Eichorn Pinnacle (Sierra Nevada; ~10,800')

Technically, Eichorn Pinnacle is a subsidiary summit spire of Cathedral Peak, and is often climbed in conjunction with the latter. The easiest route is the North Face, a climb that is very short and easy, but extremely impressive.

Topo Map

Routes: North Face (I, 5.4)

References: supertopo.com

Eichorn Pinnacle in late August from near Cathedral Lakes

Date: August 29, 2005

Party: Dietrich, Paul, and Monique Belitz

Route: Approach from Cathedral Lakes

Equipment: None used

Time: allow 1.5 hrs from Cathedral Lakes trail, 3 hrs from the trailhead

Trip report:

This was a family climb that degenerated into a non-trip. We started out on the Muir Trail, with the idea being to climb Eichorn Pinnacle. We had spent three nights at 8,500' by now, and the pinnacle is not even 11,000' high, so I figured altitude would not be an issue, but I was proven wrong. Soon after we left the trail and worked up the dirt slopes Monique started complaining that she did not feel well. Knowing her susceptibility to altitude, I actually thought about turning her around and sending her down to the lake, but this was a climb she really wanted to do, and we were just above 10,000', so I thought this was ridiculous and decided against it. Indeed she improved somewhat as we went higher, which I thought was a good sign, but she still showed totally unreasonable trepidation on the third-class slabs. Once we reached the notch below the pinnacle she came down with pulmonary edema. She has a tendency to get that, but she had never before gotten it at that low an elevation. When it happens on a trail, we just race her down the trail, here it was a bit more complicated. I coaxed her down the third-class terrain while Paul carried two packs, then we switched roles. It took all the way back down to the dirt slopes before she felt okay again. Paul and I briefly thought about going back up, but the time and our water supply would have meant pushing it a bit. Besides, there was a strong wind blowing high up, and we were still a bit tired from Half Dome the previous day. So we just went to the lake for a swim and admired the amazing scenery from the granite beach. The pinnacle looked really cool, though, and it's supposed to be the world's most impressive 5.4, so we got to come back and do it!

Photo Gallery:

Click the pictures to see a higher resolution image

The northernmost outcroppings of Cathedral Peak from the Muir Trail.

The South Face of Fairview Dome from the Muir Trail.

Working up the third-class slabs ...

... until Cathedral Lake comes in sight.

The North Face of the pinnacle.

The pinnacle from the notch.

The granite beach at Cathedral Lake.

Cathedral Peak and Eichorn Pinnacle from the granite beach.