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Areas in Cathedral Range

Budd Creek 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 1
Cathedral Peak 15 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 17 / 17
Cathedral Range Enchainments 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 2
Columbia Finger 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 1
Echo Peaks 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 1
Eichorn Pinnacle 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4 / 4
Fletcher Peak 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0
Matthes Crest 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4 / 4
Peak 11,357 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 1
Tenaya Peak 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 2
Unicorn Peak 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 2
Access Issue: Yosemite National Park climbing closures and conditions Details

Description

An ocean of granite in the southwest portion of Yosemite National Park, running from Cathedral Peak southeast to around Parsons Peak and Simmons Peak. Between those it includes the remarkable sculpted ridges of the Matthes Crest, Echo Peaks + Ridge, Cockscomb, and Unicorn. Also the summits of Rafferty Peak, Fletcher Peak, Vogelsang Peak.

GPS: Many helpful latitude/longitude points and navigational tracks (especially for the northwestern part) are in a GPX file linked from this page

Climbing peaks and routes include:

  • Cathedral Peak (lat/long approx N37.8478 W119.4055) (alt 10911 ft / 3326 m)
. . . Famous very popular route is SE Buttress (5.6)
. . . The summit is great no matter how you get there.

. . . Famous route is West Pillar (5.9)
. . . Many people also enjoy shorter N face (5.4)

  • Echo Peaks (1 mile / 1.5km S of Cathedral Peak)
. West group
. . . #1 (lat/long ~ N37.83389 W119.40299) - S ridge class 3
. . . #2: S of #1 and N of #3
. . . #3 (N37.83269 W119.40336) (alt ~ 11100ft/3385m)
. . . . . Highest of the Echos - class 3 by N ridge from col betw 1+2.
. . . #4: A narrow fin SSW from #3
. Middle group (W side of Wilts Col)
. . . #5: W of #7
. . . #6: S of #5 and #7
. . . #7: E of #5 and W of Wilts Col
. . Wilts Col (lat/long ~ N37.83426 W119.40073) between #7 and #8.
. East group (E side of Wilts Col)
. . . #8 (N37.83384 W119.40005) - N face, short class 3 from near Wilts col.
. . . #9: (S of #8) The most difficult summit of the Echos.

  • Echo Peaks 1-2-3-4 aretes
. . . Between 1-2-3 (accessed from col 1-2): class 3 with some knife-edge sections
. . . N arete of #1: reported class 5
. . . arete between #3 and #4: not sure of difficulty

  • Echo Ridge (lat/long ~ N37.8348 W119.3959) (alt ~ 11150ft/3400m)
. . . (S above Budd Lake, E of Echo Peaks)
. . . East arete: Interesting climbing with some "knife-edge" sections (class 4/5).

  • Matthes Crest - (lat/long ~ N37.8237 W119.3972) (alt ~ 10880ft/3318m)
. . . Amazing narrow fin of granite (S of Echo Ridge)
. . . S ridge is famous + popular (despite long approach) as a traverse,
. . . usually stopping at the N summit, or the notch betweeen S+N summits.
. . . But it's especially the N ridge which has incomparable arete-climbing features.

  • Wall of E face of ridge S from Cockscomb (lat/long very approximate N37.8215 W119.3865)
. . . perhaps called "Sunrise Wall" - W above Echo Creek.
. . . Three routes 5.8-5.9 reported in R.J.Secor guidebook: The High Sierra (Mountaineers 2009).

  • Cockscomb (lat/long ~ N37.8356 W119.3847) (alt ~ 11050ft/3370m)
. . . (0.5 mile / 0.9km E of Echo Ridge ; 0.7 mile/ 1.1km SSW of Unicorn)
. . . easiest way is W face (class 5) (not very long)
. . . other routes on other aspects - see R.J.Secor guidebook: The High Sierra (Mountaineers 2009).

  • "Althuski" (lat/long ~ N37.8411 W119.3801) (alt ~ 10875ft/3315m)
. . . (0.3 mile/0.5km SSE of Unicorn ; 0.45 mile/0.7km NE of Cockscomb)
. . . Fun if you like scrambling/hopping on big granite talus (some us do), otherwise just a hump of rubble.

