East Butt Lower Cathedral - NE Side

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SierraGoat

Trad climber
Quincy, Ca
Topic Author's Original Post - Jun 16, 2011 - 11:11am PT
Yesterday we climbed up a route that was on the right side of the East Buttress of Lower Cathedral Rock (100 feet to the right of the East Butt route). The route basically started at the toe of the buttress and was characterized by discontinuous cracks and corners linked by face moves, pendulums or easy ramps. Overall the rock was very good and very splitter in nature. After 7 pitches, the final of which was quite difficult/steep, we ended atop a small pedestal with a fairly blank wall/scar above. We potentially could have pendied out to the right to gain a crack, but were concerned not having our aid gear that we might get stuck somewhere where it would be difficult or costly to retreat. We bailed from the top of the pedestal and worked our way down the many well spaced trees. There was rap tat every where and even two bail anchors equipped with fixed gear up high.

Does anybody know anything about this route; name, grade, does it top out or link with the standard East butt route?

Cheers
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
Jun 16, 2011 - 11:54am PT
No guess here, but got any pics? Sounds like a cool climb. What grade do you guess?

We also once climbed something bizarre to the top of LCR, but it started way over by Return to Stone Age and linked up to the Bypass. There was tat on it too, but looked like it hadn't had passage in a long while.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jun 16, 2011 - 12:49pm PT
Did you start left or right of Soul Sacrifice?

Is the route visible in this photo, or hidden further to the right?
SierraGoat

Trad climber
Quincy, Ca
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 16, 2011 - 01:53pm PT
I guess it would be grade IV, and I'm not sure about the free rating as we did aid/french through the business. We believe it to be right of soul sacrafice by a distance of approx 100' to 150'
Here is a pic of the first pitch; it was a short 5.9 OW followed by 180' of beautiful 5.10 fingers in a corner to the top of a pillar.

base of route up obvious corner/crack
base of route up obvious corner/crack
Credit: SierraGoat

From the pillar we climbed a difficult corner for 30' before penduluming left and then up to a tree (100' total).

Clint: the route down low is on the skyline of your pic and then moves into the sun/shade border on the arete...and then out of view to the right
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jun 16, 2011 - 02:04pm PT
I don't have any good photos with light to the right of the NE buttress - maybe because I'm not usually awake at that hour? :-)
Here is a very fuzzy one.
Is your climb mostly in the shaded corner on the right side of the NE buttress?
Or out on the buttress, left of the shaded corner?
Lower Cathedral Rock, morning light <br/>
&#40;sorry about the poor resolution&#41;
Lower Cathedral Rock, morning light
(sorry about the poor resolution)
Credit: Clint Cummins
If you can download this and draw in the approximate line, that would help.
Or you can try to describe it relative to visible things on the photo.
I could also add markers to the photo.
SierraGoat

Trad climber
Quincy, Ca
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 16, 2011 - 02:25pm PT
route in question
route in question
Credit: SierraGoat

The yellow circles are the approx belays, most of which were at trees w/ ledges.
The first two purple squares are fixed pins. The first of which was in the left facing dihedral of the first pitch, the second was out on the face on the 6th pitch.
The upper blue square is a fixed anchor (orange metolius and bd nut)
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jun 16, 2011 - 02:58pm PT
Wow, thanks - that gives a pretty precise description of where you climbed!

As for what exactly has been done there before, not much is recorded that I know of, but others may know more.
The original East Buttress nailed straight over a big bulge, right of where the free version goes on p3+ now. But it sounds like that may be left of where you climbed.
There is a climb called The New North Face, but it starts atop a bolted route in Mecca and is well to the right.
Critter

Trad climber
State of Jefferson
Jun 16, 2011 - 07:24pm PT
Hey, I just did that route yesterday too. O wait, I was attached to the other end of your rope.

Saylor
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Jun 16, 2011 - 07:32pm PT
I recall Richard Harrison and possibly Rick Accomazzo climbing a multi pitch route in that vicinity, mid 70's.

