”Petite Capucin” (Elevation ca. 12,250 feet)
Yosemite National Park, California, USA
First ascent August 1979
The Pilar Route (II, 5.10a)
is one of only two known rock climbs on the "Petite Capucin." This route is significant because it involves jumping from the summit of The Pillar over to a ledge on the main tower.
"Petite Capucin" and Matterhorn Peak
The Pillar Route and belay stations. You must jump from the summit of The Pillar to a ledge on the main tower.
Route DescriptionFIRST ASCENT DETAILS (August 1979):
Ascend easy arches to a good belay stance at the base of the Pillar (5.6).
Ascend a steep wide crack up the outside of The Pillar (5.8) and eventually move into the narrow chimney between The Pillar and the main spire. Belay in the notch between The Pillar and the main spire.
Second pitch: Climbing up the outside of The Pillar
Looking down from the notch between The Pillar and the main spire. Watch for loose rock!
Ascend to the top of The Pillar and jump (!) across to a ledge on the main spire. Alternatively, you can ascend very overhanging cracks from the notch to the ledge. Belay at the base of a very steep left-facing open book.
Rick Erker on top of The Pillar, getting ready to jump across. It looks close enough to stem across, but it's not.
Ascend thin cracks, pass a good-sized roof (5.10a) and continue up the very steep left-facing open book. Belay just below the summit.
Rick Erker leading the crux 5.10 roof
Very short (25 feet). The summit flake is more wide than it is tall, so it does not provide for a very good belay.
Ricker Erker on the summit
After 30 years, my memory of the descent route is a bit foggy. I believe that you can rappell either southeast or southwest to get off the summit.
If you rappell southwest, into Matterhorn Peak's East Couloir
, this photos shows the descent route:
The southwest side of "Petite Capucin" from Matterhorn Peak's East Couloir. Photo by vladislav
ReferencesSecor, R.J., The High Sierra: Peaks, Passes, and Trails, 2nd edition, p. 472
Sunset on the Sawtooth Ridge