So we continued down the class three slabs, utilizing two rappel stations off trees to avoid some of the more exposed sections. It had been a few years since the last time I climbed it, and due to the crowds we took a route the was left of the main route bypassing the chimney pitch the true summit (there was a line of 4 ppl waiting and 3 at the top). The views from the summit are 360° looking across Tuolumne Meadows, higher Sierra peaks to the south, and Yosemite Valley to the west. By this time, a queue was beginning to form at the base of the route with at least three other parties roping up. I don't recommend this for one main reason: The descent is not straight-forward by headlamp. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, rock climbing, and nature trips and is best used from May until September. Fun climb but can be very busy. Cathedral Peak (10,912') is one of the best beginner alpine climbs in the country. Cathedral Peak; Ascents; World; Ascents; Competitions; Guadalcazar Climbing Festival 2021; La Sportiva Christmas Contest; CLIMAX Online Photo Contest; Greek Climbing Calendar Contest 2021; Help. Therefore I needed to down lead the final 15 feet of the route, then traverse to the west through a notch to reach safer class 3 terrain. The second pitch of climbing trended towards the right and another pine tree belay station. Become a ClimbingWeather.com sponsor and help the Access Fund! This large ledge was probably the only significant loose rock encountered on the entire route, and I made sure to radio down to Colin and Holly to be mindful when climbing through the section. Gorgeous views from the top of Cathedral Peak. The southeast buttress of Cathedral Peak is one of the finest Alpine climbs in the North America. Learn how your comment data is processed. I brought up Colin and Holly as quickly as I could with several teams below us, and the three of us topped out on what we quickly agreed was the best climb we had ever done. Luckily on this route, there are so many variations the groups were able to begin climbing off to our right, a 5.7 variation. I again reached the belay station too early and built a gear anchor to give the team head of us time to vacate before bringing up Colin and Holly. However there were two groups waiting to get to the top, and we still needed to downclimb the final bit of the route. And the views from the summit are totally worth it. BACKGROUND. Trailhead: Cathedral Lakes, normally full services in Tuolumne Companions: Holly, Colin Pickles. Luckily there are a number of variations if you need to … The alpine glow across the peaks at sunset was otherworldly, with the low pinkish light cast across Yosemite’s high peaks. It looks good from all sides, has expansive views from its class 4 summit block, and the SE Buttress is considered a classic climbing route. The ledge is large enough to hold at least four groups, and I followed more broken cracks and ledges up to the large belay station covered in loose blocks. The chimney system is notorious for being a bottleneck on the route, and although there is an option to climb a 5.7 pitch to the left of the chimney or 5.8 pitch to the right, the three of us wanted to climb the route in its traditional style on our first outing. It’s climbs like Cathedral Peak why I decided to get into rock climbing in the first place. The area is home to Cathedral Peak, whose SE Buttress is claimed to be one of the best alpine rock routes of the Cascades. There are a few bolts with chains in along the harder sections. Once they were secure at the base of the chimney I climbed higher, now free of the rope drag. It took us roughly 2 hours on the approach to reach the base of the buttress, finding only two other groups on the route so far for the day. Become a ClimbingWeather.com sponsor and help the Access Fund! I used a series of parallel off-width cracks for the start of the pitch before traversing right beneath the pine tree belay. The majority of the trail is a steady but not-too-steep uphill until near the top of the peak. The trail wastes little time gaining elevation, climbing up through pine forest on granite slabs. Home; Areas by State; Map; Favorites; Mobile; Widget; California | Cathedral Peak. The climb consists of five pitches of easy and moderate crack and face climbing on perfect rock. Downclimbing off the … The views from the top were a as outstanding as I remembered, with Tuolumne Meadows to the northeast and Mount Conness and the Matterhorn serving as a backdrop, the high peaks of Yosemite to the southeast including Mount Lyell and Mount Dana, the Clark Range stretching to the south, Half Dome and Yosemite Valley stretching to the southwest, and Mount Hoffman and Hoffman’s Thumb to the northwest. