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Pygmy Pillar 

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

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 105'
Original:  YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b [details]
FA: Mike White and Ron Cagle - 1970
Page Views: 950
Submitted By: Osprey Overhang on Nov 7, 2011

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Escape out left, or tunnel through to the top cent...

Closures for Peregrine Falcon Protection MORE INFO >>>


Both the left and the right side of this pillar could be climbed independently; however this description is for the chimney route directly up the middle.

It is recommended to enter the chimney from the left (west) side. Not much can be said after that as this is a pure chimney. Wiggle, stem, bridge, whatever you have to do to move upward. The granite behind the pillar is surprisingly good quality in some places, and the moves are enjoyable. Proceed from stack to stack, with good stances and rests at each block. When the forth stack is reached, a question will need to be answered. Climb straight up and tunnel through a hole (5.7) to the top, or leave the security of the chimney for a wild looking route out left?


This formation is on the very far right side of Sunnyside Bench and can be difficult to see. Good views can be had from Degnan's and other areas of Yosemite Village.

From the talus slope directly up from the government stables, walk up the faint Sunnyside Bench Trail. (The start of it can easily be found on the left side of the talus slope.) When the second tier of Sunnyside Bench is reached, follow the trail west, passing two sections of class 2+. Shortly after the second section of difficulty, break off of the trail and slog up a dirty slope aiming for the left side of the pillar. A boulder will have to be climbed over with the aid of mazanita branches to reach the blocks at the base of the pillar.


A single set to 4" will get you to the top of this one. From the ground, the horizontal stacks look like they will take pro. However, besides a 3.5 friend between the second and third stack, this is not the case. Much of the pro on the bottom of the pitch will be pulled into the chimney from the sides. So bring some long slings. Rappel off the left (west) side with two ropes from a slung tree on the slope above the top of the pillar.

Photos of Pygmy Pillar Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: As seen from the villiage.
As seen from the villiage.
Rock Climbing Photo: The front of Pygmy Pillar.  Stack-o-Fun .12b.
The front of Pygmy Pillar. Stack-o-Fun .12b.
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up the talus slope on the approach.
Looking up the talus slope on the approach.
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking at the west side of Pypmy Pillar.
Looking at the west side of Pypmy Pillar.

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