Northeast Buttress, Higher Cathedral 5.9

 
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Yosemite Valley, California USA

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SuperTopo Rating:   
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 (5.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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Rating Distribution
20 Total Ratings
5 star: 55%  (11)
4 star: 25%  (5)
3 star: 20%  (4)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
chimp

Sport climber
California
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   May 28, 2013 - 05:56pm
It was bee/wasp free as of a couple of days ago. It was also people free as we were the only party in the first day of memorial day weekend. Pleasant surprise.
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GhoulweJ

Trad climber
El Dorado Hills, CA
May 23, 2013 - 07:38pm
 
Yes, couple weeks ago.... It was Bee Free.

So now u may B Free
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chimp

Sport climber
California
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   May 23, 2013 - 06:38pm
has anyone done this recently? No bees or wasps on it?
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donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
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   Sep 5, 2011 - 10:26am
Really fun climb that goes very quickly, I usually use it as a warmup if I haven't been to the Valley for awhile. All the ingredients- hand jams, chimneys and even a chicken wing or two.
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tahoemnts2

Trad climber
Truckee, CA
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   Sep 5, 2011 - 02:24am
My buddy and I just did this route on 9-2-11. I would definitely recommend being familiar with the alternate finishes. From what I've read, the original finish seems much more 'user friendly'. We did the Supertopo finish and wasn't too pleased. Overall, the climb is a burlyfest and one of the more physical climbs to date. Be ready for a full body workout. If you are looking for old school chimney, you've come the right place.

I asked another team from Switzerland at the top of the climb if they liked the climb. He didn't speak any English whatsoever, but was able to muster the words, "Too much chimney". lol
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wallgumby

Big Wall climber
LA-LA, CA
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   Aug 18, 2010 - 09:07pm
Descent Beta, and trip report.


Did North East Butress Higher Cathedral Rock Sat Aug 7, 2010 with partner Fast Eddy. Great time. Started climbing route at 8:45am, should have gotten an earlier start. We did P1-3 using ST belays, which are best belay spots, then linked 4-5 which was easy. Belay at end of 5 much much better than intermediate belay at Mary's Tears crossing. Yep Yep Yep, burly stuff starts there. I really wanted to lead P7, so I locked rope up on Eddy once he hit small stance at top P6 before he could steal it. Crack in left-facing dihedral starts out just plain super fun, then jams get a little tougher and more vertical, but then you can stem left onto edge of vertical parallel crack to left. Stems got real wide at top and I have long legs. Wish the cheat-tat below wasn't there at the akward step-right move, I succumbed to the temptation. P7 squeeze chimney was full value. Eddy took a fall at the awkward step right over/around the buldge early on P8, but immediately hopped right back on that $HiiiT and soon was cussing like a sailor up the P8 squeeze. P8 is much easier staying further outside where there are good bumps you can smear and its wider so less squeeze style. Eddy led deeper in making it easier to place gear thouth. P9 traverse is trivial. 20 minutes.

