Third Pillar of Dana - Am I going to die?


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Grey Matter
Aug 10, 2009 - 04:21pm PT
Speaking of the Gomppers,
I would like to get a copy of the Rexrode guide (Mt Woodson) if anyone has a clue.


Trad climber
June Lake, CA
Aug 10, 2009 - 06:02pm PT
No, it's unlikely that you'll die, BUT...........

I was there with a client a few weeks ago, and came upon a guy prussiking up the 4th
pitch. Seems he whipped off, badly breaking his right ankle. He was attempting the 10a variation on the right side of the big flake, (4th pitch). There was another party
already helping out and we jumped in as well. We hauled the fella up the last pitch, then, given that he could not walk, a number of us carried him all the way back to the cars at Tioga Lake. What a workout !

the moral, use a rope and pro early and often.

Bad Climber

Aug 10, 2009 - 06:05pm PT
Did this for the first time a couple of years ago. Holy cats one of the best climbs ever. I forgot the topo, so we wondered around to the left a bit after the first pitch but finally hit the line above the chimney flake--all good climbing, btw.

I didn't lead the last pitch but did lead the "10b" face--tricky, but good pro and only a few thin moves. Not a big worry in my book. I was concerned about the so-called "mantel" at the top, thinking of some foot dangling horror above the abyss. It's NOT that at all. In fact, I didn't even mantel. I found a couple of excellent rails leading a bit right of the summit horn and just pulled up--easy, juggy fun! I couldn't find no stinkin' mantel--at least not one that was mandatory in any way.

I'll second the comments on the last pitch--great pro, good rests, top 1% of pitches I've done anywhere, maybe the best period.

I'm hoping to do this route again next year with my wife.

If you are truly a confident 5.9 leader--cracks, face, corners, the works, then you're probably capable of a bunch of easy 10's, too. Go try a few shorter 10a/b cracks. If they feel okay, then load up your pack and git 'er done.


Social climber
Aug 10, 2009 - 06:07pm PT
hey there ed hardini... say, fantastic pics!

good view, and crisp and all... thanks for the share...
not only are you all at supertopo great climbers, you are great photographers, as well... :)

*say, flanders, now i have an idea of the 'mountain guide' note, that i did not understand, thanks for the share---very glad the guy was only broken, as to ankle... as we all know, such things could have been worse...


A hard right down Big Tujunga Canyon
Aug 10, 2009 - 06:11pm PT
That 3rd photo that Hartouni has posted above really does say/show it all. I kinda forgot about the steepness there. Outstanding!

Trad climber
June Lake, CA
Aug 10, 2009 - 06:17pm PT

is that really you in those pics ????

dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
Aug 10, 2009 - 06:45pm PT
There may be a tiny bit of tilt on Ed's last photo! It doesn't overhang like that. There are lots of good rests.
A "must do" for any Sierra climber, mega classic.

The 5.8 hand traverse down low is fun!

Mountain climber
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 17, 2009 - 05:39pm PT
Third Pillar met and conquered - with the help of a Supertopo rope gun.

Route more difficult than I expected, but my partner, who I picked up sight unseen off of Supertopo, pulled off all the hard pitches.

10b "crux" (traverse after pin) has an easy work around in my opinion. Particularly if you are willing to step on the pin. ha

Last 10a layback bit on pitch 5 shut me down. I blame it on being height challenged (my common excuse), but I could see this bomber finger lock that was just 8 inches out of reach as I repeatedly barn doored off the delicate smearing layback. Granted it was the end of a long day and I had a pack on but shit; didn't feel like any 10a to me. After 4 failed stabs at it (each ending with a discouraging 5 foot rope stretching descent back to the ledge) I resorted to bat-manning up the rope. First time I've ever had to resort to that. But hey, whatever gets the job done. (see Walleye's first picture at the top of the thread for exact location; pro in right crack but we climbed the left crack. not sure if there is another option)

Beautiful weather, 8 people - conga line style - on route that day. Incredibly beautiful location - and sufficient time waiting at belays to take it all in.

Here's Bryce finishing up final pitch.

Bad Climber

Aug 17, 2009 - 05:49pm PT
Yo, Rocker! Congrats. Glad you had a good time--and you didn't die. Can't beat that.

Nor Cal

Trad climber
San Mateo
Aug 17, 2009 - 05:49pm PT
From the approach, where I thought I was going to die:
Mt Dana:

In the Aviary studying trees
Aug 17, 2009 - 05:51pm PT
Allright! Good job and you lived to tell about it.

Big Wall climber
Aug 17, 2009 - 05:57pm PT
DIdn't someone here post a pic a while back of a mt. lion that was at the base of Dana, looking up at them? Might have been somewhere else, but pretty sure it was at Dana.

Trad climber
Aug 17, 2009 - 05:58pm PT
Awesome rockermike!
That was the first time you ever had to batman up a rope. I envy you!
Great job.

Mountain climber
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 18, 2009 - 11:18am PT
A fellow supertopo member sent me this beta back channel. Now I re-read it I'd say its spot on - except the 5.8 bit I don't actually remember. What I do remember is the 5.6 chimney just after pitch 2's 10a is way hard with a pack on (oh, maybe that is the 5.8 he's talking about?). Thanks again Ben.

"The message is:
Saw your post on Third Pillar. Great route -- did it last year. It is very impressive and intimidating, but there is not really any good reason not to go do it if you have stable weather.

I have at least four different topos, no two of which agree. The Supertopo seemed closest, with the following exceptions: (i) the second pitch seems easier than 5.10 if you can reach around left as soon as possible to the hidden holds behind the rib; (ii) the belay on top of the big flake at the top of the third pitch is indeed spectacular, but the quality of the gear available for the anchor is underwhelming; (iii) the move by the pin on the fourth pitch seems way easier than 5.10b, more like 5.8 (looks like a block just above the pin recently fell out, leaving a jug hold); (iv) just above that move, the “5.6 hands” section before the next belay is apparently out of sight to the left (so I've been told, anyway), and the logical line up to the ledge is about 5.8; and (v) the tips layback on the last pitch is more like 5.10c, but it's really just one move (the topos don't even show this as the crux, but I thought it was miles harder than anything else on the climb technically). Excellent climb, tiring day. "
Dingus Milktoast

Aug 18, 2009 - 11:56am PT
rockermike I watched a cool vid, taken from off to the side up on the plateau, of Leversee soloing the route. It'll really make you squirm, now having done it, to see someone dance up the thing with no rope.

Different universe, eh?

Congrats on one of the prize climbs of the high Sierra - and I mean that literally.



Trad climber
Mill Valley, CA
Aug 18, 2009 - 12:27pm PT
Yay, rockermike. Thanks for taking the route on and for the pics. You are an inspiration to me.
adam d

Aug 18, 2009 - 12:55pm PT
Nefarious...perhaps you were remembering this one (from the base of OZ)

Taken from the base of the sweet corner, Tail not visible in this zoomed in p&s pic but it's no bobcat!

Anyone do this traverse variation on the 3rd pillar? right of the regular route I believe, a few pitches up. Traverse left from the belay and around a corner to a wide-ish 9 crack?

rockermike: agreed the thin crack on the last pitch was the crux for me as well. Might have had something to do with linking the last 2 pitches though with 2 10.2 ropes!

Trad climber
Aug 18, 2009 - 01:04pm PT

Mountain climber
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 19, 2009 - 12:56pm PT
another photo; above mentioned airy belay on flake with marginal gear for an anchor


Trad climber
The High And Lonely
Sep 18, 2009 - 09:10pm PT
Sierra bump
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