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Routes in Columns (aka Skinner Butte)

3rd Column Jam T,TR 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
4th Column Face TR 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
4th Column Jam T,TR 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
5th Column (aka Sign Face) TR 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Bat Crack T,TR 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Crack a No Go T 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b
Fat Crack T 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c
Hard Lieback T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Left Ski Track T,TR 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Limp Dick T 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Main Chimney T,TR 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Right Ski Track T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Satisfaction T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Second Column Left Jam TR 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Sign Crack (4th Column Jam Left?) T,TR 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Transportation Route T,TR 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Type: Trad, 40 ft
FA: unknown
Page Views: 1,951 total, 13/month
Shared By: Karsten Duncan on Jan 25, 2006
Admins: Nate Ball, Micah Klesick

You & This Route

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This is the most popular climb at the columns. It is the largest crack on the right side of the wall. Scramble up a pedestal to access the crack which gradually widens to fist size at the top.


Nuts, cams to 4 inches

Belay or rap from chains at top or walk off (5.1)


George W
George W  
Sustained 5.7 climbing for an average sized man. Of course, it's more difficult if you're small and hands/feet are off. No obvious crux, it'll be over before you know it. A 4th class move to the larger columns leads you off. It's an exposed step on a slick column usually covered in dirt. It's one 4th class step due to risk, no real place for hands except to palm something, don't trust the bushes... tread carefully.

Agreed with others on cam sizes - protect the mantle on top with a 3/3.5" piece. My first trad lead ever! I'll never forget it! Sep 14, 2015
Laramie, WY
Petsfed   Laramie, WY
I disagree with Max's "isn't harder than 2nd-3rd class" comment. While most of the routes on the Main Column have a 2nd-3rd class walkoff, getting to the top of Outer Column definitely has a 4th-low 5th move that will catch you by surprise if you aren't expecting it. Only really an issue if you're setting up a top rope, but that's what most people do at the Columns, so its a legitimate issue.

Incidentally, this and routes to the right get climbed a lot less than other lines at the Columns, and I haven't figured out why. Maybe its that they are all almost pure jamming lines? Sep 28, 2013
Climbed this again a few weeks ago, and found a new way to jam and stack the toes which was much better.

A couple points of note: This is actually the Outer Collumn Jam, but most refer to it as 'Fat Crack.'

As mentioned above, gear to 3 inches is all that's needed - a couple .75, or 1, then a gold, then blue Camalot gets you to the top. Plug in whatever else you feel comfortable with... Chains at top, rap down is easiest. Sep 27, 2013
Tyler Gates
Corvallis, Oregon
Tyler Gates   Corvallis, Oregon
nice hand crack that shoots striaght up. book rates it as a 5.9 if you only use the crack. 5.8 if you venture outside the crack Apr 12, 2009
While I know lots of people who would agree that this is one of their favs at The Columns, for me, it just hurts my feet way to bad (wah). I prefer anything on the Main Buttress, and the chimney. Although, Fat Crack definately deserves it's 3 or 4 star rating. Sep 14, 2008
Max Tepfer
Bend, OR
Max Tepfer   Bend, OR
Actually, the crack never gets wider than 3 inches and the walk-off, while very exposed, isn't harder than 2nd-3rd class. Feb 2, 2008