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Megan leading up the first pitch
You can really climb all over the southest buttress. You get the most climbing if you start at it's lowest point, in the middle. Many people start up and to the right a little, which loses some vertical, and the first pitch over there isn't so good.
However you start, after 3 pitches, steadily increasing from 5.3 to 5.6, you'll probably be funneled into a chimney. It can get crowded here, and a backpack can be a real pain. Climb around to the left and it's smooth sailing however.
There are so many options, passing people is generally easy if you're competent at the grade, and there are usually people all over the face.
A spectacular climb not to be missed.
Normal full rack. No huge cams needed.
Megan on the summit block.
Tony Tennessee - P6
First pitch of Cathedral Peak, you can see the 5.4...
Dalon following and jamming the first pitch 5.4 fu...
Brian leading pitch 2 toward the next tree ledge ...
Echo Peaks from the top of the 4th pitch.
Cathedral Peak in mid-June.
BETA PHOTO: Packy following up the beginning of P2.
BETA PHOTO: Route tracing: NA 50 CLASSIC!
Tamara on p2 of the "original" route up cathedral ...
the SE Buttress
joe stefani toping out on the se buttress
View up the chimney on the 4th pitch.
April, Filip, and Alberto solo train their way up ...
April does a bit of light reading on the summit of...
Such a great view from the summit
Climber on the SE buttress
Just below the summit on Cathedral peak
The summit of Cathedral peak. A definite must do ...
Anne finishing the last section before the summit
Anne enjoying the spectacular summit and the rewar...
The possibilities are limitless.
View from the top of Cathedral Peak July, 2009
Jessi cleaning gear on pitch 2
Monica soloing Cathedral Peak.
J on the SE buttress
SE buttress solo
Lisa Pritchett Leading the Southwest Buttress
Joan Bertini on the Southwest Buttress
Happy at the peak.
Euan on the summit with eichorns pinnacle behind
A party of three on the summit of Cathedral Peak, ...
Alternate 5.7 route to the left of the chimney, th...
“This, I may say, is the first time I have been at...
cathedral peak from JMT
Matisse on summit, May 2012
View from the approach
View from the top.
On the summit looking south/ southwest back at the...
Unknown climber high on the SE Buttress of Cathedr...
climber on the southeast buttress
|Comments on Southeast Buttress
|By Chris Owen|
From: La Crescenta and Big Bear Lake
Aug 15, 2006
A great classic to a wonderful summit.
From: Oakland Park, Florida
Aug 21, 2006
We decided to take a line on the left most side. There was only one other party on the climb when we started. I lead a knobby arete left of the 5.6 offwith for a variation. My wife and I were all smiles on the awesome summit.
From: Las Vegas, NV
Aug 28, 2006
PERFECT climb that is NOT to be missed; great protection most of the time (by Tuolumne standards) with a truly classic and amazing summit! I prefer the standard start as the first 5.4 splitter crack is a blast; also don't skip the chimney, it's a lot of fun (getting actually inside the thing is the crux) as chimneys go! We noticed many parties getting somewhat confused at the top wondering "which way to go", when you hit that final steep wall, follow the wide looking crack on the left side up to a stance and then over the huge flakes to the amazing summit!!!! Have Fun
PS: The downclimb from the summit looks much harder than it actually is, if you're freaked out I would recommend downleading this section as it's really easy to set up and do!!
|By Josh Hibbard|
From: Los Angeles Area, CA
Mar 23, 2007
Great climb! It seems that many parties bottle neck at the chimney, so plan accordingly. Also, there are many features inside the chimney, so you don't need to actually "chimney" the whole thing (which was a concern for me due to the pack I was carrying).
|By Greg DeMatteo|
From: W. Lebanon, NH
Apr 7, 2008
One of the greatest summits of all time.
|By Tevis Blom|
Jul 10, 2008
Very cool climb and spectacular summit. We climbed the right side-ish, over many crystal studded faces, and avoided the chimney traffic jam by climbing a 5.7(?) hand/fist crack about 15' to the right. We were able to pass several parties and do the route in 4 near-rope-length pitches (w/a 70 M rope). I had a double rack, and of course had gear left over, but found placements for everything from nuts to 4" cam.
The walk-off was pretty easy after finding the way down the back slabs (kind of a zig-zag pattern), we saw a few parties rapping over this section, but there is an exposed 3rd. class descent that is a bit faster.
