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Disappearing Dome, Disappearing in Plain Sight

Disappearing Dome, Disappearing in Plain Sight. In July Hunter Sibbald and I climbed a new route on Disappearing Dome, in the southern Yosemite area overlooking the Middle Fork of the San Joaquin River. We called it Disappearing in Plain Sight (IV 5.11b). We climbed ground-up, placing18 bolts, including belay anchors, from natural stances and completed the route in one day. The second pitch initially required aid (A1) to surmount a small roof, but we returned the next day to climb a free variation, which joins the original start at the top of the second pitch.

The climb starts on a dark gray exfoliation slab split by an “S” shaped chimney. This slab is near the north end of the main east face, just south of the gully that defines the northeast face—home of Do It, Don’t Spew It (AAJ 2009). The slab is just right of a series of prominent right-facing, right-slanting corners.

The free variation starts with an awkward move (5.10a) left into the crack leading to the chimney. Belay at the top of the chimney, then climb right-facing corners to a sloping ledge on the left. The aid variation climbs the left edge of the slab and goes over a roof to a bolted belay on the sloping ledge. The route continues up and slightly left (5.11b near the start of the third pitch) following shallow corners and amazing knobs to the top of the prominent corners. Two more pitches straight up, protected by a few bolts and some gear, lead to a line of bolts coming in from the left, which is followed two more pitches to the top. We climbed five new pitches before joining an existing route for another two. The climbing is spicy in places, but well-protected in the hard sections. The rock quality is excellent.