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Routes in Matthes Crest

Anduril T 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13
Matthes Crest Sphinx, The T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Matthes Crest Traverse - South to North T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
North Ridge of Matthes Crest T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
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Elevation: 10,918 ft
GPS: 37.819, -119.399 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 70,994 total · 518/month
Shared By: Jordan Ramey on Aug 15, 2007
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


Matthes Crest is an extremely long knife edge fin that cuts across a spectacular part of Tuolumne. It is sought after for its length, moderate grade, and the unique element of a huge fin traverse in an awe inspiring area of the country. It is most widely known for its traverse, but many other routes exist on both sides.

The Matthes Crest Traverse is a true 5 star classic route characterized by mostly 4th class climbing with the occasional fifth class section. With immense exposure on many sections it offers a rare experience to enjoy such a long moderate route in an idyllic setting. Located in a region completely invisible to tourists or road traffic, it gives the true feel of a backcountry alpine climb.

Getting There

Located in Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite. Park at the Cathedral Lakes trailhead along Highway 120. Bear boxes and port-a-potties are available here.

3 miles on good trails and 3 miles cross-country
1700' elevation gain (2,300' total gain to top of Matthes Crest)

Head South down the John Muir Trail toward Cathedral Lakes. After ~8 minutes the trail curves right and ascends about 30 granite rock steps. About 200' after these steps there is a well traveled climbers trail that is
Turn left off the main Cathedral Lakes trail here - 10 minutes after your car. (to keep hikers on the correct trail). Follow this trail that runs along Budd Creek for a while then diverges right. It is a pretty good trail for about 1.5 miles. Cross a more open area of rock slightly right that is often marked by cairns. The trail reappears. Eventually you will see a creek crossing and the trail splits here. Following it up the hill on the right will take you to Cathedral Peaks. Instead cross the creek on your left across some fallen logs (very obvious). Continue following the trail on to Budd Lake. At the West end of Budd Lake, head South through a weakness by Echo Peaks. Ascend this steep/loose section and veer left (East) around Echo Peaks. Matthes Crest will come into view from this top section. Head down into the valley and walk cross country to the South end of Matthes Crest.

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Classic Climbing Routes at Matthes Crest

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Matthes Crest Traverse - South t…
Trad, Alpine
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
North Ridge of Matthes Crest
Trad, Alpine
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13
Trad, Alpine 4 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Matthes Crest Traverse - So…
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, Alpine
North Ridge of Matthes Crest
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, Alpine
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13 Trad, Alpine 4 pitches
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Oakland CA
caughtinside   Oakland CA
Just wanted to mention here that you can start on Tenaya peak, do matthes, and if you are fast finish on Cathedral for a killer linkup! i've done the first two legs twice now, very doable, but haven't done Cathedral... Aug 16, 2007

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