Ok P10. Here is where you are likely to get confused. For P9, traverse across easy ledges, downclimb series of two flakes ending on a nice ledge with tree right above. Belay P10 lead from here. You will pass below the 5" offwidth variation noted on ST along the traverse. P10 goes up crack and tree. Above you see a big prow. ST route goes right of this, classic route (Reed book) goes left which takes you through two more tree clumps. Belay at last tree branch clump - its wild. Eddy had to taste all the options for P10 and led a connect the dots back and forth between both routes leading to terrible rope drag and an awful traverse ending on the Reed variation. Meanwhile I watched a front of clouds moving in from East over Half Dome. Rainbow. Lightning lightning. Hurry Eddy hurry. He climbs up 30' down 30' up 30' down 30'. I'm lost GURP! Figure it out Fast E! Up down up down. F@%^ rope drag F^&@! Storm is real close now and its 7pm. Will I be leading the last 5.9 pitch in the dark and rain? Ok Eddy's off and I am immediately gunning up, soon threading through this wild burst of defoliated branches Eddy is hanging in. P11 starts with an easy 5.7 dihedral/chimney. Where it opens up I think you can head right leading up to said 5.10 thin crack mantle variation reported in other threads. I go left instead to a good size sloping ledge below a right facing dihedral with hand/fist crack in back. BTW, the Reed topo seems to indicate 5.9 hand here? The last move from the chimney up onto the ledge did seem about 5.9 but was more of a mantle thing above lousy pro. The hand/fist crack kicked my A$$ even pulling some gear. I blasted the F-bomb like no tomorrow. Eddy coined the climb the 50-FKKK route from our sailor talk on burly pitches. Eddy finished cleaning right at dark. Last easy pitch done with headlamp. Did I mention the two guys from OC who were Shaka Stoking up all pitches below, but now seemed to be having a bit of a freakout below in the dark. They had just finished 50-FKKKing up the P8 squeeze I think. They said they were fine and I believe planning on rapping. Hope that went ok.

DESCENT BETA
I think the descent is probably real easy in the light. In the dark the trick is to head down following cliff rim to left navigating around several convolutions of this edge until it reaches the vary narrow section of ridge that forms the upper start of the Cathedral gully. Here you need to do a tight U-turn to get into the gully. If you keep heading south & down you will eventually get to the Bridalveil creek. The terrain is easier to describe looking north from Bridalveil creek canyon toward the Cathedral area (see diagram below). The ST yosemite valley map shows the U-turn pretty well but doesn't indicate how narrow the ridge is you need to find. Again this is all totally obvious in the light but in the dark if you loose the cairns & trail I think it might be easy to miss. We missed it went all the way down to the Bridalveil creek (water water yes yes yes) and bivied there then easily found our way back next morning in the light.


^ N
|
MCR-MCR
MCR-MCR spire
MCR-MCR CLIFF
HCR-HCR spire CLIFF
HCR-HCR CLIFF
HCR-HCR-ridge-CLIFF

slope down
| | | | | | | | | |
V V V V V V V V V V

Bridalveil creek


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le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
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   May 20, 2010 - 05:39pm
This route was even better the second time. Dry and perfect temps last weekend.

Having done the right finish the first time, my partner and I went for a different exit, taking what Clint describes in his topo below as ".10b thin" leading to the "dead tree".

This felt more like .10- mantle above a likely ledge fall (though not from very high, and you'd probably be fine. There's a great cam placement that will keep you on the ledge, but probably not off of it.)

The tree is very much alive (sweet!).

Here's a short vid showing the mantle and tree: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A58vaL-Y_yQ

Lots of linking to be had on route - we did it in 7 pitches (instead of 11) with a 60m, a minimum of simuling, and not too much rope drag, and we're not a strong party - see past TR's :)

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phile

Trad climber
SF, CA
May 10, 2010 - 03:47pm
 
Did the supertopo version. i may be horribly confused, but p10 was more like 110' than 160' (and p11 was still about 150').

Both traverse pitches link to the pitch below them with a 60m rope and a little rope drag.

Was very happy to have a #4.
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Two Pack Jack

climber
The hills
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   Jul 13, 2009 - 11:51am
A fun and physical climb!

Rack: 2ea. blue TCU/green alien through #3 camalot
1 set of nuts, maybe a duplicate of finger sized nuts #9ish

Linking Beta: (we did this route in 8 pitches with a 60m, a bit of ropedrag though)
4 pitches up to the base of the chimney. Keep going all the way left and belay in the base of the dihedral, don't stop at the other set of anchors.
-Lead a 180' pitch up through the dihedral, move out the little flake/roof and belay on the chockstone and tree.
-Lead another 180' pitch through the two chimneys, belay at the sweet ledge with bolt and piton.
-Lead a 185' pitch traversing to a large ledge and tree belay.
-Lead a 200' pitch to the top. Long runners and sparse pro help the bad ropedrag.
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mdanek

