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Anywhere else in the world, a rock formation the size and quality of Middle Cathedral Rock would be a full-on climbing area in it's own right. It has the unfortunate problem of residing right across the road from THE ROCK (El Capitan), however. Still, Middle Cathedral has some excellent, long free routes on it that are well worth checking out. The most popular route on MCR is probably The East Buttress (5.9 A0 or 10c), included in the 50 Classic Climbs of North America. The next most trafficed route is probably Central Pillar of Frenzy (5.9), a nice crack line to the right of the East Butt (most parties climb five pitches and then rappel).
Middle Cathedral Rock is the (surprise!) middle of the three Cathedral Rocks, found just south across the valley from El Capitan.
24 Total Routes
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Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Middle Cathedral Rock:
Kor-Beck 5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a Trad, 6 pitches, 600'
Central Pillar of Frenzy 5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a Trad, 5 pitches
Quicksilver 5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a R Trad, 4 pitches, 600'
Pee Pee Pillar 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ E1 5a Trad, 1 pitch, 95'
North Buttress 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ E1 5a Trad, 18 pitches, 2000'
Direct North Buttress (DNB) 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- E2 5b Trad, 17 pitches, 1700'
Ramer 5.10c 6b 20 VII E2 5b Sport, 1 pitch, 140'
East Buttress 5.10c 6b 20 VII E2 5b Trad, 11 pitches, 1100'
Ho Chi Minh Trail 5.10c 6b 20 VII E2 5b Trad, 19 pitches, 2000'
Stoner's Highway 5.10c 6b 20 VII E2 5b R Trad, 10 pitches, 1000'
Bircheff-Williams 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- E3 5c Trad, 5 pitches, 500'
Border Country 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- E6 6b R Trad, 12 pitches, 1800'
Featured Route For Middle Cathedral Rock
Bircheff-Williams 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- E3 5c CA : Yosemite National Park : ... : Middle Cathedral Rock
This is a five pitch line left of Central Pillar of Frenzy. I have only tried the first pitch, which can be toproped after descending the rappels for Central Pillar. The first pitch is thin climbing up a clean dihedral, leading to a short section of off-width that is easier than it may look. The crux is obvious as the finger crack peters out, and you have to negotiate 20 feet of extremely strenuous stemming on glassy feet. Consider the use of the arete out right if you are tall. There are two ...[more] Browse More Classics in CA
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