West Country, Tuolumne Route Photo

West Country 5.7

Includes Hermaphrodite Flake (5.4 or 5.7) & The Boltway (5.9)

Stately Pleasure Dome

  • West Country Sun ExposureRoute quality:
  • West Country First AscentBob Summers and John Fisher, 1970 (West Country)
  • West Country Pitch InfoNumber of pitches: 4
  • West Country Approach TimeApproach Time: 5 minutes
  • West Country Climbing TimeClimbing Time: 2-3 hours
  • West Country Descent timeDescent Time: 20-30 minutes
  • West Country Sun ExposureSun exposure: Afternoon until sunset
  • About the Climb

    Stately Pleasure Dome offers one of the most beautiful climbing setting anywhere, rising 500 feet right above the blue waters of Tenaya Lake. You will get beautiful views of the lake, of Tenaya Peak located just across, and of other Tuolumne Domes and even of Half Dome. It's easy to go for a swim after climbing, and enjoying the beach at Tenaya Lake is a great way to relax at the end of the day. Because this Dome is so easily accessible, and filled with many excellent moderate routes, it is also very popular.

    West Country is an all-time favorite, and makes a great introduction to Tuolumne multi-pitch trad climbing. This is a great route to start your trip to Tuolumne and get aclimatized. The route has a bit of everything, with a 2nd pitch featuring a classic lieback dihedral that might feel a little awkward for some climbers new to the polished Tuolumne rock. The third pitch consist of an awesome friction slab that is only protected by 3 bolts. With a 5.7 move 20’ above the last bolt, it demands a cool head. Expect this route to be busy, prepare to wait in line or plan for an alternative.

    West Country passes just left of an enormous flake, which is Hermaphrodite Flake, a fun and very unique route. From the base of Hermaphrodite Flake, three different options exist, ranging from 5.4 to 5.7. Our GearLoopTopo describes each variation in detail, but the most popular option is to chimney/tunnel behind the huge flake. This might feel a little claustrophobic to some, but offers very cool chimneying and wiggling through a dark tunnel. This pitch is also a great choice on a hot, sunny day. The 3 different routes up to the top of the flake are all clean, committing and might feel a little strenuous to the 5.4 climbers. The exposure is great and the views are simply incredible.

    The Boltway offers a great way to keep going up to the summit of Stately Pleasure Dome from the top of Hermaphrodite Flake. The Boltway is a fun face climb that weaves its way up some truly beautiful slabs. Although it is well protected, expect a mix of old and new bolts. The last pitch features some balancy face climbing on thin edges over superb glacier polish that allows you to reach a horizontal crack system leading to the top of the Dome. This is an excellent alternative to West Country (5.7) or South Crack (5.8R) if those routes are busy.

    West Country (Tuolumne) GearLoopTopo {West Country (Tuolumne) GearLoopTopo

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    The GearLoopTopo

    Our GearLoopTopo for West Country also includes the information you need to climb the Hermaphrodite Flake (5.4 or 5.7), and Boltway (5.9), with directions starting from the Tuolumne campground.

    Possible Combinations

    Many other great routes are found on Stately Pleasure Dome, allowing for great combinations. Perhaps the best option is to climb Hermaphrodite Flake (5.4 or 5.7) and Boltway (5.9), which are located just to the right. These are also a great alternatives if the route is busy.

    Also try the Great White Book(5.6R) for some awesome chimney climbing. South Crack (5.8R) has a similar feel to West Country, but is a notch harder. Another great route located not too far is Zee Tree (5.7), which gets sun in the afternoon and makes for a great combination.

    Similar Climbs

    For other great routes at a similar grade, check out the Hobbit Book (5.7R), the Southeast Buttress (5.6) of Cathedral Peak, the South to North Traverse (5.7) of Matthes Crest, and Zee Tree (5.7).

    Download the West Country PDF file or visit the PDF Center.

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