Trad climber
California
May 11, 2009 - 03:33pm
 
We climbed the route on 5/10/09. The route was dry all the way. Finding the original/standard finish is tricky since you cannot see the route when you traverse on P9. Stay left of the second tree (belay at the 1st tree after the traversing P9) – there is a hand crack section with a spike at the base when you start P10 to the left. We missed that turn, went to the right of the second tree and ended up climbing the ST finish. The corner section on P11 (described as 5.8 awkward hands/5.9 hands thru roof) feels harder than 5.9 after all the fun climbing before. The 5.8 section is steep and ~3” wide, the 5.9 roof is thin hands. Regarding the pro, we did not need anything bigger than 3.5”. We were only missing more small cams (had doubles).
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mynameismud

climber
backseat
Sep 7, 2008 - 01:15am
 
Clint,
thank you for posting those extra lines. I thought Power Point came straight into the Crucifix so it actually make more sense now.

I talked to Ron S. and he mentioned that he went our left below the squeeze in that seam crack. I have heard of other people doing it also. I eyed it but did not go for it. If I go out that way next time I will let you know how it is.

I had no idea there was another variation that went out left down low. Hmm may have to go back.
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Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Sep 6, 2008 - 05:17pm
 
Erik,

> Two questions. Can you put the Crucifix and Power Point in that overlay?
Done/updated.

> Do you have any beta on the variation that goes out left to avoid the 5.8 squeeze and the 5.9 stem?
Do you mean Gemini, Rob Miller's route, which traverses left from the belay below the 2-pitch flaring corner? There was a topo in a Rock&Ice Yosemite issue a couple of years ago, and you can see a couple of bolts on the traverse from that belay.
If you mean something which goes out left partway up the second pitch of the flaring corner, below the squeeze, then I haven't heard of it. There seem to be a few cracks out there on that left wall, but I don't know if they close down and make the climbing hard or not.

Thanks for taking that photo! "It's amazing what you can find on the web..."
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mynameismud

climber
backseat
Sep 4, 2008 - 05:23pm
 
Clint,
Two questions. Can you put the Crucifix and Power Point in that overlay?

Do you have any beta on the variation that goes out left to avoid the 5.8 squeeze and the 5.9 stem?

Also, awesome job on the overlay. I did not know I took that pic. Nice find.
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rick

Social climber
california
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   Sep 4, 2008 - 03:10am
Wow! That is a great shot and very clear to see the route. Thanks, even I won't get lost now. I have done it several times by the 'supertopo' variation which is less fun and finally this year actually found the 'original/standard' route which aside from perhaps slightly confusing climbing at the start of the image Clint posted is great. So I strongly recommend the original/standard (yellow) variation over the supertopo OW corner (purple) variation. Great climb.
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Mei

Trad climber
Was a
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   Sep 3, 2008 - 06:13pm
Clint, the Beta Man! That is a nice illustration there. I can't decide what color I want to pick next time. If you had used pink on one of the variations, it would make the decision making easier. (kidding)

The supertopo variation does look fairly straight in this image. I guess going from somewhat out on the face (right above the down climb) into a corner, as well as climbing around various features and obstacles inside the chimney/offwidth, gives one the perception that the section is not straight. Now that I look at it again, supertopo did portray the path as somewhat straight, but it also throws in some details along the path to reflect the nature of the rugged rock face.

As you have pointed out, in the Supertopo drawing, the ramp leading to the final exit 5.8 chimney looks longer than it is (although it is not as short as shown in Reid's version either). Also, the ledge at Belay #10 is much smaller than what Supertopo has promised.
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Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Sep 3, 2008 - 04:40pm
 
Good points, Mei. The reason I drew the big right facing corner so straight is that I have never climbed it, and the best photo I could find (Ed's) had it almost fully in the shade. But a climbing photo does show a roof/overhanging section near its top, which is shown on the supertopo but not on mine.

