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Willow Springs South
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Pillar Talk 

YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b

   
Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 200'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b [details]
FA: John Landaker, Jim Whitesell, Marke Moore, Joe Herbst 1973
Page Views: 2,509
Submitted By: John Hegyes on Jul 14, 2005

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Jesse Patchett on the top block of the Pillar.

Description 

Pillar Talk is located on the tall white pillar to the south of and directly across from the first parking lot in Willow Springs. Approach by heading down the Hidden Falls trail, take the SMYC Trail that branches to the left and as you cross the wash cut right and head straight for the feature up faint trails. Alternatively, you can approach as per Hidden Falls Wall and once there, contour to the left, east, around the base of the crags for about 100 yards.

This route gets an R rating from the guide books for the 5.4 run-out on pitch 2. We felt this section to be an easy jaunt up low angle slabs with a few opportunities for protection.

Pitch 1: On the right side of the pillar, climb the crack through wide sections. At the roof, do a fun hand traverse left on to the arÍte. Move up the face to belay in a crack above some tall grass. (5.7, 150 feet)

Pitch 2: Continue up the white face on balls, to the top of the pillar. (5.4 PG, 50 feet)

Variation: On pitch 1, rather than traversing left, climb the crack through the roof then catch up the regular route that is to the left. (5.10b)

Descent: Go right and rappel with two ropes from slings around a pine tree. This is the top of the route Sleeper.

Protection 

Standard rack to #4 Camalot, doubles in #3 and #3.5 help.


Photos of Pillar Talk Slideshow Add Photo
Pillar Talk
BETA PHOTO: Pillar Talk
Ron Graham approaching the top of Pitch 1.
Ron Graham approaching the top of Pitch 1.
Jesse Patchett part way up the first pitch of Pillar Talk.
Jesse Patchett part way up the first pitch of Pill...
Pitch one is fun fun fun!
Pitch one is fun fun fun!
Jesse Patchett overcoming the roof on the first pitch of Pillar Talk.
Jesse Patchett overcoming the roof on the first pi...
Ron Graham on the easy second pitch.  It's almost a scramble rather than a climb and offers several protection placements.
Ron Graham on the easy second pitch. It's almost ...
Jesse Patchett at the belay ledge at the top of Pitch 1 of Pillar Talk.
Jesse Patchett at the belay ledge at the top of Pi...
Traversing just before the slab begins.
Traversing just before the slab begins.

Comments on Pillar Talk Add Comment
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By Ron Graham
Jul 26, 2010
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

This climb is tons of fun! It's shaded in the morning, so it can even be climbed in the middle of the summer (we did!) The crux is probably about 2/3 the way up the crack where some awkward moves are required to get past a protrusion. The face on the left has lots of great holds, but offers little or no protection. The face on the right offers few holds until the angle of it backs off just below the roof. The traverse below the roof might look scary from the ground, but has lots of finger and toe holds and is one of the funnest parts of the climb. This climb can easily be done with a single 60 meter rope. Rather than rappel it, scramble left at the top until you find a cairned ramp back down to the base of the cliff.
By Cultivating Mass
Jan 30, 2012

Sleeper raps nicely with a 70 to a low ledge that has a short, easy downclimb or optional second rap (12 feet or so) to the base. Way more pleasant than the walkoff.

This is a fun route but if you believe that 5.7 bit, I've got some property to sell you on the Brooklyn Bridge....

2nd pitch is heads up-easy climbing, but if you fell off of it or broke a hold, you might be PGing yourself into an ICU. Climb light.
By Patrick Mulligan
Feb 14, 2013
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

I have to agree with SP/S on this. Its been years since I did this, but I remember getting a little gripped on the easy climbing on the second pitch. While there is a little gear there, the rock is very soft and if not careful you could go for one hell of a ride.
By BarryO
Nov 10, 2013

Awesome!!! Loved every minute of it!!! Must do!!! Hiked up to Chocolate Tranquility to make it a 3 pitch excursion and this is absolutely the way to go!!! So much fun!!! Hike down a ways and rap from unknown 5.8 area
By John Wilder
From: Las Vegas, NV
Feb 22, 2014
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13

An okay route. Pretty blue collar 5.7, imho. Worth doing if for no other reason than to link with Chocolate Tranquility Fountain.
By John Hegyes
From: Las Vegas, NV
Mar 20, 2014

What does "blue collar" mean when describing a route?
By John Wilder
From: Las Vegas, NV
Mar 20, 2014
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13

Physical in nature, imho, a whole body workout. Wide stuff is usually the quintessential blue collar experience.
By mmacelhi
May 7, 2014
rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

some challenging and thoughtful climbing, especially for my first day on RR sandstone in 8 years. we had the entire South Willow springs to ourselves on easter saturday so thats a plus too. best approach comes from a bit further east down the wash