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Routes in Cardinal Pinnacle

Bard-Harrington Finish T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Cardinal Sin T 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
Cardinalidae T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Crack Kingdom T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Cucumbers T 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
Passeri T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b PG13
Passeriformes T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c PG13
Prow, The T 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Red Bush T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Regular Route T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Shadow Prow Traverse T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Shadows of the Artichoke T 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Shine or Whine T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
V8 Crack T 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
West Face T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Where Eagles Dare T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b PG13
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Elevation: 9,200 ft
GPS: 37.228, -118.596 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 51,293 total · 347/month
Shared By: Darshan Ahluwalia on Sep 21, 2006
Admins: Aron Quiter, Euan Cameron, AWinters, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes
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A 400-500 foot granite crag nestled on a rocky mountainside in the foothills of the Sierras. The rock is granite and very clean. The routes are characterized by steep and exposed splitter crack climbing in one of the coolest locations near Bishop.

Getting There

From downtown Bishop, take W. Line Street (rt. 168 west) towards the Sierras. After 20 miles or so, gaining substantial elevation, you'll come to the small community of Aspendell. The Pinnacle can be seen from here up on the left side of the road, perched on the mountainside about a half mile past Aspendell. Park below the talus on the side of the road.

Cardinal Pinnacle as seen from the road. Hike up the talus to approach but be careful: there is A LOT of loose rock. Photo by Kia Ravanfar.

16 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Cardinal Pinnacle

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Red Bush
Trad 3 pitches
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
West Face
Trad 4 pitches
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
Trad 3 pitches
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Crack Kingdom
Trad 5 pitches
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
V8 Crack
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Bard-Harrington Finish
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
The Prow
Trad 4 pitches
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
Cardinal Sin
Trad 4 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Red Bush
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad 3 pitches
West Face
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad 4 pitches
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b Trad 3 pitches
Crack Kingdom
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad 5 pitches
V8 Crack
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Trad
Bard-Harrington Finish
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Trad
The Prow
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Trad 4 pitches
Cardinal Sin
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b Trad 4 pitches
More Classic Climbs in Cardinal Pinnacle »

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Weather Averages

Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season
Isaac T.
Oceanside, CA
Isaac T.   Oceanside, CA
I seem to remember there being a fun 4-5 pitch 5.6 or 5.7 on this peak. Does anyone have any beta on that? Aug 28, 2008
Here's something for the motivated Cardinal Pinnacle afficionado:
Presenting the Cardinal 5.10 adventure in High Definition.

All beta and pitch references are from the topos in the newest version of Croft/Lewis' "Bishop Area Rock Climbs"
Rack as for "Crack of No Hope" (single set of nuts and tiny cams, doubles from blue tcu to gold camalot. Single 3 and 4 new camalot.) Bring your 70m rope.

Pitch 1: (10a lead) Pitch one of "West Face" like normal. Have the second leave a pack of water and snacks at the lowest rappel anchor.

Pitch 2: (10a lead) Pitch 2 of "West Face", only go past the bolted belay, up a little then traverse straight right like 20 feet. Finally, step down about 12 feet into a gear belay in the alcove at the top of the first pitch of "Cucumbers"

Pitch 3: (10a TR) Drop down and toprope the 1st pitch of Cucumbers.

Pitch 4: (10c lead) Climb "Where Eagles Dare". 4 bolts, a handful of cams for above. After the last bolt, go straight up to a horizontal crack. Work back left to the belay at the base of the West Face 5.8 chimney.

Pitch 5: (5.8 lead) Climb to the summit anchors. Rappel.

Pitch 6: (10d TR) Toprope the Bard/Harrington finish to the Prow. Rappel again. Twice actually, to your pack and lunch.

Pitch 7: (10b lead) Climb the full second pitch of "Crack of No Hope", into the alcove below the open book.

Pitch 8: (10a TR) Drop down and toprope the 1st pitch of "Wild Kingdom"

Pitch 9: (10c lead) Climb pitch 2 of Wild Kingdom to the comfy, though loose, ledge beneath the "unlikely super thin flake".

Pitch 10: (10a TR, or 5.8 TR with sick dyno!) Drop down the right facing dihedral/flare 3rd pitch of "Crack of No Hope". Climb that 3rd pitch according to the topo but stop about halfway up, you'll figure it out.

Pitch 10.5: (10c TR) Lower down again and climb the "Marlon Perkins Variation" of Crack of No Hope, all the way back to the anchor.

Pitch 11: (10b lead) Climb the last pitch of "Crack of No Hope." Top out, work your way back down to the "summit" rappel station. (down climb or rappel from a horn at risk of snagging a rope.) Rappel twice more, stopping at the middle rappel station. (marked "A2, D2" in the book)

Pitch 12: (10d TR). Ok, beta intensive here. You can probably figure this out on your own, but a little help can't hurt. So, switch to climbing mode again, like tied in and stuff. Climber heads straight left along a "foot rail" type thing. Where this foot rail starts to drop down into a flare/chimney, you'll find a perfect crack to stuff 2 or 3 cams (red and green camalots) in as a directional. Do that, then lower down into the flare, lower all the way to where you had left your pack. Clear your harness of unnecessary crap, put on your pants and long sleeves and dive in, straight back up pitch 2 of "Cardinal Sin."

Rap off, walk down and score your lifetime supply of coffee at Cardinal Resort.

Bonus pitches: Of course, there's V-8 Crack, probably the best 5.10 crack in the area, but technically off the true Pinnacle. Then there's "Reach for the Sky". Looks to be easily toproped also, but rumor has it it's much closer to 5.11. As for other 5.10 pitches, there's the "Plight of Parted Lovers Variation", which wouldn't be too difficult to include. More difficult to deal with is "No Bozos." Maybe the full link up is a project for the next generation... Sep 11, 2009
Karsten Duncan
Sacramento, CA
Karsten Duncan   Sacramento, CA
Some of the finest granite you will find anywhere. I was wishing there was just more of it at this beautiful locale. Sep 9, 2010
Like others have said, superb quality granite.

A little more beta for the approach-- you can park pretty much directly under cardinal pinnacle. Paralleling the road is an abandoned/decaying paved road. Hike uphill on this road until you hit a kern, then hike straight up the talus field. Going this way lets you head up the talus field on the bigger blocks (as opposed to the smaller, looser talus to the climber's left of there). Jun 30, 2014
Stan Pitcher
Stan Pitcher   SLC, UT
Saw this crag first in a video featuring Peter Croft soloing all over it. It was an old but fairly well produced video with aerial footage. Anybody know where it can be found? Jul 27, 2015

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