Prow, Washington Column C2F 5.6

 
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Yosemite Valley, California USA

  • Currently 4.0/5
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SuperTopo Rating:   
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Average Customer Rating:   
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Rating Distribution
16 Total Ratings
5 star: 38%  (6)
4 star: 50%  (8)
3 star: 13%  (2)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Fishy

climber
Zurich, Switzerland
Oct 9, 2008 - 04:34am
 
Climbed this route Sept 24-26, our first big wall attempt. All fixed gear was present, and seemed in reasonable condition. No big problems - pitch 6 sent easily at C2, I can also confirm that the bolts shown in the topo low down on the pitch are missing, but not necessary (plenty of options for small nuts and cams).
A great route, only blemish is wrestling the pig on the last pitch or two, and the descent. We forgot to bring the topo, which in retrospect added nice touch of the unknown.
Have fun - we really enjoyed our first wall!

Pete.
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Sep 9, 2009 - 11:16pm
 
Great trip report http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=953356
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Jun 3, 2011 - 01:01pm
 
I just did the Prow two days ago. Not a soul on the Column ALL day. Probably the first June day in a REALLY long time that happened. The reason: 50% chance of snow in the forecast. It did snow/hail a little in the afternoon. But not enough to make climbing that hard. The rock mostly stayed dry.

Here is my beta for the topo:

APROACH: Confession: i got lost on the approach. My partner had to figure out how to find the start of the trail from the horse trail. Oops!

So here are two key GPS coordinates

37.745351,-119.563338 Where i left the bike path and crossed to the horse trail
37.745108,-119.561931 - Start of the climbers trail (where it leaves horse trail)

I have updated this page with all the gps coordinates

http://www.supertopo.com/rock-climbing/route_map.php?r=ybwaprow


Pitch 1: I would not recommend cam hooking where it says to on the topo. with enough slack in the rope you could potentially hit the ledge. You dont need a 4.5" piece. 3" is fine

Pitch 4: A fixed head broke where it says C2F. My partner used a Moses Tomahawk to hook on top of the deadhead. You might also be able to top step past this. But bringing a few peckers/tomahawks is a good idea to hook on top of heads if they blow.

Pitch 8 (getting to taper terrace). I linked 7 and 8. I thought i back-cleaned aggressively and used lots of long runners but the rope drag was still BAD doing the last wandering free moves. You can't use enough long runners on this pitch or be concerned enough about rope drag (if you are linking). I would probably bring 15 runners next time.

Pitch 9: The start of this pitch is a little spookier than i remember. I would probably call it C2 (not C1 like the topo has it). Offset small cams are REALLY nice on this pitch. There are two fixed pins at the triangle belay ledge. I forgot this was the belay and kept going another 20 feet… then realized my mistake and lowered down.

It does seem like there is a good belay spot another 100 feet up on the ledge above the "C1". This would probably be a 170 foot pitch from Tapir and you would probably need 4 cams 1-4" to make a good belay. It then might be 200 feet to belay 11. Maybe. I dont know if this would improve hauling around the Haulbag Eating Flake or make it worse.

Pitch 11: This pitch is more confusing than i remember. I need to update the topo for next edition. There is a big corner/chimney to the left of Belay 10. Don't go up that. Instead, lower back right, free climb up 15 feet, and then make exposed 5.6 face moves up and left. There is a death block with good 1" cams to the left of it. I then went up to the bolt, leaned right, and sunk a 4.5" cam. I think going up that crack right of the bolt is easiest. From here, it is probably 5.9 or easier all the way to pitch 11 belay which has two bolts, not one.

I choose to skip belay 11 and try and top out. Big mistake. A, the anchor you can reach with a 60m rope from pitch 10 is in a rotten crack. I put in 6 "bomber cams" but it was still sketch. Second, the hauling from there to belay 10 SUCKED. Third, you still have to do another 40 foot pitch to top out. So unless you have a really light bag or a 70m rope, i would stop at belay 11 and not try and go all the way to the top.

DESCENT: The trail from the top of the Prow to the start of the North Dome Gulley descent was WAY less traveled than i remember. Maybe its just the spring or maybe its all the rain that has led to lot of shrub growth. It is a little hard to follow…

Second, we had REALLY heavy haul bags because we were planning to bivy but ended up doing the wall in a day (had a portaledge, fly, too much rack etc). The descent is WAY sketchier than i remember. Specifically, there is one really exposed slab move. If you have a heavy bag, don't be ashamed to rope up for this section. The rock was a little wet and i was gripped!


