West Face 5.10a

 
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Cardinal Pinnacle


High Sierra, California USA


Trip Report
Cardinal Pinnacle - Four Great Crack Climbs
Wednesday February 12, 2014 3:33am
Steph following the fun 5.8 (more like 5.5) corner on P2 of th...
Steph following the fun 5.8 (more like 5.5) corner on P2 of the West Face. Perfect fists!
Credit: PellucidWombat

During the summer of 2013 I had many more outings to the Sierra East Side where it was nice to do some smaller rock climbing days during recovery periods and bad weather (thunderstorms, smoke). Oh, but where to climb?! I'm not one for the Gorge and sport climbing, and Tuolumne is too far away, but it would be nice to do something pseudo-alpine. So I found Cardinal Pinnacle to be perfect. There are some nice routes at Pine Creek, and I have yet to crag at Whitney Portal, but I found this area to have several extremely high quality routes!

Three of the routes are included in Peter Croft's guidebook, but from there I couldn't really see much motivation to head out here - pictures really motivate me more than stars! The following report showcases the excellent routes on Cardinal Pinnacle:

 The West Face (5.10a, 4P)
 Crack Kingdom (5.10c, 4P)
 The Prow (we TRed the 5.10d 4th pitch as we started our rappel, and on rappel we could check out the sweet 5.12 finger crack)
 V8 (5.10d, 1P)


2013-10-05 - Cardinal Pinnacle and approach.

Cardinal Pinnacle is very easy to find. Basically, drive out of Bishop towards Lake Sabrina, and just beyond the small town of Aspendale, you will see some great looking granite on the northern slopes on the left. Just pick a pullout and scramble up the talus, and in 15-20 minutes you can be climbing pristine granite.


2013-09-12 - Afternoon sunshine on Cardinal Pinnacle.

One thing I want to bring up, first, is that the summit is a great point to visit, but I suspect most climbs just rappel at the top of the 4th pitch of the W Face and Prow, or continue straight past the summit going from Crack Kingdom to the rappels. It is a pretty cool summit, and I find it kind of a downer to climb on the feature and not reach the top, so when I climbed Crack Kingdom, I made sure to top out.


The summit of Cardinal Pinnacle seen from a minor summit. It is a bit of an exposed cl. 4 scramble to the summit along the shadowed crest, with no pro. There is an old bolt on top.


Nic atop Cardinal Pinnacle.


Downclimbing the 5.5 chimney (more like cl. 4) to reach the first rappel anchor. This section only needs to be passed if descending from Crack Kingdom, or continuing to the summit from the West Face or Prow routes.

2013-09-12 - Cardinal Pinnacle West Face with Nic and Steph
For the last day of our climbing extravaganza, Nic, Steph and I climbed the West Face of Cardinal Pinnacle (5.10a, 4P) as a team of 3. The climb has been compared to those on the Incredible Hulk, so we knew to expect quality rock and good cracks. We got a leisurely start, and finished the climb in a few hours, just as the afternoon thunderstorms seemed about to let loose. After this Steph left town on a big driving push to return her rental car on time in WA, while Nic and I debated as to whether to try the E Arete of Bear Creek Spire, despite the 20% chance of thunderstorms, or to crag in Tuolumne on our way home (the weather won out and Bear Creek Spire would have to wait).




West Face (II, 5.10a, 4P)


Climbers atop P2 of the West Face of Cardinal Pinnace (5.10, 4P).

The West Face route is sort of the main boulevard on the pinnacle. The first pitch is shared by the Prow and Crack Kingdom, although as there are two starting variations, this gives one an opportunity to climb both.

Our first time on the pinnacle, I tried the right start, which was listed as being 5.7 (and left at 5.8), but I found it pretty stiff for the grade! Oddly, some of the other ratings higher up, I felt, were soft, while this first pitch is pretty stout.


Mark climbing P1. (by Steph Abegg)

I made it to a wide stem just before a big stepover, which turned out to be a lower 5.10a crux that I wasn't expecting as I was anticipating the 5.10a finger crack crux. While hanging out working out the move, my funky left knee started making loud popping noises and began to feel unstable, so I downclimbed to the last little ledge and let Nic swing ahead to get the pitch over with. At least when following I wouldn't have to hang out, or if my leg gave way the consequences wouldn't be as serious, although I was disappointed at having to give up the lead.


