Royal Arches Climbers Need Assistance Returning to Yosemite Valley

August 20, 2013 Posted by: Yosemite Search and Rescue
Near dusk on August 13, 2013, the Yosemite Emergency Communications Center received a report of two climbers requesting assistance near the top of North Dome Gully. Park rangers made phone contact with the party, who denied injury but was nearly out of water after ascending the Royal Arches climbing route that day. The climbers were also experiencing route-finding difficulties in the gully and felt they could no longer descend. Rangers asked the two to bivouac in a safe location until the following morning, when two Valley search and rescue team members hiked to their location, provided them with water, and guided them down the descent route without incident.

Royal Arches is one of many classic rock climbs in Yosemite Valley, but it presents significant challenges that can force climbers to spend an unexpected night on top or even require rescue. Though only of moderate difficulty (5.7 A0 or 5.10b), the route rises over 1,400 feet, is often crowded, and usually requires several hours to descend. If things do not go as planned, climbers may top out much later than expected, leaving them to rappel or hike down in the dark. North Dome Gully, one of the descent routes for Royal Arches, is notorious for its exposure, loose rock, and difficult route-finding. Darkness compounds all these challenges. Climbers should always come prepared with headlamps, extra food and water, and knowledge of their intended descent as well as alternative descent options before leaving the ground.


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  1. August 01, 2016 at 10:50
     

    Classic! the same exact shit happened to me! only my dickhead climbing partner left me at the top when i crapped out. forcing me to bivouac solo. what a freaky night- was visited, one by one, by every member of my family??? they each said, "hello" and moved on??? trippy right? anyhow, beautiful climb, arduous, long-ass fuckin day- be prepared is right. i lucked out and it was 100+ day in August, so had a relatively mild night. slept with no bag (didn't have one), and my gore-tex pants and wick away long sleave top. no food in morning and just a little water, but i knew my body and just flat out ran out of gas at the end. knew i'd be refreshed in the morning to scramble the gulley- knowing I'd have about 2-3 hours before the same shit happened again. crazy night, easy gulley in day light, and forcibly practically car jacked a ranger assistant on a Cushman, picking up trash bags on his can route. dude sees me limping for life on the floor of the gulley, fool syas to me, "park rules say i can't give you a ride...." whoaa- I said, "check this yo- IM GETTING ON THE BACK OF THIS RIDE OF YOURS". he complied without incident. :) but yeah, fuck that dickhead climbing partner of mine, who's bitch ass replied..."i have to get to the cafeteria before it closes tonight....I have to eattt??? what a punk bitch. sucka ass mutha f#$%^- anyhow, no bullshit- don't be like me; eat hella food before, get a good jump, and for go'd sake, if ypou think it's gonna take 8 hours...it'll probably take 12+. tons of knuckleheads and Joe half Dome's alike. some free-climbing, some taking pics for Outside, and some just city folk trying to escape the madness. memorable moves was the "jesus christ, spread wings bibles in both hands pressing vert over some rad exposure. if i did aagin, I'd free climb it so i didn't lose all my f$#$%n strength feeding belay to some jerk off who's just gonna abandon me at the top anyway- prick :D

     
  2. August 01, 2016 at 10:50
     

    Classic! the same exact shit happened to me! only my dickhead climbing partner left me at the top when i crapped out. forcing me to bivouac solo. what a freaky night- was visited, one by one, by every member of my family??? they each said, "hello" and moved on??? trippy right? anyhow, beautiful climb, arduous, long-ass fuckin day- be prepared is right. i lucked out and it was 100+ day in August, so had a relatively mild night. slept with no bag (didn't have one), and my gore-tex pants and wick away long sleave top. no food in morning and just a little water, but i knew my body and just flat out ran out of gas at the end. knew i'd be refreshed in the morning to scramble the gulley- knowing I'd have about 2-3 hours before the same shit happened again. crazy night, easy gulley in day light, and forcibly practically car jacked a ranger assistant on a Cushman, picking up trash bags on his can route. dude sees me limping for life on the floor of the gulley, fool syas to me, "park rules say i can't give you a ride...." whoaa- I said, "check this yo- IM GETTING ON THE BACK OF THIS RIDE OF YOURS". he complied without incident. :) but yeah, fuck that dickhead climbing partner of mine, who's bitch ass replied..."i have to get to the cafeteria before it closes tonight....I have to eattt??? what a punk bitch. sucka ass mutha f#$%^- anyhow, no bullshit- don't be like me; eat hella food before, get a good jump, and for go'd sake, if ypou think it's gonna take 8 hours...it'll probably take 12+. tons of knuckleheads and Joe half Dome's alike. some free-climbing, some taking pics for Outside, and some just city folk trying to escape the madness. memorable moves was the "jesus christ, spread wings bibles in both hands pressing vert over some rad exposure. if i did aagin, I'd free climb it so i didn't lose all my f$#$%n strength feeding belay to some jerk off who's just gonna abandon me at the top anyway- prick :D

     
 
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