Mescalito is often called the best moderate route on El Cap, as it follows incredible small-cam cracks up the formidable Dawn Wall. Like the Nose, the first four or five pitches are more technical than the rest of the climb, though in Mescalito's case this means there are numerous fixed heads on these pitches and the rest of the route tends to follow more cam cracks. Mescalito feels sustained because there is not a sleepable ledge until pitch 18, and most belays are hanging. The Bismark(at pitch 18) is one of the best ledges on El Cap. Bonus tip: Mescalito gets afternoon shade and can be cold and windy in the early season(late April-May). Mescalito is a good climb after you've done a route as long as Nose or Salathe and also climbed a route as technical as Zodiac or Tangerine Trip.


*Plan: Most parties fix three-four pitches the first day and hike loads and maybe haul. After that most teams spend 4-6 nights on the wall.


*The Elements: Mescalito gets afternoon shade and can be cold and windy in the early season(late-April through May). That said, it is not a great mid-Summer route because the early morning hours tend to have less wind so this section of the wall can be stifling in July/August. June and September are the best months to climb. Mescalito is not steep enough to avoid runoff in a storm, so it is not a good choice if a storm is forecasted.

Trip Reports



1. Partner
Dean Potter, Jose Pereyra, Russ Mitrovitch
Oct 1998 (first one day ascent)