279 Lost Arrow is a moderate, direct line of cool cracks up one of Yosemite's most iconic rocks, complete with awesome bivy ledges. The scenery is top notch too. The cruxes are a couple hook moves, an occasional camhook move or short sections of flaring/loose rock. 5.8 climbers find a fun outing with mostly straightforward aid. 5.10/5.11 climbers can french free nearly all the pitches. LA is also known for gale force winds that crank across the face(even the base) shortly after sunset till sunrise terrorizing anyone who is not in a tent. Good news is the ledges on the wall fit a small two person tent nicely. The Falls is loud in Spring, and mist can blow over on you at night. Most parties time their ascent with friends who are interested in hiking to the top and climbing the Lost Arrow Tip. This affords you an airy tyroleon over to the rim. Walking down the packed Falls Trail with your haulbag and 3-day odors = good times. Otherwise, it is an easy rappel from the summit to the Notch, and straight down a bolted rappel route to the base.



*Plan: Most parties hike two loads their first day and fix a pitch or two, and bivy at the base. The next day most parties will make the Second Error ledge atop pitch 8, and spend a long third day making it to the Summit. Bring radios as it is difficult to communicate when the Falls is raging.


*Approach/Descent: The approach starts up a large talus/boulder field(the now defunk Fern Ledge Trail) behind the Valley Fire Station/NPS stables/Search and Rescue office in Yosemite Village. The Fern Ledge trail ends atop Lower Yosemite Falls and from there you can drop your packs and scramble up, down and around a couple hundred feet to some amazing swmming pools--a good place to recharge and filter water halfway up the approach(when the Falls are raging in the Spring this is not an option) before continuing up obvious ledges/sandy trail to the base of the wall. A fun way to approach Lost Arrow is climbing the Sunnyside Bench Route(5.4), just up and left from Jamcrack. You could take your two ropes and rack and do this start to the approach(20-30min faster than walking around and way more fun), drop off your gear at the base of the wall(or fix a couple pitches) and then descend the trail and hike up all your bivy/wall stuff; or you could climb Sunnyside Bench one day and scope the first half of the approach and check out the waterflow and the amazing pools at the top of Lower Falls and see how feasible it is to get(filterable) water there. However you do it, if you split your loads into two this approach is a lot more enjoyable. Allow 3-5 hrs with a heavy pack.


Descend the Yosemite Falls Trail.


*Ledge: The ledges on this route are top notch, top shelf, super primo deluxe--as long as you have a small two person tent. The winds are so ferocious at night that bivy sacs are not nearly as much fun as a tent.



*The Elements: LA is in the Sun all day.

Trip Reports

Trip Reports