|Higher Cathedral Rock
Follow the northeast buttress through the fifth pitch. Traverse about 15ft left below a grungy looking arch with a pin. the Crucifix starts here. Make hard lay-back moves to a long reach into thin fingers. Follow this crack to an improbable appearing open book. Stem and smear past adequate protection to a roof, traversing left and above to easy low angle climbing. Belay at the base of the curved overhanging fist crack. Two #3 Camalots and two #3.5 Camalots will see you through the fists. The crack varies in size a bunch above. Belay at the base of a wide(#5 Camalot) crack. The first ten feet are brutal. This narrows to thin hands, capped by a right traverse. Your second will whine if you don't consider his protection here. Traverse to the right edge of the ledge and belay. Single bolt at your feet plus a pod for a 3/4 camalot. The crack above takes RPS and # 2 or 3 lowe balls. There may be something fixed. Make a few difficult stems to reach the finger crack. Follow this to an overhanging thin crack. Clip a fixed piece high in the crack, then descend a few feet and go left, lay-back. Reach high right, and get back into the crack. Place gear before the large hollow block and climb into the funky chimney. A #4 cam fits in the top. Pull through, and set a belay at the edge. Above is a short section of 5.10 fingers and the top.
Doubles to 3.5 Camalot. Plus a # 5. Small to medium nuts.
|By Scott Bennett|
May 22, 2010
FA: Jim Bridwell, Kevin Worrall. With "No pins, no bolts, no hammer, no food, 1 quart of water. Doubles on some hexes, not all, nothing bigger than a 10 hex and a few stoppers" and "one fuzzed out red and blue 150 ft Edelrid 9 mil that looked like it was salvaged from a food hang in camp."
Here's a pitch-by-pitch breakdown from a modern ascent:
P1: From the 2-bolt belay on the NEB (P5 on the MP description), go straight up the thin corner and past a roof (12b). Continue up the flared corner with thin pro (5.10). At the top of the corner, bust left around a roof to gain a low angle handcrack, and follow this to a belay with 1 good bolt and a slung chockstone. 160'.
P2: Up the obvious hand and fist crack, starting as a steep LF corner, becoming a vertical splitter with a few pods and flares. This pitch is #3 camalot sized nearly the whole way, with a few spots for smaller gear, and one spot for a larger cam (#4 Camalot). With 2 Blue Camalots, you can walk them up the entire way. Near the end of this pitch, the crack pinches down to fingers. Bust right here on good edges and big wedged flakes (felt secure) to a belay stance with 1 good bolt (backs up with #1-#3 Camalot). 5.10, 170'
P3: Up a hand crack to a small OW roof. Stemming helped here. Higher, encounter another OW section, with a few helpful crimps. You could protect this section with one #4 Camalot (new style worked fine), backcleaning it after the first OW roof to use on the second OW section. After the OW, follow a wide hands crack. When it pinches down to thin hands, make a big (~40') traverse right on a narrow ledge system (the right "arm" of the crucifix as seen from afar). Belay at the end of the ledge at 1 good bolt, with some backup gear at your feet. 5.10, 120'.
P4: Stem right off the end of the ledge (11c, super-exposed!), and up a thin corner (RPs). Continue up the corner on good fingers to another crux (11d) featuring a cool kneebar. Continue up and through more pumpy, sustained 5.10 climbing with good pro, eventually passing the huge roof on its right. Above the roof, trend left, topping out past one more 10+ crux. 180', belay off a tree. This pitch is one of the coolest pitches of free climbing I've done in the Valley!
Rack: 1x Black Alien, 2x Blue Alien->Red Camalot, 1x Gold Camalot, 2x Blue Camalot, 1x #4 Camalot (new style). Full set of wires with RPs, 14 QDs.
|By Ryan Curry|
May 25, 2011
Take care on the moves that gain the left side of the slender ledge on pitch 3 as there is a VERY loose flake guarding the ledge itself. Avoid the temptation to pull on the flake and instead plug your fingers into the dirt filled crack near it which, although not as pleasant as you'd like, is A LOT safer.
From: San Francisco, CA
Jun 20, 2011
If wide climbing is not your strong suit, bring fatter pro. And lots more of it.
Rack for a 5.10 climber: offset brassies, DMM offsets to grey, Black Alien, Blue Alien, full set of C3s, 2 each .4 to 1, 1 #2, 4 #3s (or still walk a bit with 3 #3s), 2 #4s, at least 1 #5 (if not two, seriously). No 6.
Rack for a 5.12 climber: what everyone says above.
