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Cathedral Spires Area

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Church Tower 
Higher Cathedral Rock 
Higher Cathedral Spire 
Lower Cathedral Spire 
Middle Cathedral Rock 
Phantom Pinnacle 

Cathedral Spires Area Rock Climbing 


Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 37.7205, -119.62958 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 66,905
Administrators: M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Justin Johnsen, Salamanizer suchoski, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Blitzo on Nov 29, 2006
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Lower and Higher Cathedral Spires as seen from the...

Closures for Peregrine Falcon Protection MORE INFO >>>

Description 

These beautiful twin spires lie to the east of Higher Cathedral Rock. They offer exciting climbing in a spectacular location. The views of El Cap and the Valley are awesome! Other surrounding rocks usually approached from the same starting point include Middle Cathedral Rock, Higher Cathedral Rock, Church Tower and Phantom Pinnacle.

Getting There 

Park at Cathedral Rocks pullout, a turnout just before the short loop intersects with Southside Drive. This page's GPS show the pullout on the map.

Hike a trail through the woods east (left) from the south side of the road from the pullout. This hits the big trail running parallel to Cathedral Rocks, go left here then after a short hike pass a left branch, and you'll come to a junction with the fainter of the two trails heading right.

Lower Cathedral Spire is approached by going left around the spires and Upper Cathedral Spire is approached by going right and up the "Spires Gully", which is the same approach for Braille Book and Upper Cathedral Rock.

Climbing Season



Weather station 3.2 miles from here

54 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',10],['3 Stars',26],['2 Stars',14],['1 Star',3],['Bomb',1]
['<=5.6',1],['5.7',1],['5.8',8],['5.9',11],['5.10',22],['5.11',7],['5.12',2],['5.13',2],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Cathedral Spires Area

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Cathedral Spires Area:
The Sequel   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 3 pitches, 550'   Higher Cathedral Rock
Braille Book   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 6 pitches, 700'   Higher Cathedral Rock
Central Pillar of Frenzy   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 5 pitches   Middle Cathedral Rock
Regular Route (Higher Cathedral Spire)   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 4 pitches, 400'   Higher Cathedral Spire
Kor-Beck   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 6 pitches, 600'   Middle Cathedral Rock
Quicksilver   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R     Trad, 4 pitches, 600'   Middle Cathedral Rock
Northeast Buttress   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a PG13     Trad, 11 pitches   Higher Cathedral Rock
Paradise Lost   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13     Trad, 7 pitches, 1000'   Middle Cathedral Rock
Pee Pee Pillar   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 95'   Middle Cathedral Rock
Freewheelin'   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b R     Trad, 5 pitches, 600'   Middle Cathedral Rock
Direct North Buttress (DNB)   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 17 pitches, 1700'   Middle Cathedral Rock
Book of Job   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 6 pitches, 700'   Higher Cathedral Rock
East Buttress   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, 11 pitches, 1100'   Middle Cathedral Rock
Ho Chi Minh Trail   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, 19 pitches, 2000'   Middle Cathedral Rock
Stoner's Highway   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b R     Trad, 10 pitches, 1000'   Middle Cathedral Rock
South by Southwest   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Trad, 5 pitches, 600'   Lower Cathedral Spire
Mary's Tears   5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Trad, 4 pitches, 600'   Higher Cathedral Rock
Bircheff-Williams   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Trad, 5 pitches, 500'   Middle Cathedral Rock
The Crucifix   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Trad, 5 pitches, 700'   Higher Cathedral Rock
Border Country   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b R     Trad, 12 pitches, 1800'   Middle Cathedral Rock
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Cathedral Spires Area

Featured Route For Cathedral Spires Area
Rock Climbing Photo: the arm of the Crucifix

The Crucifix 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b  California : Yosemite National Park : ... : Higher Cathedral Rock
Follow the northeast buttress through the fifth pitch. Traverse about 15ft left below a grungy looking arch with a pin. the Crucifix starts here. Make hard lay-back moves to a long reach into thin fingers. Follow this crack to an improbable appearing open book. Stem and smear past adequate protection to a roof, traversing left and above to easy low angle climbing. Belay at the base of the curved overhanging fist crack. Two #3 Camalots and two #3.5 Camalots will see you through...[more]   Browse More Classics in California

Photos of Cathedral Spires Area Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Cathedral Spires. Photo by Blitzo.
Cathedral Spires. Photo by Blitzo.
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down on Lower Cathedral Spire from the sum...
BETA PHOTO: Looking down on Lower Cathedral Spire from the sum...
Rock Climbing Photo: Lower and Higher Cathedral Spires.
BETA PHOTO: Lower and Higher Cathedral Spires.
Rock Climbing Photo: Lower and Higher Cathedral Spires.
BETA PHOTO: Lower and Higher Cathedral Spires.
Rock Climbing Photo: Lower and Higher Cathedral Spires
BETA PHOTO: Lower and Higher Cathedral Spires
Rock Climbing Photo: Rick Cashner bouldering at The Cathedral Boulders,...
Rick Cashner bouldering at The Cathedral Boulders,...

Comments on Cathedral Spires Area Add Comment
Show which comments
By Chris Owen
Administrator
From: Big Bear Lake
Sep 20, 2009
Opposite the west branch of El Capitan Drive there's a trail which heads into the woods, over some fallen trees, to hit the big trail running parallel to Cathedral Rocks, go left here then immediately right up a fainter trail, this will take you nicely up The Spires Gully. Cairns mark the way higher up in the talus.

If you're parked in the Cathedral Rocks pullout; take the trail from the pullout, this hits the big trail running parallel to Cathedral Rocks, go left here then after a short hike pass a left branch (the one mentioned above) and go right up the same fainter trail mentioned above.
By David R.
From: San Jose, CA
Jun 9, 2014
The approach description for Upper and Lower Spires is kinda confusing. In case it's not clear, Lower Cathedral Spire is approached by going left around the spires and Upper Cathedral Spire is approached by going right and up the "Spires Gully", which is the same approach for Braille Book and Upper Cathedral Rock.

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