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Red Pillar 

YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a

Type:  Trad, 200'
Original:  YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a [details]
FA: Unknown, 1950's
Page Views: 4,665
Submitted By: John Peterson on Mar 15, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (92)
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Red Pillar finishing moves - WOW!


So there you are at the Arrow wall and all of the classics are occupied. What to do? Try Red Pillar.

P1: Climb an easy right-facing, left-leaning corner / gully just left of Three Doves. From the ledge on top, climb up clean rock to steeper ground. Place gear and work up and left, past an old pin, and up to the GT Ledge. Definitely on the stiff side of 5.5, 100'.

P2: From the GT Ledge, step right about 10' and look for an obvious right-facing corner. Either climb straight up to it, or climb the face to the right then head back to the corner. Head up the corner and cracks, then step left onto the arete, aiming to pass the overhang at the notch. A fun, well-protected slot takes you to the top. 5.5, 100'.

Descend via Arrow or Three Doves rappels.


Take the Arrow access trail and walk left when you get to the cliff. Look for the start of Three Doves, a 15'-high flake leaning against the cliff. Red Pillar is the obvious easy (4th-class) corner about 20' left of Three Doves. This is about 100' left of Arrow.


A few small Aliens will make P1 feel more secure.

Photos of Red Pillar Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: If you see this distinctive rock next to the trail...
BETA PHOTO: If you see this distinctive rock next to the trail...
Rock Climbing Photo: The 'Pillar' in Red Pillar. Starts with a scrambly...
BETA PHOTO: The 'Pillar' in Red Pillar. Starts with a scrambly...
Rock Climbing Photo: the approach trail
BETA PHOTO: the approach trail
Rock Climbing Photo: Red Pillar 5.5 final pitch
Red Pillar 5.5 final pitch
Rock Climbing Photo: Paul Deagle & Mike Yunke on Red Pillar 5.5
Paul Deagle & Mike Yunke on Red Pillar 5.5

Comments on Red Pillar Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 16, 2015
By Taino Grosjean
From: South Salem, NY
Dec 27, 2006
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

The first pitch is a run-out horror show, and the route is not at all obvious. Survive that, and the second pitch is yours to enjoy. It starts off a bit manky and dirty, but once you're above the trees the pitch is great.

Not a good idea for a 5.5 leader to take pitch one--very PG-13. You'll need small cams; I used a hybrid Alien in a couple of places.
By Risi
Nov 18, 2007

I found the first pitch reasonably protected, certainly not any "horror show". :-) No runouts, small to middle sized cams work best. Take care when scrambling onto the GT ledge - it has some dirt and rocks and is a bit sloped. The pitch goes more or less straight up from the top of the pillar, follow the biggest holds.
P2 - fun, 2 interesting Gunks-atypical cruxes. Both very well protected by cams, hexes, or nuts.
By Dana Marie
From: Cold Spring
May 17, 2010

I found the first 20 feet aren't great for protection and I had to make a bit of a committing move before I found a good .75 BD camalot placement which gave me all the confidence to continue. I did come down once, just to pull my head together and then was able to finish the route.
By doligo
Jun 6, 2010
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

I did not find any protection issues on P1 - the climbing is very easy up to the top of the pillar, and the face is adequately protected. The second pitch is awesome, a bit stiff for a 5.5 - bulging OW, and a sweet finger-jam crack on the second crux.
Aug 19, 2010

I really enjoy the top pitch - it's yet-another option after getting to the GT.
By Jeffrey Dunn
Aug 23, 2010

I've done this climb twice and each time ended up in "do not fall" territory on the headwall above the pillar on the first pitch. I did not explore left or right of of the obvious line directly up the face so be prepared if climbing near your limit.

