South Face, Washington Column C1 5.8

 
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Yosemite Valley, California USA

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SuperTopo Rating:   
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 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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Rating Distribution
21 Total Ratings
5 star: 14%  (3)
4 star: 62%  (13)
3 star: 24%  (5)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
dank

Trad climber
the pitch above you!
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   Jun 26, 2006 - 07:52pm
June 23rd-25th, 2006

PROLOGUE: after attempting this route 3 previous times we were finally successful on our 4th attempt. beware of winds blowing your haul and lead lines into shallow cracks below the Kor Roof, temperature extremes based upon season, and other parties thwarting your efforts by passing you on pitch 2.

Hot as hell hiking in at dusk to the base of the prow to bivy!

Bring lots of water if climbing the route when temps are in the 90s!

P1: great free climbing...went a little too high for my 2nd who was jugging with a pack and helping me haul a smaller bag...watch out for potential rope clusterf*ck if rapping route at end of climb (when rapping from top of dinner ledge back to base of pitch 2 do not pull ropes from here...pull ropes from the top of P1's anchors to avoid ropes getting caught up high near tree or just below the end of P2's upper corner in skinny crack).

P2& P3: jugged fixed green line (thanks Cromwell et al...by the way...where did you go?...you cruised up the first pitch of Southern Man...thanks for the stories and music on dinner ledge). you can free climb the 10a (P2) and 7 (P3) with one long pitch and a 60 meter stretch. the llb (P2) corner is a fun aid lead. can't imagine freeing it...the wall is GREASY!

P4: finally got to lead it! what a great pitch! cannot believe Kor did it with only 2 bolts...what a bad ass! no fixed piece between first two bolts leading up to roof as shown on ST, but eventually slotted a 0.5 in the piton scar carefully stepped up after taking a short fall on a nut when trying to free it...definitely harder than 5.8 in my opinion, but then again i had a bunch of weight and aiders on me. made a semi-blind green alien placement at the start of traverse above the roof and back cleaned for my 2nd. clipped blue tat off piton as my first piece for my 2nd. worked my way through the rest of the traverse and roof undercling, but forgot to leave at least two pieces in the 0.75 camalot range for my 2nd. clipped yellow tat with a quickdraw off of right bolt on intermediate anchors, which do not look remotely comfy at all...go all the way to double anchored belay nook! my partner attempted to re-aid as he cleaned the traverse with an orange metolius tricam, but eventually slid back over the roof. seemed funny to me looking down, but he was definitely not a happy camper. "NO BUENO!" high potential for rope being abraided or even cut! YIKES! sorry dude!

P5 (lower half): partner lead to intermediate belay after pendulum/lower out...fixed back down to dinner due to sounds of thunder and building of clouds over glacier point.

awoke at 2am after a ringtail cat had successfully broken into our poorly secured stash of cereal/power bars and tossed one down on my head. i was able to retrieve the "wounded soldier" as the racoon's cousin came back to try and recover him twice! beware of the ringtail! awoke at 4:30 to try and beat the extreme heat and mugginess of this particulary warm summer. global warming?

P5 (upper half): great aiding...cool crescent arch to thin crack...mandatory and somewhat awkward free moves at end with what seems like a deadpoint...only 5.7, but has a big potential for a whipper!

P6: awesome pitch! blue, green and yellow aliens are your friends here! make sure you have a fair amont of thin stoppers too! watch out for rotten rock before breaking free to first bolt. unfortunately there is a stopper slammed into the last placement before your break left and free. i was only able to get two lobes of a yellow alien to stick and take body weight before moving up here. thin start above bolt...takes blue alien quite nicely...fixed nut...opens up to 0.5 camalot size nicely and then goes free, but i continued to aid up to the three bolts (quarter inch bolt in the middle...no rap link on bomber left bolt).

P7: time to break free. partner aided rattly finger start and then sent up through the arduous chimney section. hard 5.9 to free at start, but then stellar hands to follow. offwidth before chimney was brutal! fairly good locks that then open up. a 3.5 and a 4.0 camalot work nicely for leader and to french free for follower. chimney is hell with gear on either side of your body. grunt, grunt, grunt...breathe...fooking hot too!

P8: solid bolt to start. lowered out to easy faces moves and aided a couple pieces up and stemmed out left to reach up and clip first piton. aiding is straight forward and clean and goes free nicely at top. make sure to move aiders out of your way! nice tree...head right of tree for partner to jug clean to anchors! felt like tarazan..as usual watch for biting ants too!

P9: should have free climbed, but aided start. cool undercling and then easy free to two pitons...good yellow alien and nut placement in horizontal crack as you traverse left...put long slings on gear to avoid rope drag...cool reach left on blocky holds...stem across to strange, wild, 5.8 roof moves...clip piton with extra long sling down low to avoid further rope drag...pull around and your basically there! nice horzontal tree to stack gear on before preping for rappels.

DID NOT DO THE LAST SUMMIT PITCH DUE TO SANDY GULLEY.

WANTED TO AVOID POTENTIAL ROCK FALL ON PARTIES BELOW.

BE CAREFUL! THINK OF OTHERS' SAFETY TOO!
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Winthorp Hefflefinger III

Big Wall climber
Alps
May 24, 2009 - 01:28am
 
Climbed May 21 2009, up and down (by rappel) in a day as party of 3 with girlfriend and friend (his first wall ever).

Beta for non-superheros:
P1 basic.
P2, the topo is serious about the far left crack being off route. too early in the morning I guess, I messed that up - really, don't go all the way left.
P3 basic
P4 top step on the last bolt and either grab crack until you can get the sling on the piton, or blindly stick in a blue supercam and stand on that to get the piton. Don't stop until the anchors under the roof.
P5 there is a perfect horizontal piton scar that is hard to see until you are standing in your aiders on the first bolt. stick a red supercam in and go.
P6 basic
P7 basic thin C1
P8 beautiful 5.9 hands, so nice... the chimney is also great until just before the anchors when it gets shallow and steep and squeezy... wedge in and stick some gear in the crack in the back and pull on that, if you're having a hard time.
P9 nice, basic, anchors right of tree.
P10 short, basic.

I agree with an earlier post that there is no need for a cam larger than 3.5 on this route, don't lug one up there.

