Mixed Alpine Rock Day

While summer rock climbing means a tee shirt, rock shoes and a chalk bag the same route under winter conditions coated in snow and ice calls for a totally different approach. Bulky clothing, heavy boots and gloved hands turns easy pitches into a much more difficult ascent.

But it is fun! The weather is not quite as bad as it seems from the comfort of home and we like to view this style of climbing as just another aspect of the whole mountaineering experience. And if you are thinking of honing your skills and taking them to Alaska or the greater ranges of the world we have just out of Bishop a great fun climb.

Cardinal Pinnacle sits above the small cluster of houses at Aspendell and the Cardinal Village Resort and is barely a quarter mile above the winter road closure. A thumb of erosion resistant granite, the pinnacle projects from the hillside and is cleaved by many fine crack systems and corners.

We take the Regular Route that is rated 5.6 and is some five pitches in length. We hike up the snow covered North Lake Road a short distance before cutting up the hillside some five hundred feet to the start of the climbing. A couple of lower angle pitches with a few tricky steps lead to the main feature; a big corner that rises behind a tower, choked with snow and finishing in a chockstone that is often glazed in icicles. The descent is straightforward down a snowy gully and then a back to the cars.

Program Prerequisites:

You need prior rock climbing experience to get the most out of this program. You should be familiar with basic knot and belaying skills. If you are not current with these skills then spend an hour or two at a local gym to get up to speed. You should be able to climb at about a 5.8 level in the summer since 5.6 in winter is probably going to feel as hard, if not harder!!!

Program Inclusions:

Price includes guiding, permits, and all necessary group climbing gear. You bring food for the day. We do not include accommodation in the pricing but can make local suggestions for you.

Please Read before you go

We feel the following information is essential... (links open as PDF in new window)

  1. Details, itinerary, and equipment list for your trip
  2. SMC Cancellation Policy
  3. Suggestions on preparation - get the most out of your trip!
  4. Tips on physical training for your trip
  5. LNT - Let's work together to protect our precious mountain environment.

PDF Maps:

Cardinal Pinnacle topo

Rental Equipment:

Need to rent equipment for your trip? We can help.