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Cathedral Wall
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Kor Route 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a R

   
Type:  Trad, Alpine, 7 pitches, Grade III
Consensus:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Laton Kor and friend
Page Views: 3,044
Submitted By: paco on Jan 23, 2002

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Bert is following the "scary" traverse pitch. The...

Description 

Cathedral Wall is similar in nature to Hallett but is often steeper, more runout and sees little or no traffic.

Keep in mind the three stars I gave this route is on the Cathedral wall quality scale. So, don't expect a Culp-Bossier or a Syke's Sickle. However, DO expect a super, steep route that will always have you on your toes and wondering where the hell to go next.

The Rossiter guide seemed to have a fairly accurate topo for this route, and don't forget the trusty 60m rope to link a few of the pitches.

I still can't believe Kor sent those runouts in his natty old hiking boots! What a bad ass.

Per PatrickV:

For those wanting to avoid the 5.9x terrain that lurks about, read further.

The Rossiter topo shows pretty accurately how to get to the base, look for a large, right-facing dihedral about two pitches up that is about 100 feet long and capped with a small ledge with some Bonsai type trees. The climb starts in the obvious weakness/dihedral leading up to this larger dihedral.

P1. 5.6 lead up and left over an easy face and ledge into the base of the smaller, right-facing dihedral system that leads up to the base of the large dihedral, belay once the dihedral system is reached. This is a short 40 foot pitch.

P2. Go up the dihedral system until at the base of the large, landmark, open-book dihedral. 5.8 and a little loose.

P3. Take the intermittent finger crack in the left wall of the large, open-book dihedral almost to the top, and when it starts to peter out step right into the dihedral proper and follow it to a cramped tree filled ledge, 5.9+ and the best pitch on the route.

P4. Above the ledge is a small, white, right-arching arch with thin gear, surmount this (5.8), and once above move over the easy runout Culp-Bossier style face (5.6/5.7) to the left and then straight up to a ledge system. Just above this ledge system is a 40-foot, left-facing, open-book dihedral with a ledge at the base, belay here (I seem to remember some pins here), 5.8.

P5. this is where the climb starts to get more serious, looking back on it I think we were off route on this pitch, so take the description with a grain of salt. Move up the dihedral on 5.9 terrain with several fixed pins climbing a crack in the left wall of the dihedral. After about 50 feet, I reached an obvious balancy no hands traverse left.

Now you are headed for a stance at the base of an obvious, right-facing dihedral capped by a blackish roof that you have to undercling (this is the next pitch). The guidebook says to look for a roof to surmount off the traverse ledge on jugs, but the closest I came was a small overlap (not a roof at all) about 60 feet out with some jugs above it. My last piece was a good cam 25 feet to the right on the ledge, I placed a sling around a horn (which protected the moves off the ledge, but it promptly came off when I was above it) and pulled some 5.8 moves on jugs to a stance about twenty feet of the ledge. The only gear here was a smallish 3 or 4 RP in a good placement. I traversed up and left on licheny mildy loose faceclimbing with some off balance .8+ face moves a good 15 to twenty feet above the rp to reach the stance at the bas of the dihedral on the next pitch. This pitch was exciting to say the least, 5.8+R/X (if the RP breaks, it is 50 ledgy feet to your next piece), but I think there is an easier way to do it, perhaps further to the left.

P6. climb up the licheny but cool dihedral and undercling right around the roof (5.9), and make sure you head right instead of following the incipient crack straight up. I believe there is a good belay out right after this roof. For I went straight up the incipient crack and could only get a marginal hanging belay.

P7. for the next pitch, I led up and left on crappy rock below a left-angling roof system towards the now close arete. This pitch was definitely off route with scrappy 5.9X moves protected by psychological pro (I left a blue TCU and RP which are probably still there luring people off route) and a marginal belay. The arete which I turned to the left of the roofs via a .10a move (also poorly protected). Later, I found good gear and lowered to the belay.

The real route goes out right through a small roof on standard, alpine runout 5.8R terrain up into a large, right-facing dihedral which ends at a massive ledge. Above this ledge is 150 feet of easy 5.6 to the top of the wall. Head up and to the left (west-ish) around the cliffs at the top to get on the easy west trending ridge that leads to the Petit and Sharkstooth. Search around for the right descent gully and gain the Andrews Glacier trail.

This route is a great adventure route on one of the most adventurous walls in the par. It has the potential to lure the climber into some truly scary terrain. Keep your head about you, and you'll find your way up, a reasonable route does exist through all those roofs. You will also have a true apprectiation of Kor's abillities once it is all over. It has a short approach, too.

Per Henry Lester: Here are some additions/corrections to Pat Vernon's description that will help anyone using these comments and description.