They didn't top out, and were stopped by loose rock, if I remember right.
Zander

Trad climber
Berkeley
Jun 16, 2011 - 09:18pm PT
Can somebody draw in the standard North East Buttress route on the pic? Just curious. thanks.
Zander
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jun 16, 2011 - 09:38pm PT

SierraGoat

Trad climber
Quincy, Ca
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 17, 2011 - 08:36pm PT
Zander
Check this link for the approx standard East Butt route on Lower

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1097338
SierraGoat

Trad climber
Quincy, Ca
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 17, 2011 - 08:52pm PT
Ed, nice photo, this is much easier to pick out some details.
revised route
revised route
Credit: SierraGoat

Using this photo I realized that we did 6 pitches, although the first pitch and the last pitch were 180 footers. The green corner labeled is unbelievable looking! and appears to never have been climbed. The upper three pitches of the line we did were fantastically wild and soooo splitter. I was sure posting this would have turned up something from the obscure artists....

Edit: You may have to click on the photo to see the drawn elements. Also the blue arrow is my guess where it could go. Some direct aid may be needed....
aldude

climber
Monument Manor
Jun 18, 2011 - 08:22am PT
Looks like the first 5.8 pitch of East Buttress. New North Face is way right on the....north face starting off Pilgrimage V+ 11c A4. Unrepeated. Stanley & Jimmy Hayden did a long crack route 11c? @ the far left side of Mecca. Cmon Clint - let's see the goods!
SierraGoat

Trad climber
Quincy, Ca
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 18, 2011 - 08:28am PT
nice al, hey its brett from quincy, i used to post as youngblood...
when you gonna be in plumas?
aldude

climber
Monument Manor
Jun 18, 2011 - 08:32am PT
On my way - cya there!
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Jun 18, 2011 - 10:29am PT
Kevin,

Richard H. and I did two routes on that face, but they are way to the left in the gold colored rock. If you look at Clint's photo in post 3, Shake and Bake, the first one we did, goes straight up in the area of the second tree from the left in the foreground. Starfire starts a ways left of that. Richard and Yabo then did a third route, Spooky Tooth, which is left of Starfire and near the common rappel route for all three. All are on the same beautiful rock one finds on the Middle apron, but are a bit steeper.

I have never heard of anyone repeating any of them and would enjoy hearing if anyone has.

All three end on the obvious big ledge.

Rick
Zander

Trad climber
Berkeley
Jun 18, 2011 - 10:35am PT
Hey SierraGoat,
Thanks for the link.

Z
nutjob

Gym climber
Berkeley, CA
Jun 18, 2011 - 10:50am PT
Nice thread!

Here's a different perspective photo:
SierraGoat

Trad climber
Quincy, Ca
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 19, 2011 - 09:17am PT
Rick,
Do all those routes you speak of start far left of the east butt then? I had a hard time referencing them from the description.

Sound really great though....grades?

Nice pic nutjob.
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Jun 19, 2011 - 09:58am PT
Hey Rick,

Of course I know of your routes up toward The Gunsight - I remember when you guys did them and the tales of headier runouts than the sister routes across the gully on The North Face Apron. That wall looks really good, and I'm surprised there aren't more routes on it. Also not surprised if they haven't seen repeats, as there are almost no bolts to follow, heh.

The route I believe Richard did was up the big right facing corner around the north side of Lower's East Buttress, to the right of the route drawn into the photos on this thread.

If not with you, likely with Yabo, or possibly Largo it was.

Speaking of Richard, ST would benefit from his experience and razor sharp wit....
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Jun 20, 2011 - 07:31am PT
Kevin-Never mind! I checked the yellow Meyers guide and don't see the one you're thinking of. Would love to get Richard to join in here, but he's still too hard core: only wants to climb, not talk about it.

SG-here is an approximation of where they go.

left to right <br/>
Spooky Tooth, Starfire, Shake and Bake
left to right
Spooky Tooth, Starfire, Shake and Bake
Credit: Rick A

All were rated old school 5.10
SierraGoat

Trad climber
Quincy, Ca
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 21, 2011 - 09:05am PT
Rick,
Those all look really cool, and what a great area w/ out the norm yose hussle.
Overall so far I am very impressed with Lower Cathedral's rock quality.

