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South Face of Washington Column
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markd


Sep 10, 2002, 3:41 PM
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South Face of Washington Column
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Heading down to attempt my first Grade V wall end of this month. Anyone that has climbed this route and has any beta, it would be greatly appreciated. Things I currently pondering.

Is it smarter to leave haulbag at Dinner Ledge and then rap the route, or haul it and take North Dome Gully?

Is it commonly done in a day?



climbjs


Sep 10, 2002, 3:54 PM
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No beta, but best wishes man! I hope it goes smoothly for you!


ergophobe


Sep 10, 2002, 4:11 PM
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It is commonly attempted in a day, but less commonly done. The record, by the way, is 1:19, so you've got something to beat.

I have only done portions of the route. We were just going out climbing to go up a ways as a first practice aid climb. Crowds on SF meant that we mostly just climbed over on Southern Man. I have, however, done NDG many times and even helped my wife carry the bag down after her first wall (The Prow).

1. Everything you've heard about NDG is true - don't attempt to hike down it at night. It's not bad in the daylight.

2. You can leave stuff at the base of the climb. When you come down NDG, cut slightly back up and along the cliff and retrieve your stuff. Having gone both ways in the course of two days, I think cutting along the cliff is better anyway.

3. Assuming that *you* are fast enough to do the route in a day, you could get caught up in major logjams. When we went up there, a party was *aiding* the 5.7 at the bottom. You'll see everything on this climb. If you have to wait at the base, climb Jojo, an excellent 10b.

4. Bring a bat hook, a cliffhanger and some extra micronuts. Then if the SF is packed, you can cut further left and do Southern Man instead.

5. The ringtails on Dinner Ledge and at the base will try to get your food. Bring something to put it in like a bear canister or something like that.

6. Rap or bring the bag? No opinion really. We rapped but we didn't go that high (3-4 pitches up from Dinner), but Dinner Ledge is right in the drop zone from the upper cliff, so you could kill someone if you aren't careful. I narrowly missed getting nailed.


bigdan


Sep 11, 2002, 9:31 AM
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if you want to go faster, free as much as you can, the first three pitches especially, and the upper part. the middle is mostly aid, but very quick aid, easy placements. i wouldn't bring a bag, just a couple sleeping bags, raingear and some food in a smaller pack. you don't need much, no ledge, only a clean rack, etc. have a blast...


ergophobe


Sep 11, 2002, 10:39 AM
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Bigdan reminds me - this route was freed earlier this year. Matt Wilder finally unlocked the Kor Roof. Aside from the Kor Roof, the middle pitches are mostly mid-5.11 to mid-5.12 (or so I hear - I've never done them aid or free).

Tom


krustyklimber


Sep 11, 2002, 10:52 PM
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When you get to the Valley go to the La Conte boulder (it's across the road from the laundramatte) at the La Conte Memorial.

It has a bolt ladder on it that is sickly overhanging on it and a steep crack around the backside (away from the road), these are the best practice lines around. they are short and you and your partner can take turns, find others practicing to help you, and get very good at lowering out.

Lowering out properly is the key to The South Face, and the lack of that very skill is what defeats most parties who fail on it.

That is what did me in, that and bad dehydration.

Be prepared to haul a lot of water.

We did it by hauling in gear on day one, and fixing a line to the big sloping ledge.
On day two we went back up with more gear and water, climbed to D-ledge and waited for a party to come down.
On day three we woke up and made it three pitches or so when I fell off my juggs and badly ropeburned one hand, freaked myself totally out, and bailed to the ledge spent the night and rapped off in the morning.

We were a typical party on the South Face.

