If you have done the classic hard routes on Temple Crag and are ready for the next step up in difficulty this is it. The Third Pillar is one of the most aesthetic and difficult Sierra climbs – perfect granite high above Mono Lake, with spectacular views out into the Nevada desert. This route has an almost European feel to it and is one of the most aesthetic and difficult Sierra climbs – perfect granite high above Mono Lake, with spectacular views out into the Nevada desert But this is only the appetizer for the main course – the Red Dihedral on the Incredible Hulk. Ten pitches of stellar cracks, mainly 5.7 to 5.9 with a short 5.10b section that is over before you even start to get pumped.
Both these routes are crack climbs rather than face so you need to be able to comfortably climb 5.9+ hand cracks and have done long multi pitch climbs before. There is quite a bit of 5.9 on the route so technical climbing proficiency is a must.
We highly recommend that you spend at least one night at moderate altitude (higher than 8,000′) just prior to the trip. Spending a night in Mammoth would do the trick or better yet, camped at an even higher trailhead, such as the Sawmill Creek Campground on the Saddlebag Lake Road or in Tuolumne, for a night just before the trip. Please refer to our Planning for Success info sheet for more info.