Washington's Column South Face

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Three of us are planning on doing the South Face of Washington's Column in the middle of May this year. Does anyone know what conditions we maybe facing since there has be quite a bit of snowfall this year. Will we encounter any water runoff? Thank you for any information.

-- Sue Larsen (sue@bally.com), March 12, 1998


The route will almost certainly be dry. The top of Washington Column is small and does not accumulate much snow. You may encounter snow on the descent, shouldn't be much of a problem. The North Dome Gully has a fearsome reputation, but you'll be fine if you just keep traversing farther than you think. If you start down too soon it is big trouble, also don't do it at night if you don't know the route.


-- George Bell (bell@advtech.uswest.com), March 24, 1998.

Here is some sound advice. Climb the South Face and leave the haul bag at Dinner Ledge. Climb to the top and then rappel the route. This is the customary thing to do on this route. This way will save you time and will be safer for everyone on the route. No haul bag to knock down rocks from the upper chimneys and no haul bag to carry down the North Dome Gully.

-- Michael McGuinn (tarmike@goodnet.com), April 23, 1998.

I agree with the response above. Its a good idea to leave your haul bag at dinner ledge. The less encumbered you are coming down north dome gully the better. I have also heard that because of loose rock that the route is unsafe if a party above you and hauling their bag through the chimney. Whatever you do don't make the mistake of throwing your haul bag off of dinner ledge. It makes climbers look bad and you may even end up killing someone. We acted like idiots and did this and were rewarded for it at the base by having our haul bag stolen by thieves. Far better would have been to climb back up the three easy pitches the dinner ledge the next day, grabbed our haul bag, and done a few short raps down.

Good Luck


-- Scotty Hopkins (wsarch@msn.com), July 05, 1998.

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