The 5.10a stepover was feeling bad for my knee, so for the sake of time I downclimbed and made a quick belay for Nic to swing by. Nic is leading just past the stepover on P1.

After the stepover the climbing is very easy until the final 5.10a finger crux is reached. It is very short and really more of a face climbing section with very small gear in the crack, but it is very thin and above a ledge, so it is a good place to be cautious.


Nic climbing the 5.10a thin fingers crux of P1. (by Steph Abegg)


Following up the thin 5.10a corner on P1. The hardest part is in the beginning, and then becomes easier and more of a face climb as the crack pinches up.

The second pitch has a '5.8' corner with a '5.10a' stepover around a massive roof. I figured the stepover would be like the last one, and the stout first pitch had me wary of the 5.10 and mildly runout 5.9 facey bits above, so Nic got to have fun running out in the lead again. I just didn't feel like pushing myself at the end of our long, great trip.


Nic leading the 5.8 corner on P2. This was very fun and easy - really more like 5.5.

As it turns out, the 5.8 corner really felt like 5.5 fists to me. Really fun, full fists, in a beautiful corner that ended all too soon.


Steph following the fun 5.8 corner on P2 (more like 5.5). Perfect fists.

The stepover is fun, but was anticlimactic for me. It protects very well and really is more like a 5.8+ to 5.9- thin foot shuffle to the right around a corner.


Reaching the 5.10a roof stepover on P2. (by Steph Abegg)

The thin pro 5.9 start to P3 is thin as advertised, but it doesn't go for too far before it can be protected. Once again, another fun pitch that is quite different from the pitches below.


Nic on the 5.9 discontinuous cracks of P3.


Following up the sweet discontinuous cracks of P3.


Climbing stellar cracks on P3.


Steph following the stellar cracks on P3.

The final pitch 4 was a 5.8 chimney. It was really short, and the chimney was one of those chimneys that wasn't really chimney climbing, so I was a bit disappointed, but I don't think Nic and Steph were. :-P


Leading the 5.8 'chimney' of P4. (by Steph Abegg)

This was a short and easy pitch, with some stemming in a slot, a low angle groove, then a final face traverse back left on shattered rock.


Stormy weather over the Evolution Range. Mt Haeckel is the most impressive looking peak. It is starting to rain, so it is time to get down!

A note on the rappels . . . a team ahead of us seemed to be lost heading down, and we ended up taking the wrong way down as well. See the annotated topo in the beginning of the report. With Nic's bravado of swinging down into the unknown we managed to get down, but the anchors were uncomfortable, a little ratty, and if you only had one 70m rope, you'd be sad. Stay much closer to the big roofs than you think. You almost go off of them, but at the last minute end up walking down sort of a corner beside each roof, for four straightforward 35m rappels.

We got down just as the wind picked up and it started to rain. Nic was regretting his decision to go shirtless at the crag, so Steph was nice enough to donate an extra soft shell that she had.


Nic sporting Steph's jacket as a muscle shirt. I don't think he is pulling it off :-P


Nic sporting Steph's jacket as a muscle shirt. I don't think he is pulling it off :-P




2013-10-05 - Cardinal Pinnacle Crack Kingdom and V8 w Nic Risser
Nic and I had already experienced some of the spectacular rock on Cardinal Pinnacle when we climbed the West Face with Steph Abegg in September. However, we only did one route, and Crack Kingdom was one I really wanted to check out!

Nic and I decided to crag here on Saturday as an 'easier' day after the long Friday night drive, to allow us to be better rested with more sleep for an alpine start on the long East Ridge of Bear Creek Spire the next day (IV, 5.8). Crack Kingdom was 4 pitches of 5.10 (5.10a stepover and fingers, 5.10b OW, 5.10c fingers, 5.10b lieback), after which we TRed the last pitch of The Prow on Rappel (5.10d) and climbed V8 in the same gully (5.10c/d). This last climb was the real gem of the area. Although only one pitch, and 80', every foot was sustained, fun and interesting crack climbing.


'Lake' Sabrina is looking a little dry . . .


Cars in 'Lake' Sabrina.