Here is the exact rack i would bring next time


1-2 ea Moses Cam Hook (narrow size only)
1 Black Diamond Grappling Hook
1 Black Diamond Talon Hook
1 Moses Tomahawk
1 Medium Black Diamond Pecker
1 set of DMM_Peanut
1 set DMM Aluminum Offsets
1 set of DMM Brass Offsets
2 ea Metolius Offset Master Cam (only 1 of the very smallest)
1 set Metolius Master Cam
2 sets of Black Diamond Camalot C4 #0.5-2
1 ea of #3 and #4 Camalot (bring doubles of these sizes if you want to leave extra pro)
1 60m x 10.5 mm Lead Rope
1 60m x 8mm Static Rope (dynamic ok too)
12 CAMP Nano 23 Quickdraw
40 extra CAMP Nano 23
15 Climbing Slings
Petzl Grigri 2 or Trango Cinch
Petzl Meteor III
Yates Big Wall Gear Sling

Black Diamond Transition Glove For cleaning. I don't lead with gloves.
Petzl Mini Traxion
Petzl Ascension Ascenders
Yates Big Wall Ladder (2 total)
1 Metolius Monster Daisy Chain For this route one daisy much faster than two. Two daisies feels more secure.
Black Diamond FiFi Hook
1 cordalette
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climbingtom

Intermediate climber
Mill Valley, CA
May 19, 2002 - 01:47am
 
Anyone have any recent beta on this route? How would Tapir Terrace be without a ledge?
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jim

Novice climber
Mill Valley, CA
May 19, 2002 - 03:27pm
 
not good. sloping all to hell. definatly take a ledge if you plan on spending the night anywhere on the route.
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jim

Novice climber
Mill Valley, CA
Sep 18, 2002 - 11:07pm
 
well this is actually the opposite of beta, but how does the prow do in the winter??
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BD

Big Wall climber
Albany
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   Nov 6, 2002 - 05:25pm
The Prow is an excellent winter wall as long as it's sunny. I,ve done both the Prow and Skull Queen in the winter months and have been very happy. Cold air seems to stay low in the valley and it can be as much as 10-20 degrees warmer up on the walls in the winter. Don't think it's always that way though. I've also frozen my nuts off on Southern Man in Feb. so be prepared.
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jim

Novice climber
Albany
Nov 7, 2002 - 12:21am
 
how bout rain? its pretty steep up there but does it stay dry?
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Mike

Novice climber
Albany
Nov 7, 2002 - 11:20am
 
The Column is basically a slab with some steep sections. The Prow's upper third is a low angle gulley. Don't count on protected climbing or bivis anywhere on the route. Like Brian said, it's a great winter wall, and it's normally way warmer than the valley floor. If the weather dices you, fix high and fire it going light.
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Melissa

Novice climber
Albany
Nov 7, 2002 - 01:51pm
 
correction...

I've bailed from P6 in the rain since the bail gets harder after the traversing bit above and we were lacking rain gear. The bail was pretty quick and only involved one manageable pendulum with the haulbag. The route was definately running w/ water and funneling heavily through Anchorage ledge.

Bring a ledge/rainfly if you're determined to get to the top and if, like me, you'd find a one day push about as realistic as riding a unicorn to the top. Or do what we did and go light and bring enough rain gear to survive a rainy night but not enough to want to hang out up there for a couple of days and just bail if the weather goes bad. Fixing-then-pushing would be a lot of extra hiking and would take the whole big-wallness out of it. I'd say say check the weather and enjoy the exposure.

Melissa
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Cowboy

Trad climber
Flagstaff, AZ
Jun 7, 2003 - 12:26am
 
Heading up there this week, how are the heads should we through some in the bag?
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happa

Gym climber
Yosemite, CA
Jun 8, 2003 - 02:45pm
 
Yes, bring heads, as of 2 weeks ago, one was missing making for a sketchy hook move.
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hans

Big Wall climber
Los Osos, CA
Jun 20, 2003 - 08:13pm
 
This was as far as I got, but a couple of small heads were blown near the top of pitch four as of 06/17/03. I got around them using a grappling hook and a pointed skyhook. -Hans
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Mike

climber
Los Osos, CA
Aug 1, 2003 - 12:10pm
 
7/30/03:

1 Grappling or Cliffhanger only
Heads look good except for a couple
No rivet hangers needed
New quicklinks from Tapir-down (thanks, ASCA)
One bad lead bolt left on p6
Hammerless @ Ceasy/easy-moderate

Thanks to all for keeping the summit clean.
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Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
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   Oct 2, 2003 - 11:47pm
Enjoyed my third trip up this route. Took my first fall on it when I was standing on a green alien above the first fixed pin on pitch 2 and it pulled and I smacked that slabby ledge. Ouch! It seemed fine too. You can get a killer nut placement from that same pin if you topstep, which I recommend.

There were blown heads here and there and most were bypassed clean without drastic steps, but, I think it was pitch 6, there were a few blown heads and without cheating or heading the only way I could figure was a pecker above one of the heads. You better have a pecker if you want to get this route clean as it is! The head in question was in a corner so your pecker better be slung on webbing, not just clipped with a biner.

Offsets and Aliens! Tools for clean aid happiness!

