Washington Column (S Face)



Hauling on P1 isn't too bad, but I strongly recommend that the second person jugs at a rate that they are always at or below the haul bag so that they can assist. Since the bag will swing away from the corner where the follower is, it might be helpful to have a long leash that the follower can use for tugging on the bag.

P2, the 5.10 isn't that bad, so it is fastest to free, french, and aid that pitch, but make sure to flip the rope over to the 5.11 corner for better hauling.

P3 wanders a lot around a corner and through a tree. For best hauling, take care to flip the hauling line over the steep/overhanging rock edge on your left just as you reach the final ramp towards the belay. This way you can haul the bag free, nearly straight up to the anchor, and not where the follower needs to free climb!

Kor Roof - Have LeConte Boulder dialed for overhanging bolt ladder technique. As a leader, DON'T back clean above the roof! The crack leans at 45 degrees and if you back clean, the follower will have a much harder time getting over the roof lip and following the crack. My second time up, when I was following, the leader only left every third piece in, so I had to basically re-aid the pitch to follow, with whatever random gear I had cleaned by then.

Follower might get over the lip most easily by clipping an aider/daisy to the tat/fixed piece above the roof, and maybe one more piece beyond (cleaning behind as you go) and then resume jugging.

Next pitch - if you use a topo from a bootlegged PDF of SuperTopo, it tells you to go the wrong way :-P Go left and straight over the roof up two bolts. There is a hidden horizontal crack and you have to nearly top-step to reach it. I stepped in my second step and could barely grab it with my hand, then make a blind placement. Offsets are useful for both arch sections. Follower should know how to lower out to follow.

If you only fix to the top of the Kor Roof Pitch, you probably won't finish the next day. It is MUCH harder to get started on this line in the morning as you have a free-hanging jug for over 100'! If you fix to the pitch after, the rope is easy to jug, and you are past two of the crux aid pitches. So really make sure to reach that higher belay.

Many of the aid placements take offset nuts better than cams. Over-preference of cams and backcleaning can lead to a big fall, such as the +30' whipper that my partner took on the C1 pitch exiting the second arch.

The next couple of pitches, be mindful that your follower is jugging and not free climbing, and likely in tennis shoes rather than climbing shoes. There are several places where you end by free climbing or stepping right. If you do so and don't go back to place a directional piece, this is terrible for your follower. Remember that rope drag at the end is not an issue (you're not taking in slack), and it sucks to transition from jugging to freeing, as you are making those moves without a belay! Just your jugs on a rope as an iffy self-belay, and if you don't move them up with you when you climb over and develop slack in the rope, you risk a rope-severing fall. Keep this in mind on the pitch where you change cracks as well.

Chimney is easy for 5.8. If trailing a pack, watch out at the crux, which is a bit bombay. Your pack will plug into this if you don't kick it out with your legs at the right time!

Tension traverse out of the chimney was headier than I expected. It goes a ways onto slick face climbing, and if you slip before getting in your first piece, you will easily pendulum back into a wall.

Final pitch to the top isn't too bad, just be careful about the loose rock, but it's not that bad. Head right at the top to find anchors that allow a clean and direct rappel back down to the lower pitches.

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Water is a tough thing. It weighs a lot and is very bulky, but the route faces south so can be quite hot, but it can also be very cold & windy base don the position. I think we rationed 2 liters per person per day for climbing, and one liter for breakfast and one liter for dinner. As I recall, we each climbed with a bullet pack with 2-3 liters of water, and then had 5-6 2-liter bottles filled with water inside the haul bag, used for dinner, refilling for the next day, and the next day's BFast and dinner on descent. Pack carefully with food, too. The haul bag fills up remarkably fast when you add the water and sleeping bags/pads for two people. I recommend that you pack your haul bag before heading up to work out any fine tuning of food & other items at home, and not in the parking lot or at the base of P1.


I don't think we needed a lot of little cams. We brought was SuperTopo recommended and found that sufficient, especially with offset cams & nuts, and using nuts a lot, and selectively back cleaning. I can't remember now about the #4, but I think we brought one, and I might not have found it necessary for the chimney. 2 #3s were helpful for sure.

We brought a second backpack for the hike in and left it to the side at the base.


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