Does anybody do Robbin's original Direct North Face route anymore?
A4 I think???
Eric Beck

Sport climber
Bishop, California
Jun 21, 2011 - 09:48am PT
Regarding the original Robbins NF route; I have been told that Bridwell and I did the last ascent, I think 1966. The Gong Flake which we chimneyed behind for two pitches apparently came off shortly after that.
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Jun 21, 2011 - 09:59am PT
I think the X rating and the general lack of info has relegated those three routes to Never-Never Land. The rock looks amazing--maybe with modern TCUs the routes can be protected.


The Gong Flake which we chimneyed behind for two pitches apparently came off shortly after that.

Yes, that might keep folks off that one! aldude showed me that rock scar. Two pitches of chimney behind the flake...yikes.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 21, 2011 - 10:44am PT
User Beware:

I still remember Richard saying that on one of those pitches _ I think it was Shake and Bake - Ricky ran the rope a nautical mile out off a blade or some such thing and that Richard was fairly amazed. Few people understand that BITD, Ricky could run the rope like crazy.

I'm thinking you better have money for you embalmer if you plan on attempting that one in the same style with the same blades for pro. But perhaps with new TCU's and so forth . . .

JL
mikeyschaefer

climber
Yosemite
Jun 21, 2011 - 11:16am PT
Gerberding and Dimitri put up a route over there maybe 4 or 5 years ago called the Annihilator. Also 5.10 something with an R rating.

If I remember correctly the R rating is due to crossing one of the established routes and they didn't want to add a bolt to it.

While putting up Border Country I spent countless hours staring over at Lower, being amazed by the look of the rock. I bet it is good up there.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Jun 21, 2011 - 01:59pm PT
This thread is another example why these "selected guides" are bullcrap. Tons and tons of interesting important climbing, all nearly unknown.
Jim Herson

climber
Emerald Hills, CA
Jun 21, 2011 - 06:29pm PT
SierraGoat, sounds like my daughter and I mistakenly climbed this on Saturday while looking for the East Butt. Couldn't reconcile the topo so we just followed your chalk. It was pretty good climbing. Especially the (6th?-last) off-fingers pitch to the pedestal. There was actually a new bolt just right of the prowl ~20' up/slightly right of the rock scar above the pedestal. I explored various alternatives and found two that would go. Unfortunately it was fairly adventurous climbing on dirt filled loose rock. Or at least adventurous while being belayed by a 65lb pipsqueak so we bailed. Would love to know what we were on and where the heck the East Butt goes. Come on Clint, clue me in.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jun 21, 2011 - 07:59pm PT
here's an interesting mystery, the Yosemite Guides I have going back to the Yellow Guide have the same topo for the E.Butt. of Lower... but the 1987 and 1994 guides have the routes drawn in two different places:

from the 1987 guide:

13. Mother Earth
14. East Buttress of Lower
15. North Face
16. Beggar's Buttress

from the 1994 guide:

13. Mother Earth
14. East Buttress of Lower
15. Beggar's Buttress

the topo doesn't make a whole lot of sense off these particular pictures, either..

Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jun 21, 2011 - 08:52pm PT
http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/596509/East-Buttress-of-Lower-Cathedral-Rock-IV-5-10c
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jun 21, 2011 - 10:59pm PT
The 1987 overlay line for the East Buttress of Middle is closer, but the photo is not a good angle for that climb, as the main corner it follows is hidden.

Jim, just look for a very big left facing corner, on the right margin of the slab with Rick Accomazzo's routes, and just left of Soul Sacrifice (which is shown on the topo).

Lower Cathedral Rock - East Buttress start
Lower Cathedral Rock - East Buttress start
Credit: Clint Cummins
Lower Cathedral Rock - East Buttress overlay
Lower Cathedral Rock - East Buttress overlay
Credit: Clint Cummins

There is also a trip report with alternative topo which shows pitches to the right, at:
http://iceclimb.blogspot.com/2007/05/east-buttress-of-lower-cathedral-rock.html
Here is the topo:
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_thzUlQ3opbs/RmNNJYMbm6I/AAAAAAAAAAM/qdYX5GEEEAY/s1600-h/img001.jpg
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Jun 22, 2011 - 08:01am PT
John-My friend, I expect that the myth of these being death routes, like others of our era, will shrivel in the harsh glare of reality after some young climbers just go up there. After all, Honnold compared the truly dangerous Southern Belle to Snake Dike, and these routes on Lower are nowhere near as hard or committing as that. I find it difficult to comprehend these young guys' level of ability.