Peace

karl
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Lambone

Big Wall climber
Ashland, Or
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   Apr 20, 2004 - 08:13pm
Soloed the Prow last week...a few notes, some is just a repeat of previous posts:

P1- a big hook was helpfull to get up on the ledge w/o a mantle.
P2/3- Potential ledge fall here, cam hooks are secure though. Linked easily, heads on P2 are ok. I think I used a Pecker on a dead head here. Watch rope drag if not soloing.
P4- used almost 2 full sets of large offset HB nuts.
P5- I'm 5'9" and didn't find the bolts reachy, easy 2nd step moves. Placed 1 #1 Camolot on Pitch, only gear placed.
P6- Found this to be the aid crux, some bad scars to negotiate and blown heads. Still some old 1/4 bolts with Leeper hangers on this pitch, at least 2. Mixed with good bolts though. More than 3 bolts on this lead, at least 5 or 6.
P7/8- Link easily if soloing, watch rope drag if not...big time. Belay at left hand lower belay for P9. Good bivi spot room for two ledges. P8 is mostlty fixed. Clean on rappel if soloing, worked great.
P9- Straightforward, belay is 1 bolt and 3 fixed angles.
P10- Leave a hal bag directional just before small roof. "Far End" hauler method works best, keep the bag out of the 5.0 gully. This would be a fun pitch to do all Free.
P11- Used the righthand 5.9/C1 variation, "Belly Crawl" looks heinous. Awkward/strenous aid up a wide corner crack, would be more fun to free climb. Belay is on the sloping ledge up to the right, awkward free move onto this ledge, watch rope drag. 2 bolts at this belay, 1 good green alien placement. "Far End" haul the bag up and out of the gully to the slab on the right, haul is no problem from there.
P12- 50ft Pitch. Tension over to some fixed heads , then to a bolt, then step left up to 4th class section, short. Now you are on sandy sloping ledges. I belayed at the first "big" tree...not very big. Again, "Far End" haul works best.

P13- Not at the top yet. 100ft of easy 5th and 4th class. Shoot for the big tree to the right, then another 30ft to summit bivy. Fix ropes and shuttle loads from here. Sort-of devious in the dark.

Rack Notes:
Supertopo is good on cams and Nuts
Bring 1 rivet hanger, or use a stopper.
1 Talon, 1 Cliff hanger, and maybe 1 Big hook if you don't like free moves.

Come prepared to find deteriorating Heads on this route. Many are big and bomber, but I clipped many that had freyed wires, and hooked a few that had no wire. There are at least 2 heads you must clip that just have mystery funk looped and tied around the cable in various strange and scary looking knots. Think lite thoughts...

Route goes clean easily with modern gear, no need for pins at all. Beautifull climb, with spectacular vistas of Half Dome, and a classic ambiance.

Have fun!
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Doki

Big Wall climber
S.F. bay area
Apr 21, 2004 - 12:47pm
 
I agree with Brian Ive done it myself in both summer and winter this year. Prow yeah! Portaledge yeah! wind stopper&shell,gggrreeeeerrr!!! Do! SOUTHERN MAN more fun than SKULL QUEEN





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Spinmaster K-Rove

Trad climber
Stuck Under the Kor Roof
Apr 29, 2005 - 11:40am
 
You don't really need 'recent beta' for this route. I would bring a couple heads in case some are missing or you yank em out and then standard clean wall stuff (offsets, cam hooks, rivet hangers, etc..). Tapir is pretty comfy though not the greatest ledge ever. Good enough for a big wall! Read the 'old' beta and have at it!
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thick rope

Trad climber
san francisco, ca
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   May 5, 2005 - 06:51pm
On 4/29 I fixed up to the top of pitch 2, on 4/30 I got to the summit at 10:45 pm in a light drizzle, my first full solo. I also ran pitch 11 and 12 together to get all the technical climbing done in one pitch, leaving a 4th class scramble to the summit.
The arching seam on pitch 8 has a head that is of no use, I pulled on it and it exploded in a cloud of dust, a wierd placement and some top stepping can get you to the bolt, or bring a head.
I left a .75 camalot on pitch 11, in the dark pendulum from hell, you know how it is.
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T & A

climber
lake tahoe
Feb 20, 2006 - 08:43am
 
Anybody know the general condition of north dome gully in the winter...(doable?) or should the column be rapped?
Thanks
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Lambone

Big Wall climber
Ashland, Or
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   Feb 20, 2006 - 10:56am
NGD is South Facing, so it should melt out quickly after a snowstorm. There are some exposed traverse ledges that are scary if wet/snowy/icy. Stay high, when in doubt veer left and climb up. E-mail Pmyche for most recent beta this February.

Have fun!
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RockMD

Big Wall climber
Arizona
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   Feb 20, 2006 - 11:36am
Did the route in Aug 05. Be careful of computer size block that is loose on P8. Also there are 3 belay bolts at the top of P11, just move to right up onto a slaby section and keep moving. Have fun with the route and be careful on the traversing section of NDG decent.
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T & A

climber
lake tahoe
Feb 20, 2006 - 03:18pm
 
Much Thanks
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poop_tube

Big Wall climber
33° 45' N 117° 52' W
Mar 16, 2006 - 10:24pm
 
I almost dislodged that rock onto myself.

Someone needs to push that off at some point.

