Eichorn Pinnacle TR


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Topic Author's Original Post - Aug 11, 2009 - 03:36pm PT
Yes, it's the continuing adventures of Brave Sir Robin and Princess Buttercup ..

Saturday morning dawned a bit chilly. My friend Laura and I started from the Cathedral Lakes trailhead around 8am, and headed up the JMT towards the west face of Cathedral Peak.

We stopped for a break, and got a look at our goals.

Soon we were heading up the talus and slabs, finding ducks to mark the way.

Eichorn's north face was getting closer. The 'aplite band' noted in the supertopo was apparent -

I'd only followed this route in 2006 after Cathedral Peak's SE Buttress, so I was looking forward to leading it. I'd brought a pretty spartan rack and a 50m x 8.5mm rope, figuring "hey, it's only 5.4 and the pitch is only 160 feet". Hmm .. (foreboding music begins)

We snacked and I slung a horn for a belay anchor. I could see the 'tiny stance' a little ways away, but mentioned in passing that we might have to do a little simuling. I don't think Laura knew what I meant, or I didn't explain it well enough. Anyway, up I started -

It was chilly in the morning, and in the shade the breeze cut like a knife. Glad the climbing was easy. The aplite band / dike was a little chossy, but nothing too bad. There was a place where I had to step down and around a bit, with some nice exposure.. that took a while to figure out :)

From there it wasn't too hard .. I located the pitons and clipped one, then up to the 'awkward' wide crack. Laura yelled up -- 10 to 15' of rope left. I think that ought to be enough ..

I looked to the left, then the right, finally decided to commit and head up center .. oh yeah, that's how we did it 3 years ago. Some nice holds on the right, chimney and smear .. then emergence into the sun and up the beautifully textured rock.

The rope is tight.. I yelled down to Laura. She said "that's me". Oops .. I yelled down "start walking". She was a little surprised. We simuled a bit until she was scared, and fortunately by then I found a nice horn I could sling and put her on belay. It was within five feet of the bolts.

Up she came. Whoa, scary stuff .. she didn't much care for the wide crack. I wasn't wearing a pack, and she was. Man, is my name mud now ..

But up she came, and I apologized profusely. Brr, my exposed ankles were freezing in the wind (well, my left one anyway, still can't feel temperature in the right one). We were in the sun though, and she signed us into the register (which needs a new notebook).

I rapped off first and took some hero shots -

So in summary, a 50m rope is fine for the rappel from the summit to the saddle, but probably NOT for the climb itself. Next time I'm bringing a 60 ..

We gathered up our stuff and headed up the third class ledges to the summit pinnacle of Cathedral itself. I'd put my approach shoes back on, and scrambled up the fourth class crack to the top, then set up an anchor and belayed Laura up.

"Trust me, it's easy .."

We enjoyed the tiny summit, and I belayed Laura back down to the usual belay stance. Then I flipped the rope over the west face of the pinnacle and had her belay me on toprope as I downclimbed. It was a nice day, but windy and chilly .. we were so out of there :)

We descended the ledges until we could traverse east to the mountaineer's route / descent, and then headed down the talus past the SE Buttress.

We got back to the car at a reasonable hour .. off to the Mobil Mart !!


Social climber
Flatland, Ca
Aug 11, 2009 - 03:40pm PT
Cool TR... Cool antlers!

Trad climber
Santa Clara, Ca.
Aug 11, 2009 - 03:41pm PT
Nice job. Looks like a fine day out!
Captain...or Skully

Social climber
Aug 11, 2009 - 03:48pm PT
Nice one, Rhyang. I like Eichorn a lot.
Seems more dramatic than Cathedral summit, but maybe that's just me.

Trad climber
slowly dying in the OC
Aug 11, 2009 - 03:50pm PT
Moose sighting!

"Princess Buttercup". LOL!

Mountain climber
Bishop, CA
Aug 11, 2009 - 04:28pm PT
Actually, Rob, I knew EXACTLY what you were talking about, I just had never simuled (?sp?) before and I knew one slip and I would yank you right off the wall... icky.

Thas OK, tho... while you made me whimper on Saturday, I made you cry on Sunday... WAHOO!


Topic Author's Reply - Aug 11, 2009 - 04:37pm PT
I know I deserved that :)
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Aug 11, 2009 - 04:40pm PT
nice antlers... i added a link here http://www.supertopo.com/rock_climbing/route_beta.php?r=tueinort

Trad climber
berkeley, ca
Aug 11, 2009 - 04:44pm PT
You mention boltS plural: has a second modern bolt been added atop Eichorn? As of 2006 there was one stainless 3/8 in. bolt in addition to the ancient relics...

Topic Author's Reply - Aug 11, 2009 - 04:50pm PT
That seemed to still be the case .. several layers of tat and a couple of rap rings complete the ensemble.
Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Aug 11, 2009 - 05:28pm PT

-Brian in SLC

Trad climber
fresno, ca
Aug 11, 2009 - 06:17pm PT
Great job! We did it last fall and a photographer was sitting down in the saddle. He took a hero shot of us. I gotta blow it up sometime. Glad you guys are out there gittin' it done. Well done.

Here we are.....what a summy!

Yall were right..............................................there!
Taken from the top of The Dike Route on Pywiack

Wrung through the paradox, broken into wholeness
Aug 11, 2009 - 07:08pm PT
Nice one, Rhyang! (Laura's stylin' in them antlers, too.)

Eichorn looked amazing and a tad scary from Cathedral...it's still on my list, tho.

Thanks for this...and oh yeah...Mobile mart...yuuuuuummmmmmmmm!