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! But if it sounds intimidating, help is at hand. There’s a bush at the top of the class 4 slab down climb that has a sling on it. Cathedral Peak is part of the Cathedral Range, a mountain range in the south-central portion of Yosemite National Park in eastern Mariposa and Tuolumne Counties. Current climbing forecast for Cathedral Peak. Probably one of the best multi-pitch rock climbs I have ever done. We left a non-locking carabiner so people can rap down. Nice rock. Consider things such as access and accommodation at the base of Cathedral Peak, as well as the logistics of climbing … The other worth while routes … WHAT IS CATHEDRAL PEAK? The only drawback might be the propensity for lichen to cover the rocks. Homepage; About theCrag. The SE Buttress features 1000 feet of 5.7-5.9 steep hand and finger cracks on superb alpine granite. Yosemite National Park charges a fee to enter. The first pitch, at least as shown in the Supertopo, traverses left under some overhang slabs that easily take protection. John and Chris (30 year old males) were on their first climbing trip to Yosemite, and Cathedral was their first objective. The climbing is fun and easy to protect, the rock is grippy and features cool knobs (consistent with the Tuolumne formations), and the approach is mild enough to make Cathedral Peak is a free-standing mountain within the magnificent Drakensberg Mountain Range in KwaZulu-Natal. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new trip reports by email. I started up the last 10 feet, using a crack across the summit to build a top anchor. It is a priceless trip that culminates in a very dramatic summit needle that offers a complete panorama of beautiful wilderness. The trailhead is accessible to passenger cars. Other peaks in the spur are the Twins, also known as the Triplets, … There are 19 walks/hikes that leave … Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), climb the day previously in Yosemite Valley, The Unmentionable, Photographer’s Delight, Long’s Folly and The Carousel. Site Login | Register. Cathedral Peak is part of the Cathedral Ridge which is at right angles to the main range. The cruxes were easy to protect and again took pro nicely, with an additional piton halfway up the pitch for protection. Cathedral Lake makes a great base camp area for those who would want to do this as an overnight trip. Unfortunately since we had sort of broken up that pitch, I needed to build my final anchor with four nuts and one cam. Tlanyaku Pass is a steep pass located in the Cathedral Peak area. My friend and I hiked/climbed this in July 5, 2019. Contact Us; Mission and Vision; Media resources; Merchandise Shop; Policies; Supporting theCrag ; Perks; New Features and Bugs; Credit and Thanks; Help; Climbing … Daily; Hourly ; Map; Averages; 12/5/2020 << Previous Week. The cams that I had placed on the initial ascent were left for me to clip in as I down led, and I placed one more cam on the traverse before dropping down to the ledges below, building an anchor off a tree. Cordelette anchors, no bolts. There are seven climbing routes on Cathedral Peak with a mixture of trad and bouldering routes. It is a 3,004 m (9,856 ft) high free standing mountain in the Drakensberg. This granite is fractured on pleasing vertical and horizontal lines. As one of the few free-standing peaks in the area, it’s something of an iconic symbol of the region. Unfortunately, there is no rappel anchor at the top of the summit pinnacle, which would probably alleviate some of these congestion issues. Cathedral Peak is an outstanding granite pinnacle in the Tuolumne Meadows area of Yosemite National Park. Cathedral Peak from near Cathedral Lakes, with Eichorn Pinnacle in the foreground. The party ahead of us was still at the ledge, so I built an anchor off to the side and backed it up to the half living tree, waiting to bring up Colin and Holly until the party had climbed on. It's a great big lightning rod - get off ASAP if thunder comes your way. Gavin Raubenheimer, Peak High Mountaineering from SOUTH AFRICA writes: The Standard Route is a C grade scramble route. I built an anchor on a wider ledge that would accommodate the three of us and brought the two up. YOSAR and Helicopter Rescue Team (HRT) members were dispatched, and the patient ultimately flown out from the base of Cathedral Peak. Cathedral is a visually aesthetic peak to behold (and to climb on) because it is comprised of granite. We had to wait a bit for some of the groups to clear and I attempted to pass a twosome as they were re-racking at the base of the chimney. A twosome was just starting at the first pitch and with no other climbers behind us, we took our time racking up and sorting gear at the base. Lots of people as it was a holiday weekend. Pitches 1-3 of the Southeast Buttress, including the chimney. The climb is rated a Class 3. We took our remaining food out of the bear box then hopped in the car, heading down Tioga back to home. I