BE CAREFUL!!!!!!!!
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jack herer

Big Wall climber
Veneta, Oregon
May 19, 2006 - 09:04pm
 
in dec 2005 fixed heads where missing on p2, we had non because we where going for it in a day. bring them!
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Dragger

Mountain climber
Bay Area, CA
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   Jun 20, 2006 - 04:57pm
Climbed the Prow last week -- trip report is posted here: http://www.summitpost.org/trip-report/201881/Prowess-2006.html
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Brew Monkey

Big Wall climber
Bend Ory-Gun
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   Oct 2, 2006 - 09:56pm
Soloed the prow sept 9th-11th. All the fixed gear seemed to be in place with one or two copper head cables broken. A slim cord will prusik around the cables. The bolt ladder is indeed "reachy" (for 5'9"). Would not want to sleep without a portalege on the stinky ledges. The start and middle of the route is specatular and steep, as the supertopo states, with the finsh being a little slabby. I took upto a single 4.5 and many in the .6" through 2". Cam hooking is great on the first and second pitches and the hook on pitch six (I think) was a standard cliffhanger move. I found the descent to be pretty exposed at the 4th class traverse, but managable. Not as classic a Moonlight in Zion but a good route none the less. Set up good for soloist with mosly clean hauling.
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gheart

Mountain climber
austria
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   Oct 18, 2006 - 11:38am
hi there!

I did the Prow in September and just put my trip report on my site [http://www.gerhardschaar.com]

my ape index is plus 13 cm or plus 5 inches. i did not see any reachy problems at all :-))))

see my website www.gerhardschaar.com also for ascents of Salathe Wall and Zodiac!

p.s. the hauling on the last pitch of the prow sucks!
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Mike.

climber
Oct 30, 2006 - 12:44pm
 
Be careful which blocks you pull on when nearing Tapir Terrace on the Prow. One is loose and ready to be pulled off by the unsuspecting. My partner inadvertently moved it a few inches.
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BEN York

Mountain climber
Arcata CA
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   Mar 19, 2007 - 11:16am
Did this route last weekend with a friend. first big wall for both of us. we bivied on anchorage and at the bottom of the strange dihedral. there was lots of fixed gear, but not as much as i was expecting. i did lots and lots of hook moves and cam hook moves. pointed big hook in the bottom of pin scars works well. weather was awesome. top of pitch 4 seemed to be crux, perhaps because of lack of fixed gear. use directionals for hauling on pitch 10.
I had fun on this route.
BEN
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Jun 20, 2007 - 08:44am
 
here is a link to the story of the first ascent:

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=402023
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Moof

Big Wall climber
Orygun
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   Jun 28, 2007 - 01:36pm
Just a comment on the directionals on 10.

When I lead 9 I somehow missed the belay and went another ~70-80' up the route till I got the 10' warning (with a 60m). At that point there was a nice little ledge with cracks for natural gear, right at the base of the gully. To get the haul line to flip out of the "haul bag eating flake" I had to rap about 30' down a low angle ramp and give it a couple easy flips. I easily got back up with just a gri-gri on the rope, no ascenders needed. Very casual. The haul was almost entirely in-line with Tapir terrace.

When my partner finished 10, it was about 40-50' of gully scrambling, no aiding necessary.

So if you are a dumbass and totally miss stopping at the anchor for 9, you are not hosed. Conserve you gear, cuz 190' is a LOOONG pitch.
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clustiere

Trad climber
berkeley ca
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   Nov 24, 2007 - 10:38pm
Soloed this last summer. The heads are more than necessary and you should bring a few incase some mandatory ones blow. The bivies suck and I slept like crap. The route is steep and exposed but not overhung. This is a good intro to sustained c2 and the position is increadible. I had the route to myself.
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Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
May 14, 2008 - 11:08pm
 
any recent trips?

good, maybe no one will think to get on it next week. :)
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RockMD

Big Wall climber
Arizona
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   May 15, 2008 - 07:03pm
My buddy just told me he's heading for the valley from Phoenix this weekend and is planning on doing the Prow. I'm not sure when he's going to jump on it, but he's a strong climber and shouldn't slow you down.

Have fun. This is an AWESOME route!!!!

P.S. We loved the mank.
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Lambone

Big Wall climber
Ashland, Or
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   May 16, 2008 - 04:07pm
Munge, I climbed the Prow in March with Doctor_G, sunny but cold. The route is all there, go get 'er!
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enjoimx

Trad climber
SLO
Aug 29, 2008 - 12:52pm
 
I tried this route in a push the other day but was confused on pitch 5 (maybe 6). Anyway after about 20 feet of c1 and clipping a few pitons you turn a tiny overhang and get to a very thin seam. The topo shows 4 bolts and claims fixed heads on this seam. Anyway, as of Tuesday August 25 there were no fixed heads and only two bolts at the TOP of this section. This made the thin seam very intimidating for me and I decided to bail from this pitch. I would say the seam would go at C3 for about 40 feet before you hit a bolt. It would involve tiny nuts and cam hooks for 40 feet. This seemed, at the time, scary.

Does anyone know why the two bolts were missing on this pitch 5?

Thanks
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Hoots

climber
Toyota Tacoma
Sep 7, 2008 - 08:51am
 
Ok, so the topo might be a little confusing on this pitch (6)- You clip a bunch of fixed pins, turn the overhang, and get into that seam. There is no fixed gear in the seam, but the whole thing eats up small nuts and micro cams. C2 maybe. Topo does show bolts connecting this seam down low, but the don't exist and aren't necessary. Once you hit the first bolt it's over, and the rest of the pitch is a mixture of heads and bolts. Go send the thing.
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Nov 28, 2008 - 10:33pm
 
Pitch 2 should be rated C2 (I mistakenly rated it C3 in the topo)
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hoipolloi

climber
A friends backyard with the neighbors wifi
Apr 25, 2009 - 08:43pm
 
I did this route the other week. First Grade V solo. I thought the route was really fantastic.

