, Galactic Hitchhiker

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1997

Glacier Point, Galactic Hitchhiker. On October 14, Lou Renner of Santa Cruz, California, and I (from San Francisco), completed a first ascent of a new Grade VI “big wall” in Yosemite Valley. The climb, Galactic Hitchhiker, is located behind Curry Village on Glacier Point. (It is unaffected by the recent rock slide.) We established the new route over a year and a half, mainly working on the climb on long weekends. We finally completed the climb on October 14, 1995, making a continuous ascent from the base of the route to the summit in five days. I attached a kid’s snow saucer to the side of the haul bag to ease the hauling over the slab section on the lower part of the climb.

The first eight pitches of the Galactic Hitchhiker route are the old Goodrich Pinnacle route, which we rebolted. The route ends a short 10-minute hike from the Glacier Point Lookout, which is where the Fire Falls used to take place. Each pitch on Galactic Hitchhiker is set with a three-bolt anchor system with rappel rings, so the route can be completely rappeled. Galactic Hitchhiker is over 6,000 feet of climbing—41 full rope length pitches on excellent Yosemite granite rock. It is tentatively rated as 5.11a/b or 5.10a A2.

The route’s name is based upon a Scottish climbing story, which we used as a tribute to the climbers whose development of skills and techniques made modern climbing possible.

Mathew Brooks

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