The supertopo says this is the easiest wall in yos, which might be true. I was sad to see that a couple of young guys bailed the day we went up... with the supertopo beta and a decent rack, there's no excuse, just don't give up.
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PellucidWombat

Mountain climber
Berkeley, CA
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   Apr 17, 2012 - 01:28am
For P5, the new SuperTopo topo doesn't show the bolts directly above the lip of the roof and instead shows you heading right, up the crack towards Skull Queen before moving left to a bolt.

Don't go this way!! Best as I can tell between the newer vs. older topos, this is the free variation. The older ST topo & especially the Reid topo show this aid section more accurately.

The finger pocket just below the Kor Roof is bomber with an offset MasterCam (red or orange?). Photos of the lead even showed the cam being rotated up from the rope drag, and it still wouldn't pop out.

With the current number of bolts, the roof is very easy to lead compared to the LeConte Boulder bolt ladder. If you can lead that one with any grace, this one will be a piece of cake.
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Russ Walling

Social climber
from Poofters Froth, Wyoming
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   Jul 15, 2003 - 02:24pm
Did this route over the July 4th holiday in 2003. Last time I was up there was in 1979, so things have changed a little. Anyway, here are some notes on the route.

Started late with 3 gallons of water and 25lbs of excess fat. Actually started climbing at 5:15pm. Had two Fish Atom Smasher mini haul bags (blatant plug), and for the most part no food. A couple of cans of Tuna, some wacky Turkey Chili and a small can of smoked salmon. Note: take more food.

1st pitch: Easy start on very polished rock. The bolts at the top of the slab are good to anchor the rope to, but I set a haul higher and in a crack with some medium cams. I also pulled up the rope to be able to anchor at the start of the next pitch which is about 30 feet left of these anchor bolts. Hand carry the haul bags over to the start of this pitch. Watch out for the rope getting hooked on flakes and trees below.

2nd pitch: Small cams and nuts up the obvious crack. This was kind of awkward but easy. Bolt anchor at top of pitch.

3rd pitch: Short and easy. Avoid the tree and stay left until you hit the bolts on the far edge of dinner ledge. There was a hand line there leading to Dinner Ledge proper. Hand carry the haul bags over to the bivy area.

4th pitch: Easy free climbing leads to the roof bolts. The first few bolts are new fatties... the last two are old somethings. Over the lip is a semi blind .5" cam placement.... from there it is standard fare, small cams up to the belay. There is a bolted belay about 100' from Dinner Ledge and then another bolted belay about 50' higher. I stopped at the first belay and with a 60m rope rapped back down to Dinner ledge on the free end. This brought it right up to nearly dark.

Next morning: I jugged the free end back up to the belay and then continued on to the bolted belay about 50' above. Medium cams in this section and easy aid.

5th pitch: Over the roof on bolts and up to a blind 1.5" cam placement in a slot. Could be a problem if you are a midget. The arch has some fixed pins and maybe even a bolt on the way across. Do a baby pendulum. Pretty good small cams that eventually lead to odd wide parts for a 3" or larger cam. Back clean or leapfrog stuff to keep the ropedrag down when you do the 5.7 "move right" stuff at the very end of the pitch.

6th pitch: Break out all your wired stoppers... mostly thin. This pitch eats them up. Straight up, straight in. Mix in a few tiny cams for speed. Bring up to a 3" cam for the odd slot.

7th pitch: Mixed free and aid on cams. Gets hand size near the base of the chimney and then the usual wide lot for a hundred feet or so to the anchors. long pitch.

9th pitch: Easy aid up the corner on cams. Free out on the slab and look for a fixed pin tension traverse thing. Move left and up to the juggy roof. Book says 5.8, probably more like 5.5, but really cool moves just the same. Belay up by a tree. Fixed pin? Once again I set an anchor up high to haul from. Medium cams, up and left. This will also help to keep your bags out of the tree/chimney problem.

10th pitch: The famous Headbanger Gulley..... Easy free climbing to the point of almost being 4th class. I was placing pro (med/large cams) along the right wall and high to keep the rope from dredging the gulley as I climbed. Seemed to work. Continue up to a tree with fixed 11mm rope as an anchor. This tree is virtually on the summit and the lower and smaller tree with slings can be bypassed or tied off to minimize the rock fall. I then moved to the left and onto the cleaner summit slabs to set up a haul. Go to the large crack and block system about 40 left of the final belay tree and plug in some 2.5" to 4" cams and haul from these. This worked pretty well and kept incidental rock fall to a minimum. The follower can monitor the bags in the gulley for hangups.

Topped out around an hour before dark and decided to bivy on top. Flat spots are hard to find without hiking a bit to the summit of the Prow area. YMMV. We had 1/2 gallon of water left for the evening, but was more or less parched to one level above death all day. Finding the NDG trail was pretty easy once you hike to the actual summit. Walk the rim and it will appear. Follow this to the bitter end and then scramble down some 3rd class for about 30 feet. Follow the trail down and back toward the start of the route. It took about an hour to get to the NDG, and with numerous rests and bitching and moaning stops another 1.5+ hours to get to the car.
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macgyver

Social climber
Oregon, but now in Europe
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   Oct 6, 2004 - 06:01am
Great route with the most plush bivy ledge ever. JUST SO MUCH FUN!

After yo yo ing parts of the route (thunderstorms, going off route on pitch 2, just being gumbies) we were only able to do the first 5 pitches. Nonetheless...we loved it.

Some beta:
Pitch 1
Every party we ran into, used one point of aid to get past the 5.8. My partner just grunted through it with left foot smearing the face and a flared foot jam for the right. The 5.6 ramp is very easy and can be done easily in approach shoes. Sucky hauling that should be helped by the second while cleaning the pitch.

Pitch 2
Do the 10a variation around the corner but NOT the crack way left and off route (look for rap slings above on the off route crack). I ate a bunch of time on this crack only to realize 30 minutes I was off route and would have to pendulum over to the crack. To minimize the rope drag I then had to lead and backclean the entire pitch. Sheesh.....
Just remember... The 10a is around the corner to your right... Scramble out there and keep looking around for the perfect 1-2" crack. It eats up #1 and #2 camalots. If you don't want to mess with the 5.7 you can get past it with a #4 cam and a beached whale manuever. Easy hauling for sure.

