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3rd pillar in the morning light.
This is a great and somewhat overlooked way to climb the 3rd pillar of Dana. It joins the regular route 1.5 pitches from the summit and adds two excellent 5.10+ pitches as well as one so-so 10a pitch. The appeal for climbing this route would be if you are coming back to the area for the second time, looking to add a few well-protected harder pitches to your day, or if the regular route is simply too crowed. The best thing is that the route can be climbed in 4 long pitches with a 60 m rope and you get to do the best pitch on the regular route. That's the description that follows. You could also break up the upper 3 pitches into 4 following the topo.
P1. Climb the pumpy handcrack out of the alcove. Before the roof you can traverse left to the arete on good holds, but poor feet. From the arete make a reachy move and mantle or stem up to a stance (10+). Follow double cracks just left of the arete until you run out of rope and your forearms are thoroughly "warmed-up" (10-). Pitch ends on the broad sloping ledge covered with loose rock (60m, 10+).
P2. 4th class up towards the bolted anchor under the steep headwall. 10 ft left of the anchor layback a small RF corner (10-), then trend left to easier terrain and go up some large blocks. Take care on this pitch to avoid knocking down loose rocks - there's a lot of them. If you stretch the rope again it's possible to build a great gear anchor on a ledge right under the 2nd crux of the route (60m, 10-).
P3. Step left from the belay to the thin crack that turns into a seam, check out a broken RP, fire in a few of your smallest pieces (several options available including 0 and 00 C3) and layback the rounded edge of the crack (10+). You get more good gear very soon and the difficulty quickly eases. Once on easier terrain, identify the huge hanging flake on the regular route and climb up to it. It's possible to chimney the right side of it (5.8) or layback the left side (way more fun! 10-). Stretch the rope again to the last belay of the regular route at the tiny pine (60 m, 10+).
P4. Climb the awesome last pitch of the regular route. Crack open the beers that you stashed on the summit and enjoy the view (30 m, 10-).
More history, beta, and pictures can be found on supertopo
100 ft right of the regular route start find a shaded alcove with a RF corner under a big roof with a hand crack.
Doubles to #2, RPs and thin C3s (down to 000) won't go unused on the 3rd pitch. A few shoulder length slings will ease the rope drag on the long pitches.
The amazing last pitch shared with the regular rou...
Jun 17, 2013
Thank you for posting this variation!