Looking more today, I found a great photo by Erik from when you and he climbed Higher Spire in 2005. Here is a new overlay which should make things pretty clear (and to better scale than the supertopo, which has the traverse left at the end of the corner too long relative to the height of the corner).

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Mei

Trad climber
Was a
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   Sep 3, 2008 - 12:45am
I, in the beginning, was confused about the variations when I looked at Clint's drawing (a few posts earlier) and Supertopo drawing and could not piece the two of them together. Then it dawned on me why. In Clint's drawing, which is fairly close to Reid's version, the Supertopo variation has been simplified into that clean looking straight line marked "5.9+ awkward wide." If you look at the Supertopo version, it is not that straight at all. I'd say the Supertopo drawing for that particular variation is pretty accurate. I'm posting the comparison below (Clint's drawing to the left and Supertopo drawing to the right). The supertopo variation has been highlighted in yellow in both drawings (shrunk to fit):



I posted my beta for the route on my site, in which I talked about weather, logistics, route characteristics, and posted pictures for every pitch from last weekend. It is too long to post here and some people might not like the spoiler. But you are welcome to check it out (click here) if interested.
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August West

Trad climber
Where the wind blows strange
Jul 2, 2008 - 02:26pm
 
Asking about heat would generally be better done in the Forum section instead of the beta section. But anyway..., when I was younger I did plenty of valley multi-pitch in the summer heat, but I generally avoid it now. Depends a lot on your tolerance and willingness to suffer.

With a normal start, the lower half of the route (which is generally easy) will be hot but the route shades up by early afternoon and the chimney pitches (the burly part of the climb) will probably be fairly reasonable.
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waltereo01

Trad climber
Montreal, Canada
Jul 2, 2008 - 12:20am
 
Climbing this route mid-end Augustis realistic or just crazy because of the heat ?
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Brutus of Wyde

climber
Old Climbers' Home, Oakland CA
May 18, 2008 - 01:51am
 
Just fyi... The "Dead end OW" shown on the Meyers mark-up topo goes but is not recommended. Loose and lichenous face traverse leftward from the end of the OW felt about 5.10c when I did it ~15 years ago. No real good pro out there either.

Yikes.

"scuse me, gotta go change my shorts.

Thanks for the memories.

Brutus


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martygarrison

Trad climber
Washington DC
Jan 26, 2008 - 08:08pm
 
I was sandbagged by don synder in the 80's on this one. the climbing isn't all that difficult however don had climbed the route once before and insured that I had to follow (with a daypack) all of the squeeze pitches. I made it up to him later in the day by blowing up leaning meany (a route I had climbed at least 50 times) and chuckling as he slipped off the crux!
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Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jun 27, 2007 - 02:32pm
 
As Fingerlocks posted in March, there are about 3 different finishes, and the supertopo only shows one of them (the 5.9+ right side corner to 5.8 center ow).



The traditional finish is the left corner (5.9 hand crack), and you do not need anything larger than a #3 Camalot to protect it.



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lizard fiasco

Trad climber
Berkeley, CA
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   Jun 26, 2007 - 03:01am
The first 5 pitches can be linked as 3 with a 70m rope and some slings. Likewise, a 70m rope could be useful for linking the upper pitches, though we didn't due to rope drag, dehydration, and fatigue. I was glad to have a #5 friend for the final offwidth/chimney section.
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clustiere

Trad climber
berkeley ca
Mar 28, 2007 - 08:13pm
 
I climbed Higher Cathedral spire a few days back- it looked dry enough, brail book however differen't story.

I did the route a few years back it is pretty physical in all the fun ways.

It would be fun to link middle cathedral with this eh.
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Fingerlocks

Trad climber
where the climbin's good
Mar 28, 2007 - 07:49pm
 
There are a few different options for a finish to this climb. Here’s a thread about them with some pictures:

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=345597&tn=0


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hamid

Trad climber
Berkeley, California
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   Mar 21, 2007 - 07:12pm
Anybody been on this route recently? Is it dry?

