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Arrowhead Spire

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About Arrowhead Spire:

At the rocky clearing high above the big approach gully, Arrowhead Arete is on the left, and the shorter Arrowhead Spire is to the right. The spire route has two pitches that can be linked as one. To descend, rap down to the first belay of the Arrowhead Arete route at the slung scraggly tree, and then either do another rap back down to the base, or climb the arete route to the top.
Approach: Hike up the trail above the SAR cache and stables near Yosemite Village, passing a boulder talus field left of the trail early on. Follow the switchbacks onward. Higher up, the switchbacks deteroriate to a harder-to-spot mulchy trail. STAY ON TRAIL. The upward mulchy switchbacks top out up and left to a rocky ledge with cairn. Then the trail drops down and continues wrapping clockwise around, hugging the cliffside, and then continues horizontally across, passing through a big overgrowth of manzanilla just before the exposed step-over onto the slabby face of the loose gully. Exposed because one can fully appreciate the helpless slide off into the abyss and down toward the village buildings far, far below. Step over, then a few more sketchy friction steps, then another 40' or so of loose footing on the litter of dirt and rocks and junk that leads straight up the gully. Stay on the right side of the gully and exit onto rocky legdges with big trees. (Likely possible to set belay just before the step-over, too, if need, and sling the sturdier trees on the right side of gully til having cleared the entire loose footing stretch, anchoring on one of the bigger trees on the exit big ledge up and right.) Continue up rocky gully to area near base of Arrowhead Spire and Arrowhead Arete, where extra gear and packs can be left on the ground. The descent raps come down further up this same gully. NOTE: On the way back down, we were able to bypass the loose gully and the exposed step-over by rapping from a big tree that has a tire sized beige boulder sitting in its big branches (the branches holding the rock like an upward open hand, with parts of some branches splintered by the "catch" apparently). This tree and boulder combo is located on the edge of a low ledge, after working our way as far as possible down the rocky ledges full of trees above the gully. The rap landed us on the cliffside trail right next to and just before exposed step-over. Had plenty of rope left with a 70 m; a 60 m should work fine too; easy pull. FYI, afterward, finding the trail inside the overgrowth of manzanilla can be quite challenging in the dark, as well as staying on trail on the upper mulchy switchbacks. If you do lose the trail, scrambling down and to downward-left via lots of talus will eventually connect to the very obvious Lower Yosemite Falls Trail.
Approach Time: 2 to 2.5 hours
Latitude, Longitude:
Access Issues: None.
Rock Type: Granite
Type of Climbing: Trad
Sun Aspect:


SequenceSequence numbers indicate the left (L) to right (R) order of the routes. Rating Route Difficulty Ascents
1 Average Rating = 0.00/5 Arrowhead Spire 5.6 0