Crack Kingdom (II, 5.10c, 4P)
We dispatched with the first pitch quickly, taking the left variation this time. It was slightly harder than the right, but just barely. From the end of the first pitch we walked over about 50 ft to the base of the second pitch, which had a 5.10b OW as the crux. My kind of challenge! With some long extensions and fully utilizing our double ropes, Nic was able to combine P1 with the walkover, but I think on a single rope, you'd want to break it up.


NW face of Cardinal Pinnacle seen from atop V8.


Crack Kingdom - P2 5.10b OW seen from atop V8.

The second pitch was a really good pitch. I was a bit worried about the lazer cut wide crack that ascended the wall beneath the crux, but it turned out to be easier than it looked from a distance.


Crack Kingdom - P2, with the arching crack on the right, and 5.10b OW high above.

After climbing some lower cracks and ledges, I chimneyed behind a giant, freestanding flake and took off up the beautiful, wide crack. It is just close enough to the corner to be a lot easier than I anticipated, with the crux being the strange exit past an overlapping roof and jog in the crag line.


Crack Kingdom - Leading the easy OW. The 5.10b flare looms above.

As far as what I am used to for OW ratings, the 5.10b, while physical, seemed easier, more like 5.9+ to easy 5.10a. Take some time to think out the moves, slide the wide cam up, and go for it! Just make sure to shove that knee in there and don't back off. Even with wearing jeans, this ended up breaking skin with some bleeding on my knee, so the knee jam is tight for the first couple of inchworms.

Unfortunately I got my large cam stuck when thrutching forward, so once I was just past the crux, I had to spend some time wedged in the OW trying to free the thing. Doh! The easy chimney above has lesser rock quality and is very straighforward.


Crack Kingdom - at the end of the P2 5.10b flare, about to start the chimney.

The only thing to be careful with is to go far enough. I accidentally ended the pitch early, mistaking a lower juicy finger crack for the start of the 5.10c third pitch.


I accidentally stopped a little short, thinking this crack was the 5.10c for P3. Keep going until the ramp ends in a ledge.


Crack Kingdom - P3 5.10c seen from atop V8.

The third pitch was somewhat of a mystery for us. We could never quite see it from the ground, and Croft's topo kind of squishes it all together at the side, the way it might appear from below, but really it corkscrews around the pinnacle.


Crack Kingdom - Nic leading P3. Looking at the lip crux (about 5.10a) with the thin fingers crux (5.10c-d) in the red rock above.


Crack Kingdom - Nic leading P3.

The 5.10c crux was REALLY tough. It is very thin and requires some powerful, reachy moves, and Nic drew blood cracking on the finger jams. Props to Nic for a tough lead!

I would have led the short, fourth pitch, but reading about it, I decided to let Nic take the glory. It was a 5.10b lieback, short but fierce right above a ledge, and as I had totally bombed the 5.10a lieback on Third Pillar of Dana earlier in the summer, I didn't feel like a repeat. Nic made it look easy, and as I followed it, I think it was actually easier and a bit shorter thant he one on the Third Piller. It is very similar, though, in terms of taking thin gear in an irregular crack behind a 'probably expandable' flake, with what I'd describe as an 'in-plane' lieback, which requires a lot of strength and finesse.


Crack Kingdom - The short but fierce 5.10b lieback on P4. This reminded me of the 5.10a lieback on Third Pillar of Dana, but a bit shorter and easier.

Above the short crux the terrain quickly turns to 4th class. It is still a bit exposed in some places, so Nic stopped just above the step, and I swung past him after following the 5.10b lieback, and we simul-climbed to the summit.




The Prow (II, 5.12b, 4P)
No, we didn't climb this amazing route, but we DID top rope the 5.10d final pitch using the first set of rappel anchors. This is very easy to set up and highly recommended! It is short, but very physical . . . more of a crack bouldering problem.


Rather than rappelling straight down, we decided to place some directionals and top-rope the 5.10d final pitch of the Prow, first. This was a really good, tough, but short crack bouldering problem!


Nic at the first rappel, atop the 5.10d final pitch of the Prow. This was a convenient and highly worthwhile top-rope to do on the rappel descent.

