Eichorn Pinnacle
(West Buttress Direct)

5 Sep 2001 - by Michael Gordon

Mark Uphus and myself (Southern California Mountaineers Association members www.rockclimbing.org) climbed Eichorn's Pinnacle via the West Pillar Direct on Sunday, September 2. I've submitted this article as I notice there are no reports in the climber.org archives for this route.

The most accurate topo for the climb should be gotten from www.supertopo.com. It's a great topo, but a little too much information is sometimes given (e.g., .6 to 2.5" for belay).

The route can be completed in five 50m pitches (almost all rope-stretchers). The first pitch goes at 5.9 and if liberally stemmed, the hideously wide crack can be completed much more efficiently. Pitch two goes at 5.8+/9, and is quite steep and exposed. Pitch three starts with 5.10b crack/layback off the belay for about ten feet or so. We opted to haul the packs through this section to make for a little easier/nicer climbing. Pitch four goes at 3rd/4th with a couple of moves of 5.6 and 5.7. The last pitch goes at 5.8 ("rib wrestling" supertopo calls it), with some easy 5th, and finishing moves to the summit at way-wide 5.4 (stem it!). If it were not for the extraordinary number of quartz crystal knobs on the whole pinnacle, I think the climb might actually be a grade more difficult. Most of the jamming/chimneying difficulties can be overcome by good stemming technique (tons on the route).

We were first on the route, and were likely only followed by one other party that day (we saw them). The first three pitches were a bit frigid as the sun doesn't hit this area until later in the day.

This climb is fantastic (!!), the exposure is terrific, the cracks amazing, the gear great, yadda yadda. In other words, it really is a true classic; a fantastic line. Unfortunately, though the summit views were fairly decent (due to the steady breeze), we could see the three or four fires burning to the south which marred the accomplishment a tiny bit.

I highly recommend the route. A true beauty.

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