It had some deadheads and some pseudo-timebomb heads, but everything on the P6 hooks and heads pitch was pretty much intact but you could hook around/on most bad heads on the whole climb. I would definitely take at least 5 or 6 copper heads of varying sizes, just in case. I was tempted to place one at one point, but decided I didn't want to go down to get them, so I found a way around with hooks.

The hauling is good, as the route is a bit steeper than I was expecting.

I thought the first 5 pitches were the crux and that I did some solid C2+ or C3 climbing in there. It felt harder than Southern Man or Skull Queen which I recently did.

Pitch 8 was full of fixed gear, old heads or old pitons. Take several chunks of tie off webbing to replace some of the tat on different fixed pieces here and there.

On Pitch 11 do not do the belly crawl variation. For some reason I did this, I honestly do not know what I was thinking. The belly crawl is horrible, loose, and gearless. It could easyily spit you out and send you 20 feet below onto the belay ledge. The climbing after the belly crawl is C2 Rotten, real rotten. Its a right leaning awkward grunty corner, I would not repeat it.

Pitch 10+12 are horrible hauling if solo and I don't see anyway to fix it when alone. With a partner it would not be so bad, as they could deal with the bags, keeping them from the bag eating flakes and getting snagged on overhangs.

All in all, a great route, a real classic line. Here is a TR.

http://www.bigwalls.com/forum2/index.php?topic=551.0

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jimbo

climber
North Cascades
May 8, 2009 - 03:47pm
 
"Pitch 10+12 are horrible hauling if solo and I don't see anyway to fix it when alone. With a partner it would not be so bad, as they could deal with the bags, keeping them from the bag eating flakes and getting snagged on overhangs."

I also did this solo, a couple of years ago, and there is a great way to haul the last couple of pitches when alone.
The Far End Hauling System!
Reference PTPP or Chongo's Anchors & Hauling book.

Super fun route!

Cheers.
Jimbo
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sbecker

Sport climber
Meff-ferr, Oregon
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   Sep 16, 2009 - 08:50am
I dropped an offset alien from somewhere on this route a few days ago. If you find it (green/blue I think, no markings/tape) and are feeling charitable, I'd love to see 'er again.
Send me an email/message. Thanks.
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SalNichols

Big Wall climber
Richmond, CA
Sep 16, 2009 - 10:50pm
 
Long ago I did this route, and remember being rather strung out on hooks and tossing a sling over a knob to escape right into a crack system. I can't remember for the life of me if it was pitch 5,6, or 7, (hey, I'm 55 give me a break) but I haven't seen anyone describe having used it. Have the bolts made it a non factor? I'm just curious.
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Evdawg

Trad climber
Sacramento/S. Tahoe
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   Jul 13, 2010 - 03:31pm
The Prow— Trip Report

Our trip started off on Friday, June 11th with a full day of class III white water rafting on the American River. At about 4pm we started our drive to Yosemite and arrived at the Awhanee at sundown. We distributed the weight between the two of us using an extra backpack. It took some faith and lots of second-guessing before we realized we were on the right path. It took us about an hour and a half to get to the base of a big wall. My headlamp didn’t go very far so I figured it was just another big boulder. When Matt shined his light up it was obvious we were at the base of the Column. Now which route? We had no idea! All we did know in the dark was that there was a fixed rope right up this lower angle dirty rock; we figured it might be coming down from Dinner Ledge. It had been a very very long day rafting, driving, and night hiking so we decided to call it a night and dropped off the gear and slept our first night in a portaledge hanging at the base the Column.

I was awake at first light, packed up the bag and went out in search for the base of The Prow. It turned out it was just a ten-minute walk above. After I dropped off the contents of both bags I went back down to wake up the sleepy head. We still had the load of 62 pounds of water left over at the car and hiked back to get it. On a fresh day we could have carried it all in from the car in one go without problem, but we were tired and had nowhere to camp in the valley. Worked out GREAT! No extra energy wasted. We repacked the bag at the ledge and I started leading at about 11 or 12pm.

Caution: Beta alert!!!!

Pitch 1: This pitch seemed really long. The first section in the Dihedral is an easy and quick aid with gear mostly between .25 and 1”. The 5.6 free climbing section above was easy climbing, but made tougher with the aiders getting caught because of the lower angle. About halfway up the free section I decided to fix the problem… about time. I felt the transfer off the slab was the most nerve wracking of the pitch. After that it’s short hand crack that’s too bad its not any longer. A fixed piton marks the beginning of the thinner crack. This takes cam hooks, micro cams, and micro nuts well.