The correct rappel line down Cardinal Pinnacle follows the Prow, giving one a nice preview of the 5.12 finger crack and 5.11R face sections. You could attempt to climb these on TR as you rappeled, if you wanted to.


Looking down the 5.12 fingers pitch of the Prow as seen on the second rappel.


Looking up the 5.12 fingers pitch of the Prow as seen on the second rappel. I think the crux is likely to be switching cracks above.


Looking up the 5.11 R pitch of the Prow as seen on the second rappel.




V8 (5.10c/d, 1P, 80ft)

Looking across the way towards V8, the stellar 5.10d crack climb we would do next.

When Nic and I first climbed on Cardinal Pinnacle with Steph, we couldn't help but notice a gorgeous splitter across the alcove. Some research on MountainProject confirmed that it was a route, within out climbing levels, with a nice new anchor to rappel from. So we snuck this one in at the end of the day, and boy are we glad that we did! I think it was better than any of the pitches we had climbed on Cardinal Pinnacle proper.


The next buttress over. The nice splitter is V8 (5.10d) which we climbed later in the day.

While perhaps a little soft for the 5.10d rating, it is physical and sustained for every inch of the 80 ft pitch, with a great amount of variety packed in. It starts with a juggy finger and hand traverse with pasty feet, turning into a gradually widening crack that splits several small roofs. The constant lean to the right keeps one constantly on their arms.


Nic leading V8 (5.10d, 80ft)

Above a second roof the crack becomes an incredible offset leaning splitter, reminiscent of some of the cracks at Indian Creek. After climbing this a short ways and taking the right branch of the 'y', the route finished by punching through a roof large enough to get your attention, but the solid fist jams make it easier than it looks as you can jungle-gym your feet up over the lip as you crank up.


Nic leading V8 (5.10d, 80ft), on the leaning offset splitter, just where he is taking the right crack, with the final roof looming above.

So if you are ever on the East Side and want a half day to full day of great crack climbing that is never too comitting, with beautiful views of the Evolution region beyond and the Owens Valley below, then check this place out! It is absolutely perfect on a stormy day or warmup/acclimatization day after a late night drive before heading higher into the mountains.




Links:
Picasa - 2013-09-12 - Cardinal Pinnacle W Face with Nic and Steph
Picasa - 2013-10-05 - Cardinal Pinnacle Crack Kingdom and V8 w Nic Risser


  Trip Report Views: 3,325
PellucidWombat
About the Author
PellucidWombat is a mountain climber from Berkeley, CA.

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fat-n-sassy

Social climber
San Francity, CA
  Feb 12, 2014 - 10:02am PT
Excellent looking rock!
Texplorer

Trad climber
Sacramento
  Feb 12, 2014 - 11:22am PT
Nice report. This place is truly some of the best climbing out there. Just wish there were more there. Definately worth the visit.
Greg Barnes

climber
  Feb 12, 2014 - 11:34am PT
Great TR, love the photos!

Yep that splitter ow on Crack Kingdom is way easier than it looks, but the awkward slanting roof bit seemed tough for me - and the 10c thin was easy (helps having green alien size fingers and a big reach). Funny, I've always described that 10b lieback at the top as "just like the short lieback on the last pitch of Third Pillar, but a bit longer and harder." I think the thing (on lead at least) is that the feet (and edge of the flake) are still a bit crispy, while it's totally clean on Third Pillar. Awesome regardless!
PellucidWombat

Mountain climber
Berkeley, CA
Author's Reply  Feb 12, 2014 - 12:36pm PT
and the 10c thin was easy (helps having green alien size fingers and a big reach).

Yeah, it seems like that. Kind of reminds me of the crux on 'The Fracture' at Sugarloaf. Big & powerful reach needed.

Funny, I've always described that 10b lieback at the top as "just like the short lieback on the last pitch of Third Pillar, but a bit longer and harder."