-Hamid
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Lambone

Big Wall climber
Ashland, Or
Feb 25, 2006 - 02:56pm
 
I ended up on the same pitches you are descibing. I think the route is further left. Those pitches wern't fun in the dark...
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deano

climber
sonora
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   Feb 25, 2006 - 01:28am
is there a variation to the last few pitches if you
do not traverse very far, and then go strait up a corner
system?
I think we got way off route. In the Reid book it shows this
corner coming straight out of the traverse with no notations at all, but when we got about half way through the last traversing stuff,we saw the top over this cool corner system and just went for it. It's two pitches from the top of the cliff, with one of some killer fingers and hands to realy hard offwidth and then a crappy chimmney to the top. pretty freaking hard,or at least I thought that 2nd to last was way harder than anything below, but looked like it was climbed on before; big ring angle piton at the top of last crappy chimmney pitch.
I don't know
is that just be the way the thing goes?
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climberweenie

Trad climber
San Jose, CA
Jun 12, 2005 - 03:04pm
 
Did this route June 5, 2005. On supertopo drawing, one of the traversing pitches shows 2 bolts like could be a belay, then continue left to another single bolt, then keep going left for another 2 bolts to the real belay at end of traverse pitch.
This is wrong.

Pass the first 2 bolts (clip them as gear), then stop and belay at the single bolt backed up with your own pro (there are reasonable places to sit- we ate lunch here to let a party pass). You need to go straight up from here (rope will end up going through the tree right above your head). Very loose blocks around here- but exposure and views from this belay are unmatched.
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Alexey

climber
San Jose, CA
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   May 12, 2005 - 07:47pm
Rick Booth and I did NE Buttress on May 7. It took us 11 hours to complete route in 10 pitches. It is remarkable and mostly sustain route with crux at tight 5.9 squeeze at pitch 7 (ST). Beta given above by "NoRushNoMore" is very precise. We did as most parties pitches4,5&6 into 2 pitches and we took #4 Camelot (actually #5 friend) particularly to make 5.7 wide crack variation to make last tree pitches (9,10,11) in two. We climb this 5.7 wide crack, which is turned to be at least 5.8+ OW with very inconvenient size ( wider than fist, but you can not insert a knee ). The good thing about this crack that it has same size all the way and you can move your #4 Camelot above your head all the way up in it. Despite we climbed this variation and make the route more strait forward,- we was not able to make pitches 9,10,11 as two but as tree. Any way I think it had some sense to make this variation because I've heard that some parties made those last 3 pitches in 4 . Be aware that Supertopo depicted last 2 pitches confusingly (other 9 pitches depicted perfectly as we use to ;), - check the end of root with Reid book
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
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   Aug 1, 2004 - 01:33am
i just received this beta from a supertopo user

About NorthEast route on High Cathedral: pitch prior to the first long chimney there is only one piton instaed of two as shown on topo.
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NoRushNoMore

climber
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   Jul 18, 2004 - 10:02pm
Just completed this route yesterday.
Few comments on the topo:
* There are not bolts at the end of pitch 1, just a few slings threaded thru the crack between two rocks. This pitch is also very loose.
* You can't really see the tree at the end of the 3, one that you do see right next to the route is not on the topo, keep going for another 20 feet to make a belay station (there is a fp in the corner)
* There are no bolts at the start of 5, belay at 2 bolts between 4 and 5 (Mary's)
* Belay at the end of 6 has two fps, back them up with the gear
* If you are like me and not very skinny then avoid the final 5.8 squeeze (about 10 feet before the end) by finding small flakes sticking out from the outer side of the block forming the left side of the chimney. Use them to come out of the chimney and layback the rest of it to the top.
* Belay 7 is much more comfortable if you keep going for some 20 feet up thru the 5.9 stem section which I think Reid overstates it at 5.10 then belay on the block with 2 fps in the back. 5.8 face on the right around hard stem section looks doable with the good hands but very run out.
* 5.8 chimney before the end of the 8 is much easier if you go left side in (unlike chimneys below)
* 5.8 lb above 9 felt more like easy 5.7 scrambling. (3.5 camalot was not big enough to protect 5.7 4" var)
* We tried var to the left of the optional belay between 9-10 (main line in the Reid’s book, not shown on supertopo). It had a hard 10 feet finger section and a mantel friction move 20 feet below the last tree on both topos (we reconnected with the main supertopo line at that tree). Also left exit (but not the most left) in the Reid's topo via 5.8 hands is probably the easiest way out and avoids the hard mantel move and the ow above the tree.
* Right above the last tree is the hard ow/fist section not marked on the supertopo that guards the final exit to the rim.