On an thread a few years ago, Meyers asked me to describe these routes and my vague recollection is here:

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=286995&msg=289581#msg289581
Mr_T

Trad climber
Northern California
Jun 22, 2011 - 09:42am PT
It looks like Sierra Goat tried the mystery route that a friend and I thought was the start to the East Butt (Clint posted a link to my TR above). On our first attempt at what we thought was the EB, we made our way as far as the ledge where Fissure Beck starts, realized we were off route, and turned back. There was fixed gear and tat at anchors we found. These folks seem to have continued on (woot!).

I was curious what the upper pitches of route to the right were like. Without aid gear or bolts we were concerned about not being able to bail without leaving a considerable chunk of gear behind. It sure looks like from their high point they were about 1 p from linking back into the Eat Butt.

Anyway, if you haven't done the EB, go hit that! It's great line. As well, I'd bet some of those lines out towards the Gunsight would be good fun. Wonder if the advent of things like hybrid aliens might bring the R/X factor down a bit.
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Jun 23, 2011 - 06:17am PT
Eric Beck- What is the story behind the "Fissure Beck?" Obviously a play on the Fissure Brown, the famous passage on the Aiguille de Blaitiere in Chamonix. Joe Brown climbed it with Whillans in 1954 and it is celebrated in Tom Patey's The Joe Brown Song:

He crossed the sea to Chamonix
And to show what he could do,
He knocked three days off the record time
For the West Face of the Dru-
On the unclimbed face of the Blaitiere,
The crux had tumbled down-
But he cracked the crux by the crucial crack
Now known as the fissure Brown.

The Fissure Beck even made Bachar pause when he soloed it onsight. Here is what Bachar said about it, from the Amazing Solos thread a few years back:

Yes I did on-sight solo the East Buttress of Lower Cathedral. It wasn't an amazing solo so there's not much of a story.

The Fissure Beck pitch was a bit of a surprise for sure. The exposure is drawer filling to say the least. I definitely wasn't expecting anything like this to pop up. I chose right side in because I couldn't fathom facing out and doing it left side in - although that appeared to be the easier way to do it. I also thought about laybacking it for a tenth of a second - the barn door off that still gives me weird nightmares.

There was another weird pitch - the left facing 10b/c corner. There's an undercling fingerlock reach at the top of the corner where you stem out against two glassy beads and reach for all your worth to a good fingerlock above. If your feet pop, you're going for a solid 600 foot airball straight to the deck. My cojones have never felt that vulnerable. That was also quite exciting.

The rest of the climb was pretty fun and had a couple moments but nothing like those previous two sections. When I got down to the Valley, the first guy I ran into was TM Herbert in Camp 4. He asked me what I did that day and I told him I on-sight soloed the East Butt of Lower. He turned white, then he laughed cuz he thought I was joking. Then he looked at me in the eyes and realized I wasn't. We talked about the 10b dihedral pitch - he thought it was a solid 10d. I agreed. We sat silent and looked at each other for a while. Then he asked me if I wanted a beer....

Edit: I was actually going to on-sight solo a route on each of the Cathedrals that day. After the East Butt of Lower I lost my steam.
Eric Beck

Sport climber
Bishop, California
Jun 23, 2011 - 09:51am PT
Frank Sacherer and I did the EB of Lower Cathedral Rock in early spring. The fissure was my pitch. I put a knife blade in the thin crack on the right wall. I rember right side in, but switching to a layback toward the top. This was one of the few times climbing with Frank that he was out of shape and he actually climbed the rope, not only here but lots higher up.

I could have been in better shape and used one pin of aid up in the left facing dihedral, almost a flared chimney and another a few pitches higher as I was getting tired. I believe it was Steve Thompson who did the ffa a few weeks later. I never had anything to do with the name "Fissure Beck".

