Type: Trad, Aid, 1200 ft (364 m), 11 pitches, Grade IV
FA: FA: Layton Kor, Chris Fredericks, 6/1964 FCA: Bruce Carson, 6/1973 FFA: Matthew Wilder, 10/2002
Page Views: 69,565 total · 350/month
Shared By: Orphaned on Aug 5, 2006 · Updates
Admins: Mike Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes, Salamanizer Ski

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The South Face of the Column is the first wall experience for a lot of aspiring big wall climbers in the Valley. A few pitches of free climbing and easy aid make it a straight-forward, two-day climb for most teams. Bear in mind that this also makes this route the BUSIEST wall route in the entire Valley.

The general approach is to climb to Dinner Ledge the first day, fix a couple of pitches from there, then head for the top on day two.

P1) Climb up 5.8 corner (this is a RIGHT FACING corner, not left facing as the Sloan topo shows. Just left of the obvious straight-in splitter "Jo Jo"), traverse out across the slab left of the corner and belay on a ledge at the top.

P2) Go left across to the first nice corner and aid that to the anchor. There is a free-climbable (10b) corner left of that, but don't go too far or the climbing will get way hard and you'll have to penji back right to the anchors at the top.

P3) Free climb up cracks and corners to the right end of Dinner Ledge. The good bivy spots are all out to the left below the Kor Roof.

P4) Kor Roof pitch. Easy free climbing up a ramp takes you to bolts. Aid bolt-to-bolt up the roof to a crack that leads up and right. Aid this crack to belay anchors. MAKE SURE NOT TO BACK CLEAN TOO MUCH IN THIS CRACK OR YOUR SECOND WILL KILL YOU UPON ARRIVAL AT THE BELAY!

P5) Crux pitch. Head up and over the small roof above the belay. A tricky move into the crack above, then continue aiding up the left along the arch. A short penji will get you to the anchor.

P6) Continue aiding up and left, then up crack to anchor.

P7) All time stopper pitch! Nuts are bomber here. Go straight up cracks to the anchor.

P8) This pitch is free-climbable at 5.9. Climb up and cut right to chimney. Continue up to a belay in the chimney above.

P9) Tricky pitch of mixed free climbing and aid goes out right and up from the chimney, then up some more to belay in a big tree. Nice!

P10) Hardest free climbing pitch here, or aidable up and over roof back left to belay.

P11) Go up loose gully taking care not to dump tons of death on the parties below. Belay off tree above. Carry the haul bag!!!

Yer done! Scramble to the top of the Column from there, pack up and descend the North Dome Gully. Do a little research on this to suss the line of the descent.


The Column is located east and a bit north of the Ahwahnee Hotel. Take a dirt road east for about half a mile, then join the bike path for about a half mile. Keep your eyes open for a trail off the left side of the path that takes you to the Column.


Standard big wall rack. Kitchen sink.