North American Classic Climbs

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El Capitan

Salathé Wall

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A Yosemite big wall climb that has all the elements - length, history, and exceptional climbing. The first ascent was a major breakthrough in style by three legends of the golden age of exploration in Yosemite. Unlike the Nose route, there is no practical way to avoid quite hard free climbing on the Salathé. Named in honor of John Salathé, pioneer climber of the 50s, although he did not climb it. Very popular.


Lowland Rock




Yosemite Nat'l Park, California



G5, G28, I1, I2, I3, W9, W32


VI, 5.10A3 to 5.13


Route Descriptions & Maps:

USGS topographic map

First Ascent:

R. Robbins, C. Pratt, & T. Frost, September 1961.


Trip Reports:

Sverdrup, 5/00