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

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 200'
Original:  YDS: 5.7+ French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b [details]
FA: John Christian and Arnold Wexler in 1971
Page Views: 4,666
Submitted By: russellHOBART on Oct 1, 2008

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (76)
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First pitch of Prune


Pitch one is easier w/ only poor protection the first 40' then creative protection the rest of the way. Interesting movements. Pitch two has great protection the whole way w/ a well defined crux near the top.

The Prune Incident- In '96 a climber set a #1 Camalot off the belay station then went up clipping pitons the whole way. He fell at the crux and every piton failed with only the camalot catching. Apparently he almost hit a woman starting the first pitch. Gendarme climb shop displays some of those pitons.


On the west side of South Peak. To the climbers left of Face of 1000 pitons and Le Gourmet


Small to medium nuts and cams

Photos of Prune Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Gene following the Prune, October 2010
Gene following the Prune, October 2010
Rock Climbing Photo: On the 3rd pitch of prune
On the 3rd pitch of prune
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up at the most excellent crux of the 2nd p...
Looking up at the most excellent crux of the 2nd p...
Rock Climbing Photo: Antonio on the left-leaning finger crack crux of p...
Antonio on the left-leaning finger crack crux of p...
Rock Climbing Photo: Seconding the 2nd pitch.
Seconding the 2nd pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: Garth leading the 2nd pitch.
Garth leading the 2nd pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: start of Prune
BETA PHOTO: start of Prune

Comments on Prune Add Comment
Show which comments
By Jesse Morehouse
From: CO
Oct 2, 2008
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

The Prune is a 4 pitch route that can be done in two long pitches with a 60m rope. It goes all the way to the top of Back To The Front.

P1: 5.6 Rish. 60 feet. From the ground climb towards tree on ledge above getting gear where you can, not necessarily everywhere.

P2: 5.7. 60 feet. Best pitch of the route. Behind the belay, climb a steeper pitch up cracks with the crux of the route coming in the last 15 feet before Old Man's Traverse Ledge and the belay. A number of folks have broken an ankle on the small ledge below the crux by failing to adequately protect this final crack. Belay from large pine tree on Old Mans Traverse Ledge

P1 and 2 can easily be linked with a 60m rope and a standard Seneca rack.

P3 and P4: 5.6ish. Climb the easier ground behind the belay tree and left of the face above you. I have never done this as 2 seperate pitches but the guide calls it 2. You want to use a few long slings to avoid rope drag. These pitches are obscure, fun and guaranteed to never have a line!

Descend as for Back To The Front
By Andy Weinmann
From: Silver Spring, MD
Aug 1, 2011
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Actually, P3 and P4 should be done separately.

P3: Best way (in my opinion) is to climb the left facing corner system/flake directly behind the belay atop P2 (book says the original route goes on the right side); long slings helpful here. Follow the obvious crack system up. If you don't want to do P4, you can end the pitch at the pine tree on the left. Otherwise, continue up and right past left-facing corner to a tree and a good ledge. (5.6)

P4: Climb the huge flake/chimney system directly above the belay ledge to the top. (5.7)

You can sling a large part of the flake on the top for your anchor. Descent will require you to traverse between the flakes to the ledge on the other side (top of Le Gourmet P4). There is block that usually has slings and a rap ring. Be sure to bring bail gear just in case. This rappel puts you on the summit ledge.
By Richard Radcliffe
From: Louisville, CO
Apr 20, 2012

It's been an awfully long time, but I do remember this route pretty vividly because it was on P2 that I had my first lead fall and it was on a stopper, not a pin. So I am a little confused about "The Prune Incident" because my incident was ca 1983 and there were zero pins on that pitch, at least as well as I can remember. Maybe the pins were put in sometime after that...?
By Peter Jackson
From: Rumney, NH
Sep 10, 2013
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13

A quick check of the guidebook lists the FA as John Christian and Arnold Wexler in 1971. If an admin or the original submitter gets a chance, it may be nice to update the route with that info.

Route submitters: please don't forget the FA party. It's important!
By John Burkhart 1
From: Morgantown, West Virginia
Apr 28, 2014

I highly recommend not following the advice to link pitch 1 and 2. There is an enormous ledge upon which to build a gear anchor after the first rampy pitch 1. Without separating these pitches rope drag becomes a big issue when you are trying to pull the hardest moves on pitch 2 at the upper finger crack crux. This is a great route and pitch 2 is really good. Creative but good gear and the crux finger-crack can be well protected with stoppers and small cams.
By Mark Heinsman
Nov 11, 2015

I left a fixed nut and cam on this route last weekend. My leader was new to the sport and got my brand new Trango Flex Cam #9 stuck on pitch 3.

Also, the crux at the top of pitch 2 feels way harder than a 5.7! Be sure to place some pro so you don't break your ankles on the ledge there.
By Dave Ellis
From: Franklin Lakes, NJ
Nov 2, 2016

I did this climb in 1980 and there were no pins on P2 crack. P2 is a classic sandbag from way back. was rated 5.5 when i did it. ...spit 5.11 climbers off in the day
By Fan Zhang
From: Washington, DC
Mar 27, 2017
rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Four stars for pitch 2 alone. There's good gear placements at the crux on P2, so no reason not to protect it well. On P3, I opted for the left variation and wished I had a #4. On P4, the left facing corner/crack/flake system is fun and exposed, but there's a lot of loose blocks behind the exposed flake. For the descent via the narrow chimney to the East Face summit trail, it might be a good idea to belay/lower inexperienced climbers. Next time, I would skip P4 and just traverse left to Conn's West rappel.

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