A moderate Tuolumne climb
— By Matt Johanson


Area: Tuolumne Meadows

Difficulty: 5.7

Number of Pitches: Six

Parking: Tioga Road and Pywiak Dome

Best Season: May through October

Overview: Zee Tree has well-bolted 5.7 slab climbing leading to easier pitches above. The upper pitches need gear and the last involves a 5.7 lieback.

Skills needed
Climbers will need to tie into a rope, build anchors using bolts and gear, lead pitches up to 5.7, belay lead pitches and rappel.

Gear needed
Take helmets, harnesses, shoes, belay devices, locking carabiners, long slings, 12 quickdraws, a set of nuts, cams from .5 inches to 4 inches wide and a 60-meter rope (a second 60-meter rope will be needed to rappel from belay stations).

Park beside Tioga Road at Pywiack Dome, either one mile east of Tenaya Lake or about 6 miles west of the Tuolumne store. Scramble down talus, cross the stream bed and hike up the low-angle base. The route starts to the right of the dikes and beneath a small pine tree. Walk up a Class 4 slope to anchor bolts at the base.

Hike to the summit and then northeast to find a block with slings. Rappel from it 40 feet and then walk north about 100 feet. Scramble down the talus to the base.

Insider tips
If rappelling, do so after the first or second pitch. After that, rappelling requires leaving gear. The fourth and fifth pitches can be combined; use long slings to prevent rope drag.

Matt Johanson is the author of Yosemite Adventures, a guidebook of hikes, climbs and ski treks and is available now. His writing can be found at www.mattjohanson.com


Pitch Info


Pitch 1: Climb up 5.7 slabs past the tree to the next belay above a small ledge.

Pitch 2: This easier and shorter pitch has three bolts on 5.0 climbing.

Pitch 3: Continue to a crack system where small gear is needed to build an anchor.

Pitch 4: Follow the crack to its top. Build another anchor.

Pitch 5: Traverse to the left and build an anchor beneath the vertical crack.

Pitch 6: Use large cams to protect the 5.7 lieback on the final pitch.