At last looks like both, supertopo book and site pictures have the last pitch drawn incorrectly. It follows the line from the Reid's instead of the supertopo book.

Enjoy the view as you are belaying your second. It is unbelievable. Also bring many quickdraws as there are plenty of pitons to clip as well as fixed slings and stuck gear.
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Fingerlocks

Trad climber
May 5, 2004 - 07:08pm
 
I'd agree that this is an excellent climb and as steep as you will find for the grade.

As per the previous post, run the first two pitches together, and then do you third belay at the top of Mary's Tears/start of Crucifix. It is easy to get to this belay from the "pillar" one, but watch your rope drag up over the point--using long slings and not putting in gear near the top will keep you happy. This gets you to a nice ledge that will give you more room that any of the belays from there to the top. It also has the only big bomber bolts to be found anywhere on the route.

The "4 to 7 inch variation" isn't as wide as that. A #4 Camalot would work, but for slightly less weight, you could take a #5 Friend which would come in handy on the following pitch.

The climb keeps going with wide cracks all the way to the very top, so watch your time or have a headlamp.
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August West

Trad climber
Where the wind blows strange
May 5, 2004 - 04:14pm
 
The route is definitely dry (a pleasant change from last time I did it) and we topped out in the light (another pleasant change). We did it on Tuesday. There was one party behind us, but they bailed.

The first two pitches can be run together with a little rope drag and some easy simul-climbing. The only tricky spot is right above the 1 belay. If you don't tie in too short, the leader will go past this while the second is still on the ground and the leader will get to anchor 2 before the second gets to this spot. I also recommend belaying at the anchor at the top of Mary's tears and skipping belay 4 and 5. Make sure you climb high enough for anchor 6. We didn't and even with a 60m, couldn't make it to anchor 7.

The climbing from pitches 5 to 11 (after the traverse) took us two and a half times as long as the first 5 pitches. I think this would probably be typical for most parties whose wide crack skills are a number grade or two below the rest of their trad skills. The second half of this climb is amazingly steep and sustained with long sections of wide climbing. For wide cracks, the protection is good.

The 5.8 stem above belay 7 gave me fits. I didn't figure out any sequence close to 5.8, but keeping the stem as far out (away from the crack your hands/fingers are in) seemed to help.

The standard route from pitch 8 to 10 is unpleasant. Short pitches and/or rope drag and a section of crashing through a bush/tree. Haven't tried going all the way over to the 10a hand. We were planning on the 4-7" variation, but the number 2 Big Bro we took was too big and the #4 Friend was too small to protect the crack (a 4 camalot might be best). This is a very clean looking splitter and it looks like the fastest (one less belay) and most aesthetic variation.

The descent is pretty well marked and fairly easy even by headlamp. If coming down at night, the key is to keep traversing to the right.
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rick

Social climber
california
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   Apr 29, 2004 - 03:43pm
Anyone climbed this route recently? I was wondering if the upper pitches are still wet.
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Fingerlocks

Trad climber
california
May 13, 2003 - 04:53pm
 
Did the climb on Sunday which had wonderful weather. All the upper pitches (after first traverse) ranged from a little to a lot wet (as did the little roof section on pitch 3).

