OverviewWashington Column is a beautiful approximately 1800' foot high rock formation located east of the Royal Arches and behind the Ahwahnee Hotel. With North Dome above it, Washington Column is an impressive sight from many points in Yosemite Valley.
Washington Column has numerous excellent free climbs and aid climbs, from short free routes to 2 - 4 day big walls including the following climbs ( consult the climbers guides to Yosemite Valley for detailed route information ):
Lunch Ledge II, 5.6 - this was the first technical climb done in Yosemite Valley ( 1933 by Hervey Voge, Dick Leonard, Jules Eichorn and Bestor Robinson ).
Piton Traverse III, 5.7
Direct Route III, 5.7
Dinner Ledge II, 5.6, C1 or 5.10a
South Central V, 5.10a, A2
Southern Man V, 5.8, A2
The Odyssey V. 5.11
South Face V, 5.8, C1 - by far the most popular big wall in the Valley.
Skull Queen V, 5.8, C2
The Re - Animator VI,5.8, A3
The Prow V, 5.6 - 5.10, C3 - one of the most classic big walls in the Valley.
Ten Days After V, 5.8, A3
Electric Ladyland VI, 5.10a, A4
Astroman V, 5.11c - the classic test piece.
Horney / Johnson VI, 5.10, A3+
Quantum Mechanics V, 5.13?
Mideast Crisis V, 5.8, A3
Saddam Hussein V, 5.9, A4
The Great Slab Route V, 5.8, A4
Bad Wall V, 5.8, A4 - not recommended
Base routes below Lunch and Dinner Ledges:
Trial by Jury - 5.10a
Power Failure - 5.11a
The Fang - 5.10b
Space Case - 5.10c
Jesu Joy - 5.10c
Wing of Bat - 5.10c
Dwindling Energy - 5.11b
Nowhere Man - 5.10c
Turkey Vulture - 5.11b
Dinner Ledge 5.10a or 5.11
Jojo - 5.10b
Tom Cat - 5.10b
The Panther - 5.11b
The following routes don't appear to have been freed and have dropped off the radar screen - consult an old green Roper Guide -
Dinner Ledge Direct - IV, 5.7, A4 - seven pitches leading through the right side of the enormous barrier of rotten overhangs below Dinner Ledge.
Obscurity Traverse - III, 5.6, A2 - rappel 150' from the west end of Dinner Ledge to a large ledge which traverses left. Follow a steep diagonal gully for several pitches to a sandy area below the 200' chimney on the Direct Route. Rappel 300' to Lunch Ledge or continue to the top of the Column via the Direct Route.
Some of these climbs are only found in the old green out of print Climbers Guide to Yosemite Valley by Steve Roper ( Sierra Club 1971, 1975 - ISBN: 87156-048-8 ).
Getting ThereFrom the parking lot at the Ahwahnee Hotel, walk east until one reaches a bike path. Follow this east until a climber trail heads north to the base of the Column. A path follows the base of the Column around as far as Astroman / east face area.
Red TapeSee Yosemite - Logistics on this site for additional information. No permits are currently needed to bivy on the big wall climbs on Washington Column.
Yosemite Logistics Center
When To ClimbClimbing is possible all year round, with May - June and Sept. - November possibly the best times to climb.
CampingSee Yosemite - Logistics on this site for additional information. No permits are currently needed to bivy on the big wall climbs on Washington Column.
For accomodations other than camping, see Yosemite Accomodations
Mountain ConditionsSee Yosemite - Logistics on this site for additional information.
- Super Topo
Excellent up to the minute route information for Yosemite Valley climbs.
- Yosemite National Park
Official Yosemite National Park website - latest park information.
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