Regular Route 5.10a
Third Pillar of Dana Plateau
About the Climb
The Regular Route on the Third Pillar of Dana is absolutely amazing. The fact that this route is located in a remote area, and that it requires a long, but very scenic approach adds an alpine dimension that really makes you feel "out there". It is one of the High Sierra’s most classic climbs for a good reason. The Regular Route packs in a wide variety of climbing on high quality granite, but its the amazing last pitch that stands out and makes it an unforgettable climb.
The climbing on Regular Route is sustained with amazing exposure and great views in a perfect setting. The last pitch is simply spectacular, with steep finger cracks, exposed hand jams, and a very airy top-out. While most of the climbing takes place on cracks, there is a good mix of face and chimney climbing throughout the route as well. Although the crux lieback sections are short, this is a somewhat spicy and committing route. The route finding can be tricky at times, and many variations are possible all along the way.
Make sure you are a solid 5.10 leader who can deal with cruxy sections protected by thin gear before you attempt this route, as retreat would be difficult. Also, make sure to get an early start and check the weather forecast before you go. This is not a good place to get hit by an afternoon thunderstorm.
Because of the length and location of the route, Regular Route can't be combined with another route. However, several variations are possible along the way. For example, two starting options are possible, and most parties use the regular start. However, the direct start adds a long pitch to the route and starts lower down. There is also a good variation heading up and right on the second pitch featuring technical and awkward climbing. It eventually joins the regular route on the third pitch, below the big detached flake.