Home/Mountaineering/Yosemite Rock information

Washington Column, The Prow, V 5.7/A2


The first 2/3 of the route is very good. The last 1/3 is not steep enough. Climbing is basically clean, and interesting. Check some pictures .


It is better to start from Awanhee than from North Pines. Follow the horse trail, quit it when you see a long water hose, follow a climber's trail. The route starts above two trees.


1: 5.10, hand size. mostly large cams. There is an intermediate belay, but it is unpractical for hauling. Don't use it. The second part of the pitch is aid on rather small nuts.

2: small nuts/RP and cams, fixed gear. supposedly a crux pitch.

3: A1 (nuts/cams).

4: small nuts/RP and cams, fixed gear (reachy). supposedly a crux pitch.

5: mostly bolt ladder, very reachy and slighly traversing. Near the end of the pitch I did one hook followed by a RP move.

6: nuts/cams, at the begining of the pitch one pin scar is difficult to use (we used a bad saw-off angle).

7: this pitch is not steep. Follow a diedral and traverse slighly to the right the belay is not too good (3 pitons)

8: traverse/pendulum on a ledge, climb a sling and then fixed gear towards the left. A delicate free traverse to the left, some fixed gear then another scary free traverse to the right and easy climbing, and you are either slightly above a ledge (on your left) or under a ledge (on your right). Beware of rope drag. You could reduce it by not clipping some pieces (scary).

the pitch can be linked with pitch 8, this skips a nasty belay but the rope drag can be a real problem. 9: start at the left of the leftmost ledge. belay on a good stance. At the begining of the pitch one shallow and wide hole where a TCU or QuadCam would work whereas a Friend does not.

10: the first part is a corner which is very slabby. second part: a rather easy chimney. belay on gear (there was a belay at the left, but with a 50m rope you cannot reach it). Hauling is very difficult. We didn't do the belly crawl (see the note of Eric Coomer below)

11: follow the crack system in the middle (there is a bolt at the start of it). 5.9 (lieback, wide jams, steep) or very awkward aid. Gear belay after an easy section

12/13 climb a slab, traverse to the right, and move to a slopping terrace using a couple of fixed pieces. move to the summit in a 4th class pitch (better to carry than to haul).



From Eric coomer@phonon.Nuc.Berkeley.EDU who soled the route this summer:

The only real difficult hauling is on top of pitch 10- near the belly crawl. DO NOT DO THE BELLY CRAWL!!!!!!! From the top of pitch 9 move over into the belly crawl flake/chimney section to the right. Either belay off the slab to the left near the top or move the belay even higher into the chimney section(gear belay). Push this belay as high as possible. Do the 5.9 variation for pitch 11 instead of the A2 variation. This skips the belly crawl(scary) which also requires an intermediate belay. When doing pitch 10 keep the haul line clipped to some pieces along the way and have the cleaner unclip the bag as needed. If not the back WILL swing(found out the hard way) into the bottom of the belly crawl flake system and become hopelessly stuck.

A note for soloists

This route seems to be quite popular with soloists. It is indeed rather straighforward. With the exception of pitch 8, everything can be aided, and there are no traverses.

View or add comments

Home/ Mountaineering/ Yosemite Rock information