  • Unicorn (10823ft/3300m) (lat/long ~ N37.8457 W119.3821)
. . Normal route from E side (Elizabeth Lake trailhead) has some interesting moves (class 4/5) to the highest N summit from the notch between Mid + N summits, but pretty short compared to the length of approach.
. . NNW face to near notch between Mid+N summits from Budd Lake has longer climbing (class 4/5) (but longer approach), can find some additional interesting (optional) moves along the S arete, then descend slabs on the W face of S ridge back toward Budd Lake.
. . other longer routes on other aspects (direct N reported as 5.8 A3) - more info see R.J.Secor guidebook: The High Sierra (Mountaineers 2009).

  • Peak 11357ft (lat/long ~ N37.8033 W119.3637) (about 1 mile SW from Rafferty Peak)
. . . Boss Man (5.11)
. . . reported also a nice 5.8 route - see R.J.Secor guidebook: The High Sierra (Mountaineers 2009).

  • Vogelsang Peak (lat/long ~ N37.7776 W119.3495) (alt ~ 11500ft/3500m)
. . . has at least one route 5.9 or harder (though just reaching the summit does not require climbing moves) - see R.J.Secor guidebook: The High Sierra (Mountaineers 2009). See also Nightingale Arete.

  • Fletcher Peak (lat/long ~ N37.7924 W119.3380) (alt ~ 11400ft/3480m) has routes ranging from class 2 - 4 - 5 - 9 - 10b. See R.J.Secor guidebook: The High Sierra (Mountaineers 2009).

The high-altitude sparsely-vegetated rock-slab terrain makes cross-country travel straightforward, so there are "enchainments" / traverses with sequences of multiple climbing peaks and routes:

Getting There

The interesting climbing is usually accessed from the north, from trailheads on the Tioga Pass highway rt 120 by Tuolumne Meadows.

35 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Cathedral Range

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
4th 1 2 I 2 M 1b PG13
 27
John Muir Route (The Mountaineer's Ro…
Trad, Alpine
Easy 5th 1+ 3 I 5 M 1c
 13
Cathedral Range Traverse
Trad, Alpine
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
 133
North Face
Trad, Alpine 2 pitches
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
 380
Northwest Buttress
Trad, Alpine 14 pitches
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 1,176
Southeast Buttress
Trad, Alpine 5 pitches
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b PG13
 5
Hops'n'Barley
Trad, Alpine 2 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 480
Matthes Crest Traverse - South to North
Trad, Alpine
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 77
Tenaya, Matthes, Cathedral Traverse
Trad, Alpine
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 3
Double Down
Trad, Alpine 2 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 40
North Ridge of Matthes Crest
Trad, Alpine
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 64
West Pillar
Trad, Alpine 5 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R
 6
Panic Pillar
Trad, Alpine
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13
 4
Anduril
Trad, Alpine 4 pitches
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 72
West Pillar Direct
Trad, Alpine 5 pitches
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13
 6
Grand Central
Trad, Alpine 6 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
John Muir Route (The Mounta… Cathedral Peak > Southeast Slopes
 27
4th 1 2 I 2 M 1b PG13 Trad, Alpine
Cathedral Range Traverse Cathedral Range Encha…
 13
Easy 5th 1+ 3 I 5 M 1c Trad, Alpine
North Face Eichorn Pinnacle
 133
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c Trad, Alpine 2 pitches
Northwest Buttress Tenaya Peak
 380
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Trad, Alpine 14 pitches
Southeast Buttress Cathedral Peak > Southeast Slopes
 1,176
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad, Alpine 5 pitches
Hops'n'Barley Cathedral Peak > N Buttress
 5
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b PG13 Trad, Alpine 2 pitches
Matthes Crest Traverse - So… Matthes Crest
 480
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, Alpine
Tenaya, Matthes, Cathedral… Cathedral Range Encha…
 77
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, Alpine
Double Down Cathedral Peak > N Buttress
 3
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, Alpine 2 pitches
North Ridge of Matthes Crest Matthes Crest
 40
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, Alpine
West Pillar Eichorn Pinnacle
 64
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad, Alpine 5 pitches
Panic Pillar Cathedral Peak > Panic Pillar
 6
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R Trad, Alpine
Anduril Matthes Crest
 4
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13 Trad, Alpine 4 pitches
West Pillar Direct Eichorn Pinnacle
 72
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad, Alpine 5 pitches
Grand Central Cathedral Peak > N Buttress
 6
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13 Trad, Alpine 6 pitches
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