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Bishop's Terrace

First ascent: Steve Roper, Dave McFadden, Russ Warne 1959. F.F.A. Chuck Pratt
By: Chris McNamara
Area: U.S.A., Group: Yosemite, Peak: Church Bowl, Country: USA, Region: California

This is often called "The best 5.8 hand crack in Yosemite Valley." The climbing consists of glorious hand jams, a brief wide section and double cracks. For some, Bishop's Terrace will be a crowning climb of their Yosemite trip while for others this climb will represent a great introduction into harder Yosemite cracks. Either way, this route captures the ideal qualities of a Yosemite hand crack. I will let Steve Roper, a better historian and writer than I, tell the story of the first ascent:"Climbers love short approaches, and the Church Bowl area just about wins any timed contest for car-to-cliff. The Church Bowl Chimney, a deep and nasty-looking cleft, was the first route to be done here, probably in the 1950s. Rated only 5.6, this strenuous route today stymies many gym climbers. Next to fall was Bishop's Terrace. In late December 1959 I spied a beautiful set of jamcracks on the wall above and right of Church Bowl Chimney. Armed with the latest technology-heavy steel inch-and-a-half angle pitons-Dave McFadden, Russ Warne and I swarmed up the easy lower section. But I didn't know squat about pure jamcracks, and I was scared to boot. To my everlasting shame I used two points of aid on the upper crack. Naturally, the route went free as soon as good climbers got on it, and this happened within months. Of course it was Chuck Pratt who led the first free ascent, so I didn't feel too bad."

GETTING THERE

Starting point: Yosemite valley

ACCESS

2 minute hike from the Church Bowl parking lot.

DESCENT

Rappel the route

GEAR

Sets of cams to 3 inches

NOTES

For more info check out www.supertopo.com

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DIFFICULTY

5.8

FACE

S

LENGTH

60m

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www.supertopo.com

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