A direct, easier aid line up to Eagle Ledge halfway up the Nose, Grape Race is a fun location climb with a handful of classic pitches interspersed with many bolts. The initial pitch, which heads up and left halfway through the fourth pitch of the Nose, has mandatory 5.8 climbing(bolt protected) up featured face and cracks. After that, it's mostly bolts/mellow aid with one incredible 300' splitter in the middle of the route. The cruxes are a few thin piton placements. Grape Race has unique views and while the climbing is not always that classic it gives the cool feeling of following the true Nose of El Cap. Grape Race combines the technical difficulty of Zodiac and the length of The Nose, so it is a logical step up after Zodiac or Ten Days After.


*Plan: Most folks fix a couple pitches and then spend the rest of their first day shuttling their gear up the third class approach ledges and maybe hauling, and bivy on the ground. Allow 3 more days(after fixing) to climb Grape Race and another 2 days to finish The Nose.


*Ledge: Stellar Cellar is a nice hang but too sloping to sleep on, so GR requires a portaledge.

Trip Reports


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1. Partner
Erik Sloan, Roger Putnam
Aug 28, 2014 (This was all Roger, as he led to Camp 6. Always an awesome day with the big Stone. Rog took a 30 footer on the 4th pitch and hit his ankle. Kept leading up the wall with now problems, but when we got to the summit we were out of water and his ankle had suddenly swelled to a melon, so it took a few hours to get down. Woohoo! Big Stone!)
Chris McNamara, Jose Pereyra
Jun 1999 (first one day ascent)