Pitch 3
Funky free climbing that seems to have about a million ways to go. My partner got to high before moving right and had to perform a weird move that definately did not appear to be 5.8. Look for the path of least resistance and dont get caught too high and left. Afterwards pass to the LEFT of the rap tree up the 5.6 gully. If you go right of the tree the route is easier but your 2nd will hate it and the hauling will suck.

Pitch 4
Kor roof. Easy free to start with some french free on a tatty green rope through the 5.8 section. The bolt ladder is a breeze. If you are feeling sporty try to use less bolts (Kor only had two). Great views, and great moves. Pulling the roof requires either a strenous step to see the placements or a blind cam placement. DO NOT GO CRAZY BACK CLEANING OR YOUR PARTNER WILL HATE YOU. A party after us was stuck on this pitch for over 2 hours at the roof. Don't stop at the intermediate belay...it is uncomfortable and not as cool as the little roost above.

Pitch 5
The aid crux. The start is probably the hardest thing for a beginner. You have bolt at the roof lip and then you have to look very high for a placement. I had to get in my top steps to reach a short horizontal crack to place a nice yellow alien. Then you access the arching cracks. THIS IS A GREAT PITCH. I had a lot of fun (as well as my partner who appreciated the fact I did not aggresively back clean...hint hint) and the placements are interesting. Hybrid aliens are not a must but make many of the placements easier. The yellow/red hybrid as well as the green/blue were my workhorse on this one. Then after penduluming and finishing the 2nd arch you bust up a straight up crack to some fun but unconvincing 5.7 free moves. The holds are there...i promise. Escaping the vortex of aiders is difficult but you gotta do it...just make sure to organize yourself so no daisies etc. get in the way while you bust out the sticky rubber. Comfy belay in a little nook.

Then darkness fell and our slow ascent had to come to an end...i cant wait to savior the nut pitch and the pitches above.

Rock on
M
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the Fet

climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
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   Mar 30, 2010 - 02:36pm
The Supertopo Approach says "..to a point where the bike path and horse trail (on the left) nearly meet. At the point where the bike path turns right, head left, cross the horse path, and continue into the trees. A climber's trail..."

I'd say where the bike path turns right, go onto the horse path and then turn right (East) and go 200 feet on the horse trail, you'll see a smooth rock coming out of the ground about 4 feet tall that you could walk right over. Walk over or around this rock and into the trees and you'll see the Park Service sign telling you to take your crap with you in like 6 languages.
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briham89

Big Wall climber
santa cruz, ca
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   Mar 12, 2013 - 02:55am
At least get a set of Dmm alloy offset nuts and Dmm peanuts. You don't absolutely need offset gear, but it is definitely nice. IIRC pitch 5 took a few offset cams, but the party behind me didn't use any...so there you go.

Also read below, and see just how many people mention offset cams.

If this is going to be your "first" wall meaning there are more to come later in the valley, get some offset cams. They are nearly essential for aid in the valley IMO.
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Brandon Adams

Big Wall climber
Monterey, CA
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   Mar 13, 2013 - 03:48pm
I completed the route this past weekend with no offset cams and was just fine. However, I definitely would have used the hell out of em if I had em.

There was some extra water left at Dinner Ledge when we passed by. Hope it finds someone in their time of need.

Awesome route.
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Jeremy Hadland

Trad climber
aptos
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   Mar 28, 2013 - 10:35pm
again, offsets nice to have but not totally necessary. if you like cam hooking and you have them certainly bring them. their light, small and I used them a bunch, especially p2 if you opt for the 5.11+ vs the 5.10 free variation. also can be used a bunch on the upper splitter cracks. just did this route last weekend, suprisingly crowded for this time of year. get a super early start
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briham89

Big Wall climber
santa cruz, ca
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   Apr 12, 2013 - 10:56pm
I only brought 1 #4. I don't think you need to lug two up there
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Paul B

Big Wall climber
Sheffield, UK
Jun 22, 2013 - 05:36pm
 
We did this yesterday using the rack in the 3rd edition book. If I were to do it again I'd bring more offset wires (alloy) and offset cams. They're not 100% necessary but they'd make life faster on P2.

We were woken at 4am by a raccoon interested in our haul bag beneath the bolt ladder on Southern Man. Keep your food close!
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Mikemcee

Social climber
Mill Valley, CA
Aug 30, 2013 - 03:42pm
 
If it's not crowded, leave the bags on Dinner Ledge and rap the route, collecting bags on the way down. We rapped from the big tree below the summit proper which avoids the sandy, junk spewing scramble with bags to the top business.
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dindolino32

climber
san francisco
Sep 2, 2013 - 04:54pm
 
First of all, Pack your trash!!! if you leave a gallon of water up there to be nice, empty out an old one and pack it out. I packed out someones sh#t (literally)! That sucks.
We tried to complete the route during the past 2 weekends but failed. First time we went off route and was confused after the Kor roof pitch. There are 4 bolts at the belay station. Reach around the roof and clip the bolt above the left 2 bolts of the anchor. Don't go right and start Skull Queen. The big wall book makes it look like you follow the crack to the right.
There are 2 bolts above the anchor then 2 super reachy moves to the arching crack. I felt like if I were any shorter, it wouldn't have been able to do it. I guess one way around that would be to start skull queen and pendulum over to the crack, however that is just speculation.
2nd time the rim fire smoke was too much for us and we bailed. We will be back.
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
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   Feb 1, 2001 - 03:18pm
Corrections to the guidebook Yosemite Big Walls: SuperTopos: From tree right of belay 10, 60m rappel to Pitch 8 (the book incorrectly states that it is 60m to Pitch 9). From the tree at Pitch 8 continue two-rope rapping straight down on bolted belay stations on the face to the right of the route. After three rappels(two rap stations/three rappels) you will reach the belay ledge on top of pitch 5.
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Toby

Trad climber
CT/VT
Aug 8, 2003 - 12:47am
 
With two 60 meters you can rap from dinner ledge to the start of pitch 2.
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Erich Krueck

Trad climber
Huntington Beach, CA
Mar 10, 2004 - 05:31pm
 
Hey everyone, I'll be on this route this coming weekend so ill be sure to bring back some beta on that missing bolt. We don’t have a bolt kit so hopefully that tag line is still there. Does anyone know if a hammer and a few copperheads would do any good on the roof or is that bolt crucial. Thanks!
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WC

Trad climber
Flagstaff, AZ
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   Mar 10, 2004 - 07:18pm

Erich,

It has been a while, but I don't think that there are any copperhead placements out there which is why the bolt was drilled. Apparently if you can free climb 14a the bolt is unecessary. Additionally, Kor did the roof on the FA with only two bolts. As for us mortals (i.e. me) it will be a long reach around the roof from the third bolt. A cheat stick might be a good way to go for a "just in case" type deal.