Jeff


joebuzz


Sep 11, 2002, 11:26 PM
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Pretty much everything you've read so far is on the money. I think that by trying to do your first wall in a day, your setting yourself up for a major "Heartbreak!" Hey, it's your first wall; might as well enjoy it now, go for speed assents later. It took me three trys to finish The S.F. before I topped out.
#1 North Dome Gully- SUCKS!x10, rap if possible.
#2 Do Not! do the last pitch if rapping. It's absolutely not worth it, you ARE going to knock something down.
#3 I'm all about Summiting except for on The S.F. Bring bivy gear leave it on Dinner Ledge and just see how high you can get. Dinner Ledge is one of the best bivies in the valley, go up & enjoy it. The ringtails are kind of a bother, but you'll meet them soon enough.
#4 The last time I did "Southern Man" it was about as scared as I've ever been in aiders. It will probably require nailing; Be Prepared if your going to use this as an option.
It really is a great route, it's just alot more than everyone expects for easy aid/ a first route.
I don't mean to scare you. I just think your first walls should be fun, not some vertical sprint. That will all come in time.
Have Fun!


krustyklimber


Sep 12, 2002, 12:08 PM
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Have you considered the Leaning Tower?

The approaches are similar and the climbing on the Tower is more sustained and funner, not to mention cooler!

They are both fun walls but the Tower seemed easier to get on and off tan the Column.

Jeff


ergophobe


Sep 12, 2002, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
I'd personally take a little more than what Tom recommended, but he's a better climber than I am for sure.


I think ball-nut has the wrong Tom - I'm a total aid gumbie (probably thinking of apollodorus). As I said, we were just goofing around practicing aid and only did the first three pitches above Dinner. At that point you can switch back to SF if the crowds have cleared. I can't comment on the upper part of Southern Man. My friend Bill Folk has a TR on a solo of Southern Man at

http://www.bigwall.com/southman.html

The rack he recommends, which is about what we had (we didn't have any offset aliens) is
Quote:
Aliens: 1 ea. black, 2 ea. blue through red, 1 ea. blue/green, green/yellow Hybrids
2 ea. Camalots #.5 to #2
1 ea. Camalots #3, 3.5, 4
HB offsets
Cam hooks
Bat and Skyhook
Rivet hangers
1 bolt hanger


Route goes clean easily. Fixed gear is in pretty good shape; I'd leave the hammer at home.



Tom



[ This Message was edited by: ergophobe on 2002-09-12 12:58 ]


markd


Sep 12, 2002, 1:30 PM
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I have thought about Leaning Tower, but I've heard bad things about the descent, is there any truth to this? Thanks for the help thus far.


bigdan


Sep 13, 2002, 10:49 AM
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i had heard he was working the south face free, and getting stuck at the kor roof, but i didn't know he sent it. when? how did he do the roof? it's beyond me, but i still spent a few minutes checking it out for free moves. it seemed to me that you'd have to do a 4-5 foot dyno from the crimp under the roof all the way up to the crack. anybody know how this went? in any case, that's sweet that it goes now.


krustyklimber


Sep 13, 2002, 11:00 AM
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The descent from the Tower is ugly but totally doable, I never did the NDG descent so I cannot compare them, but I would do the Tower again.
I would not like to try the Column again but it's a personal thing.

Jeff


hallm


Sep 13, 2002, 11:18 AM
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Another tip on the South Face of the Column:

If you plan on bivying on Dinner ledge, try to fix the next pitch and a half above. It is one full rope length from there to Dinner Ledge and will give you a head start the next day.

Have fun and I recommend topping out, the hauling is pretty basic. Also, if you get a choice, lead the Kor Roof, and don't back clean the bolts for your follower. It may give you a bot more rope drag, but it is hard to clean the roof when the bolts have been back cleaned.


billcoe_


Sep 20, 2002, 8:40 PM
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If you take a shot at a 1 day and don't make it, if you look to the left from about 150 feet below the summit is a big ponderous pine.

Great bivi!!

My thoughts, hauling a bag up the 4th class to leaning tower is waaayy harder than 4th class.

