Cooke Book 5.10a
Includes Bombs Over Tokyo (5.10c)
About the Climb
Cooke Book offers 6 pitches of excellent climbing up a shady dihedral. It is a physically demanding route packed with all kinds of crack climbing, burly liebacking, shoulder scums and great finger locks. The route is rarely crowded because of more popular neighboring routes like Crescent Arch (5.9+), West Crack (5.9) and Blown Away (5.9).
Cooke Book is a classic route that has somewhat of an old school feel to it. The rock quality varies, so expect a few hollow flakes and slightly grainy sections. The first pitch offers 3 different starting options, but most choose the original start, a fun roof traverse leading into a long awkward corner. Watch out for rope drag on this pitch, and consider using double ropes, which can also come handy on the second pitch. Otherwise use long slings or back clean. The second pitch has an exciting crack switch with a potential swing for the follower, but it can be avoided by downclimbing a short section. Either way, the routefinding becomes much more straightforward from this point on, and the upper part of the route offers stellar liebacking and sweet fingerlocks. The lieback crux on pitch 5 is very short but powerful, with solid fingerlocks and good friction. The protection on this pitch is bomber, but can be a little tricky to place because it is difficult to see as you lieback up the gorgeous corner.
This is a great route to do on a hot day as it only receives sun in the late afternoon. However, it can feel chilly on a cold windy day.
Our topo for Cooke Book also contains the first pitch of Bombs Over Tokyo, which is one of the best 5.10c finger cracks in all of Yosemite. Since it shares the first section of the original first pitch, it is easy to warm-up on it before climbing Cooke Book, or simply do it afterwards to round-out the day. It's also easy to combine Cooke Book with other routes located on Daff Dome. For a similar route with lots of hand jamming, try Crescent Arch (5.9+), which is the other huge dihedral located to the right. For an easier combination, hop on the popular West Crack (5.9) or Blown Away (5.9), which might be free of traffic later in the afternoon. If you combine Cooke Book with another route on Daff Dome, remember that the exposed walk-off will be faster than the regular rappel descent, and will allow you to go back more directly to the base of the West Face.
If you don't feel like going up another multi-pitch, or want to warm-up on easier single pitch routes before climbing Cooke Book, try Witch of the West (5.9) and West of the Witch (5.8). These two short bolted routes are located on the approach ledge just before West Crack (5.9), and make for a perfect warm-up if your route is busy and you have to wait.
Crescent Arch (5.9+) is another great route on Daff Dome that feels somewhat similar to Cooke Book. It also goes up a huge corner system and features lots of liebacking and sustained crack climbing. For other routes at a similar grade, check out Crying Time Again (5.10a), Direct Northwest Face (5.10c), and the Regular Route (5.10a) on the Third Pillar of Dana.