Separate Reality (climbing route)

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Separate Reality
Location California, United States
Climbing Area Yosemite Valley
Route Type Free climbing
Vertical Gain 20 metres (66 ft)
Rating 5.11d
First ascent Ron Kauk; 1978.

Separate Reality is a 20-metre-long (66 ft) long climbing route in Yosemite National Park in California, United States. The famous[1][2] route is well known for its exposed crux and 6-metre-long (20 ft) crack in its roof through which the sky is visible.[3] The route's access is about 200 metres (660 ft) above the Merced River, but is better reached by abseiling from above. The name is from the 1971 novel A Separate Reality: Further Conversations with Don Juan from Carlos Castaneda.[4]

The route was first climbed by Ron Kauk in 1978 and given a difficulty grade of 5.12a (7a+). It was later downgraded to 5.11d (7a) when a block fell off near the lip, exposing a new handhold.

The first to free solo-climb this route was German Wolfgang Güllich in 1986, then photographed by Austrian Heinz Zak, who 19 years later soloed the route himself in 2005.[5]

The route excites climbers not so much because of its technical difficulty, but due to its overhanging exposed nature,[5] and the resultant demands on the human psyche.

In the summer of 2006 the American Dean Potter was the third climber to free solo this route.[6] Since then, other climbers, such as Alex Honnold and Will Stanhope, have free soloed the route as well.


  1. ^ Nejc Cesen climbs one of the most well-known routes in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. 2005.
  2. ^ Stuck On Yosemite
  3. ^ Martial Dumas (producer); Didier Chenevoy (cinematographer) (2002-09-13). TVMountain: Separate Reality (in French). Event occurs at 2:20. Retrieved 2009-04-02. daylight is visible through crack  3 minute film of a protected climb of the route in 2002
  4. ^ Den Fels im Griff - Freiklettern from the ZDF programme Der Sportspiegel (Video on YouTube: Wolfgang Güllich Parte2)
  5. ^ a b Heinz Zak solos Yosemite's Separate Reality. 09/06/2005. "completely out of my reach, not physically, but mentally"
  6. ^ Dean Potter free solo on Separate Reality (5.11d/7a) and Dog's Roof (5.12b/7b). 2006-08-19.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°43′21″N 119°34′53″W / 37.72250°N 119.58139°W / 37.72250; -119.58139