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Areas in Cathedral Spires Area

Church Tower 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Higher Cathedral Rock 11 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 12
Higher Cathedral Spire 5 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 5
Lower Cathedral Spire 6 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 6
Middle Cathedral Rock 34 / 3 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 37
Phantom Pinnacle 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Access Issue: Yosemite National Park climbing closures and conditions Details

Description

These beautiful twin spires lie to the east of Higher Cathedral Rock. They offer exciting climbing in a spectacular location. The views of El Cap and the Valley are awesome! Other surrounding rocks usually approached from the same starting point include Middle Cathedral Rock, Higher Cathedral Rock, Church Tower and Phantom Pinnacle.

Getting There

Park at Cathedral Rocks pullout, a turnout just before the short loop intersects with Southside Drive. This page's GPS show the pullout on the map.

Hike a trail through the woods east (left) from the south side of the road from the pullout. This hits the big trail running parallel to Cathedral Rocks, go left here then after a short hike pass a left branch, and you'll come to a junction with the fainter of the two trails heading right.

Lower Cathedral Spire is approached by going left around the spires and Upper Cathedral Spire is approached by going right and up the "Spires Gully", which is the same approach for Braille Book and Upper Cathedral Rock.

63 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Cathedral Spires Area

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 173
Braille Book
Trad 6 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 639
Central Pillar of Frenzy
Trad 5 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 104
Kor-Beck
Trad 6 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 232
Regular Route (Higher Cathedral Spire)
Trad 4 pitches
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a PG13
 194
Northeast Buttress
Trad 11 pitches
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 69
Pee Pee Pillar
Trad
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 27
Direct North Buttress (DNB)
Trad 17 pitches
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b R
 5
Freewheelin'
Trad 5 pitches
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
 22
Book of Job
Trad 6 pitches
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b R
 31
Stoner's Highway
Trad 10 pitches
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b A0
 553
East Buttress
Trad, Aid 11 pitches
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
 75
South by Southwest
Trad 5 pitches
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 22
Bircheff-Williams
Trad 5 pitches
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
 12
The Crucifix
Trad 5 pitches
5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c PG13
 3
Father Time
Trad 20 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Braille Book Higher Cathedral Rock
 173
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 6 pitches
Central Pillar of Frenzy Middle Cathedral Rock
 639
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad 5 pitches
Kor-Beck Middle Cathedral Rock
 104
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad 6 pitches
Regular Route (Higher Cathe… Higher Cathedral Spire
 232
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad 4 pitches
Northeast Buttress Higher Cathedral Rock
 194
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a PG13 Trad 11 pitches
Pee Pee Pillar Middle Cathedral Rock
 69
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
Direct North Buttress (DNB) Middle Cathedral Rock
 27
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad 17 pitches
Freewheelin' Middle Cathedral Rock
 5
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b R Trad 5 pitches
Book of Job Higher Cathedral Rock
 22
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad 6 pitches
Stoner's Highway Middle Cathedral Rock
 31
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b R Trad 10 pitches
East Buttress Middle Cathedral Rock
 553
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b A0 Trad, Aid 11 pitches
South by Southwest Lower Cathedral Spire
 75
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Trad 5 pitches
Bircheff-Williams Middle Cathedral Rock
 22
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Trad 5 pitches
The Crucifix Higher Cathedral Rock
 12
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Trad 5 pitches
Father Time Middle Cathedral Rock
 3
5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c PG13 Trad 20 pitches
More Classic Climbs in Cathedral Spires Area »

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Chris Owen
Big Bear Lake
Chris Owen   Big Bear Lake  
Opposite the west branch of El Capitan Drive there's a trail which heads into the woods, over some fallen trees, to hit the big trail running parallel to Cathedral Rocks, go left here then immediately right up a fainter trail, this will take you nicely up The Spires Gully. Cairns mark the way higher up in the talus.

If you're parked in the Cathedral Rocks pullout; take the trail from the pullout, this hits the big trail running parallel to Cathedral Rocks, go left here then after a short hike pass a left branch (the one mentioned above) and go right up the same fainter trail mentioned above. Sep 20, 2009
David R.
San Jose, CA
David R.   San Jose, CA
The approach description for Upper and Lower Spires is kinda confusing. In case it's not clear, Lower Cathedral Spire is approached by going left around the spires and Upper Cathedral Spire is approached by going right and up the "Spires Gully", which is the same approach for Braille Book and Upper Cathedral Rock. Jun 9, 2014

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