BETA PHOTO: Approach beta for Phantom Pinnacle
This is the long lost sister of the popular Cathedral Spires. Invisible from the road, it is tucked away in the large canyon to the east of the Spires. It's obscurity says nothing of it's quality however. It's both an impressive and shapely pinnacle and the climbing on it is excellent. There are two routes recorded in the Reid guide. The Left Side route (5.9) is a hidden gem that's on the radar of many Valley locals. The Outside Face (5.10d) takes an impressive and intimidating line up the east side of the pinnacle.
If you are not familiar with the approach to the routes on the Lower Cathedral Spire, you should maybe climb that first to learn the area.
Basically, both the Higher and Lower Spires, along with Church Tower, lie on a ridge of rock. Routes on Higher Spire are approached from the gully to the west (Spires Gully), and routes on Lower Spire (such as Northeast Face
and South by Southwest
) are approached from an unnamed gully to the east. To find Phantom Pinnacle you will first begin up this eastern gully as you would for routes on Lower Cathedral Spire.
At a point shortly after passing Church Tower (and a ways before Lower Spire) you will see a large buttress of rock off to the left. Leave the gully at this point and traverse left around this buttress through an open area of pine forest. As you round the left side of the buttress you will encounter worse bushwhacking. Your goal is to follow the base of this cliff uphill for a couple hundred yards, at which point the Phantom Pinnacle will become apparent.
Approach beta for Phantom Pinnacle
Climbing Season For the Cathedral Spires area.
Weather station 3.5 miles from here
1 Total Routes
['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',0],['2 Stars',1],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
Featured Route For Phantom Pinnacle
Phantom Pinnacle, Left 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a CA
: Yosemite National Park
: ... : Phantom Pinnacle
The Left Side of Phantom Pinnacle is higher quality than the 5.9 "Regular Routes" on either of the Cathedral Spires and you're almost guaranteed to have the place to yourself. It can be done in somewhere between 3 to 5 pitches. I climbed it, and will describe it in 3.Pitch 1: Climb a ramp up to a ledge (optional belay) and then climb steeper blocks and flakes in a corner past a tree to another ledge.Pitch 2: A steep and wild pitch! Climb the right side of a large flake (in the corner) off the be...[more] Browse More Classics in CA
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BETA PHOTO: Phantom Pinnacle from the approach.