The headwall and the last 50 feet of the second pitch are some of the best 5.5 the gunks has to offer. The little dirty sections in between keep the route unoccupied :)
By Kevin Heckeler
From: Upstate New York
May 15, 2011
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a PG13

I'm also in agreement that P1 above the pillar is a ledge-fall (ie - ground fall) waiting to happen. The piton will buy you a false sense of security, but once at ledge fall height on the wall you actually have to climb higher to find your next stance and pro. The fall is risky because of the amount of rope out (elongation), number of pieces already placed which act cumulatively to add a foot or two for each piece, and proximity to the unavoidable ledge. Belaying from the top of the pillar and making it into 3 pitches would offset some risk, although decking on the ledge is still a likelihood. It would be close and wouldn't want to be the one to research this. :D

Pitch 2 is probably one of my favorite 5.5 gunks climbs now. Despite it being a bit harder, I never found myself spooked and breezed through smiling most of the way. Great, simple ceiling easily protected (used a #3 BD C4).
By Alicia Sokolowski
From: Brooklyn, NY
Sep 17, 2011

P1 certainly has a ledge (ground) fall potential as the face after the top of the pillar is certainly run out to me.

P2 is amazing fun, do the finish that ends in the notch in the roof. I could not have enjoyed it more, and the view from the belay ledge at the top is terrific!
By Barrett Stetson
Oct 10, 2011

P1 - I did end up in ledge fall potential momentarily after the pillar on this pitch. At some point you can lay back on a hold and jam a cam out left and you're good from there though. Climbing wasn't bad right there, so while a little freaky, not bad.

P2 - Very easy climbing for first half leading to a surprisingly fun finish.
By Galen Rahmlow
From: Woodbury, MN
Jun 18, 2012

The "nicer" P2 in the DW book is great. Looks like garbage at the start but goes into a fantastic OW and bulging crack finish. Well protected but stiff for a 5.5 rating.
By gblauer Blauer
From: Wayne, PA
May 27, 2014

P2 is a ton of fun. At 5.5 it offers lots of climbing and a fun, puzzling exit for this shorty. Even if you lead harder grades, this one is worth doing at least once.
By Nick Hamilton
From: Philadelphia
May 29, 2014

I found the face climbing on P1 to be quite enjoyable; I wish it were longer. The two cruxy moves near the end of P2 were pretty exciting for 5.5

On a sidenote: I got a yellow Alien stuck on the second pitch of this route last week. Case of beer to whomever is adventurous/kind enough to finagle that thing out and return it to its knuckleheaded owner.
By Dan Africk
From: Brooklyn, New York
Oct 19, 2014
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b PG13

P1 was ok, definitely runout with ledge-fall potential above the pillar, there isn't much if anything before that second piton. The climbing is easy though. The scramble when you top out on the GT Ledge is always a bit scary, with lots of loose pine needles, dirt, and rocks... Be careful.

P2 is what makes this climb exciting. There is some very exposed leanback /stem / crack climbing that requires some committing moves. The first crux at the end (getting out of the corner crack onto a ledge) feels very exposed, but you have solid jugs within reach. The second crux right above is an intense move for a 5.5, sort of a combination handjam / leanback hold and you pull up while your feet can only smear- definitely not a simple jug haul..
P2 is well protected throughout, especially at the cruxes. A standard rack is fine, but you might feel safer with a few doubles of medium-large cams: #1 and #2 C4s, maybe #3, are worth bringing if you have doubles, but I did fine with one each. I also used doubles of my purple and/or green X4 (.5, .75), not sure.

This pitch is hell on your rope, use long runners on everything, especially before the first crux, and you'll still get rope drag after you pull the crux. Try to belay your second as close to the edge as you can, so you can keep the rope out of the sharp cracks. Then it's a short path right to the Arrow rap station, which we did in two raps with a 70m rope, which barely reached the ground.. (Maybe there's another rap station below the GT ledge, but I didn't see it)
By Benjaminadk
From: San Pedro, California
Nov 11, 2014

Pitch 2 is really nice. Beautiful white rock like its neighbors. The arrow rappel can be done with a 60m. just be aware that it lands you on the ledges not on the ground. An easy scramble gets you down.
By Ronald Schroeder
Sep 16, 2015
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

The Arrow rappel from the very top with double 60-meter ropes gets you down to the ledge at the bottom in one shot. You down climb VERY easily from the ledge to the ground about 10-15 feet. Very easily.

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