Trip Report    

Basic Alpine Climb - Cathedral Rock/Southwest Face

climbing route and gully snow free, bring bug juice :>)

  • Road suitable for all vehicles

quick and dirty route description: hike trail to cathedral pass, find climber's trail at 5600' and ascend it nw staying on ridge, at rock wall traverse left and then scramble up and left (some exposed class 3 and route-finding required) to shoulder at base of main south gully. head up main gully and as soon as practical, ascend on to solid rock on the gully's left side(counter-intuitive), staying out of the loose rock in the gully's center. at flat area below face. lead one class 3/4 60m pitch up crack to ridge and then scramble left on ridge to rap boulder. class 2 scramble to summit(go one at a time in loose area).

it had been a decade since i had climbed this route on cathedral rock and i had forgotten how easy the climbing was. i brought rock shoes, overkill, and a handful of cams and nuts, also overkill. placed three pieces. if i had to do it over again, i would have left the #3 at home, but since i had it, i placed it. for that matter, it was almost easy enough to scramble. since colin had not passed his rock field trip, i led the pitch and fixed a line for the others to prusik up. they did not extend their prusiks, so it took them a while to ascend one at a time. colin led the summit scramble. his presence was particularly helpful on descent as he set up the 2nd rap and he made both raps a lot more efficient. overall he saved us at least an hour, if not two. mathias and phil moved really well and were great climbing partners too!

we were successful at avoiding most of the loose rock, so it really was not bad, but i could see how easy it would be to find yourself in a lot of it.

fun day, great group, nice views! what more could you ask?

10.36mi 3500' gain
3:34 car to base of climb
1:43 rest, gear up and climb one pitch
0:09 scramble to summit
0:41 summit stay
3:57 summit to car(including two raps)
10:05 car to car

equipment: .5,#1, #3 cams, three tied double runners left to back-up rappels.
equipment brought, but not used: crampons, ice axe, nuts, other cams

references: advice from big steve on how to stay out of gully on left side, thanks! :>)

Cathedral Rock/Southwest Face Route Map