Type: Trad, Sport, 3000 ft (909 m), 7 pitches
FA: J. Muir
Page Views: 3,330 total · 35/month
Shared By: Richard Shore on Mar 24, 2014
Admins: andy patterson, Mike Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

You & This Route

3 Opinions

Your To-Do List:

Add To-Do · View List

Your Star Rating:

     Clear Rating

Your Difficulty Rating:

-none- Change

Your Ticks:

Add New Tick


In the spirit of other link-ups on the Central Coast (Spontaneous Order @ The Fortress on Hwy 33, 2 Hour 2 Tecate Challenge @ Bishop Peak) - this is a somewhat contrived 5th class way to bag all 3 peaks, gain some elevation, and get some miles under your feet. you can make the route as easy or as hard as you please, with options from 3rd class to 5.10c on each peak. The grade given here means nothing, really, unless you take my exact line.

Starting at the Tunnel Trailhead, hike up 7 Falls Canyon to the AFTC Crag. This crag is at the base of the Southeast Ridge of Arlington Peak (the most prominent rock ridge seen from town). I climbed the "Direct Southeast Ridge" - tackling the unnamed 5.8 sport route, continuing up the 5.6X arete, and then wandering around leftwards onto clean 5th class patina slab/face anytime serious bushwhacking presented itself. Approximately 4 short pitches from the canyon bottom to join the hiking trail on the ridge. This was completed solo, but could be pitched out with a short 30M rope and some draws/slings for bolts, bushes and trees. Gear could be used too, and if you plan to lead anything on Cathedral Peak you'll have it along anyways. Expect some 5.veg and runouts, and then enjoy the long slog to the the top of Arlington Peak. Tag on as many or few of the small-to-highball boulder pinnacles as you want on your way to the top. Dozens and dozens of mini-summits along the way. Many of these do not have easy-offs; downclimb or simul-rap to descend.

From Arlington Peak - continue along the trail northwest to Cathedral Peak. Drop down off the trail to the base of Cathedral Peak. Obviously, the best choice for Cathedral Peak is the South Face, 5.7 - 3 pitches. Many other 5th class options exist, along with a class-3 route on the north side.

From Cathedral Peak - descend 3rd class from the summit northwards and gain the steep trail leading up to La Cumbre Peak. Hike up to the transmission station/tower, and climb the adjacent 30' summit boulder via any number of routes from 3rd class to 5.10 (Jumpin' Jive). Soak in the views, look at the USGS marker on the top of the boulder, and pretend you are standing on a real alpine summit - because this was just a training route for that next objective anyways.

To descend - Hike eastward on E Camino Cielo for a mile or so to the big saddle. Gain the top of Tunnel Trail and begin the long hike back down to your car. Alternatively, you could retrace your steps following the trail back down the same way you came up, but you're likely tired of pulling dozens of ticks off your body by this point and will take the much better maintained and scenic Tunnel Trail option.

In total - roughly 9 miles round-trip with over 3,000' elevation gain. This entire "route" could be completed on a hiking trail with a touch of class 3 scrambing to tag Cathedral Pk, but thats not very interesting from a climber's perspective.


100' rope, rack of cams and some draws/slings wouldn't go unused. Lots of water if you plan to do this on a warm day! I brought none. Terrible decision.