Regular Route 5.10b
Trip ReportThird Pillar of Dana 10-3-12
Just when I thought the Tuolumne season was over...I was wrong!
With our limited time schedules, we had 3 plans: first 4 pitches of the Nose to get in some aid practice, Lost Arrow Spire, or Third Pillar of Dana as long as the high pressure system stayed in place. The Valley temps were predicted to be in the high 80s maybe low 90s. Luckily we decided to get up early and go for Third Pillar.
I had been wanting to do this route for about 4 years. Ryan as well. I have always been intimidated by the route because of the nature of HAVING to climb out and into a more exposed location. I once hiked the Dana plateau alone and got caught in a lightning storm. It was really scary.
I worked until 2am and then went to sleep. Three hours later Ryan pulled up in the Audi with a crazy protein concoction that definitely woke me up for the day! He turned on the electro tunes and we started the 2 hour drive.
We hit the trail and made the top in about 1.5 hours. The hike in is beautiful and and we saw some cool wildlife. We really wanted to see some bighorn, and we actually did see some likely bighorn scat.
The third class descent is quite sketchy by Yosemite Valley standards. Big car size blocks threaten to topple everywhere, and those blocks are holding the whole rubble pile up, so if one goes, domino effect. We wore helmets for the descent! You can see our slightly skeptical looks after finishing the descent!
We were shivering at the top in the shade, but once we hit the base it was 70 degrees, tshirt climbing!
The first few pitches involved some routefinding. There appears to be a myriad of great cracks, some more secure than others. I got off route for about 30 feet and had to downclimb but no big deal. Lots of beautiful white granite up there. Action shots:
The last pitch is what rock climbing is all about.
I was damn tired afterwards. The sun and elevation really add up.
Ive been climbing for 8 years and this is one of my new favorites. Thanks Ryan for the fun mission!
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