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Areas in Cathedral Peak

North Buttress 12 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 14 / 14
Panic Pillar 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 1
Southeast Slopes 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 2
Elevation: 10,587 ft
GPS: 37.848, -119.406 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 151,664 total · 1,012/month
Shared By: Nick Wilder on Jun 22, 2006 with updates from Anson
Admins: M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes
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Access Issue: Yosemite National Park climbing closures and conditions Details

Description

One of the most stunning peaks in Yosemite, Cathedral is blessed with some great moderate climbing. The approach takes about an hour and is long enough from the road and hiking trails to give you a little peace (often to be shared with many climbers - start early).

The summit is a small block big enough for a couple people to squeeze on. Their might be bolts on the top, but usually not. Downclimbing off the summit block can be scary, but John Muir did it in 1869, so you can too.

It's a great big lightning rod - get off ASAP if thunder comes your way. Other than descending, escaping up and right is the usually possible until you get to talus.

Getting There

From the Cathedral Lakes trailhead, take the main trail for 10 minutes. Soon after a set of stone steps look, look for a major climbers trail branching left (see photo). Do not get suckered into an earlier, smaller path that follows the stream. Keep on the trail until it fades away near the base Cathedral Peak. Pick the easiest path to the lowest point of the southeast buttress.

17 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Cathedral Peak

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
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Photos

Countzen Shin
Santa Monica, CA
Countzen Shin   Santa Monica, CA
The climbers route Beta in the Tulumnoe free climbs guide book (supertopo.com/packs/tuolfre… ) is pretty off. We were hiking in pre-sunrise and using that book as beta for the approach and got pretty lost. The actual climbers trail has been uploaded by me to wikiloc.com.

wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do…

Also some descent beta since I couldn't find visuals anywhere.
wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do… Oct 17, 2014
ARMoss  
We spent ~30 minutes thinking we'd either missed our turn off the Cathedral Lakes Trail or hadn't gone far enough. General consensus at the base of the cliff was that the approach description was misleading. In case you don't have service to click on the links below, our opinion is that a better description of the approach would be:

From the Cathedral Lakes trailhead, take the main trail for 10 minutes. Soon after a set of stone steps look, look for a major climbers trail branching left. Follow this trail, continuing up the valley and out onto slabs, watching for cairns to mark the way. After ~1.5 miles, you will see the trail split. Do not get suckered into the smaller path that follows the stream. Keep on the trail until it fades away near the base Cathedral Peak. Pick the easiest path to the lowest point of the southeast buttress. Sep 1, 2015
David Knowles
Palo Alto, CA
David Knowles   Palo Alto, CA
Currently the turn off from JMT is marked by a cairn on either side of the trail. Also the NPS have done amazing work making a legit descent trail. Use it! Jul 2, 2018

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