What’s it like to climb The Nose? (Ep.18)

A couple weeks ago, the host of All Things Climbing, Dave Alie, and his wife Katie set off to Yosemite with the goal of climbing The Nose, often called The Greatest Rock Climb on Earth.

It has a reputation as being accessible to non-elite climbers, yet at least half of the teams who leave the ground end up bailing on Day 1.

Climbing The Nose, Yosemite, on the Al Things Climbing Podcast
The view from the Wild Stance, below the final bolt ladder. (Death Block in the foreground.)

With the good fortune of a stable forecast, relatively low traffic on the route, and a supportive ground team (helmed by the adventure baby), they succeeded in climbing the route wall-style over three days. Prior to their attempt on The Nose, they had done tons of prep and research, but still had a ton of questions going in.

Climbing The Nose, Yosemite, on the Al Things Climbing Podcast
Katie Sprinkel cleaning the Great Roof on The Nose, Yosemite.

So this episode is both a trip report and their chance to answer many of those questions for folks who might want to give The Nose a go. And if you have any questions that Dave and Katie don’t cover — or you’re gearing up for an attempt and want some beta — feel free to reach out to them at (dave@blistergearreview.com) or on Instagram (@hakunaburrata).


  • Brought to you by Rhino Skin Solutions (00:40)
  • Why Dave and Katie chose to climb in October (4:00)
  • How crowded was the route?
  • When did they first decide they wanted to climb the Nose?
  • Which big walls did they climb in preparation, and why was that so important? (8:50)
  • Climbing as a married couple? (23:20)
  • How did being new parents affect the experience? (28:45)
  • The hazardous ‘Death Block’ at the top of the route (33:32)
  • The importance of the order in which you build anchors (37:15)
  • Best and worst equipment / food to bring? (40:40)
  • Where Dave and Katie passed other teams. (46:20)
  • Why The Nose has a misleading reputation for being easy (47:45)
  • Dave’s advice to listeners for climbing The Nose? (51:33)
  • Lessons from teams who climb in a day and other great resources. (55:00)
  • Is there a consensus approach to handling loose rock on classic routes? (1:00:02)
  • Outro (1:12:20)


Climbing is complex and performing at your limit means bringing many variables together at the right moment. Rhino Skin Solutions makes the best skin care products for keeping your skin dry, healthy, and resilient, which brings one of the most crucial elements of performance under your control. Keeping your skin in good condition not just before a redpoint attempt but throughout the season means more effective training and climbing harder on the wall, it’s as simple as that.

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