Aqua Knobby 5.9
About the Climb
Aqua Knobby is a short but great technical route with lots of variety offering great slab, crack and flake climbing. It is easily accessible and makes the perfect afternoon outing if you need to fill the rest of your day. It’s also very easy to see if someone is already on the route from your car.
A new bolted variation on the first pitch now allows climbers to avoid part of the original 5.6R slab. It makes this first pitch more sustained at 5.9, and is now the best way to go. Our topo shows both the regular start and the new variation.
The highlight on Aqua Knobby is the steep 2nd pitch, which starts with a steep crack going over a roof. This is then followed by a great 5.8 (PG13) exposed traverse on knobs. There is a good bolt protecting this section, but you have to face climb a little ways before you can reach a finger crack and place some gear. While the runout is not too bad by Tuolumne standards, a fall from this point would probably mean swinging over the roof and onto the slab below... Make sure that you are confident on 5.8 slabs and you should be OK. The upper half of the route follows a long crack system that gets progressively easier, and takes you directly to the top of the Dome.
Other high quality routes can be found on Pywiack Dome and make the most sense for combinations. Just a few hundred feet to the right is Zee Tree (5.7) if you want to take it easy. If you are looking for a more challenging route, try Dike Route (5.9R) or Needle Spoon (5.10a).
Because of its proximity to the road, it is also easy to combine Aqua Knobby with a number of other routes, especially the ones on Stately Pleasure Dome, which has the opposite sun exposure. Try the Great White Book (5.6R), South Crack (5.8 R), West Country (5.7) or the Boltway (5.9).