Washington Column East Face » Electric Ladyland » Electric Ladyland, Theron's first wall/my first photo tr

Electric Ladyland, Theron's first wall/my first photo tr

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My first tr so a little light on the photos 

Theron finally got enough days off work to get to the top of a wall so we picked something easy that neither of us had done. One of those turned out to be true.

The first couple pitches in the book look like wandering grass so we opted for the first pitch of Ten Days After. I had been looking forward to leading this pitch (5.9) but still got worked. Hanging with the bros at the base of the Prow starting up their first grade VI--priceless.

Now we were on the slabby ledge and ready to get into the business. It was unseasonably cold that day(rained hard the day before) and the first twenty feet of the overhanging A4 crack was running with green slime--don't I look psyched!

Placing from my third steps, shame. That's a pee bottle, btw.

Lookin back at the belay

The second pitch is generally rotten, crytalized flakestone with plenty of fixed mank/dead heads on top. I ran out of beaks and lowered down, replaced the only bolt on the pitch, and then lowered more and cleaned all my thin gear below(Man, those med and lg bd beaks are nectar!). I was wishing we were just fixing so I wouldn't be worried about finishing by dark but we got er done and were enjoying the vegetarian dinner under bright stars soon enough.

The next day was glorious and the wildly steep cracks summed us upward. Theron stepped up to the plate for his first nailing lead on the A3 third pitch. Proud!(all you fellas out there that think yer men this guy made his own hammer, portaledge, wedding rings, russian aiders, ect. ).

The only blight was that he missed the belay and climbed up into the corner on Ten Days After(which I didn't know was different from the EL corner pitches) so we got off route for a couple pitches of glorious C1+.

The route is so steep that from the six pitch belay you can still see the first moves on the second pitch. The sun came out more summer like so we set up the ledge at 3pm and enjoyed an early dinner and the late light on Half Dome.
(added this shot from last year's Column climb--this year there's no snow or wet streak:)

The next morning it was my turn to head up into the 5.8 squeeze--which thankfully(for my freeclimbing ability) sported an alien crack in the back. Stellar rock and steep!

Theron got the A3 next pitch which was less steep and a lot mellower than his first lead.

Then I took us to the very temporary ledge, which is more of a belay seat sized stance. This pitch is only 90' but steep and rotten--more A3 than A2. Cool view looking back down those inverted corners.

Then the angle mellowed and our pace picked up as we were anxious to spend a night on the Eagle's Nest ledge after three days of hanging it out.
(An out of sequence shot here but the next lead was long and T spent it chillin in the corner while I wrestled with the A4 slab above).

We made the ledge right at dark which was cool. Amazing spot with these steep splitter cracks swirled orange cream on the wall next to you and the crack leading up the overhanging arch above. Bummer is it slopes too much to sleep on.
(picture taken the next morning from below the ledge)

Theron had conveniently taken a couple pitches off so he got the sweet ride out the roof.

My view wasn't too bad either.

Then we were on the summit just taking it all in: the valley stretching to the el cap meadow in front of us and up towards Tuolomne behind. The summit of the Column is a first rate bivy!

We got up early to beat the heat down the gully

We got down with plenty of time to hit the bridge/meadow for some  r & r. Electric Ladyland is no trade route these days but it has some yosemite classic pitches thrown in with plenty of classic yosemite climbing. If Ten Days After is a good warm up for Zodiac Electric Ladyland is a good warmup for Zenyatta. Fun stuff!

New Topo!

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Thank you W. Clubby and Theron,