West Pillar, Eichorn's Pinnacle 5.9

 
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Tuolumne Meadows, California USA

  • Currently 3.0/5
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Summary of All Ratings

SuperTopo Rating:   
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  • 5
 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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  • 5
 (4.8)
Your Rating:     (none)
Rating Distribution
8 Total Ratings
5 star: 75%  (6)
4 star: 25%  (2)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
ElGreco

Mountain climber
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   Jul 24, 2013 - 04:20pm
I've been let down by other supposedly stellar climbs (Fairview Regular Route, Nutcracker, ...) before, and was thinking I was just grumpy. But the Direct (10b) is awesome! I agree with Greg - 5* all the way.

You pay tribute to the offwidth gods twice on p1. You don't need to be able to cruise the Generator to do this. Stemming, chimneying, a little heel-toe and face holds will get you through. Jugs appear near the end and pull you out. P2 is just fun with hands and fingers.

The 10b crux comes right off the belay on p3. You can place a purple (0) mastercam on tippy toes to protect the opening moves. Then you get a good handjam under the flake where a #3 C4 fits (look for the awesome foothold high and right on the opposite wall). Commit to 3 more moves or so and you are at a rest stance and good pro. Job done. Protects well, can be aided. One more steep section (easier) and you're cruising after that.

On p4, stay low and traverse left, and don't go over or towards the ridge crest or the towers. The 5.6 bulge is exposed and fun!

On the p5 wide 5.9 flake section, you have bomber pro inside the crack (#2/3 C4) and can make your life easier by stemming your right foot out to the opposite wall if you're tall. Somewhat burly, but it's all there.

After that, the difficulty eases but the air under your feet from the broken blocks and ribs will keep the climbing way more fun than the 5.4 rating would suggest!

Enjoy an awesome summit and don't forget the climbing porn photo op from the ridge connecting to Cathedral...
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Spencer Adkisson

Trad climber
Reno, NV
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   Aug 9, 2008 - 02:55pm
Great route! We did the 5.9 version. Short cruxes with good gear made it challenging, safe and fun.

The OW corner on P.2 can be done right-side-in all the way, but is somewhat onerous with a pack. Starting right-side-in, then switching to left-side-in partway up the corner opens up better footholds, and jugs on the arete.

This route has lots of fun "rib wrestling" as mentioned in the ST guidebook. It was super windy when we did it, which made fighting the barn-door and rope/belay maintenance even greater. Super sweet views.
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mdanek

Trad climber
California
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   Jul 14, 2008 - 04:45pm
Did the 5.10b Direct variation on 7/12/08. Amazing climb and scenery.

Pro: 1 set of nuts, 2 sets of cams upto 2", one 3" & 3.5" cams was sufficient.

Rope: 60m double

P1: There is a lot of face holds near the crack and the wide section can be easily avoided on the face besides 2-3 OW moves. It protects well with small/medium gear deep in the crack and then on the arÍte.

P2: We set-up the belay station approx. 30ft below the 5.10b crux, just before the corner starts. The location provided a good visibility for the belayer and perhaps a safer option to avoid crux fall onto the belayer. 60m rope was sufficient to reach the top of P3 (50m rope might be short).

P3: The crux can be protected with 3" cam on the right side of the flake. The cam can be placed from a solid hand jam. Watch your feet when you make the next moves.

P5: The 5.9 moves in the upper section can be protected with a 2" or 3" cam high up in the crack on the left. There is a good finger crack in the right corner to help the stemming if you go for that option.

Watch out for afternoon storm. We had to escape just before the last pitch as the sky turned dark cloudy and thunder started. We repelled of a cordelette and slings to the left - 60m double rope was very useful at that point.


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SantaCruzRon

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
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   Jul 17, 2007 - 08:47pm
I've done this route twice now and I would just say that the Supertopo approach/descent and climbing time estimates do not reflect the majority of climbers out there. If you are a mere mortal weekend warrior who doesn't dedicate his life to climbing, then add 50% to the times given, seriously.

Beta: Avoid wearing a full pack if possible, especially if you are leading the route. The 5.9 offwdths will getcha.

This photologue of the route may be of interest:
http://www.imagestation.com/album/pictures.html?id=2089677712
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Greg Barnes

climber
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   Jul 11, 2007 - 12:16am
Did the 5.9 variation years ago to topo it for the ST, but Chris had already topo'd the 10b variation. I'd call the 5.9 three-star.

But dang, the direct is SWEET! Five-star all the way! Did it yesterday, no one around (until the top with the North Face traffic). The second pitch is a strong contender for the best 5.8/9 crack pitch in the Meadows. Then a short boulder problem to awesome stemming and jugs, short but even off the ground at a crag this pitch would stand out.

I agree with tcb - we brought a 4 inch cam but didn't need it (although it was nice in the first pitch belay anchor - never used it on the first pitch). As previously stated, two pins, one at each of the first two belays - no pin as shown in the ST on pitch 2. It's nice to save two 1.5-inch cams (eg #1 camalots) for the second belay.

I have friends who call Third Pillar the best easy 10 in the area, and others that call West Pillar Direct the best. Now I see why there's a debate - tough call!

