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Routes in Higher Cathedral Spire

East Corner T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Northwest Face T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c A3+ PG13
Regular Route (Higher Cathedral Spire) T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Southeast Face T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Spire it up (first 2 pitches) T 5.13- 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E7 6c
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Type: Trad, 450 ft, 4 pitches, Grade II
FA: Tom Gerughty and Chuck Pratt, July, 1965
Page Views: 1,925 total · 14/month
Shared By: Adam on Jan 30, 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


P1 5.9/160'belay on the highest ledge go up cracks to the roof pass it on the right pass a small stance and climb 2 perfect finger cracks to a sloping ledge below a huge corner.
p2 *Great Pitch*5.10/180'climb the thin hands corner past a fixed pin and to the off with/chimney exit on to a big ledge.
P35.9/70'climb any of the cracks to the next big ledge
p4 5.6/50' grove up to one of the best summits on the valley!

Rap to the west down the standard route w/ 2 ropes. you can do it w/ 1 but we used 2.


We walked down hill from the saddle and climbed a wandering mungy pitch to get to the base. you'll see some tat on the south face and some roofs as you head down hill, keep looking till you see the huge right facing corner then head up.


full rack doubles to#4
no fixed belays on route


- No Photos -
George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
This route is much better than the standard route on the Higher Spire, in my opinion. In fact it is the best route I've done on either of the Cathedral Spires (I've also done both standard routes and NE Face on the Lower Spire).

The Cathedral Spires are some of my favorite features in Yosemite, yet few brave the rough approaches. The spires are pretty amazing, and larger than they look from the valley floor. Jan 31, 2007
FA: Tom Gerughty & Chuck Pratt - July, 1965 Mar 18, 2010
Bryan G
Bryan G   Yosemite
The approach requires some devious circumnavigation to reach the start. We spent half an hour scrambling in circles on ledges near the base. You actually want to scramble up to the highest ledge system along the base. Then hug the base as you follow it to the right (you will walk right past the start of the SE Face Route, the splitter fist crack). You will descend down a steep gully/chimney, then do a very exposed step-across at a tree over into another steep gully and take that up to the base of the route. It's actually a rad and unique approach, sort of like the Energy Crisis approach at the Cream area. It also helps to know, the East Corner route directly faces the Lower Cathedral Spire.

This is a great way to the summit, especially if there's lots of parties on the Reg Route. All of the pitches have enjoyable climbing. The 10a corner is more fun than it looks from below. Oct 8, 2012
joe caps
joe caps   Pasadena
We approached per Bryan G's description and found the climb right away.
P2 seemed more like 120 feet. Jun 7, 2016
Ryan K.
Ryan K.  
The green Roper guide calls this a difficult 5.10. I agree. We were glad we roped up for the last bit of the downclimb and step across on the approach.

The first pitch has some questionable rock getting up to the tree. After that the route is great. The second pitch is classic. Oct 9, 2016
San Francisco, CA
jpvandever   San Francisco, CA
We rappelled down the steep chimney and exposed step across on the approach. We took a double rack to #3 and 1 #4. Went straight up on P4 to the top. The 5.6 squeeze would have been over to the right and seemed hard to find from below (it is obvious once on the summit - same chimney as visible from the Regular Route on the other side). Nov 20, 2017

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