Frank did return and do the route all free.
[edit:] We kicked off a huge amount of loose rock, something you could do with relative impunity back then.
Rick Linkert

Trad climber
El Dorado Hills CA
Jun 23, 2011 - 01:40pm PT
Hi All-

I have been away from the Forum for many moons. I saw this post and re-established a password because mention of the climb brought back some great memories and wanted to relate an Allan Bard mini-adventure.

Allan wandered over one morning and suggested that we give the East Buttress of Lower Rock a go - at the time it had a reputation for being a bit stout for the grade but we felt we had a shot. Things went swimmingly through the Fissure Beck- my lead left side in. Allan laybacked most all of it- a great pitch and very airy either way. I was holed up in the tree above and looked across the Valley for the fist time in a while as I was pretty absorbed with the climb and was particularly interested in scoping out the crux just above. As Allan neared the belay, I observed a huge dark thunderhead quickly heading our way from the northeast and the booming of thunder began. A team from Mexico was high on the North Buttress of Middle. They apparently had a better view as I heard machine-gun rapid banter in Spanish that I suspected was related to the impending thrashing we were all about to receive. By the time Allan reached the belay the previously dry Horsetail Falls was in full bloom. Then came a rush of strong wind and it was like someone turned on a firehose. We quickly set up a rap and it felt like descending through a waterfall. We eventually hit the ground, muddy and soaked. Just as we touched down, the sun came out, birds began to twitter and it was summer again. We stood there looking at each other with these WTF? grins. Beer provided a remedy for out defeat. As was always the case climbing with Allan, we pretty much laughed our way up and down most everything. I still miss him and what he brought to the planet.

I never did go back to the climb as I thought that maybe, someday, Allan and I would return. Then life took us in different directions. My thoughts today are that you should do the climbs you want to do with the people you want to climb with as soon as you can.

Rick



Zander

Trad climber
Berkeley
Jun 23, 2011 - 03:00pm PT
"My thoughts today are that you should do the climbs you want to do with the people you want to climb with as soon as you can."

I'll second that.
Z
SierraGoat

Trad climber
Quincy, Ca
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 24, 2011 - 09:21am PT
Jim,
Thats cool and funny you followed our chalk up that fun climb... what great crack systems! I didnt see the bolt from the top of the pedestal! how was the climbing up to the bolt and did the relatively steep rock scar let up for easier passage above. I was thinking about busting left above the scar to gain easier ground and possible reaching the East Butt route, but of course bailed instead. I am sure you appreciated all the new tat on the way down:)
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jun 28, 2011 - 11:47pm PT
Here are some more detailed photos of where Brett, and later Jim and Kara climbed.
I believe it is where the original East Buttress aid line went, before the separate free line was done to the left.
Lower Cathedral Rock, NE Buttress, upper part, from the Nose
Lower Cathedral Rock, NE Buttress, upper part, from the Nose
Credit: Clint Cummins
Lower Cathedral Rock, NE Buttress, lower part, from the Nose
Lower Cathedral Rock, NE Buttress, lower part, from the Nose
Credit: Clint Cummins
Lower Cathedral Rock, NE Buttress, upper part, from El Cap Meadow
Lower Cathedral Rock, NE Buttress, upper part, from El Cap Meadow
Credit: Clint Cummins
Lower Cathedral Rock, NE Buttress, lower part, from El Cap Meadow
Lower Cathedral Rock, NE Buttress, lower part, from El Cap Meadow
Credit: Clint Cummins
If you click on these, there is some pretty good detail.
bob

climber
Jun 29, 2011 - 04:22am PT
Dang Jim, you're raising some adventurous climbers! Awesome.

Bob J.
jfailing

Trad climber
Lone Pine
Jun 29, 2011 - 08:27am PT
The Quincy boys are gettin' after it!
SierraGoat

Trad climber
Quincy, Ca
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 4, 2011 - 10:15pm PT
Great shots clint, hopefully I can use them as ammo on a return trip... You can really make out the top of the pedestal and the ground above it. still cant figure the best direction to head.
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