Third Pillar of Dana (& Saturday cragging) June 2-3, 2012
On Saturday we went cragging with a number of friends in Olmstead Canyon - cool
spot! Tideline is perhaps one of the highlights of the area, we started there
(also Lord Caffeine, but that'll be another time). After hanging out / lounging
around, we climbed West Crack on Daff Dome before descending down to Lee Vining
and having an awesome dinner at the Whoa Nellie Deli!
On Sunday, we got an early start and climbed the
Third Pillar of Dana - which has
to be one of the best climbs ever :) Well, the last two pitches are truly
spectacular, as well as the position. This is the view from the belay ledges:
And the last pitch is dubbed "the best 5.9 in the universe" (though it's actually 5.10,
but that's a minor detail). Luckily, we had the climb to ourselves too!!! Truly amazing.
Starting up Tideline, amazing 5.11a in Olmstead Canyon
The lower crux (5.10d)
Past the lower crux
Stemming is nice higher up
At the crux finger moves
Melissa navigating the awkward bulge
Starting up West Crack with a 4:30pm start
The third pitch of West crack
Beautiful sunset over Ellery Lake on the way down to Lee Vining
Rough sketch of where the Regular Route is - as seen from highway 120 driving from Lee Vining
Third Pillar of Dana with Mono Lake, making for an amazing backdrop
Mono Lake / highway 120
The edge of the Dana Plateau
Third Pillar of Dana again, looking sweet! Mono Lake/highway 120 in the background
Descending down to the start of the climb!
The snow gully we had to cross, turned out very easy
The descent to the base goes down these rocks
First pitch. Immaculate rock! You can see the very top pitch above!
What a view!
Looking down the first pitch: after the first 50 feet being hard, it's 3rd class/easy
Coming up the first pitch
It was actually hot in the sun!
On the second pitch
More Mono Lake/pretty clouds
What a glorious climb
The chimney/flake is above me
Lots of planes flying by :)
Coming up the chimney pitch
Relaxing/belaying on top of the giant flake!
What a cool spot, very 3-dimensional
5.6 chimneys are cool!
Starting up pitch 4
This was my favorite part of the climb, awesome 5.10a fingers!
The amazing pitch 5 above. Best 5.9 in the universe!
Mono Lake continuing to look gorgeous
What a sight!
Looking down from the summit onto the best 5.9 in the universe - note the shadow of the pillar!
The best rock in the world?
Does it get better than this?
Probably climbing the best pitch in the world?
Cannot say enough superlatives
Topping out on the last pitch, whohoo!
Though the climb was very warm/hot, the summit was extremely windy/chilly!
One more :)
It's hard to stop snapping!
Hiking out on the Dana plateau - beautiful spot
Breath taking spot
Cool rock on the descent trail
Don't want to leave this place!
The trail follows Glacier Creek for a while - it's gorgeous