The advice above is all good, column is nice. Couple of friends just did it (prow was jammed and NO-ONE was on the SF column!! Whhooo Hooooo) and said the rap was great. NDG isn't a horror show, but if the rap was clear and not logjammed I'd rap just based on what they said. At 48 my knees aren't what they used to be!!

I personally haven't made the pilgramage to Mecca last couple of years and am envious of you Mark.

Good luck, have fun, avoid the rangers and be safe:

Bill


twrock


Nov 10, 2002, 6:31 AM
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Here's a link to a TR with some beta as well for the South Face. I had a great time climbing it back in 1999 with "justsendingits" (aka Rich Copeland).
http://www.geocities.com/taiwan_rock/south_face.html


flamer


Nov 10, 2002, 10:21 AM
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Climbed the SF onsight in a day last spring. Nobody else on the route! Couple of notes- on the second pitch take the 5.10b variation. On the pitch after the Kor roof you will get a lesson in horizontal flared cam placement , also an option that is rarely used or talked about is to walk over and rap the royal arches rappells. This is what my partner and I did after topping out( we both hate the NDG). If you simul-rap this goes pretty quick and you end up right by the awanhnee. This is not a good option if you have a pig. Enjoy- It's a great route.
Josh


tylerofcamp4


Nov 11, 2002, 9:33 PM
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TThis the best way to do the south face

pack the pigs up to the base the day before then come down eat pizza and drink beer. Wake up at 4:00 AM and run like hell to the base!get up to dinner ledge as fast as you can. and try to fix the two pitches above.dump out the water that you don't need
and haul all of the way to the summit. oh also free as much as you can. good luck im going for my second attempt on the twenty third


valygrl


Nov 11, 2002, 10:25 PM
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Actually, I think *this* might be the best way.

Matt Wilder got the FFA on 10/3/02, and lucky me, I got to watch him send the Kor Roof!

Yours in amazement...

Valygrl



[ This Message was edited by: valygrl on 2002-11-21 09:22 ]


twrock


Nov 12, 2002, 2:11 AM
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That's too cool. I think it's great when old aid line go free. (Although many of them wouldn't go free without all the beneficial pin scarring from years of aiding.) Unfortunately only a very small percentage will ever free the South Face route, while a whole lot of us will enjoy it as an aid route.

Long live aid climbing!

-Ron (an old, fat guy who will never free the Kor roof)


tylerofcamp4


Nov 12, 2002, 3:23 PM
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If you want to see what the second pitch looks like check out my picture at supertopo in the sf beta page.


smallwallmonkey


Nov 20, 2002, 5:35 PM
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Allright, here's my $.02:

1)The WF of Leaning Tower is incredibly easy to send in a day, though the hauling wouldn't be bad (steep). You can safely simul-aid the first four to ahwahnee, which speeds things up and eliminates free-hanging jugs. The rest of the pitches link w/ 60m rope, so basically it's a 4 pitch grade V! However, it is way easier to bail from the SF cuz it's low angle.

2)If you do SF in 2 days, the beta is pretty much already laid out in the above posts. However, here's some more, some spe. for pushes. First, link the second and third pitches free, run it out. Or, if you're way strong, you can simul the first three. Some words on what to clip on the roof: This is the #1 gumby filter in the park, cleaning can turn into a nightmare!! So, clip the bolts on the slab, making sure there's a sling on the 2nd one, and don't clip any roof bolts. Then, clip the fixed pin a couple moves up the crack, again make sure there's a lower out sling. from there wait to clip a cam till you're under the anchors. Short fix the false anchors, and the alcove anchors, as well as p5 and p6.

3)If the SF is crowded, I wouldn't suggest trying SM (a bit much for a first wall). Instead, muscle your way up the Kor roof and bust right into Skull Queen. Only extra gear you need is rivet hangers and something big....

4)Just so you know, it took me till my 4th try to get up the damn thing , but we onsighted WF no problem in a day.

Have Fun! (bottom line)

small wall max


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