Running 4, 5, and 6 into two pitches by belaying under Crucifix works well and saves time. Rope drag is an issue both coming and going. I skipped the bolt down left from the belay (after Crucifix) and that helped a lot. Long slings, of course.

Midsized cams (big finger to small hands) will you you more good than big ones and at less bulk to boot. Didn't use any stoppers other than a couple of midsized ones at belays.

There currently is a string of fixed ropes from the top (of Crucifix?) to the ground, so you could bail easily if you wanted to and if you trusted these ropes.

The walk off the top is one of the most tame of any longer climb.
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David

Trad climber
San Rafael, CA
Mar 27, 2003 - 10:58am
 
I can't help you but I can sympathize. I thought some of the "5.7" on this route was harder than the 5.9 sections. This climb was my first long route in the Valley and it kicked my ass. Only 5.9 but it was the most discouraging and embarrassing
day of climbing in my in life to be honest! This was about 5 years ago and I've done many other routes in Yosemite since but I've never gone back to this one. The little voice in my head is getting louder and beginning to mock me.
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b$

Trad climber
sf
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   Mar 27, 2003 - 01:18am
Does anyone know the best technique for the 5.7 flaring groove on pitch 9 (I think it's pitch 9 - it's after the traverse which is after the roof)? I struggled up it last year while some other guy just cruised it by lie-backing. Anyone? anyone?
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Michelle

Social climber
1187 Hunterwasser
Mar 17, 2003 - 03:52pm
 
is mid to late april a bad time to do this route? winter has been mild but with the storm this weekend (cold too!) I am reconsidering my plan.
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paul b

Intermediate climber
1187 Hunterwasser
Dec 9, 2002 - 10:00pm
 
I WANT TO CLIMB !!! I WANT TO CLIMB !!! IVE GOT TO FRIGGIN CLIMB!!! RAIIIIIIIIIN RAIIIIIIN RAIIIIIN !!!! SPRING,SPRING,SPRING AHHHHHHHHHHH
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scooter

climber
fist clamp
Nov 3, 2002 - 04:24pm
 
Hey Matt, I would do'er in my bare feet. Ha. Would anyone agree that the 5.8 face option left of the crack on pitch 8 is a bit scary.
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Matt

Intermediate climber
fist clamp
May 22, 2002 - 01:08pm
 
I thought the pitch you are talking about skirting was the best pitch on the whole route!
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Jason

Novice climber
fist clamp
May 22, 2002 - 12:50pm
 
Yeah, I did the right crack onlt because it looked better than the stuff strait up. I was probably wrong. It's dirty, slippery and probably harder (strnuous start). But once you past the first 20 feet it's gets better.
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stemler

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
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   May 22, 2002 - 01:21am
START EARLY!! arriving at the base at 6:30am, this last sunday, we were the forth party in line, and another party had split before us. Good Climbing, but only a few pitches were really that beautiful. I'm not sure why this route gets the "best grade IV" tag, perhaps I'm wrong, but maybe the east but of el cap might be more deserving.

Does any one have beta on the crack to the right, and out of the corner leaving from the belay at the 2" stance in the big dihedral. I was checking it out from the belay, it had a few pitons and looked like really good climbing (small hands). it seemed to go to the tree at the base of the chimeny and looked more fun than the second part of the dihedral.
Anyone?
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bob

Novice climber
Santa Cruz, CA
May 20, 2002 - 12:06pm
 
JT, the route is dry. Get an early start: there were three parties on the route when we did it last weekend, fortunately we were first.

The finish in the supertopo is the undescribed right facing corner above the bush belay at the end of pitch 9 (traverse) in the Reid topo. If you haven't had enough burly 5.9 jamming and squeezing at that point, go for it, it's a little grainy but good. You can traverse over left to the tree belay shown in Reid at the end of 11 - the chimney above looks ugly and lichen covered. Otherwise the rightmost finish in Reid is pretty easy - one 5.9 mantle and a little 5.8 squeeze and you're off. I haven't tried the left finish in Reid, but guys on the route behind us did that finish and said it was pretty burly.