Have fun.

WC
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sfclimber

Trad climber
Redwood City, CA
Mar 11, 2004 - 09:13pm
 
Sounds like it's going to be crowded this weekend. I'll be there also; party of two. Hopefully whoever gets to that missing bolt first can clarify the situation for the rest in line :-)
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up2top

climber
Phoenix, AZ
May 29, 2003 - 06:45pm
 
Chris, could you translate/clarify that a little, please??

Ed
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wickedhardman

Social climber
LSDVille
Mar 12, 2004 - 08:31am
 
sounds like a bunch of wankers heading to the valley to epic the roof. sweet! if you get scared, ust drill arivet - dr. piton does it - it must be the beeter way.
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Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
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   Nov 9, 2002 - 10:23pm
FFA of the South Face of Washington Column

In early October 2002, Matt Wilder freed the South Face
of Washington Column (Yosemite Valley). The crux was the Kor Roof,
a V10 boulder problem (about 5.14a). The next 3 pitches
have some 5.12 undercling and thin crack sections:
p4: 5.11b face out right, 5.12c undercling back left to join aid line.
p5: 5.10b up left-leaning corner, 5.12a thin section, 5.8 finish.
p6: 5.12b beautiful thin splitter to small ledge, then
5.11d technical double crack to anchor.
The route can be climbed 99% free at 5.12c A0 if one can't stick
the moves on the Kor Roof.

For more details on the individual pitches, see:
http://www.stanford.edu/~clint/yos/longhf.htm#wash
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Pepe La Pew!!!

Trad climber
South Bay, Ca
Mar 4, 2004 - 11:46pm
 
....so what's the status on the bolt? is this climb undoable w/o a bolt kit or the use of that 6 month old yellow tat?
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Pepe La Pew!!!

Trad climber
South Bay, Ca
Mar 5, 2004 - 12:01am
 
would anyone suggest this route mid to late march (weather depending) and again....the issue of the missing bolt...what's the update?!?! thank you all!
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
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   May 29, 2003 - 04:26pm
just go this feedback from a SuperTopo user:


I was recently in the valley climbing on Sface of coloumn. We didn\'t fix till in between 4 and 5 as the SuperTopo suggests, but only till 4. then climbed from 4 to 5. As I was introducing a freind to wallclimbing, I wasn\'t backcleaning much under the roofs, to make cleaning easier. But at the end of the of the pitch the ropedrag was really bad. Perhaps you could warn of this in the topo. it would have been much better to stop at the station right after the pendulum instead of trying to do the whole pitch as one. If one was worried about time, one could start ropesoloing the next half, while the partner cleans the first half.

Anyway, just thought id let you know \'cause the topo kind of look like thats the \"Normal\" way of climbing if you are not fixing to the optional belay in between. Those 5.7 moves just before the belay felt more like 5.9 with the heavy drag and I had to extend the anchor a lot to tie off because I simply couldn\'t pull up more rope - I actually thought i had run out of rope.
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
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   May 30, 2003 - 02:46am
Basically he is recommending that pitch 5 be broken into two pitches to reduce rope drag. I agree because most parties move so much slower because of the subsequent rope-drag and difficult communication of doing it in one long pitch that stopping would probably be safer and faster. Of course, if you get to the first belay with no rope-drag, plenty of gear, and feel great--go for it.
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FTB

Trad climber
Near the Vally, CA
Jun 2, 2003 - 07:26pm
 
The bolts/pitons at the top of pitch 7 are missing. Use the optional anchor right after the squeeze in the chimney. The bolts have been replaced and are bomber. With a 60m rope, it is very easy to link the 5.9/C1 pitch with the chimney section. Furthermore, if you lead the chimney dump the rack on some gear before the squeeze and let the follower deal with it. Sure is a lot easy without all the gear.
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Brian

Big Wall climber
Fresno
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   Jul 27, 2003 - 02:54am
Soloed this route 7/24-7/26. Nobody else on the wall the entire time I was there.

The crux of this route is definately the hauling pitch 3 to Dinner Ledge (maybe because I took way too much food and water....3 gallons of water, one gallon of Gatorade, 6 large cans of soup, 6 cans of fruit, 3 cans of Starbucks "Doubleshot" coffee, breakfast bars, two bags of Jolly ranchers, and 2 containers of peanuts). The haulbag weighed more than me...requiring two trips from the car to the base of the route, and a lot of bodyhauling while pushing and cussing to get it to Dinner. (Mental note: take less food and water)

Hans is right. The ledge at the top of pitch one is cover with large, frenzied, biting ants. and if you stop at the tree toward the top of pitch 3, just before Dinner, the ants will swarm and start biting immediately.

I didn't get visited by any ringtails on Dinner, but I did have a mouse wake me in the middle of the night as it ran across my face into my bivy sack.....major fiasco with lots of thrashing to get it out...(maybe it was best that I WAS alone that night).

The Kor roof was definately the Highlight, and I thought the two button-head spinners where bomber. A blue Metolius cam placement was perfect for getting over the lip. A red Metolius cam was bomber in the pocket above the bolts at the start of pitch 5.

I suffered a mini epic cleaning the first half of pitch five because I chose to fix at the belay after the pendji and ended up doing a tension traverse/jug back to the pendji point and down-aided to the belay, and cleaned the pitch on toprope. Next time, I would aid to the midpoint of pitch 4, rap/jug/clean/back-clean, then aid to the fix point mid pitch 5, rap to the mid-4 belay and jugg/back-clean. You can then finish pitch 5, rap back to the midpoint and jug/clean.

