Type: Trad, 800 ft, 6 pitches, Grade III
FA: Mark Powell, Frank Sacherer and Bob Kamps, 1963
Page Views: 2,815 total · 20/month
Shared By: George Bell on Feb 4, 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


Your first goal is to reach the notch (from the east) between the Lower Cathedral Spire and Church Tower. This is 3rd-4th class, and if you do this unroped, don't fall. If you rope up, the biggest problem is the rope knocking loose rocks onto the belayer. Be careful, helmets recommended!

From the notch another 4th class pitch continues to the base of a steep vertical wall. The next three pitches are each rated 5.9. Follow a left facing corner up through an overhanging slot and find a small ledge on the left to belay. P2: above lies a large left facing dihedral, the first ascent followed a crack on the left face. Better, follow the dihedral itself, which is 3-4" wide the whole way (Pratt-Faint variation).

P3: traverse right to a strenuous vertical crack, crank up this short move (crux), follow a ramp past a scary loose flake and continue more easily to the top. This pitch also has a variation to the left up a right facing corner (Fredericks-Sacherer variation, looks more strenuous). Continue to the summit via one more 4th class pitch.

With 60m ropes, probably some of the crux pitches can be combined.

Historical Note

This route was once popular but rarely sees ascents these days.


Standard rack with doubles in #3-#4 Camalot size for the 2nd crux pitch variation described.


To descend, rappel the opposite side "South by Southwest" with two ropes.