Regular Route 5.9
About the Climb
Fairview Dome is the largest dome in Tuolumne Meadows and the Regular Route is perhaps the most popular multi-pitch route in Tuolumne, thanks to the book 50 Classic Climbs of North America. This route is in fact as classic as it gets, and should not be missed if you'll be climbing in the area.
Regular route follows a long, steep and continuous crack system all the way to the top of Fairview Dome. The first part of the route features beautiful cracks, interesting climbing on clean rock, and even a few roofs. After the first few pitches, the angle decreases and the route meanders a bit more. Overall, the protection is excellent, and the cracks take nuts especially well. The crux comes at you fast on the first pitch, and requires good smearing technique on polished rock. This section of the route is often wet, especially in early season. After that, each pitch gets gradually easier and the route finishes with a long section or low 5th clas and 4th class that is easy to simul-climb.
All belays are on gear, except for the occasional fixed pitons and slings, so retreat can be difficult in case of bad weather. Although the route can be climbed in as many as 12 pitches with a 50m rope, it is highly recommended to use a 60 or a 70m rope, which will allow you to combine many pitches and skip some uncomfortable belays.
The 360 degree views from the summit of Fairview Dome are incredible and the descent is relatively short and easy. Regular route is a very enjoyable climb, but is often crowded with slow parties in the summer. It is difficult to pass other climbers on the first half of the route, but various options exist once you get to Crescent Ledge. A good option for faster parties is to start the route in the afternoon and climb in the warm sun.
Many other great routes are located on Fairview Dome, and make great combinations if you can climb fast. Great Pumpkin (5.8R) and Roseanne (5.9R) are located on the right side of the dome, are rarely crowded, and go relatively quickly, so they make for a great combination, or alternative if Regular Route is too busy. Otherwise, Lucky Streaks (5.10d) is another great option and would make an amazing combination.