The remaining pitched are very quick and straight-forward. Leapfrog your aiders slung with cam hooks and clean on rappel.

I fed my lead line out of a small daypack, tied in short with a clove and backed up with a bite of line attached to my harness on a figure eight. I kept my haulline stacked in a rope bag and jugged with it; leaving it at each belay as I progress up. (I did not haul above Dinner). The wind really picks up to gale force at about One o'clock, so keep your ropes secure from them blowing all over the wall. (rapping over the roof in the wind is intense!)

I was able to rap/clean each pitch except for 4 and 5 which needed to be aided, then reaided and back-cleaned.

Fun solo, except for the hike to and from the base and the haulng to Dinner.....but I'm just sick enough to go back and do it again.

52 hours from car to car with two-thirds of the food and a gallon of water unconsumed. I left a note attached dontating these items to any lucky climber who gets to Dinner ledge without enough food/water to get by on. (Sorry I wasn't there for you on July 3rd, Russ....you would have eaten enough to leave the south face with 30 pounds of extra fat......)

Brian
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semorrison

Big Wall climber
Berkeley, CA
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   Oct 6, 2003 - 04:14pm
Climbing the Kor Roof this last saturday, October 4th, we pulled the last bolt (while cleaning!). The party behind us found it impossible without the bolt, so jugged on one of our ropes past the roof. They then installed a piece of yellow cord on the first piton in the crack above, with a loop tied in the lower end, which is within reach from the second last (now last!) bolt on the Kor Roof.

Be warned -- until this bolt is replaced, if that cord isn't there, the Kor Roof may be *very* difficult! :-)
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Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Oct 6, 2003 - 10:07pm
 
If the sling comes up missing, and you didn't bring a bolt kit, but you did bring a bat hook, you might want to condsider doing the first couple of pitches off of Dinner Ledge of S. Man which rejoin w/ the S. Face.
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sfclimber

Trad climber
Redwood City, CA
Mar 16, 2004 - 05:42pm
 
Here is some information as of March 14, 2004.

 There are fixed lines from base of climb to top of 3rd pitch (Dinner Ledge). I will not offer any comment on the security of the fixed lines other than to voice some observations:
a) The lines are all 10mm rope or thicker, in good condition
b) Anchors for fixed lines are all made up of at least 2 bolts, power point is single non locking carabiner that has been taped shut.
c) Rope is tied to power point using a clove hitch backed up with a figure 8 onto one of the bolts.
d) Webbing for anchor at top of 3rd pitch (dinner ledge) is beginning to look sun bleached and the taped power point carabiner is being cross loaded a bit.

 Dinner Ledge has a fixed line spanning its entire length tied into the haul/belay anchor on the far right and the belay anchor on the far left. Convenient for clipping a tether to in order to walk the length of the ledge without a belay if so inclined.

 Roof bolt still missing. Famed yellow webbing also no longer there. Last existing bolt has spinning hanger. However, a fixed line has been tied from a fixed pin in the crack above the roof down to the last bolt on the face before the roof. The line has butterfly knots tied in it at the same level as each of the existing roof bolts as well as at the point where the missing bolt should be (i.e. fixed line can be used as a backup bolt ladder for the entire roof). Fixed line is in good condition, 10.5mm rope. But, the knot tied into the fixed pin does drag accross the stone and will in time wear through.

 We had full on summer conditions, temperatures in the 80's.

 Pack out your poop, previous parties just defecated at the far end of the ledge and it stinks when the wind blows.
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salad

Big Wall climber
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   Dec 17, 2003 - 09:14pm
Does anyone know if the last bolt on the roof has been replaced?
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dillweed

Trad climber
regular
Dec 23, 2003 - 04:40pm
 
Yo Salad.
As of 12-22-03 the bolt has not been replaced, but that piece of rope is still fixed there.
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August West

Trad climber
Where the wind blows strange
May 15, 2004 - 02:08pm
 
The current fixed line (a green rope) goes from dinner ledge to the bottom of the second pitch. The rope is clove hitched at the top of pitch two and the rope is in good condition below this point (the 5.11 pitch 2). On the third pitch, the rope has one spot where the rope is in bad condition. The sheath is entirely gone and some of the core is missing. I would not recommend jugging the third pitch on this rope. The rope is tied rather tightly between dinner ledge and the top of pitch two. If it hadn't been so tight, I would have tied off the bad section. With some planning ahead, enough slack could probably be added to tie off the bad section.

The fixed rope on the roof is in pretty good shape. However, it is tied off to a single (old) piton. While the pin looks pretty good, this is not an ideal setup. A single old pin is a little scary to aid on and taking a fall on the remaining bolts, under the roof (if the pin broke), does not inspire confidence (since one bolt apparently already broke under body weight). Anyone who is looking to do some community service (on a very popular route), could either replace one or more of the bolts under the roof and/or beef up the anchor for the fixed line.
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Chalkbag

Trad climber
cameron park, ca
Jul 13, 2004 - 02:53pm
 
Does anyone know the missing bolt(s) hole size on the roof? I got some spare hangers, why not give back a little.
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macgyver

Social climber
Oregon, but now in Europe
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   Sep 20, 2004 - 09:36am
After a summer of climbers on the Big Wall highway...

What is the condition of the bolt on Kor Roof that was missing at the beginning of summer?

Will be on the Column the last week of September and want to check on how the route is looking.

Cheers,
A
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Pepe La Pew!!!

