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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
Vincent and Paul on Panic Pillar.
Vincent and Paul on Panic Pillar, 6/22/13
Dean Potter highline . Photo by Mikey Schaefer .