Haha, always nice to compare notes! Perhaps one thing influencing my perception is that I followed this one, and the one I led on Third Pillar . . . I left blood all over the thing. The flake expanded when I was testing a nut placement halfway up before gunning for the top, and I bashed my knuckles open from that. I couldn't get a placement in that wouldn't pop out while the flake groaned if I yanked hard enough (leaving me open to a hard ledge fall if I fell at the top), so I lost some nerve there. I think I climbed 90% of that section 5 or 6 times before I got through it.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  Feb 12, 2014 - 12:50pm PT
Awesome pics! Crack Kingdom was pretty tough I thought. I also led the 10c OW and 10b lie-back at the top. Thank god the lie-back didnít continue for longer, lol. Every pitch on the climb (aside from the first) was no gimmie! V8 crack/WF are also great. Would recommend to do Cucumbers start to WF next time you are there. Also worthy, and I thought pretty tough for 10a, barely got it clean (on lead).


The only thing to be careful with is to go far enough. I accidentally ended the pitch early, mistaking a lower juicy finger crack for the start of the 5.10c third pitch.

I think I did the same thing. Than Bryan divided the next pitch in two. He went to some crazy dihedral on the first part. That dihedral I remember did not take much gear and was kind of stemmy and not easy.
Some spaniards behind us took that juicy fingercrack. Anyone know what does that go at?
MarkWestman

Trad climber
Talkeetna, Alaska
  Feb 12, 2014 - 01:41pm PT
V8 felt really hard for the grade to me, I have large hands and the lower half had a lot of red and green camalot jams...very strenuous.
Crack Kingdom is phenomenal. I thought that final thin lb was a touch harder than 3rd pillar, very sharp and not secure. Crux 10c definitely stiff but what a pitch!
portent

Social climber
your mom's house
  Feb 12, 2014 - 01:48pm PT
Credit: portent

Jebus about to start up the crux pitch on Crack Kingdom a couple years ago...

Great climb... even though I french freed some bits... :)
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Old West Crackramento
  Feb 12, 2014 - 01:52pm PT
Crack Kingdom is definitely up there in variety and quality. I had the pleasure of leading every pitch for the onsight. I thought the 5.10c finger crux was very solid at the grade. 10d might be reasonable? What a great pitch though and that thin hands 5.9 finish is spectacular.

I thought the 10b lieback was full on, probably comparable to Third Pillar. They are both a bit barn door type cruxes. It would be an ugly fall too!

Edit: yup, portent, 'twas a good day. Worth a green alien!
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  Feb 12, 2014 - 02:00pm PT
Crack Kingdom is definitely up there in variety and quality. I had the pleasure of leading every pitch for the onsight. I thought the 5.10c finger crux was very solid at the grade. 10d might be reasonable?

I would say it is harder than thin section on Five and Dime, Finger Lickin', and Catchy. All of which are rated as 10d in Yosemite..especially for people with larger fingers like me. That's why 1st pitch of Cucumbers is difficult...
portent

Social climber
your mom's house
  Feb 12, 2014 - 02:00pm PT
Edit: yup, portent, 'twas a good day. Worth a green alien!

That moment still haunts me when I'm cleaning gear...
RyanD

climber
Squamish
  Feb 12, 2014 - 02:02pm PT
Good stuff. Driven past Cardinal Pinnacle a few times before, will make an effort to do a lap next time I'm in the area. I agree that pics are more motivating than stars in a book. Great TR.
PellucidWombat

Mountain climber
Berkeley, CA
Author's Reply  Feb 12, 2014 - 02:03pm PT
I have large hands and the lower half had a lot of red and green camalot jams...very strenuous.

Definitely added to the pump! For me it was like doing pullups on crimped hand jams. My biceps and forearms were left throbbing.
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
  Feb 12, 2014 - 03:07pm PT
Nice spot!

And wow, Lake Sabrina has seen better days:


Is this Cardinal Pinnacle in the background?
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Old West Crackramento
  Feb 12, 2014 - 03:39pm PT
I reckon.
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
  Feb 12, 2014 - 04:13pm PT
Outstanding, as always.