Trad climber
South Bay, Ca
Sep 30, 2004 - 08:59pm
 
yeah...the missing bolt has been replaced by a shinny new 3/8. go climb and have some fun!!!
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clustiere

Trad climber
running springs, ca
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   Oct 10, 2004 - 10:08am
Just soloed this route it was great untill the last 2 pitches, say how do most folks get out of the chimney on pitch ??
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poop_tube

Trad climber
running springs, ca
Jan 22, 2005 - 08:58pm
 
just did it last weekend. Too wet to bust out right on friction moves. CONTINUE WITH THE SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEZE CHIMNEY! WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
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clustiere

Trad climber
running springs, ca
Jan 27, 2005 - 08:56pm
 
A Solo For A Sissy
Washington Column
October 04
South Face V 5.8 C1+
By Ryan Crochiere

There I was, back on the road to Yosemite. It was 11:30 pm and I was trying to convince myself that I would be able to identify where the gorilla camping was. Having driven up a few false leads I was getting nervous, and then all of a sudden the motor X sign appeared and I remembered my road. I hopped in the back and prepared to sleep for 3 hrs. With my head on the pig I drifted off until 3:00 and awoke to the dream shattering sound of my alarm.
The idea of soloing the South Face occurred to me a week before I was to go on a 10 day trip in Sequoia with Cedu. It sort of sprung on me as I was sitting in my family room looking at my schedule and a 3-day window appeared out of the blue. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH. Finally I could go back to Yosemite and solo a wall, but which one??? The Prow seemed the logical choice, however risky if there were crowds as I only had 2 days really. Then the South Face came to mind as a route that I would be able to utilize my Silent Partner on. The Silent Partner allowed me to free climb with out the hassle of the Gri-Gri. South Face it is I decided.
Up at 3:00, open the windows and start the car. Off I was to the Glacier Point Parking lot to re-rack up and stash my food in the bear box. Upon opening the pig water cascaded out, ahhhh my bottle had leaked. After about an hour of drying and running my heat I was ready to go except for one problem, my car wouldn’t start. Off I went to the Pines Campground and asked the 1 person that was awake to help me, but they were supervising a group of kids. Back to the parking lot led to ten minutes of waiting and a lost tourist who kindly gave me a jump. Off I drove to the Awahnee to park and hike.
On the trail at last by 6:00 and scouring to pass a party of three . Luckily I passed them and got a 45-minute head start as well as a heart cramp. I heated up quickly, and soon I was delirious and falling up to the base of the column.
The first three pitches went quickly with a lot of free and french free climbing. My plan from here was to climb the next two pitches and fix down to Dinner Ledge where I would spend the night. But first I had some napping to catch up on.
“Off belay” called out Alan of the party below. Yikes, I better get moving and off I went swinging and dangling my way through the Kor roof. The pitch was strait forward and I was soon at the belay. I scurried to clean the pitch and by the time I reached the Kor roof again the other team was leading the slab crack that lead up to it. “GOGOGOGo” I thought to myself so that I wouldn’t slow down the other party. So I headed into the next pitch, which proved to be the crux of the route. After about two hours I finished climbing and cleaning the pitch. At which point the other team was just pulling into the belay below. They made decision to fix only one line down the Kor roof pitch.
The night crept up quickly and I finally had time to hang out with the party below on Dinner Ledge. It was a great evening spent with Jeremy, Dave, and Alan. Hilarious stories were shared and they were more than generous with their food supply. After a few hours of hanging out I finally went to sleep to the distant sound of vehicles and a team below trying to fix up to Dinner Ledge. The team finally made it up to the ledge a few hours later and I was glad that they had radios, as they didn’t yell to each other.
Up en at em, 4:30 racking food and the majority of my water in the backpack, then up the lines. Off I went a beautiful nut crack, splitter hands, chimney hell, a rivet to free climbing and an aid crack brought me to a tree and the last two pitches where I decided to leave my backpack. Then I was off again to finish the last two pitches the second of which was the worst groove climbing crap ever. After reaching the top I had to re-rig a rappel and hope that I could make it to my pack which didn’t happen so I set up another rappel and from here I started cruising back down to Dinner Ledge where I met up with the lower team who had only made it up to pitch five. I spent the rest of the night hanging out and running out of water.
The next morning we all rapped off in two full raps down to the ground and headed off to eat at the Yosemite Lodge. Dave was kind enough to buy me breakfast and chat it up about living in southern California. I then said goodbye to the gang and headed off to drive back to so cal.
All told the South Face is a great and classic big wall that presents fun moderate challenges.
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LqdSlvr

Trad climber
Phoenix, AZ
Apr 10, 2005 - 12:25pm
 
Anybody know if the bolt at the roof lip at the beginning of pitch 5 is still there? It's not on the topo in the new Big Wall book. Looking to do SFWC in May (first wall) and need all the beta I can get.
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macgyver

Social climber
Oregon, but now in Europe
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   Apr 11, 2005 - 08:33am
The bolt is there. Don't fret and rock on
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Nanook

climber
Apr 19, 2005 - 05:21pm
 
Dave and I climbed this great route 4/05.

SuperTopo corrections:
** The rap off the summit, shown to avoid the loose gully on the last pitch is excellent. However, with 60m ropes you can rap to the pitch 10, not 9, belay.

Being out of shape we brought a couple big pieces(#4 and 4.5 camelots) and I swear if I could have used them anywhere I would have. The tough spots in the chimney protect with either #3s or small aliens in sidecracks. I led all the wide stuff and never had a chance to use anything bigger than a 3.5 camelot.

Rapping the South Face has become popular in the last five years or so, and while half of the rap route is next to the route and a shout away from those knot eating cracks--the winds crank most afternoons on the column and there are still plenty of chances to get your ropes stuck or impossibly twisted.
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David

Trad climber
San Rafael, CA
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   Apr 20, 2005 - 09:50am
fyi. Unfortunately, the error referred to below is in both the first and second edition of the Big Wall guide.
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the Fet

climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
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   Sep 26, 2005 - 11:53am
On pitch 4 as you go up the easy free climb approach to the Kor roof, you clip a bolt, then there is a broken off pin (maybe the 5.8 free move / C1F on the topo), then a big reach to the next bolt just before the Kor roof proper. The party before us used a cheat stick to get the second bolt, but a yellow alien works good on two lobes in the bottom half of the flared pocket above/left of the broken pin. It's probably an easy free move, but not for me with hiking boots and an aid rack. I'd say A1+.
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oaklander

climber
Oakland
May 15, 2006 - 12:03pm
 
Climbed SF this past weekend. Great weather, full moon and other cool partys on the wall. Two guys from Italy were free climbing it and blasted past us! One gripe about the topo. We used the rap tree to the right of the sandy gully at the top and were unable to reach the rap station at the top of 9 with a 65m dynamic and 60m static!! This was very unnerving! Is the 60m rap on the topo based on using dynamic ropes and accounting for rope stretch? Even so, if not for a cool party below us, we would have been in for a bit of a pain in the ass, rapping back down the gully. Are we the only ones who have had this problem?
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ZAllen

Social climber
the dirty south
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   May 28, 2006 - 07:46pm
Awesome route. The rappel stations on this route are a little weird... When rapping from the two bolts at the top of pitch 8 I tried to skip a rap station out on the face and make it to the bottom of the nut pitch (p.6). There were two jingus anchors off to the left set up by people who had apparently tried the same thing and not made it. I made it to the one bolt in the middle of p.6 where it says 5.7 on the topo. (I was on 60m doubles.) Don't pass that first station, even though it is a short rap.

