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Cathedral Peak TR
11:28:08 AM
Here's a bit a TR re a recent visit to the US with my family.
This May/June the wife and kids took off for America for 3 1/2 weeks driving round California with the understanding that there would be a lot of walking up mountains involved, no whinging. As my kids have both always been strong walkers since little, mostly no problem.

Having dreamed of climbing in Yosemite etc.. since I was a teenager, needless to say I took a good chunk of my rack, plus boots/harness etc.. balancing out my extra baggage weight by not taking any spare clothes.
One of the best features of children is that early introduction of an activity normalises stupid pastimes like climbing, and my son, now 15 seems quite happy to be dragged along and as he weighs 75kg is heavy enough that even if he isn't always paying attention on belay is a pretty reasonable counter-weight.

First port of call was the Valley, we did get up an easy intro multipitch in "Sunnyside bench regular route" (5.4) and tried to get on the ever popular "Grack" (5.7) on Glacier point apron but the line up was a bit much, two parties on it and two lined up. So we did an unnamed (in my guide) slab/crack route near by.

Being a moron, I hadn't noticed until we had booked accommodation that the day we planned to spend in the valley, was Memorial day. Apparently Americans like getting out on the afore mentioned and did so in force. We did a bit more hiking about and then went and mucked around at the base of El Cap before leaving.
Next day we drove through Tuolumne and Tioga pass stopping for a quick walk up Mt Hoffman.

On down to Bishop where I spent a pleasant early morning bouldering while the others slept. Got some advice on worthwhile easier routes and the good oil was Cathedral peak is worth a look.

After an earlyish start back up Tioga pass next day and after about an hour walk, Toby and I racked up with only one party far above at about midday.
The main face of Cathedral Peak has a variety of different lines all round the 5.7 mark, taking between 5-6 pitches to reach the top. Took us about 4 hrs after a bit of time wasting having to re set a belay to avoid rope drag, we reached the top which is a pretty awesome little pinnacle which we shared with another party who started after us.
Amazing easy hand cracks, a great chimney which is almost four-sided and some fantastic exposed face climbing on crystal/knobs.
Back to the car in about 2 hrs after a couple of short abseils and some scrambling of the back side. Best day out with your son you could imagine.

We spent the next few days getting across Nevada into Utah and snagged ourselves a camp spot in Zion National Park. Pretty mind blowing joint, very big and intimidating.
We managed to get up a couple of shorter routes over the next couple days and do some great walking,
but mainly spent our time staring at the fantastic amount of rock and imagining the amount of arm power and cams you'd need to get up them.

The next week drove back, stopped in round the Mt whitney area, then back up to San Fran via Big Sur.

Lessons learnt, have two ropes (standard for descent), and don't be a cheapskate and buy the guide book.
Also go back in time and go to Yosemite when I was 20, but take heart if your kids are little and eating your climbing time eventually they get big and may end up your rope mate.

12:06:59 PM
Dad of the year contestant.
12:48:44 PM
Nice TR and thanks for the rekindling of fond memories.

Simul-soloed Cathedral Peak with my girlfriend back in 95... We jogged in, climbed it and then jogged back to the car without seeing another person!

4:15:57 AM
On 20/06/2014 dalai wrote:
>Simul-soloed Cathedral Peak with my girlfriend back in 95... We jogged
>in, climbed it and then jogged back to the car without seeing another person!

Either you did it early or late season, or you experienced a minor miracle! I did it a few years back and suffered with the usual Yosemite / Tuolumne classic conga line shenanigans.
6:51:49 AM
But compared to many classics, Cathedral has a myriad of route options making passing other parties easy and reasonable safe. The guys i got the advice from in the Buttermilks said the advice used to be, start early to get there first, now don't worry about it as someone will always beat you there. We had pretty good timing and only shared a belay at the top, which was friendly and convivial. More than 2 parties on top could get tricky and time consuming.
12:42:31 PM
On 23/06/2014 pmonks wrote:
>Either you did it early or late season, or you experienced a minor miracle!
> I did it a few years back and suffered with the usual Yosemite / Tuolumne
>classic conga line shenanigans.

Very late in the season...

2:11:58 PM
What a great trip it must have been... Thanks for sharing the pics and tale.
4:31:34 PM
Ta, it was an awesome trip and balls going back to work. Planning future trips is what keeps you sane.

9:19:40 PM
A good read with great pics!
Like dalai, I thank you for the memories of granite with snow lying about, though my USA experience of such was down at Tahquiz Rock.

You are fortunate to be reaping reward for time and effort spent doing similar activity with the kids while they were younger.

There are 9 messages in this topic.


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