A write up of our adventure here. Rad line. Great summer climb. Stays shady all afternoon. I've since led this at 5.11 C2, so I really do encourage more mediocre climbers like me to give this route a shot. Sitting on the arm of the Crucifix will make you giddy with joy.
|By walker emerson|
Oct 10, 2012
- **SPOILER*** IF YOU WANT TO RUIN AN SENSE OF ADVENTURE THEN KEEP READING.
Park at the intersection of El Capitan Dr and Southside Dr. Locate the main trail as if going to the Cathedral Boulders. Keep the boulders on your left and locate a dirt trail leading up the hill in the direction of Higher Cathedral. The trail switchbacks through the woods for about 20 minutes, it then joins the talus field that runs down the gully between higher cathedral spire and higher cathedral. Continue for another 20 minutes of steep boulder hoping until the base of higher cathedral is visible on the right. tunnels through manzanita for the final few minutes until you hit the wall. Walk a few hundred feet right along the base of the wall to a blocky terraced start.
I would suggest Symul climbing all the pitches to the base of the Crucifix. It will save on time. But for those who are not so risky, heres a play by play.
pitch 1. Climb up a short corner to a ledge. continue up the ledge through pine trees and past two mankey anchors. Climb another series of low angle cracks and featured faces to a large ledge with good gear placement for and anchor #3 - #.75 fits. Some symul climbing might be necessary, I climbed both the NEB and Crucifix with a 70 meter rope.
Pitch 2. Bust up a short fist crack for your first taste desperation. Meander up the face on featured holds and cracks to a belay by a Bay tree and a 10 feet Pillar.
Pitch 3. Climb the steep cracks pillars and laybacks past an intermediate belay. Stop at a nice ledge you will see the anchors for the Crucifix start and the ledge leading to the NEB.
Pitch 4. Traverse across the short face on good edges and abundant feet, protect with a #1.
Pitch 5. Belay from a 3 bolt anchor at the base of the 12b boulder problem and 5.10 flaring chimney. Place a small cam .3 in the first good finger bucket. The old pin that protects this move is toast. Pull a powerful move out around the corner place a .5 and make one more strenuous move. Mantle onto the ledge and know you have past the crux and the pressure is on. Place a small finger sized cam to protect the beginning of the flaring chimney. 2 or 3 small offset micro nuts gets you to a previously hidden crack in the wall behind you, climb the rest of the chimney with the help of a juggy #.75 crack. Turn the roof to the left and climb an easy hand sized crack to a belay at a bolt and a #2 piece
Pitch 6. The Money pitch. Maybe Take the #2 out of the belay and bring it with you. Climb the continuos #3 fist crack and dont leave that fisrt 3 till it gets steep and pinches down to hands. Climb to the first of 2 pods walking the 3s. At the first pod you can place a #.4 or yellow c3 behind a flake jammed into the crack. Taking your #3 with you continue to the next pod. From here the crack becomes thin hands and can be protected with #.75. Continue over the bulge past some hero moves on juggy flakes to a 1 bolt and #1 belay.
Pitch 7. The wide Pitch. Climb a perfect hand crack off the belay to a short wide section. If comfortable climbing wide then a wider cam such as a #4 or #5 is not necessary. Put it this way if you have climbed the NEB or Rostrum with-out a #4 or #5 then this wont be any different. Protect the start and end of the chimney with a #3. Climb double cracks to right under the intersection of the two cracks that make up the cross of the crucifix. Climb right via a baseball sized pocket to a ledge and a belay behind a block. If you continue up to the bolt above, the climbing looked harder to get out right.
Pitch 8. tarverse across a red stained ledge about 2 feet wide. past a .3 placement and then a bolt. Downmantle the ledge and step across into the corner via a basket ball hueco. Place a bomber #.4 and wipe your shoes. Stem through the short crux to a good crack. Coninue up the finger crack to a thought provoking redpoint crux. place a red c3 and handle the final moves of the day. Grab a good crimp with your right hand and lock off to the side pull out left a kneebar provides a quick shake. continue up the double cracks to a small roof and an easy steep finish belay here from an asortment of gear including a bomber #2.
Pitch 9. I went left on jugs to a dirty finger crack and over a short bulge to belay by a tree. but I hear this is not the correct finish. it was dark so....
Descent. Continue up 3rd or 4th class to a large dead tree and a false summit. traverse left to the southwest side of higher cathedral thru manzanita. Follow easy terrain down to the saddle. continue left down the saddle to the talus field and eventually around down to the base.
3 BD #3's
1 or 2 BD #2
1 BD #1
2 BD #.75 thru .4
1 BD #.3
1 BD yellow c3s
2 BD red c3s