Type: Trad, Alpine, 50 ft
FA: Tom Higgins Bud Couch
Page Views: 6,259 total · 87/month
Shared By: vincent L. on Jun 23, 2013
Admins: M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

You & This Route

6 Opinions

Your To-Do List:

Add To-Do · View List

Your Star Rating:

     Clear Rating

Your Difficulty Rating:

-none- Change

Your Ticks:

Add New Tick
Access Issue: Yosemite National Park climbing closures and conditions Details


Panic Pillar is the closest pillar to the summit of Cathedral. The route described here is on the west face of the pillar. Start by climbing a steep handcrack until you gain a small stance on the pillar itself. Clip a mangled rusty piton , you can also fiddle a small cam or nut in to backup the pin. This is the last pro on the route.

Make some exposed face moves to gain another small ledge . From here you are fully committed on the pillar. You must make two distinct 5.9 moves on mostly positive knobs to reach the summit jugs on top.

There is (1) old quarter inch bolt on top with a newer looking quick link through it. You can bring up a second from the top. To descend, run the rope through the quick link , and then run the rope around a solid horn on top. You can safely rap from the bolt and horn.

Panic Pillar is an excellent adventure after a Cathedral summit or on your way to Eichorn. It is a pretty serious lead, and the fall potential near the top should not be underestimated.


Old piton halfway up, old bolt on top


Bobby Mustard
  5.9 R
Bobby Mustard  
  5.9 R
Awesome route! Just as an update, there is no quicklink on the old bolt anymore, and the piton is bashed in so that you can't clip it. Bring a 0 TCU (.2 BD) and a small nut, the gear seems bomber. You can also try to sling a horn on the ledge above the piton, but I don't know how well that would actually work in holding a fall.
This route is not sandbagged at all, and feels pretty comfy as far as 5.9R goes.

Get at it! Jul 9, 2016