Pitch 2: I’ve heard of the “traverse” over to the dihedral being called 5.6, but it seemed more of just a walk with exposure. The last 3 feet were seeping water and were really slippery. A solid green/yellow hybrid alien gets you off the ledge with full security. I’d suggest placing a #2 on the ledge in case you pop that first piece off the ledge—it’d be a BIG swing! I thought the dihedral was supposed to be the crux of the pitch, but actually it was pretty easy. The top half of the dihedral was laced with fixed pitons, some solid, some 50/50. Finally as the crack dies out the copperheads begin. While it was the first copperhead I ever weighted, I still think it seemed pretty manky. At this point, my high stepping was ok and I could get to the second step of the Yates Ladder with some extra effort. Well, no matter how hard I tried; I couldn’t reach the next copperhead. So instead I ended up going up and right a bit to a rivet (off route?) and then felt solid reaching left for the second copperhead. A few more copperheads lead to the C1 crack to the belay.

Pitch 3: Going out over the roof was simple; just make sure to extend your pieces to keep them out of the crack. There’s an old rope stuck in there where somebody had to cut it. Don’t let that happen to you! Haha. If the lip of the roof isn’t taped, you might want to. Luckily for me, it was already well protected with tape. I recall a few more copperheads on this awkward bulge. About five feet short of the Anchorage Ledge the crack was swarming with ants. We set up the ledge, I grabbed my headlamp and I headed off to fix pitch 4. Anchorage was spacious and lots of room to stretch out and move around off of the portaledge.

Pitch 4: I headed up the pitch at around 7:30. It starts off with eleven closely spaced bolts. Don’t bother to clip them all. Most of the details of this pitch are a wash because I did the top half with a headlamp. I was tired and the pitch just never seemed to end! I was definitely placing a lot more protection just to play it safe. I recall the top being the hardest part, but that might have just been how late it was. It was amazing rappelling off into the abyss, while looking down and seeing a headlamp lighting up the portaledge a hundred and ten feet below. When I got down Matt had dinner all ready for me.

Pitch 5: This pitch was a speedy one. The first thirty feet was fun C2. Once the bolts are reached you can just charge. By this point in the trip I had perfected my top stepping to where I could stand on the top step of the Yates Ladders with no problem. I’m 5’10” and most bolts were easily reachable from the third step (the fourth step on those ladders puts the placement ‘biner at my waste). Only a few required the second step. The last bolt is the biggest reach. There was a two-foot chord on it to assist the shorter people, but I was able to easily clip it with the top step. Shorter people might want to bring a cheater stick of some sort because my partner accidentally cleaned it when he left the belay. By this time I had sped up my hauling to about four times faster than when I started up the wall. By now, hauling was only taking about 15 minutes for the average pitch. In the meantime, I was having some fun conversation with the guys next to us on Ten Days After.

Pitch 6: I don’t really remember much of this pitch, except for the fact it’s in this eight inch mini dihedral. Most of the heads were pretty good. There were more bolts than I expected. Most were good. About twenty feet short of the belay the climbing got real exciting on mostly copperheads, some were pretty janky!

Pitch 7: The Strange Dihedral pitch was fun! There are some awkward sections, but most of it is easy. I didn’t know about the tension traverse and stared up at a micro seam with a tiny copperhead way out of reach thinking how the hell am I supposed to do that? I’m lucky I looked right before I wasted any more time! Haha. The tension traverse was easy, and the pro afterward was very straightforward. The belay consists of four pitons in a vertical crack and a bolt on the right. Make sure to lower out the pig or it could find its way out of the strange dihedral and cutting across that arête.

Pitch 8: This was a weird pitch. Go up to a piton with plenty of slings and then walk across the ledge till you get to the arch. As of 6/13/10 it was loaded with fixed gear. You can back clean for a while, but be careful cause if you fall you’re landing on the ledge. Before you can reach the bolts, find the hidden piton. I didn’t really like the free climbing section… I ended up always keeping two to three pieces at my waist and back-cleaning everything. However, that made the final moves really tough. Either way, don’t fall right here. We slept on the leftward bolts of Tapir Terrace at the base of Pitch 9. There was lots of room and six bolts.

Pitch 9: The first pitch for day three on the wall. About fifteen or so feet up I started having trouble getting a cam to stick in this pod and actually had to try a few cams till one felt solid and passed testing (my first cam I placed didn’t pass my aider test… first piece I’ve ever had fail) So after that I got a yellow/green alien to stick and pass testing just fine. I had the placement ‘biner at about thigh level, and reached up to place a nut. I had a though run through my mind, “you know what, I’m going to chicken out and place a piece face level…” so I clipped the biner full of offsets to the rack and then my piece popped sending me down that section of slab, my upper thigh bounced off a small ledge, and then my fall was stopped about three feet later. I instantly knew it was broken.

