Beautiful New Free Climb in Yosemite Valley

Nik Berry on Final Frontier's beautiful face climbing.

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.

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


Previous Comments

@Lafayette de Cat poop, yep, I'm an hammer drill - bend over.

Joe Banks - 05/13/2013 8:18:32

@Joe Banks, You are a complete tool

Lafayette de Cat poop - 04/24/2013 11:59:52

Thanks for clarifying and good to hear, so often these days the earlier efforts are disegarded for the "next best thing." Congrats on the strong work!

Joe - 04/23/2013 12:50:35

Joe- We spoke with El Portal resident and long time Yosemite Climber Dan Mcdevitt, who established many of the routes on Fifi Buttress including this one, about adding bolts. He was psyched to see the route go free and happily allowed us to add bolts to the line. McDevitt made the first ascent with Brittany Griffith and Jim Karn. Karn believed the route would go free- which was what enticed me to investigate the climb last fall. Berry helped provide the fuel to get things going.

James Lucas - 04/23/2013 12:35:16

Hmm, too bad about the extra bolts - hopefully they gained permission from the first ascensionists beforehand.

Joe Banks - 04/23/2013 12:05:17