The only placement that was weird was that flared crack below the first bolt on the Kor roof. I used a weird red metolius fcu. I saw the guy after me use a yellow/red offset alien. Or bust out the free moves. Looks harder than 5.8 to me, but I suck.
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Nanook

climber
May 30, 2006 - 03:32pm
 
Climbed this awesome route 5/06. Other than the previously mentioned rappel snafu from the summit, pitch 9 is 100', not 140'.

I cleaned an alternative start to the normal corner a couple years back, and finally led it this time. Good stuff. You can now climb 5.8 straight up to the 5.6 instead of doing the 5.8 corner and then traversing left. You move a little left from the ground to get into a nice corner and then head up.
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Climbingaggie03

Trad climber
The road
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   Oct 30, 2008 - 04:40pm
Anybody know the source of all the blood at the base of the route? we saw blood on the ground on Monday of this week, figured someone got hurt this past weekend, but didn't know.
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Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Nov 25, 2008 - 09:33pm
 
Kor's account of the FA in AAJ 1965

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=723371

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Casey Chambers

climber
San Diego, CA and Sacramento, CA
Mar 9, 2009 - 11:31pm
 
Just wondering how do-able this climb should be by late March (this month) assuming sunny skies. Does he approach need snowshoes at all? I'm guessing not... Thanks!!
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Jordan Ramey

Big Wall climber
Calgary, Alberta
Mar 10, 2009 - 12:36pm
 
Easily approachable now without snowshoes. Even a couple days after snow, there is usually a nice packed trail on the bike path from winter tourists meaning you don't need snowshoes. It's south facing, so it melts very quickly after storms. Check the Ahwahnee webcam for current snow conditions. No snow in the meadow means the approach is all free and clear. We did the approach 3 weeks ago in between those big storms and it wasn't bad, but following the trail through the boulders in the forest is tougher with snow. Good luck!

http://www.nps.gov/yose/photosmultimedia/webcams.htm
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Hoots

climber
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Apr 21, 2010 - 01:20pm
 
What is the deal with the new fat rap station with 2 feet of chain at the far end of the first pitch ledge? Is this just a convenience anchor that eliminates having to place a bomber cam/nut anchor, or does it actually lead somewhere? It seemed to be much more than 60m to the deck from there.
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grinell

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Oct 16, 2010 - 02:51am
 
Climbed the first 4 pitches a few days ago ( Oct 9/2010), and thought I'd leave a quick note about P4: just under the Kor roof is a little rounded pocket that once had a copperhead in it that made it easy to get to the first bolt of the roof bolt ladder. That copperhead ain't there no more. After a couple minutes fiddling with it, I managed to get two cams of a 1" TCU to hold my weight long enough to clip that bolt. Kinda dicey, but the piece just below that is bomber, so no real worries other than making it a bit harder to get on the ladder. The ladder is solid now, BTW. Four bulletproof bolts lead you right to the lip, where you can top step and reach out and sink a little cam into that finger crack - solid enough to hang a Buick from it.
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tom woods

Gym climber
Bishop, CA
Oct 16, 2010 - 06:57pm
 
Good to hear the copperhead is gone. That's the way it used to be before some sissy put the copperhead in in the late 90's.

Two lobes of a cam or free move. How did Kor do it?
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Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
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   Mar 16, 2012 - 06:25pm
A larger offset alien, I think red/grey, worked well to get into the bolt ladder on the Kor pitch.
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Sonic

Trad climber
Boulder, Co
Mar 16, 2012 - 07:35pm
 
you can get a somewhat shitty fingerlock into that scar and just hope you can clip the bolt. Thats what i usually do..haha
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PellucidWombat

Mountain climber
Berkeley, CA
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   May 8, 2012 - 07:50pm
A couple more notes:

We never reached a spot where a #4 C4 Camalot was needed. You could place one near the start of the chimney, but you could use smaller gear too.

I'd say the chimney was more like 5.7. Take care if you're leading the chimney and trailing your daypack. Mine got stuck at the entry to the squeeze just as I was about to climb out of it. That was annoying to resolve . . .

Also, if you are hauling to the rim and want to be very careful about the loose final pitch, there are good rapp anchors just to the right of the end of P10 (P9 in the old topos) just before the loose gully. This is easily reached on rappel over clean terrain from the recommended rappel to the right (East) of the topout. You could leave the haul bag at the rapp bolts, climb the last pitch, then rapp back down to tie the haul line to the haul bag and take it up to the rim nice & safe.

We topped out in the dark, so I could only judge the terrain so well, but I think it would be more of a pain (or more likely to knock rocks off) if you tried to trail the haul line as you climbed the last pitch and then fix it to the rim rappel station. Hauling from the rim rappel station would be much safer & easier than trying to carry it or assist a haul up the last pitch.
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Karan

Sport climber
Los Angeles, CA
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   Jun 24, 2012 - 04:35am
tried climbing this route earlier this year. was gonna head back in a week or two. just wondering what different methods people used to aid through pitch 4, in order to get to the bolts at the roof. what's the best piece to place in that pin scar, in order to aid through? my friend sent it last time, and ended up taking a few gnarly whippers while freeing it. i was hoping to avoid a similar dilemma. any advice?
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the Fet

climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
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   Jun 24, 2012 - 11:32am
Karan, A hybrid (offset) cam would work best, but a yellow alien or other similar sized 4 cam unit works good on two lobes in the bottom half of the flared pocket above/left of the broken pin.
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Karan

