East Pillar Mt Barnard

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 36.62830°N / 118.3217°W
Additional Information Route Type: Technical Rock Climb
Additional Information Time Required: A long day
Additional Information Difficulty: III 5.9
Sign the Climber's Log


The crux of this climb may well be the approach. Approach the route by hiking up George Creek. Ten miles north of Lone Pine follow dirt roads to the mouth of George Creek. There is parking at roads end for a few vehicles,a high clearance 4x4 vehicle is recomended for the last mile of the road. Begin hiking up the north side of the creek following a faint climbers trail. about 1/2 mile up the trail cross over to the south side when brush becomes to thick. Hike up the south side until your progress is blocked by a small cliff and waterfall. Cross over to the north side and hike a short distance clearing the water fall and cross back to the south side of the creek. Remember there is a faint trail try to stay on it! Hike along the south side of the creek for a few miles, hiking through willows, brush, log bridges and steep loose slopes until the creek splits at around 8800 feet. Cross to the north side and follow the right fork of the stream to about 10,000 feet where the stream forks again. At a small bivy site in some big pines,cross the stream again and climb a talus slope to the southwest , you will hike up to a small lake and your bivy site (Thank God) at about 11,000 feet. It takes all day to hike up George Creek with packs so get an early start. Enjoy the scenery there is a life time of climbing up this canyon.

Route Description

From the lake you can see the top of the East Pillar sticking up behind the Shaw Spire. Hike up talus slopes at the south end of the lake skirting the left side of the spire to the base of the east pillar, figure on at least a 60 to 90 minute approach from the lake.
The climb starts on a small snow field on the left center of the pillar up a 5.6 crack to a gully, to a large ledge system, 3 pitches( usung a 50m rope) Climb hand cracks past a small tower and belay below a large roof system (5.8 120ft). Traverse left and up across a crack laced face and belay at the bottom of a left facing dihedral ( 5.8 160 ft) Climb the dihedral past two roofs and belay atop the second roof (5.9+ 150 ft) Continue up a flare and hand crack (5.8 160 ft) Climb straight up easier cracks ( 5.7 160 ft) Climb cracks and belay at the base of a large right facing dihedral. (5.8 165 ft) Climb the dihedral.(5.9 120 ft) Continue climbing dihedral to the top ( 5.8 ) You may be able to climb the last two pitches as one but our rope got stuck.
We did this climb in eleven pitches with a 50m rope. The guide book calls this route a grade III climb but I felt it was grade IV .
Decent, Head north down talus slopes than east back to camp.

Essential Gear

Rack, one set of wire nuts, single cams to #2 metolious, double cams to #3 camalot, one #3.5 and # 4 camalot. If you want to climb the last 2 pitches in one pitch then you may want double cams down to a #1 metolius. Seven slings, one double sling and a few quickdraws. A 50 meter rope was sufficient for this climb, most of the pitches were a full rope length. you may want to bring a haul line as we were able to haul our pack on the harder pitches.

Miscellaneous Info

If your planing on bagging the summit of Mt Barnard from the summit of the East Pillar then you will need a couple of hours to hike to the summit. It will also take you about two hours to get back to camp.

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

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poorboy44 - May 16, 2005 1:18 pm - Hasn't voted

Route Comment

Car-->bivy at 10k, 6-8 hours.
Bivy-->East Pillar, 2-3 hours
Bivy--> car, 3 hours.

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