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North Buttress of Cathedral

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Beer Gut T 
Double Down T 
Family Flake T 
Garden Party T 
Grand Central T 
Hops'n'Barley T 
Metal Pecker T 
Muscle Fat T 
Party of Two T 
Pedestal Center TR 
Small Arch Left Side TR 

North Buttress of Cathedral Rock Climbing 

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Elevation: 9,200'
Location: 37.86252, -119.39973 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 6,384
Administrators: M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Vlada Matena on Aug 17, 2015


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The Southeast Buttress of Cathedral Peak is justifiably one of the most well-known and popular climbs in Tuolumne Meadows. Its lesser known sibling, the North Buttress, which was climbed decades ago as evidenced by the remnants of old gear, has languished as little more than a photo-op for hikers on the John Muir Trail. This is finally changing as a result of new route activity started in 2014.

Cathedral Peak is a classic glacial horn with ridges that extend westward (Eichorn Pinnacle) and northward from the summit. The north-trending ridge branches into two parallel ridges, forming a U-shaped cirque that opens up toward Fairview Dome. The eastern and longer of the two ridges is the North Buttress.

The new climbs are located on the west and north sides of this buttress, near its toe. The toe of the North Buttress is only 150 feet from the highly-trafficked John Muir Trail. The North Buttress has several new routes of bolted face and trad climbing no harder than 5.7. It is also possible to top-rope more climbs up to 5.9 from the routes'’ belay anchors. Additional routes are currently in project state (a route is in a project state until all ¼ inch bolts placed on the lead have been replaced with permanent 3/8 inch bolts and all rappel anchors include a pair of 3/8 inch bolts with rappel rings).

The beta for some of the older routes (Muscle Fat and Beer Gut) on the buttress has become available here by the climbers who climbed these routes in the past. The current state of the belay/rappel anchors on these routes is unknown.

Getting There 

Follow the John Muir Trail (aka Cathedral Lakes Trail) for 1.3 miles (40 - 50 minutes). The toe of the Buttress is 150 feet from the John Muir Trail (JMT).

GPS: Closest Point of JMT to the Toe of the Buttress: N37.86292 W119.40036

GPS: Toe of the North Buttress: N37.86267 W119.39994

Climbing Season

Weather station 10.1 miles from here

11 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',7],['2 Stars',3],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]

Featured Route For North Buttress of Cathedral
Rock Climbing Photo: Grand Central (Grade III, 5.10b or 5.9 C1 PG)

Grand Central 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13  California : Yosemite National Park : ... : North Buttress of Cathedral
Grand Central is a 6-pitch route that reaches the summit of the North Buttress. The route is 5.7 or easier, except for five short sections ranging from 5.8 to 5.10b. The 5.10b crux is a short overhanging hand crack on pitch 6. The route is Grade III 5.10b or 5.9 C1 PG13.(1) 5.7. 165 feet. 1 bolt. Follow a left-leaning crack (5.4 –- 5.6) for 150 feet. As the crack ends, climb up and right to the anchor with bolt-protected 5.7 face climbing which is the crux of the first pitch. (2) 5.8. 150 feet...[more]   Browse More Classics in California

Photos of North Buttress of Cathedral Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Routes on North Buttress viewed from Fairview Dome
BETA PHOTO: Routes on North Buttress viewed from Fairview Dome

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