We approached from Medlicott via the Cathedral Lakes fishing trail - beautiful approach without the horse dung, dust, and crowds of the JMT.
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tcb

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
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   Aug 29, 2006 - 03:13pm
Did the direct route Aug 28. Superfun, no crowds (everyone was doing Cathedral, no one on West Pillar). Beautiful location, beautiful climb. Don't know why it only has 3 stars. The 1st pitch is hard, but if you're 6' and have decent size hands you won't have too much trouble. I think I did one or two OW-type moves, but most difficulties were surmounted with stems or jams in the back of the crack. Keep a look out for the wonderful little crytals. You can fit a #4 Camalot at the 5.9move, but you probably don't need it, there is smaller pro a few feet lower and a few feet higher. You can use it for kicks on the next pitch as well, but it isn't worth bringing.

The 10b is easily aidable, and in fact not that hard even if you don't grab the gear. If you are a solid 5.9 leader, you should be fine on this route.

Corrections to Supertopo:

The location of pins is wrong, as noted in an earlier post. 2 fixed pins, 1 each at p1 and p2 belays. None in between.

We are usually in the middle to slow end of supertopo's listed times, but rarely are we out of the range. However we took 3 hrs to get from car to base, and 3 hours from threading the rings to the car. This is vastly different than the listed 1.5 hours! Maybe we weren't acclimatized, maybe it was a bad day, but it felt like we were moving decently for most of that. Anyway, don't be suprised if the approach/descent takes longer than 90mins...

The time for the climb itself seemed pretty close to right.
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slobmonster

Trad climber
OAK (nee NH)
Jul 10, 2006 - 02:13am
 
Nice route, but the ".10b" is more like 5.9+. Easy to climb in three legitimate fifth class pitches if one is comfortable moving together or short-pitching on the scrambly bits above P2. A #4 Camalot is nice but not really necessary; doubles in #1 & 2 are also nice, and also not really necessary.

As of 9 July 2006, the summit rap has a nice, new, stainless 3/8ths inch bolt to complement the tat nest, Star Dryvin and lord-knows-what-with-homemade-hanger already present.
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MikeL

Social climber
Seattle, WA
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   Sep 5, 2005 - 06:49pm
Chilly yesterday, even in the full sun!

We did the original route, and thought that it offered many fun problems: really liked the bulge pullover leading to the 5.9 awkward flare, the 5.9 flare itself, and the 5.8 dihedral that we climbed like a chimney (heel-toe). The third pitch was great fun for our 5.8 leader. Also, the second belay station offered a beautiful view with nice seating. It was at least 185 feet to the third belay station (not 160í as Supertopo says).

Be sure to not to skip the fourth station, as youíll have huge rope drag (a big mistake I made!) and some simul-climbing for the second.

There is some off-width climbing high and low on West Pillar that cannot be avoided.

The Reid and Falkenstein topo is inferior to Supertopoís depiction. In some cases, I think R&Fís drawing is just wrong. Compare them.

On the way to the ďrib wrestlingĒ section on pitch 5, youíll see a right-facing corner with a stuck #8 stopper up high with a green sheathed wire (itís left around the corner from the 5.9 ow / 5.9 stem; this corner is not on the topo). Itís a section that looks enticing, but Iíd say that the 20í move up is 10c: it demands a lunge for people with a low ape index like me.

All in all itís a great, varied climb on excellent rock, and the long strenuous approach keeps the crowds away

ml & le
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casey

climber
oakland
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   Aug 3, 2005 - 01:22pm
did the direct route on monday. it was *awesome*. super windy up there though. my buddy welson dropped his hat, so if anyone comes across a mesh baseball hat at the base..

the 10b direct variation is 1-2 moves right off the belay with gear in your face. easy to slot aliens in there. the 5.9 ow-stem was too wide for me to stem but easy to ow, just slot a 3.5 or 4 in the back, get your knee in there and go!

another good summit register entry
"what a crappy route. the climbing was terrible, there are no views, it's right off the road. i'm going back to the climbing gym to try to redpoint the purple 5.9+ route"
nice.
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Michael Golden

climber
Mountain View, CA
Jun 14, 2004 - 06:28pm
 
...Several pages all signed in blood...

Semper Fi

http://www.snwburd.com/bob/trip_photos/cathedral_6/reg/DSC00015.jpg
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Sir Run-it-out

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Jun 14, 2004 - 03:54pm
 

Discovered on 6/13/04 that the summit register is full. It would be nice if the next party could bring a new booklet. A new pen wouldn't hurt either.

Some choice entries from the current log (apologies if I don't remember the exact words):

- fourth all nude ascent. Boy is my ass burnt!
- several pages all signed in blood
- the defaced picture of a couple, duct taped in, with comments
- all those old climbing buddies you haven't seen in years!

A few corrections to the topo:
- the fixed pin shown on P2 is in fact right at the P1 belay
- there is a fixed pin at the P2 belay (direct route)

There is no problem with snow/water on the descent as of 6/13/04
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Aug 25, 2003 - 11:08am
 
The American Safe Climbing Assn. may have replaced anchor bolts on this climb. To find out visit the ASCA Replacement Page

The ASCA is a non-profit organization dedicated to replacing unsafe anchors. To learn about helping the ASCA click here


DONATE NOW
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Eichorn's Pinnacle - West Pillar 5.9 - Tuolumne Meadows, California USA. Click to Enlarge
West Pillar as seen from the base.
Photo: Chris McNamara
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