built an anchor just above the top of the chimney, and brought Colin and Holly up to the chimney base to reset an anchor. Reports have varied on the amount of climbers on route and at the base, but the most common numbers we heard were 30-40 people, including approximately 10 parties on variations of the first 2 pitches alone. It was tempting to hog the summit to ourselves given the outstanding views, particularly in the low afternoon light. We started very late and ended up going down in the dark. Rock climb class 4. Please submit any useful information about climbing Cathedral Peak that may be useful to other climbers. Cathedral Peak is one of the most aesthetic routes in Tuolumne. The approach takes about an hour and is long enough from the road and hiking trails to give you a little peace. Forecast High / Low Precip. Some research on the internet threw up a trip report which suggested that, rather than the standard ascent route, the Southeast Buttress could be done as a solo scramble at a grade of about 5.4, with the crux being a chimney about half height. The pair of climbers I had been following started up the final pitch, the crux of the entire climb with a dual crack system about 10 feet above the belay, followed by another hand crack leading to an exposed traverse to the base of the summit pinnacle. Thus came into being the idea of climbing Cathedral Peak. This picture makes it look tough but don't worry, we will look after you. It took us a bit over an hour to descend the climbers trail through the forest and back to our cars, needing headlamps for the final half mile. The Cathedral range in the Drakensberg, with its numerous free standing peaks and magnificent mountain scenery, is one of the most favoured parts of the Berg for backpacking and rock climbing.. Did you know? Powered by the National Weather Service Digital Forecast Database. Normally the second pitch would cut right earlier than I had, however there were groups starting to attempt a pass one another (although cordially) on these early pitches. Although the last 100m to the summit can be a tad daunting, the rest of the hike is non technical and offers some incredible views. Although we had one more day of climbing planned, we were all quite exhausted from the 13 hour outing, and felt that a day of single pitch climbing the following day would probably be more reasonable than another multi pitch adventure. Cathedral Peak Hotel is located in one of the most beautiful parts of the Drakensberg, surrounded by mountains on all sides. Cathedral Peak offers a typical Elk Mountain ascent with a steep couloir climb thats often on snow and makes having ice axe and crampons handy. While we were hoping to have enough time for Eichorn Pinnacle, the multiple bottlenecks and time lost during the down climb meant that going for the additional pitch and summit would not be reasonable. If you are entering on foot, horse, or bike the fee is $20 per person. The summit is a small block big enough for a couple people to squeeze on. Because of its quality and moderate grade, this is one of the most crowded routes in Yosemite. Cathedral Peak: Climber's Approach is a 5.8 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Yosemite Valley, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. Peakbagging and Rock Climbing in California, Arizona and beyond, Cathedral Peak 10,941’ Sierra Nevada – Rock Climbing Total Time: 13:00 Distance: 7.4 miles Elevation Gain: 2600′ Crux: Class 5.6 Pitches: 7 Protection: Cams BD 0.4-4, set of nuts and hexes. It then acsends a ramp system into a crack that leads to the pine tree and belay ledge. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Ironically, it was the one that had gotten stuck on our climb the day previously in Yosemite Valley. Be the first to submit your climbing note! The southeast buttress of Cathedral Peak is one of the finest Alpine climbs in the North America. Once she had cleared the first of the difficulties, I started up myself. 3 reviews of Cathedral Peak "Amazing. However since I had to start so low, the rope drag was significant by the top of the chimney and I was unable to continue much further, particularly given that I was leading on twin ropes. Surrounded by wilderness areas, Cathedral Peak is the ideal place for unwinding in superb nature. There might be bolts on the top, but usually not. We got home around midnight and passed out, exhausted from the long day of fantastic climbing. Holly was quite displeased that I had soloed the section on my previous visit six years prior. I had to wait a good 30 minutes before there was space for me to build an anchor to bring up Colin and Holly. Climb. When I reach the top of this pitch, there was no where to build an anchor due to the cluster fuck of climbers and four separate teams at the base of the summit pinnacle either climbing or down climbing from the