Sport climber
Los Angeles, CA
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   Jul 19, 2012 - 05:02pm
a metolius offset master cam 3/4 sat in that pocket on the Kor roof pitch so bomberdiggity. woulda caught a VW bus on a 50 footer. first placement over the roof was blind for me and i'm a 6 footer who was top stepping. i went with a red C3 and it was perfect. you'll feel crack off to the left but if you really reach and plug as far to the right as you can, the red C3 will pop right in. it was nice to backclean the roof and under before cranking through that crack. mostly small cams up to a .75 C4 with maybe 1 placement each for the red and yellow.
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briham89

Big Wall climber
santa cruz, ca
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   Jul 21, 2012 - 09:05pm
The anchor at the start of pitch 11 is to the right of the tree not to the left of it as it is shown in the topo....at least i couldn't find any bolts over there. From this anchor climb up to your left to get into the gully. Fun route, did it in 12 hours. I think a day on this route is no problem.
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airboygemini

Big Wall climber
OR
Sep 10, 2012 - 12:00am
 

Hauling on the 1st and 3rd pitches is horrendous if you have nobody down below to move the stuck bag. (soloing)

I spent a couple minutes tightening the bolts on the roof. They are marginally secure at best and it would be great if somebody would replace them. I'm not normally too worried about a couple shoddy bolts, but if one of these babies had popped I would have splatted on the 70 degree slab below. If people my weight keep climbing on them, they'll be fine, but if 200lb guys go up there and those are the first roof bolts they've ever led, they're going to blow within a year.

The lower-out in the middle of the fifth pitch was fun because placements up to the anchor after are so obvious I couldn't help but smile.

Water requirements were intense. 8-15 liters per day. Once you get over the Kor pitch you get hit by a lot less sun and the wind keeps you cool.

My best piece of strategy was listening to Harry Potter audiobooks the whole time.

The approach was very easy with a little alpine route-finding experience. I just parked in Curry Village parking lot and walked through the North Pines campground back through the backpackers campground and onto the asphalt trail.

For food I just ate bagels with peanut butter, sour gummy worms, and beef jerky.

If I were to do it solo again I would bring a ledge and set it up on the top of the 6th pitch on the bolts for that other route right next to it. Plenty of space.
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Lars Hedin

climber
Mar 12, 2013 - 01:18am
 
Can anyone give me some good gear/pro beta for this route? Im planning this for my first wall and my budget is tight. I dont want to have to hurt myself or bail because I didnt have the right tools for the job, but can't afford to buy a whole rack of offset cams if I only need to place one or two.

Ive currently got a double rack of cams from Metolius #1/ BD #.3 to BD#4, one set of nuts, and all the gear for jugging.

Basically what nuts cams and aid gear will i need? which offsets are necessary? cam hooks?

Thanks all
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Brian B

Trad climber
Oakland
Apr 12, 2013 - 03:33pm
 
Hey all,
Heading up SFWC this Sat/Sun. I got some beta that I should bring two #4 BD's for P7 (he recalls). Apparently there is some leapfrogging to be done on them in one section. I'm a Friend guy however, and I'm bringing two of my #4 friends (just a bit smaller than the BDs), and I borrowed a buddy's #4 BD. Is it a must that I borrow another BD for the climb?

Brian
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geoffl

Mountain climber
Mountain View, CA
Aug 30, 2013 - 03:28pm
 
I did this route in the early 80s and descended via North Dome gully. I'm planning on climbing it again in the next few weeks and am wondering if there are there any rappel options these days??
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climber007

Trad climber
San Jose, CA
Sep 29, 2013 - 11:42am
 
There is a dangerous old fixed angle which has sheered off on the 11c variation of the second pitch. This angle cut our lead rope (sheath) when my partner was jugging and cleaning the pitch on Friday. It is completely capable of fully cutting the rope in half.

We were doing the route "in a day" style and didn't have a hammer or funkness to clean it with. If you are planning on heading up any of the routes off of dinner ledge, it would be in your best interest to bring the hammer and clean that thing out of there.
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dindolino32

climber
san francisco
Mar 24, 2014 - 08:41pm
 
After getting lost/confused every time I get to the base of this wall, I decided to find a better way to describe how to get to the start of the climbers trail. I'll include photos too (sorry they are sideways).
1. Hike past the Ahwahnee hotel, through the valet parking lot, and past the horse stables to the paved bike trail.
2. stay on the bike trail until you see "1/2 mile" in yellow spray paint on the paved trail. At that point, walk backwards 10 feet and look to your left and you will see a hiker's trail. Get on it and continue.
1/2 mile mark
1/2 mile mark
Credit: dindolino32
3. Next, hike until you pass between two large boulders (left is much taller).
between the 2 boulders
between the 2 boulders
Credit: dindolino32
4. Hike another 50 feet or so until you see a 1 ft tall by 3 ft stump on your right side. It is shaped like a heart.
stump on the right
stump on the right
Credit: dindolino32
heart shaped stump
heart shaped stump
Credit: dindolino32
5. Walk about 125 paces and you will be at the clearing.
6. I made an arrow out of large sticks, but basically head between the two largest trees that are 45 degrees to your left.
go between the 2 large trees
go between the 2 large trees
Credit: dindolino32
7. You will walk to a boulder with a 4 inch diameter log leaning against a boulder.
log leaning against boulder (kinda hard to see)
log leaning against boulder (kinda hard to see)
Credit: dindolino32
8. Go right of the boulder and then search for the climber's warning sign (it says yer gonna die!).
Credit: dindolino32
9. The last advice is to take a right just after your 2nd or 3rd large boulder instead of going straight. (Usually at this point we go straight, get lost and just keep walking uphill, but there is a trail. It's hard to follow going up, but easy to follow on the way down).
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Aussie Dave

Trad climber
Stanford, CA
Jun 19, 2008 - 04:52pm
 
I think I got off-route at the top of pitch 5. I ended up in a double flake system, and then saw the anchor below and to the right of me. After building an anchor I went down to check the route out from the 'real' anchor. It looked completey bare and runnout, certainly harder than 5.7! Can someone please explain when you should go right?

Thanks dudes
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Washington Column - South Face C1 5.8 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click to Enlarge
The South Face of Washington Column.
Photo: Chris McNamara
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