Trad climber
slowly dying in the OC
Aug 11, 2009 - 07:19pm PT
I'm always glad to see Laura out and about (and she's out on something almost all the time. For those you not in the know, Laura (MooseTracks) AKA Buttercup is one of the most active paekbaggers on the east side. She also writes some of the best TRs ever.
Keep it up Laura!
(AKA Summit Scott)
the Fet

Supercaliyosemistic climber
Aug 11, 2009 - 07:32pm PT
He was not in the least bit scared to be mashed into a pulp,
Or to have his eyes gouged out, and his elbows broken;
To have his kneecaps split, and his body burned away;
And his limbs all hacked and mangled, brave Sir Robin!

His head smashed in and his heart cut out
And his liver removed and his bowels unplugged
And his nostrils raped and his bottom burned off..

Mountain climber
Bishop, CA
Aug 11, 2009 - 07:48pm PT
Yes, Rob, you did deserve it. I like the other verb you came up with at the end of the long day: "I've been Hollimaned!!"

Of course, I know Steve is smiling right now at the thought of me whimpering my way up that thing. Evil smiling, that is...

Scott, thanks for the compliment. I'm still trying to figure out the report for this weekend, it was such a nice mix of hiking, climbing, weather, and long days. I'm taking a little break from the writing, but still shooting lots of pics. Can't go a weekend without SOME sort of adventure!


Trad climber
slowly dying in the OC
Aug 11, 2009 - 07:57pm PT
Maybe I should tag along some weekend - I promise to help with the TR (and provide comedy relief throughout). Also - now that I'm old and out of shape, I'll make your climbing look really good.

But you have to promise not to go too fast.

Topic Author's Reply - Aug 11, 2009 - 08:22pm PT
Ahem, that's enough music for now .. :)

Laura and I headed out for a little dayhike on Sunday. She lives in Bishop and regularly does after-work jaunts up to 11000', so I had (or should have had :) a vague sense that a bit of role reversal was about to take place ..

Basically, we were going to dayhike Wahoo Peak (12488'), starting from the North Lake trailhead (~9400'), one day before the rest of the Sierra Challenge folks got there -


At sea level I can usually manage a fast hiking pace .. in 2008 I dayhiked Rose Peak (in the east SF bay area) -- probably about the same or a little more mileage and elevation gain, but on nice easy trails with no cross-country travel and lots of oxygen :) About 6 hours and 20 minutes for me post-injury .. no way can I do that above 10000' though.

Anyhow, we started from North Lake at 6am. I was pretty much freezing my butt off .. Laura showed up in shorts. Her pace was measured and even, and I simply followed. This is her neighborhood ..

We headed up to Piute Pass (11423') without incident. I'd never been to Humphreys Basin - wow, I was just agape at the beauty. Laura ticked off the names of peaks and I just sort of nodded my head in acknowledgment.

While we were taking a rest and having a snack, a couple of older gentlemen stopped by, on their way back from a long trip. One had seen Laura's pictures and trip reports online, and talked about how much he enjoyed them. He was inspired by her adventures.

We kept going a ways, and stopped at a picturesque outlet stream to refill water.

A bit later we stopped for a navigation break. There's our peak .. but, should we head up the NW ridge, which looks kinda tedious and long, or the NE ridge, about which we have almost no info (except that it may or may not be "class 3+") ? We decided to have a little adventure ..

Laura's thought was that we should head right / west a bit and avoid the bulk of the nasty-looking approach talus, and trend left up some slabby-looking ramps. Sounds good to me ..

We made our way up to the base of the "fun" part, probably nearing 12000' .. oh man, I was feeling the altitude. Not sick, just tired and out of breath .. despite spending the previous night at 10000' and the last night at 9400'. Laura just waited for me and looked sympathetic :)

After taking a break, we decided it was time to go up .. things were a little loose initially (Laura's comment was "chosspile" :) but the scrambling improved as we ascended.

Finally we got up to the top of the shoulder or false summit on the NE ridge.

It was just a couple hundred more feet of class 2-3 stuff and we were at the top !

This is what happens when you take a picture of me while I'm eating ..

Some kind of plotting going on ..

Laura's goal all along was to leave a little something for the Sierra Challenge folks. I won't say what it was, except that they very much enjoyed it :)

We headed down the sandy east face, with some class 2-3 rock at the beginning, followed by plunge-stepping.

and then found ourselves in a sea of talus near the Wahoo Lakes -

Finally we got out of the talus and headed back up over Piute Pass.

It felt like a long walk back. I was pretty tired, but I somehow managed to put one foot in front of the other back to the car without whining too much. Well, Laura may dispute the latter assertion :)

We made it in about 12 hours car to car -- left in daylight, returned in daylight. Laura dragged my sorry butt off to the Pizza Factory in Bishop where I OD'd on carbs.

Trad climber
slowly dying in the OC
Aug 11, 2009 - 08:40pm PT
If it's what I think it is, the Sierra Challenge folks will be celebrating with style.
Nice TR...and thanks for getting her off those chosspiles and onto some decent rock.

Mountain climber
Bishop, CA
Aug 11, 2009 - 11:00pm PT
At 0735 Sunday morning, 9 August 2009, Rob said, "Yes, Laura, you may be right..."

Doesn't really matter what we were talking about. I just wanted to get that in the written record.

The one thing about being gifted with a large posterior and ginormous bulbous quads (GBQs) is their heat-generating capacity. Hence, shorts in frosty weather...

It was indeed a lovely hike with some nice, easy scrambling; a leg-stretch across level terrain under puff-cloud skies; the usual laughter and ribbing as Rob whined, "Are we there yet?" (This was 5 minutes into the hike.) But as this is a forum for climbing, I won't delve deeper into the droll walk along the trail or across the slabs.

So when are we hitting BCS, Sir Robin??

Thanks for putting up the report. And Scott, let me know when you want to come along. Anytime, my friend!

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