Washington Column/South Face

A great introductory big wall climb! It's Grade IV and 10 pitches rated C1 5.8 that includes free climbing, aiding a roof, a short pendulum and bivying on the plush Dinner Ledge. This can be a crowded route but you'll enjoy great views of Half Dome and the Yosemite Valley.


Most parties haul to Dinner Ledge at top of Pitch 3 and then fix Pitches 4 and 5 on the first day. Pitch 4 is the Kor Roof. On the second day, leave the bag at the ledge and blast to the top. It is possible to bypass the roof (and slow parties) by taking the Southern Man bolt ladder to the left from the higher ledge.


option 1

Stop at the top of Pitch 10 and rappel the climbing route.

option 2

Complete Pitch 11 and descend the North Dome Gully.


  • Reference: Yosemite Big Walls, 2nd ed. by Chris McNamara and Erik Sloan (Supertopo 2005)
  • Reference (for Option 2 descent): Yosemite Valley Free Climbs by Barnes, McNamara, Roper and Snyder (Supertopo 2003)
  • Suitable Activities: Climbing
  • Climbing Category: Aid Climb
  • Seasons: April, May, June, July, August, September, October
  • Weather: View weather forecast
  • Difficulty: Aid Climb
  • Length: 2.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 1,100 ft
  • 5,900 ft
  • Land Manager: Yosemite National Park
  • Parking Permit Required: National Park Entrance Fee
  • Recommended Party Size: 3
  • Maximum Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Route/Place Capacity: 12
  • USGS Half Dome
  • USGS Yosemite Falls
  • Trails Illustrated Yosemite National Park
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