Make sure to bury any food under the talus to keep the marmots from stealing it.
Don't forget your headlamps!!! (if you start late)
|By Josh Hibbard|
From: Los Angeles Area, CA
Sep 16, 2010
Looks like there are two "rap stations" off the 3rd/4th class decent as of 9/6/2010. The first is a few slings around a small tree. The second is around a block. We happened to rap off the first station (toward climbers left) to a long, thin "ledge" that we took to the ridge and down the now well marked trail.
|By Page Weil|
Sep 20, 2010
Beautiful and easy climbing. Lots of pitches to practice your trad placements on. My partner and I started slightly left of center at the toe of the buttress and ended up on an "interesting" third pitch. There is a lieback crack between two completely blank walls. My partner did it as a difficult offwidth. The topo for the route on Supertopo labels this area as "not recommended"; i'd call it 5.10 at least.
At the chimney there was a minor bottleneck but at the belay station for the last pitch there was a serious bottleneck. We stood there with 4 other parties for literally 90 minutes waiting for summiting parties to clear the last pitch. We couldn't bail out because we were well above the last set of rap rings. Several people on the ledge were nearly hypothermic and we didn't get off until well after dark. Expect at least 8 to 10 parties on a weekend day. Bring headlamps and anything you need to wait for a couple of hours and hike off in the dark because it very well could happen.
If you are climbing with parties behind you, be considerate and climb quickly and clean the route so others can follow. If you are moving slowly, let others pass you. One slow group at the beginning of the day put 4 other groups in serious danger.
Putting in an additional rap station at the ledge before the final pitch could help a lot.
|By Dave Alden|
From: San Diego, CA
Feb 28, 2011
rating: 5.6 PG13
Fun alpine route with spectacular views.
Aug 3, 2011
As good as people say. Although, I will say this. This is NOT the place to learn multi pitch climbing folks. Despite its easy, laid-back climbing. This is a fairly involved climb that does require efficient technique, decent route-finding, good time-management and the ability to deal with multiple other parties, above and below you. Do not come here to hone your multi pitch skills, you're either in for an epic or a royal pain in the ass for others. :) Also, there is no way in hell this is to be considered a PG13 route(above rating). There is more pro than you could ever want.
|By Chris D|
From: the couch
Sep 19, 2011
With all the hype I'd read about this route I was pleasantly surprised to find that it surpassed all of my expectations. From the surprise splitter crack on the first pitch to the fun and easy chimney to the unbelievable summit panorama, this route is truly full-value. There's a lot of steep gully hiking, but it's broken up by a variety of climbing challenges, albeit solidly within the reach of any 5.6 leader with some route-finding skills. There might be one short section of face climbing that can't be protected. The rest is either cruiser or really easy to protect.
The supertopo for this route is spot-on. Use it and you almost can't get lost. A very "civilized" peak, with an easy to follow trail, clear approach, and absolutely spectacular views from the car to the summit.
DON'T miss Eichorn's Pinnacle on the way out! Don't believe what the nay-sayers say about the quality of the climbing...it's great fun, and the summit gives an awesome view of Cathedral Peak, Matthes Crest, Budd Lake, and an ocean of unparalleled beautiful granite.
A day I won't soon forget!
Jul 8, 2012
What a great climb! What a great day! Trad-with-Dad with my 12 y.o. daughter. Wish we had enough time for the Pinnacle.
The only surprise we had was the descent. We were the second-to-last party and it was starting to get dark. Getting the last climber off the small summit block requires either some 5.6ish downclimbing or a "toprope belay" (drape the rope over the block and have the first descender belay from below and behind. Of course, the rope will snag when you pull it.
Luckily, another climber led us down, but it was a bigger slog than I expected. If anyone has better descent beta, please add it!
Once off the block, the basic idea was to scramble down the back side, staying skiers left until you find a way to traverse all the way to the right ridgeline. Hop over the ridge and pick up a climbers trail that leads back to the base. I guesstimate that we crossed the ridgeline 100-150 yards from the summit.
|By Ryan Myers|
From: Tempe, Arizona
Nov 11, 2012
The Cathedral Peak and Eichorn's Pinnacle link-up was an incredible day in the mountains. Highly recommended.