Beautiful New Free Climb in Yosemite Valley

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Nik Berry on Final Frontier's beautiful face climbing. Photo by James Lucas

Nik Berry on Final Frontier's beautiful face climbing. Photo by James Lucas

4/23/13 - Nik Berry has redpointed a beautiful nine-pitch route up the Fifi Buttress, just west of the Leaning Tower in Yosemite Valley. The new line, Final Frontier (5.13), is the free version of an aid climb (V 5.7 A3) of the same name, established in 1999 by Dan and Sue McDevitt, Penny Black, and Brittany Griffith.

Berry worked on the route with James Lucas, who has not yet redpointed all the pitches. They spent about 10 days cleaning the line, adding protection bolts where needed, and working out the cruxes. The line has two possible 5.13 cruxes, on the fifth and sixth pitchs, plus two 5.12 leads and much 5.11.

Final Frontier

Fifi Buttress, with the line of Final Frontier. Photo by Mikey Schaefer

"It is a very technical rock climb, with the sixth pitch in particular being extremely technical and incredible climbing," Berry said. "After putting up a few scary routes that will most likely not be repeated or see few ascent, James and I were psyched to make this route more accessible, so we put in 16 bolts. This route has a small amount of spice to encompass the Yosemite climbing spirit, but it is nothing the climber should not be able to handle. I believe this is by far the best first ascent I have ever been a part of."

Berry added that Lucas "has been an exceptionally motivated partner to put this route up with, and I am sure he will stick with it and send soon."

Date of ascent: April 2013

Source: Nik Berry