With an elevation of 892 m (2,927 ft) and a prominence of 348 m (1,142 ft), Pillar is the eighth highest peak in the Lake District. Its parent peak is Great Gable and it is classified as a Marilyn, a Hewitt, a Nuttall and a Wainwright. It is also the highest point of the Pillar group. It is located between the valleys of Ennerdale to the north and Wasdale to the south and takes its name from Pillar Rock, the birth of rock climbing in the Lake District.
The summit is wide and covered with grass and patchy stones. An Ordnance Survey triangulation column sits beside a cairn and a wind shelter. There is another wind shelter located at the northern edge, from which there is a striking view of Pillar Rock. From the summit, all the major fells groups are visible with the exception of the Coniston range. There are superb views of Loweswater and Ennerdale Water.
Usually, ascents begin from Wasdale Head, which provides the nearest road access. From here, the popular route runs via Black Sail Pass between Wasdale and Ennerdale, and there is either a direct route up to the summit or a more challenging scramble by way of Pillar Rock. Pillar can also be climbed from Ennerdale, beginning at the Youth Hostel at Black Sail, but this involves a longer trek to the Youth Hostel which has no direct road access.
Pillar is often ascended as part of the Mosedale Horseshoe, which includes summiting Scoat Fell, Red Pike and Yewbarrow, with an option to include Kirk Fell.
Pillar rock is a magnet for climbers. It’s classified as a Nuttall in its own right due to having a prominence of more than 15 m (49 ft), but is the only peak on the list which requires rock climbing skills to summit it.