John
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
  Feb 12, 2014 - 04:33pm PT
Good stuff mon.
MarkWestman

Trad climber
Talkeetna, Alaska
  Feb 12, 2014 - 04:37pm PT
On the Prow, the 5.11 climbing required to reach the 5.12 finger crack looks like it would be a very serious and worrisome lead.
Byran

climber
San Jose, CA
  Feb 12, 2014 - 05:01pm PT
Nice photos. Cardinal Pinnacle is one of those peaks that doesn't look like much from the road and a lot of climbers have probably driven past without giving it a second glance. But the rock quality is sublime and makes for really fun climbing. The most comparable areas I've found are the Gong Show in Rock Creek Canyon and also Speed of Life in Lee Vining Canyon. They have the same fine-grain porcelain granite that fractures into beautiful splitters and corners. And like Cardinal Pinn, they also lie at the top of large talus fields and seem rather unimpressive from the parking.
G Murphy

Trad climber
Oakland CA
  Feb 12, 2014 - 05:10pm PT
The Prow is excellent. I think the crux is really short. Nice TR!
Greg
Blakey

Trad climber
Sierra Vista
  Feb 12, 2014 - 05:46pm PT
Usual high standard TR. Love the pic of Steph on P3 of whatever. What software are you using to put the topos onto the photos?

Great job = somewhere else that I'll probably never get, still it's great to see!

Thanks,

Steve
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
  Feb 12, 2014 - 07:00pm PT
Nice very nice.

Its been a long time, sounds like it gets crowded now.

What length cords are you using?

Mostly interested in the decent beta, you talk about a 35m rap... is it set up for 70m????

TFPU

EDIT.... you ever go to Wild Rose? up by south lake. I would love to see a good TR on that one. ;>)
okie

Trad climber
  Feb 12, 2014 - 07:22pm PT
Um...just what exactly is Nic trying to flext in that first pic? Or is that his money shot?
Jeremy Ross

Gym climber
  Feb 12, 2014 - 07:28pm PT
Nice! Looks like a lot of fun...but every time I see "OW" I throw up in my mouth...



Thanks for sharing.
msiddens

Trad climber
  Feb 12, 2014 - 07:39pm PT
Very nice....can't believe the water was that low/empty
MarkWestman

Trad climber
Talkeetna, Alaska
  Feb 12, 2014 - 08:52pm PT
The descent: 4 raps with a single 70 works- I've done it twice. The raps are long so tie knots in the ends and pay attention, but one 70 is a go. Fat bolts all the way down. Very quick and easy descent.

WML: I've never tr'd the Prow but both times I rapped past it I hung around on rappel to check out the crux pitch- the 11b section is an overhanging groove thing with thin, shitty gear that is well spaced out- and there's a ledge to hit. It looks more like face climbing until the finger crack opens up. There lots of cool edges but I would want to be really solid at the grade because a fall would be no bueno- and that's if the gear held.

Pellucid- have you done Rites of Spring in Pine Creek Canyon yet? It would be right up your alley. One of the best routes anywhere! 4 pitches of varied 5.10 cracks with a powerful 10d thin jamming/crack switch crux.
Also in the category of good routes for thunderstorm cycles is "Nimbus" at Whitney Portal. All time finger crack and some interesting granite face climbing.

Thanks for the cool photos and report.
PellucidWombat

Mountain climber
Berkeley, CA
Author's Reply  Feb 12, 2014 - 09:16pm PT
Is this Cardinal Pinnacle in the background?

Yessir! I admit that I scarcely noticed it from the road before, apart from the generic 'hm, I wonder if that thing has any climbing on it?' as I was heading into the Sierra. It is definitely diminished by the talus pile, but is really cool when you are up closer to it.

What software are you using to put the topos onto the photos?

I'm using Adobe Photoshop. However, on some diagrammatic maps I use Adobe Illustrator. I'm beginning to work on a TR now where I'm making a topo in Adobe Illustrator . . hopefully the first of many - I have a backlog of hand scribbled topos to make look nice!

you ever go to Wild Rose? up by south lake. I would love to see a good TR on that one. ;>)

Nope! But I assume that is the formation that I was photographing so diligently on my last hike out of there. On the south side of the canyon, just downhill from the dam, high up on the hill?



I see a very intriguing chimney/OW in there . . .

Um...just what exactly is Nic trying to flext in that first pic?

Ahahaha! You know, none of us picked up on that. However, his old high school name was 'Big Nic', but he insists it is for something else.

Pellucid- have you done Rites of Spring in Pine Creek Canyon yet?

It just so happens that that might be the next East Side 'roadside' route that I do! I've led Pratt's Crack & followed Sheila (both really wonderful climbs), and Nic and I were actually debating whether to do that one or Crack Kingdom + V8 the day we ended up going to Cardinal Pinnacle for our second time.

BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
  Feb 12, 2014 - 10:20pm PT
Cardinal Pinnacle has great rock and great thin cracks. TFPU!
Rankin

Social climber
Greensboro, North Carolina
  Feb 13, 2014 - 12:10am PT
Cool TR! Great routes on a really cool section of rock. I think Crofts ratings are pretty much spot on, but whatever. I also recommend doing Cucumbers (5.10), which if I remember correctly, links into the West Face. Red Bush (5.9) is a fun pitch as well, and is a quick addition if you rappel down the 5.6 route on the climber's right of the pinnacle.

Rights of Spring is a must do, and is a step-up in difficulty from Crack Kingdom. The third pitch (5.10) is my favorite. Here's a photo looking down that pitch from from the last time I climbed it in 2011.

Looking down pitch 3 of Rites of Spring, Pine Creek, CA.
Looking down pitch 3 of Rites of Spring, Pine Creek, CA.
Credit: Rankin



F10

Trad climber
Bishop
  Feb 13, 2014 - 01:29am PT
Thanks for the report and photos.
Fun cragging on Cardinal Pinn
The Alpine

climber
  Feb 13, 2014 - 12:35pm PT
Awesome, thanks!

It would be sweet to have all of your TR's compiled online almost like a guidebook.
martygarrison

Trad climber
Washington DC
  Feb 13, 2014 - 02:06pm PT
Dang what a great TR! Thanks!
PellucidWombat

Mountain climber
Berkeley, CA
Author's Reply  Feb 13, 2014 - 06:02pm PT
It would be sweet to have all of your TR's compiled online almost like a guidebook.

Eh, starting to get there now that I've seen what I have put out on different websites!

http://www.markpthomas.com/

The website is incomplete and disorganized right now, and I plan to have the whole thing revamped and better integrated later, but it is easy enough to navigate and I'm using it as a 'development location' for projects these days. It has all of the TRs and some other things that I have submitted online so far, as well as some things I haven't posted up elsewhere.

The future version will also have some nice ways to navigate among my climbing/outdoor-specific Picasa photo albums. :-)

Todd Townsend

Social climber
Bishop, CA
  Feb 13, 2014 - 06:53pm PT
Nope! But I assume that is the formation that I was photographing so diligently on my last hike out of there. On the south side of the canyon, just downhill from the dam, high up on the hill?

Actually that is a picture of Billy's Pillar. The Wild Rose Buttress is further down canyon.

http://www.mountainproject.com/v/wild-rose-buttress/105899591
FRUMY

Trad climber
Bishop,CA
  Feb 13, 2014 - 07:11pm PT
Nice TFPU
Bob Harrington

climber
Bishop, California
  Feb 13, 2014 - 10:31pm PT
Wombat, your trip reports are great. You and micronut are the kings!

But get Nic a helmet...

Here's a guy taking a wrong turn on the rappel route. Not sure how that worked out for him...
Off route on the rap route...
Off route on the rap route...
Credit: Bob Harrington
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Feb 14, 2014 - 02:16pm PT
Another stellar Tr Mark,
I hope you are making a full recovery from your knee injury,
Thanks!!!
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
  Feb 14, 2014 - 04:19pm PT
Still haven't gotten on those! Argh
Thnx!
PellucidWombat

Mountain climber
Berkeley, CA
Author's Reply  Feb 14, 2014 - 05:48pm PT
I hope you are making a full recovery from your knee injury,

Thanks! I just got the third and final reconstructive surgery since October done last week, so now I can look forward to a more consistent recovery. Unfortunately no gym or rock climbing for me until December, but I'll find other ways to expend energy this year :-)

Still haven't gotten on those!

Go get 'em!

There is an incredibly delicious looking OW that you pass beneath when walking over to start the P2 of Crack Kingdom. I wonder what it is rated? I got a good look at it on my first visit when we took the wrong rappels down. Only downside is the top seems to have some precarious looking chockstones.
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Cardinal Pinnacle - West Face 5.10a - High Sierra, California USA. Click to Enlarge
West face of Cardinal Pinnacle
Photo: Luke Lydiard