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Middle Cathedral Rock
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YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a

Type:  Trad, 6 pitches, 600'
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Kor, Beck
Season: year round
Page Views: 5,786
Submitted By: Adam on Dec 17, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (84)
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BETA PHOTO: Kor-Beck turned into the party route at pitch four...

Closures for Peregrine Falcon Protection MORE INFO >>>


This is a good route that has a bit of loose rock on it. The first 3 pitches are nice sustained 5.8/9, then the 5-7th pitches get harder. The 5th goes up a corner and you've got to get out of the corner and around the arete to the right. My friend Alex took a chunk out of the arete here. Then the next pitch is classic Kor 5.9. You'll feel a total body pump by the time you get to the belay.


Right side of a big drainage. You'll be able to see folks on the East Buttress from the base. Climb starts up on a ledge.


Standard valley rack. Belays are fixed to rap. No bolts on any pitches for pro.

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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Oct 2, 2016
By Sirius
From: Oakland, CA
May 31, 2007

Thought this was a great climb. Several of the pitches link, which can make the first six pitches go pretty fast.

First pitch has a .10a variation to the right of the original line that is protected by two fixed bashies.

We took doubles to #3 BD, one #4 BD, a set of nuts, and a 70m. We linked pitches and found the rack to be plenty, or overkill.

A good deal easier than the standard you find on NEB Higher, but felt similar in some ways. Good, comfortable ledges and stances for every belay.
By Nate Furman
From: Salt Lake City, Utah
Oct 5, 2007

Really nice route. Never too hard, but never too easy either. Interesting and tradical throughout.
By TBlom
Jun 28, 2008

The belay/rap anchors at the top of the 4th pitch have wobbly bolts! They look new, but when I weighted them , the left one flexed in its hole. The right bolt seemed more solid, but both had loose nuts. It held my 200 lbs on the rap, but I was reticent to shock load or bounce at all on the rap.
By M. Morley
From: Sacramento, CA
Aug 26, 2008

Worth doing once. Stout for the grade.
By thecornyman
From: Oakland, CA
May 16, 2011

Great route, definitely some loose rock throughout. As of 5-14-11 all belays have at least one new bolt if not more.
By Ryan Curry
Jun 22, 2011

My partner and I were very nearly hit by rockfall at the base of this route. I heard stones tumbling down the chasm to the climbers' left and caught sight of falling rocks in time to repeatedly shout "ROCK!" to warn a group of three at the base of the chasm itself. They scattered quickly but my friend and I were trapped on the pedestal at the start of the route. I narrowly avoided taking a baseball sized chunk to the head by hugging the cliff. We were wearing helmets but I don't think it would've been pretty had we been hit. Take care when climbing at MCR and my advice would be to wear your helmet here.
By Coco Bell
Jun 4, 2012
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Awesome climb to do if CPF is swarming with people. A true old school 5.9 climb
By Bowe Ellis
From: Taos, NM
May 18, 2014
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

A very good route and there was no loose rock where it counted. The traverse on pitch 5 seems easier and better protected if done lower down. The other problem with the higher traverse is an ugly pendulum for the follower. Pitch 6 is simply fantastic! Beautiful movement, stemming, liebacking, scumming, smearing, chimneying, jamming. It's a 5.9 like NEB of Higher Cathedral. In other words... not.

Be careful on your raps. There are piles of rocks perched on pitch 3 and several rope grabbing flakes on pitches 2 & 3. May be worth doing shorter raps in here.
By Alexey
From: San Jose
Jun 2, 2014

my 80m rope was fully stretched on first rappel (p5,6) and last rappel ( p1)
Better to take two ropes. with 70m you have to down-climb twice.
it is easy to link p2,3 and p4,5
By Colin Szehner
From: Oakland, Ca
Jun 13, 2016

Third pitch is awesome!
By Mareko
From: San Francisco
Jul 12, 2016

You can link P5 and 6. P3 and P5/6 are the money pitches. Great climb.
By Trevor.
From: Boise, ID
Sep 30, 2016
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

I'd recommend against continuing this route to the top of the formation unless you enjoy extremely loose rock, difficult route finding, and excavating through debris for dubious gear placements and jams. If you're looking for some adventurous chossaneering, by all means go ahead, but most will want to bring two ropes and rap off when the climbing turns to shit.
By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Oct 2, 2016
rating: 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Indeed, the whole route is a very different experience than the initial part of it. Adventure climbers will enjoy it, those accustomed to clear route paths, accurate topos, and great gear in clean great rock will not always be enamored of the possibilities that they are presented with beyond the bolted belays.
That said, I still enjoyed the route.
The 5.9 grade is a little sandbagged for P1-6, and perhaps more sandbagged if you do the whole route, in which case 5.10- (at least) is fair.

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