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Church Tower

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Church Tower  

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Administrators: M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Doug Hemken on Jun 12, 2014
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Church Tower and Lower Spire from Middle Cathedral...

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Church Tower is a relatively little known spire, yet thousands of people walk right by it every year on their way to Middle and Higher Cathedral Rocks, and Lower and Higher Cathedral Spires. The Tower, and 3 or 4 routes on it, were described in Roper's Guide to the Valley (the Green Book), and it is obliquely mentioned in Reid, but has mostly fallen off the radar.

According to Valley legend, Church Tower is frequently climbed in the mistaken belief that it is actually Lower Cathedral Spire!

Getting There 

From the Spires Gulley parking area(s), head up the climbers' trail toward Lower Cathedral Spire. This consists of following the trail back into the woods, walking left (east) a few dozen yards along the horse trail, then taking a trail toward the right (south). After a few dozen more yards, where the trail forks, take a left toward the Cathedral Boulders. Walk back through the boulders and continue up the trail that exits south and up, out of the back of the area. This steep user trail heads up a slope to the left (east) of the Spires. Continue up through the forest until you emerge into a boulder-strewn gulley. From here you can see the lower northeast side of Church Tower. For the East Arete or the SW Arete routes you want to continue up the boulder-strewn gulley until you can clearly see the saddle between Church Tower and Lower Cathedral Spire.

Climbing Season

Weather station 3.2 miles from here

2 Total Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',0],['2 Stars',1],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',1]

Featured Route For Church Tower
Church Tower, as seen from the approach

East Arete 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a  CA : Yosemite National Park : ... : Church Tower
The East Arete is a mountaineering route in the middle of the Valley. It begins with a few chimney moves, climbs up a couple of pitches to a shoulder, then traverses along an airy ridge to a penultimate perch poised over hundreds of feet of air. The final summit block is just big enough to stand on.Pitch One - start at the oak with five trunks. Chimney past two chockstone/steps, then wander up to a notch in the ridgeline.Pitch Two - head up the shattered chimney. There is (in 2014) an ok fix...[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

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