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Routes in Lower Cathedral Spire

Hail To The Chief T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a A3 R
Long Live The Chief (free var. Hail To The Chief headwall) T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c PG13
Northeast Face T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Regular Route T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Regular Route - Direct Start T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
South by Southwest T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Elevation: 5,854 ft
GPS: 37.714, -119.631 Google Map · Climbing Map
Page Views: 11,385 total, 85/month
Shared By: Blitzo on Nov 29, 2006
Admins: M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

Description

As viewed from the north (or valley side), this spire is on the left.

It was first ascended in August 1934, by Richard Leonard, Jules Eichorn and Bestor Robinson, by the Regular Route.

Descend by rappel.
Closures for Peregrine Falcon Protection Details

Getting There

The Cathedral Spires Area page has the parking and initial hiking information.

Lower Cathedral Spire is approached by going left around the spires.

The Cathedral Spires trail starts at the west tip of the traffic island at the intersection. As soon as you cross the main trail, go LEFT (east) about 15 feet and take the Spires Trail up. After about 200-300 feet GO LEFT (east) towards the Cathedral Boulders, which appear shortly. Walk through nearly all of the boulders trending east till you find a trail with a large cairn. Follow it south as you slowly trend EAST of Lower Cathedral Spire. There are some large fallen trees that you will need to re-find the trail through, but nothing dramatic as there are lots of cairns on this trail. Go all the way up the talus field (east of the spire) and then veer right (west) towards the notch between the two spires.

On the descent (or if you were thinking about a spire linkup), forget about climbing to the notch, as the west side is a >300' vertical drop!

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Classic Climbing Routes at Lower Cathedral Spire

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Northeast Face
Trad 6 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Regular Route
Trad 5 pitches
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
South by Southwest
Trad 5 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Northeast Face 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad 6 pitches
Regular Route 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad 5 pitches
South by Southwest 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Trad 5 pitches
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Photos

Justin Johnsen
Nor Cal
Justin Johnsen   Nor Cal  
Thanks David and Sunny, I'll change that directly on the page. Jul 1, 2014
Sunny Jamshedji
Mumbai, India
Sunny Jamshedji   Mumbai, India
I second that and apologize for adding an unnecessary post here. Park you car at the [south] intersection of the loop road and the one that goes back to El Cap. You do not need to go all the way around the second loop to park 50m west as described in SuperTopo! The Cathedral Spires trail starts at the west tip of the traffic island at the intersection. As soon as you cross the main trail, go LEFT (east) about 15 feet and take the Spires Trail up. After about 200-300 feet GO LEFT (east) towards the Cathedral Boulders, which appear shortly. Walk through nearly all of the boulders trending east till you find a trail with a large cairn. Follow it south as you slowly trend EAST of Lower Cathedral Spire. There are some large fallen trees that you will need to re-find the trail through, but nothing dramatic as there are lots of cairns on this trail. Go all the way up the talus field (east of the spire) and then veer right (west towards the notch between the two spires. On the descent (or if you were thinking about a spire linkup), forget about climbing to the notch, as the west side is a >300' vertical drop! Jun 28, 2014
David R.
San Jose, CA
David R.   San Jose, CA
Do not follow the Spires Gully approach for Lower Cathedral Spire. Lower Cathedral Spire is approached by going around the left (East) side of the Spires. Upper Cathedral Spire is approached by taking the Spires Gully approach around the right (West) side of the Spires. Jun 9, 2014

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