Pitch 5: Above the grassy ledge there is a large sloping ledge (with some fixed gear); there are two corners above; the larger one faces left and a smaller one faces right. Climb the right-facing corner; this leads to a 1 to 2 foot ledge. There is an old pin in a flake; as you move left on the ledge you can put a large cam(s) into the crack formed by the ledge and the wall. As you move left along the ledge, you will come to a point where the ledge pinches down; carefully traverse past this point. Now you are directly below the black roofs and the corner leading into them. Move up on a large handle hold and with a little difficulty get stood up on the hold. There is an old style #1.5 Friend placement on the right in a shallow horizontal slot; move a little higher to good RP placements; the anchors are 10 feet above.

Pitch 6: up the corner and around the overhangs. We belayed out right as suggested. It is OK but requires some of the same gear as the pitch. In retrospect, I think the small crack above the right side of the overhang would be satisfactory. The route then goes up right of this crack or, if you belay out right, straight up. Straight up is 5.7 onto a sloping ledge at the base of a short, right-facing corner. Go up the corner and out around the left side. Move up and left on thin cracks with small pro. You will see the exit dihedral above.


Protection 

Bring your standard high peak rack up to maybe a #3 Camalot. RPs and HBs may also come in handy. This route is of good rock quality but has some fairly serious runouts and devious route finding.



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Ross on the 3rd pitch....
Ross on the 3rd pitch....
Comments on Kor Route Add Comment
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By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
Mar 22, 2002

AC is referring to Kor's Flake on Sundance Buttress at Lumpy, I guess. It's left of Turnkorner, I'm not sure the best way to identify the correct start. The route here has nothing to do with Kor's Flake (except Layton!).

By Patrick Vernon
From: Albuquerque, NM
Mar 12, 2007

Did this last summer, I really liked this route as it had some real adventure on it. The first half was standard, alpine climbing with an excellent 5.9 crack in a dihedral and an easy runout 5.7 face. The second half where the route steepens provided hard routefinding a little but not too much loose rock, and some truly scary pitches, although I think we were off route for those.

For those willing to keep the adventure, don't read any further.

For those wanting to avoid the 5.9x terrain that lurks about, read further.

The Rossiter topo shows pretty accurately how to get to the base, look for a large right facing dihedral about two pitches up that is about 100 feet long and capped with a small ledge with some Bonsai type trees. The climb starts in the obvious weakness/dihedral leading up to this larger dihedral.

1. 5.6 lead up and left over an easy face and ledge into the base of the smaller, right-facing dihedral system that leads up to the base of the large dihedral, belay once the dihedral system is reached. Short 40 foot pitch.

2. go up the dihedral system until at the base of the large, landmark, open-book dihedral. 5.8 and a little loose.

3. take the intermittent finger crack in the left wall of the large, open-book dihedral almost to the top, and when it starts to peter out step right into the dihedral proper and follow it to a cramped tree filled ledge. 5.9+ best pitch on the route.

4. above the ledge is a small, white, right-arching arch with thin gear, surmount this (5.8), and once above move over the easy runout Culp-Bossier style face (5.6/5.7) to the left and then straight up to a ledge system. Just above this ledge system is a 40-foot, left-facing, open-book dihedral with a ledge at the base, belay here (I seem to remember some pins here) 5.8.

5. this is where the climb starts to get more serious, looking back on it I think we were off route on this pitch, so take the description with a grain of salt. Move up the dihedral on 5.9 terrain with several fixed pins climbing a crack in the left wall of the dihedral. After about 50 feet, I reached an obvious balancy no hands traverse left.

Now you are headed for a stance at the base of an obvious, right-facing dihedral capped by a blackish roof that you have to undercling (this is the next pitch). The guidebook says to look for a roof to surmount off the traverse ledge on jugs, but the closest I came was a small overlap (not a roof at all) about 60 feet out with some jugs above it. My last piece was a good cam 25 feet to the right on the ledge, I placed a sling around a horn (which protected the moves off the ledge, but it promptly came off when I was above it) and pulled some 5.8 moves on jugs to a stance about twenty feet of the ledge. The only gear here was a smallish 3 or 4 RP in a good placement. I traversed up and left on licheny mildy loose faceclimbing with some off balance .8+ face moves a good 15 to twenty feet above the rp to reach the stance at the bas of the dihedral on the next pitch. This pitch was exciting to say the least, 5.8+R/X (if the RP breaks, it is 50 ledgy feet to your next piece), but I think there is an easier way to do it, perhaps further to the left.

6. climb up the licheny but cool dihedral and undercling right around the roof (5.9), and make sure you head right instead of following the incipient crack straight up. I believe there is a good belay out right after this roof. For I went straight up the incipient crack and could only get a marginal hanging belay.

7. for the next pitch, I led up and left on crappy rock below a left-angling roof system towards the now close arete. This pitch was definitely off route with scrappy 5.9x moves protected by psychological pro (I left a blue TCU and RP which are probably still there luring people off route) and a marginal belay. The arete which I turned to the left of the roofs via a .10a move (also poorly protected). Later, I found good gear and lowered to the belay.