top. Cathedral Peak is an area of the Drakensberg Mountains in KwaZulu-Natal to the northeast of Lesotho. There were two teams at the base of the chimney already, so I had to build an anchor a bit lower than I would’ve liked, just above the broken ledge system. The first few pitches are on low angle terrain that gradually steepens and becomes more difficult. From a climbing standpoint, the granitic walls provide good crack protection between smooth blocky faces. Some parties and guided parties use a rope in some places. Enjoy the climb and the views! Our packs were already packed from the day before and we quickly started down the trail, passing several groups of other climbers and backpackers on our hike in. This lichen limits variations from the "tried and true" routes. The range is … Two other well known spectacular free standing peaks, the Column and Pyramid are situated south west of Cathedral Peak Forest Station. For other climbing epics I’ve had like Cathedral Peak, read on for climbing the Matterhorn and climbing … With 800 feet of sweeping granite, the climb provides six pitches of technical climbing culminating in a pinnacle summit just large enough for several people. We slept in Tuolumne Meadows Campground and woke up early, getting to the Cathedral Lakes trailhead at 7:30 AM. Cathedral Peak (Afrikaans: Cathedralpiek) is a mountain in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Holly came next, with Colin coming last, unable to free one of the cams which had opened in the flared crack. With 800 feet of sweeping granite, the climb provides six pitches of technical climbing culminating in a pinnacle summit just large enough for several people. Home; Areas by State; Map; Favorites; Mobile; Widget; California | Cathedral Peak - Santa Barabara. We took a short break on some exposed slabs and enjoyed our views of nearby Unicorn Peak and Tuolumne Meadows behind us. Current climbing forecast for Cathedral Peak - Santa Barabara. Although there’s a fairly clear path, you need a head for heights and a good level of fitness to summit this iconic Drakensberg peak, as the scramble up the final section is tricky and exposed. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, rock climbing, and nature trips and is best used from May until September. Cathedral Peak Climbing Notes. Fees are $35 per vehicle or $30 per motorcycle. The route at this point converges with the traditional mountaineers route with a final 15 feet of fourth class to reach the top of the summit pinnacle. Only about half our group did that final ascent, and even without the climb at the end the views are well worth the trip. Climbing Cathedral peak in the Drakensberg mountains of South Africa. Site Login | Register. We were now no longer climbing the route in the traditional pitch by pitch sense, but needed to get to a large ledge that denotes the start of the final pitch. Cathedral Peak: Climber's Approach is a 9.3 kilometer lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Yosemite Valley, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. John Muir Trail From Tioga Pass Road to the Merced River, Waterwheel Falls and the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne Trail, Benson Pass - Northeast Yosemite Grand Tour, PCT: CA Section I - Tuolumne Meadow to Sonora Pass, John Muir Trail: Cathedral Lakes Trail to Clouds Rest, Tuolumne Meadow to White Wolf via Pacific Crest Trail, Cathedral Lakes Trailhead to Yosemite Valley via Half Dome, Tuolumne Meadows to Tenaya Lake via Pacific Crest and Glen Aulin Trails. It is situated between Ndedema Dome and the Sphinx. The approach takes about an hour and is long enough from the road and hiking trails to give you a little peace (often to be shared with many climbers - start early). Cathedral Peak is an outstanding granite pinnacle in the Tuolumne Meadows area of Yosemite National Park. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. About Cathedral Peak State Forest. This is the best place to find multi-pitch climbing in the Santa Barbara area with three routes containing three pitches- South Face, Cave Route and the face route of the South Face. Prepared on this outing, we identified the turn off and began to follow the creek towards the saddle between Cathedral Peak and Echo Peaks. As we approached the Southeast Buttress, the trail steepened considerably and Colin dropped back, not acustommed to the high altitude hiking. I traversed slightly to the right at an alcove as shown on the topo, and up a dirty broken ledge to just below a chimney system that denotes the start of the next pitch. The unmarked turn off for the Southeast Buttress route is about a half mile down the Cathedral Lakes Trail, and can be easily missed as I had on my first visit when I climbed the peak via the standard fourth class Mountaineers route. 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