The rescue: Back at the belay I directed Matt how to support my leg. Because of how the route goes left from the bolts (the newer bolts on the right, not the older bolts on the left) it was too difficult and painful with the dangling leg to get me fully onto the Tapir Terrace. We put the belay seat under me, and supported/stabilized my leg with two adjustable daisies; one in the arch of my foot and one girth hitched by the toes. Basically I could get the pain down to around a 10 out of 10 for a little while and then it’d spike up to a 15 out of 10 (anyone who’s seen the pain chart with the illustrated faces understands). We’d tighten the daisy chain about a millimeter (literally a millimeter) and the pain would go back down to a full 10. I focused on my head a lot by trying to control the pain by distracting myself from the pain and situation. Five hours of that and I was finally dragging myself into the rescue litter. Thank you so much YOSAR! That would have been a hell of a rappel with a five inch all-the-way-through spiral fracture underneath my leg loop, and the broken off ball of the hip. Without YOSAR, I’m pretty sure I would have made it. Apparently, in those six hours till I got to the hospital I lost over three units of blood into the leg. Another ten feet of being lowered surely would have resulted in unconsciousness. Doctor’s said “the best decision [I’ve] ever made, was to not self rescue” and I couldn’t agree more.

Yosar set an anchor above and lowered down with the litter basket (haha which makes sense because I felt like a piece of trash by that point). Pulling myself into the basket was the most painful experience of my life; definitely 20 out of 10 on that inaccurate pain scale the doctors like to use. The official pain scale calls a 10 “the worst pain possible.” But everything’s a 10 until you experience something worse. If you tell them it’s a 10 because it’s the worst pain of your life, then you experience even more pain which you didn’t even know was at all possible, you can’t continue telling them it’s a 10 because then the doctors say “oh ok so the pain HASN’T gone up… Good!” So YES, a 20 out of 10 is highly possible!

Being lowered in the basket actually had some amazing views of the rock and the routes east of the Prow. All I could think about was, “what route is THAT?! Oh man I’d love to climb that!” Once at the base I was surrounded by probably ten SAR volunteers. At that point I started to feel like shit… not because of my leg hurting, but because I felt guilty for getting all these people to take care of my sorry ass. At this point I started feeling even more guilty and felt as if I just didn’t want to be rescued anymore. However, that might have just been the morphine affecting my thought process. Soon the helicopter was above and was hoisting me away towards the meadow. I think I had the best views in Yosemite while flying through the valley, but trust me; It’s a sight best left unseen.

Once in the valley there were dozens of personnel there from the YOSAR helicopter, NPS, an ambulance, and the Modesto med helicopter and more. Man, that one cam popping really caused a huge disturbance. Sh#t, In surgery I had a rod placed down the center of my entire femur, with two screws by the knee, and two massive screws going through the upper femur and into the ball of the hip (which I had broken off as well).

As of the writing of this (exactly one month after the incident) they say my healing is going very fast. However, for another month I need to be in a wheel chair to reduce the impact on my leg. From there I’ll be on crutches through October (five months). Furthermore they say NO sports or climbing until the hardware is removed, so that sets my climbing back two years. But hey, it could be worse!
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Moof

Big Wall climber
Orygun
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   Jun 3, 2011 - 02:12pm
Chris,

By my measure to link P9->Natural belay was 190' (very little rope left using a 60m). The stance is good, and there are a couple solid crack systems, and is located directly above Tapir Terrace (bags only swung a few feet when released) with lots of gear options (i.e. you need a bunch of pieces to build an anchor, but it has lots of options). If you do nothing the haul line will still end up in the Haulbag Eating Flake. ~30' of low angle rapping is needed to flip the rope out of it (getting back to the belay can be done just by yarding on the rope and self belaying with the gri-gri, it is that low angle). Once you do that the haul is good and clean with only a slight bit of drag around the very rounded edge. Not sure if you can link form there to P11 or not. If you just finish P10 only a few #1-3'is cams and no aiding is needed/practical (i.e. stow the aiders as they are a liability in the gully).

Look for a large clearing (~50'x50') off the horse trail (I stay on the bike trail till the two trails start running close together, and it's ~1/4-1/2 mile from there) with a large flat rock in it, maybe ~2-3' high, 15' in diameter. Head into the woods there, and you should pick up a decent trail and/or see the multi-language NPS sign about climber refuse within 100-150 yards. No GPS required... No wonder your bags were heavy.
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GhoulweJ

Trad climber
El Dorado Hills, CA
Jun 4, 2011 - 07:59pm
 
Descent: tricky slab move

We had super heavy bags I mean death hauling bags.

I dropped the bags at the slab. Went up hill scouting for a better way.... About 35 feet above the slab was a nice east passage. The slog uphill sucked but was still better than that slab with 200 lbs on your back!
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Moof

Big Wall climber
Orygun
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   May 4, 2012 - 09:29pm
As of this weekend...

P5, fixed head in the middle of the bolt ladder popped. The slot is pretty well gunked up. I duck taped two draws together into an 18" or so cheat stick and was just able to high step to the next bolt. The Euros behind us were already nailing on P4 as we walked off, so they may already have taken care of this...