The real route goes out right through a small roof on standard, alpine runout 5.8 R terrain up into a large, right-facing dihedral which ends at a massive ledge. Above this ledge is 150 feet of easy 5.6 to the top of the wall. Head up and to the left (west-ish) around the cliffs at the top to get on the easy west trending ridge that leads to the Petit and Sharkstooth. Search around for the right descent gully and gain the Andrews Glacier trail.

This route is a great adventure route on one of the most adventurous walls in the par. It has the potential to lure the climber into some truly scary terrain. Keep your head about you, and you'll find your way up, a reasonable route does exist through all those roofs. You will also have a true apprectiation of Kor's abillities once it is all over. Short approach, too.

By Dougald MacDonald
Mar 22, 2007

Pat, I think you were on route for the run-out fifth pitch. The way you describe it is exactly the way I went last summer, and it seemed to match the guidebook description pretty well. That pitch seems to go by following your nose past the pins and those key jugs, aiming generally up and left for the right-facing corner with the black roof. The pitch above that black roof? Who the hell knows where you're supposed to go. But it seems to work out.... Very enjoyable route, I thought.

By Patrick Vernon
From: Albuquerque, NM
May 5, 2007

Hey Dougald,

You're probably right about the fifth pitch, maybe it was an off day for me, but it seemed pretty serious, more serious than say the first pitch of the Journey Home in the Black (which I had done recently).

The pitch above the black roof we were definitely off route though, some very scary climbing, much more serious than the climbing we found when we got back on route.

I agree, very enjoyable adventure route, I'll probably be back for another route this season! This is my new hallets.

-Pat Vernon

By tom Jensen
Jul 13, 2007

Definitely have your wits about you and a strong head at the 11 range before you jump on this! I did it a few years ago with Kevin Gillest, and we got our money's worth and then some. Mostly face climbing with the withering crack line leading to nowhere thrown in just to keep thing interesting. You just swear you are off route the whole time and are climbing a new adventure route. The 5th pitch was mine and I remember the traverse..back and forth zigzagging...away from the gear....oooh shite....crazy! An incredible secluded setting (but a short approach...1/2 the Petit approach) with that great "north wall" feel. Long runnouts on sketchy gear, but the climbing itself is reasonable. An extremely fulfilling day.

By Ben Collett
Jul 5, 2010

Just a note on quality: The Dalke route is better and cleaner than this route. It is still thoroughly worth doing. It is definitely a 5.9 for the 5.11 climber. On the pitch above the treed ledge, it may be best not to heed the advice from Rossiter's guidebook about following the arch immediately behind the tree (I went up that one and then came back down it when it did not feel right). Perhaps it is the one to the left. I went right, then up, then back left and it was rather exciting- probably not the best way to go. Definitely bring the RPs.

By Henry Lester
Jul 11, 2011

Here are some additions/corrections to Pat Vernon's description that will help anyone using these comments and description. Pitch 5: Above the grassy ledge there is a large sloping ledge (with some fixed gear); there are two corners above; the larger one faces left and a smaller one faces right. Climb the right-facing corner; this leads to a 1 to 2 foot ledge. There is an old pin in a flake; as you move left on the ledge you can put a large cam(s) into the crack formed by the ledge and the wall. As you move left along the ledge, you will come to a point where the ledge pinches down; carefully traverse past this point. Now you are directly below the black roofs and the corner leading into them. Move up on a large handle hold and with a little difficulty get stood up on the hold. There is an old style #1 1/2 Friend placement on the right in a shallow horiz. slot; move a little higher to good RP placements; the anchors are 10 feet above. Pitch 6: up the corner and around the overhangs. We belayed out right as suggested. It is OK but requires some of the same gear as the pitch. In retrospect, I think the small crack above the right side of the overhang would be satisfactory. The route then goes up right of this crack or, if you belay out right, straight up. Straight up is 5.7 onto a sloping ledge at the base of a short, right-facing corner. Go up the corner and out around the left side. Move up and left on thin cracks with small pro. You will see the exit dihedral above.

By Joseffa Meir
Aug 8, 2011

Found an old style, rigid Friend at the base of Kor's Route. If it's yours, contact me with size of cam and tape markings and I'll get it back to you. Thanks everyone for the beta in the previous comments. Climbed the route Saturday and found the info very helpful. Couldn't get a Camalot in the shallow, horizontal slot after the P5 crux, so I assume you really need the old style Friend as mentioned. Luckily the good RP placement isn't too far up. Also, don't underestimate the amount of climbing/scrambling left after P7. It was still a ways to go up and over to Andrew's Glacier. Great route though!

By Ross
From: Pinewood Springs
Aug 8, 2012
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R

Scarier than "Birds of Fire".