American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, California, Yosemite, The Prow, Washington Column

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1970

The Prow, Washington Column. Call me Glen Denny. In June, I was near Dinner Ledge on the Washington Column. All day I had been watching Robbins and Mike Covington chipping away at Royal’s latest pipe-dream: a new route up the smooth face between the south and east faces of the column. They had started the previous afternoon, climbing 300 feet to reach a ledge for the night. Someone had placed a bomb in Cuv’s mind and after he had placed 11 bolts late the second day, it went off, blowing to the winds any ambitions to whittle away at the slowly yielding wall. So Mike came down, and I, being handy, went up. We slept on the same 300-foot ledge and during the next three days swung leads up the center of the elegant fin. The wall is narrow, only 200 feet across. And it’s thin, too. Expanding flakes, rurp cracks — that sort of thing. The smoothest wall, says Robbins, that he’s ever been on. Still, we used only 38 bolts. 1300 feet. A fine, interesting, different route. It starts at the rope-up place for Dinner Ledge, goes up an easy dihedral on the right, up a creased face on the right, up a thin corner, left around an overhang (loose here), and up to a good ledge via a terrifying sky-hook move (Robbins was scared); then follow bolts and cracks for four pitches to the top of a strange dihedral (Strange Dihedral); a zig right, a zag left, up to Tapir Terrace, then into the big corner leading to the summit, where after two pitches it zags left to a long platform and up the crack above to the rotten top. For a better way: at the long platform, try dipping around the corner to a chimney behind a 300-foot flake. This may provide an avenue through the summit crud. NCCS VI, F7, A4.

Royal Robbins

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