P9, at the very top as you get onto the ledge there is an enticing block on the right that is very loose. Don't yard on it, and be careful when fixing the line and haling not to dislodge it on your partner. I back cleaned the last couple pieces and used a long draw on the one bolt at the belay to reroute the lead line away from it and waited for my partner to finish the last bit of hauling.
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climber bob

Social climber
maine
May 8, 2012 - 05:39am
 
anyone ever climb the wide crack instead of the belly crawl...been wondering about that flake for 30+ years..
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Pointy

climber
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   May 19, 2012 - 10:24am
Just climbed this the other day. We bypassed the busted head by hooking it with a small Tomahawk. My partner (who is new to walls and had never used a Tomahawk for anything) found this to be pretty straightforward. As Moof suggested, a short cheater stick would also get you past this easily.
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briham89

Big Wall climber
san jose and south lake tahoe, ca
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   Jun 10, 2012 - 12:12pm
Climbed this on 6/7 & 6/8. The busted head on pitch 5 is still busted. However, someone attached some cord to the bolt above it so you can clip the end of the cord no problem. Bring a tomahawk just in case the cord is gone. The route went clean no problem. Offsets are a must. I back cleaned almost every time I used a offset cam and was glad I did (I had one set.) We fixed the first three pitches with two ropes to the ground, and then sent the next day. This was totally doable and saved the need to haul more weight for another day. Also this was my first time down north dome gully. I found the trail finding to be very straight forward, and the slab section you have to traverse really wasn't bad. If you have any back country or trail experience it's not bad at all.
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Peej

Trad climber
Timbuktu
Oct 3, 2012 - 06:03pm
 
Can anyone tell me the anchor conditions for each pitch on the Prow. Basically, can the thing currently be rapped from any point without leaving gear.
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Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Oct 3, 2012 - 07:51pm
 
Bolts. Except for the last 2 belays we had to set up a natural anchor. And right before the little pendulum with C2 (with a load of fixed gear) short pitch it is pitons.
So if you are climbing to the top, you have to top out and descent that crappy gully (which kind of sucks in the dark, but not too bad. Marked well enough to descent in the dark IMO. But be careful, plenty of spots to slip).
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Peej

Trad climber
Timbuktu
Oct 4, 2012 - 09:22am
 
Thank you so much!
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Grippa

Trad climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Oct 4, 2012 - 10:35am
 
peej we rapped from Tapir ledge to the ground in about 4-5 raps. Supposedly it is best to rap the A3 line to the right as it is more plumb. Easy enough for the lead descender to clip fixed gear while rapping then reel the follower in if rapping the prow proper. SEND IT!
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Peej

Trad climber
Timbuktu
Oct 5, 2012 - 09:43am
 
Thanks Grippa! This was recently you rapped from Tapir?
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RJNelson

climber
A few different places
Jun 9, 2013 - 05:27pm
 
Has anyone been up this recently? I'm looking for info on the fixed gear. Also, did anyone bring offsets? Chris Mac's book didn't mention them. Any other useful beta would be appreciated.
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briham89

Big Wall climber
san jose and south lake tahoe, ca
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   Jun 9, 2013 - 07:18pm
In his newest big wall book, Chris does mention bringing 1-2 each .4-1.25" of offset cams

I brought a set of metolius offset cams and used the middle sizes a lot.

Small offset nuts were also useful
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RJNelson

climber
A few different places
Jun 9, 2013 - 07:45pm
 
Interesting, my ST book says-
Cams-2 .4"
Nuts-2 each offsets useful
Micro nuts-2 each
Cams-3 each .5-1.25"
2 each 1.5-3.5"
1 each 4.5"
Hooks- 1 each
Cam Hooks
5 Heads

So you didn't bring any heads or pins?
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briham89

Big Wall climber
san jose and south lake tahoe, ca
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   Jun 9, 2013 - 07:52pm
So you didn't bring any heads or pins?

Nope.

There are a few fixed heads on the route. I have no idea on the current condition. Might be worth bringing a few heads to be safe.
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Grippa

Trad climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Jun 10, 2013 - 06:24am
 
When we did the route (5/2012) there was an absurd number of fixed heads that were easily bypassed via stoppers or cams. However there were a handful of crucial fixed heads that if they blew would make the route a little harder than C2. I'd bring one of each size, a hammer, a center punch, and just keep them in the bottom of the bag . Don't forget a pecker or two for hooking on top of the blown out heads as most have a nice groove on top from previous parties. Offset cams helped immensely so bring a set or two.
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GoMZ

Trad climber
Eastern Sierra
Apr 11, 2014 - 03:22pm
 
Soloed this route April 6-10th. Some solo beta that might prove useful. Hybrid aliens really make a huge difference (duh). When rappelling the 7-8 pitches (if you link) swing over and clean all the gear to the right (after the tension traverse) on your way down this will make cleaning/jugging the pitch much easier. Pitch 9, off of tapir terrace go past the fixed pin anchor on topo to a nice small ledge 1x3 feet, place gear anchor here (#3 camalot x2, 0.5 camalot x1, and #5 camalot x1 what I used). This allows you to clean your rope from the haul bag eating flake thus avoiding getting your haul bag eaten. You will rap right down to the right side anchor on tapir terrace. When preparing to clean the 11th pitch rap down into the gully to your haul bag and kick it to the right (out of gully), this will avoid hauling difficulties here. There are many unnecessary heads/pitons on the route, many were bypassed with hybrid/offset aliens. It would be great if some of these were cleaned (by someone with more skill/time than I). Have fun and don't forget the aliens!

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Washington Column - Prow C2F 5.6 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click to Enlarge
The line follows a series of small features.
Photo: Chris McNamara
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