Mt. Watkins is an incredible, El Cap-sized alpine bigwall, with a grueling half-day approach and descent. The pace of life back in Tenaya Canyon seems far removed from the hustle and bustle of the Valley proper. You will likely see few people, and no signs of civilization, after you leave Mirror Lake. The first 800 feet of Watkins is low 5th class scrambling to reach a comfortable terrace, from where the routes begin. So don’t plan on leaving anything at the base, because you will not want to go all the way back up the approach slabs to retrieve your gear. Like El Cap, the cracks here are deep and parallel, though slightly grassy.