First time I did the route I brought the #4 camalot. We left it behind this time and didn't miss it.

Have fun!
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JT

Intermediate climber
Santa Cruz, CA
May 20, 2002 - 01:55am
 
Planning on climbing NE Butt of Higher Cathedral this week. Can I expect the route to be dry?
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Sumdood Hoozrad

Novice climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Apr 5, 2002 - 11:49am
 
Indeed my mouth was like an empty chalkbag before I even got to the slot pitches (6, 7, 8). I had to take some of Jasons water and even then at the top of pitch 8, he saw in my face a zombie-like expression that all the same indicated desperation. He asked if I was OK. Fortunately Jason the stud man led all the crux pitches and pulled us thru. As for me, I started fraid (intended free, but too tired/scared) climbing on pitch 8. Gotta go back. Bring tons of Hydrogen Dioxide. I drank 3+ liters on the drive back to the bay area (4hrs) and didn't pee once.
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Jason

Novice climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Apr 3, 2002 - 03:07pm
 
I listened to other people say the same thing about the #4 camalot, so I brought it. I didn't use it though. There's plenty of smaller placements in the 5.8 squeeze chimney. And the 4" 5.7 OW on pitch 9 is optional. So unless you've got your heart set on doing that section without running it out a little (about 20'), you don't need anything bigger than 3".

Also, I thought the 5.10 variation on pitch 8 was not that hard compared to the two prior pitches. It might be 2 or 3 cramped moves of 10b (with solid hands), but after doing the strenuous stuff below, it just didn't seem like much.

About decent shoes: I wore my Kaukulators back to the base and was fine. My toes did hurt a little but if you're going do this route, you've probably learned to deal with that sensation.

And don't skimp on water. My buddy who is normally a camel brought 12 oz. and that was far too little. Bring at LEAST 1 qt/climber. I prefer three 12 oz bottles (slung and heavily taped) per climber. Ration the bottles in 4 pitch increments and you'll be happy that you have water nearing the top, which is where you're going to need it because this climb doesn't let up untill the very last pitch. If anything don't drink a lot of water on the lower sections; the heavy breathing starts on pitch 6.
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Jung

Intermediate climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Apr 2, 2002 - 10:42pm
 
BRING THE #4 CAMALOT
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Matt

Intermediate climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Apr 2, 2002 - 09:29pm
 
regarding this advice:
(Wear climbing shoes that are not uncomfortable, and leave your approach shoes at the base (the descent will take you back close to this point). Or wear flipflops then clip em on your harness. RE: water: collapsable is key. Use a Camelbak or (better) some collapsable 1 quart rig you can clip on your harness. Hydrate beforehand/leave water at the base. The less stuff you bring, the more fun you and your second will have. Use a 60m rope and run that sucker out if you wanna top out quickly. A pack on a free climb sucks for whoever gets it - if you must bring a jacket, tie it around your waist so nobody gets the sherpa treatment.)

Anyone attempting the cathedral spires gully decent in flip flops will be hating it! Even Tevas might suck- invest in light weight sturdy approach shoes & clip them on somewhere. Most of the wide stuff on this climb is flared so you can put those shoes on the "open" side each time. 2nd-ing w/ a pack on this climb is an unenviable task- be prepared to sling it & drag it if you decide to bring it.

I agree w/ the hydrate before part- go light & keep moving, this climb gets less sun than some other climbs- you'll live w/out much water.

Few people I know climb grade IV's in YV w/out bringing some kind of small waterproof jacket. I always take a gortex shell (I have a simple no frills thing from Sierra Designs- I keep a windproof fleece skullcap that fits under my helmet in one pocket & a small headlamp in the other- the whole thing stuffs easily into the tiny stuff-sack that my MSR stove came in.

4 out of 5 climbers recommend being prepared for whatever comes your way (unless you are as fast as the guys in the magazines...).
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Vladimir

Advanced climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Oct 10, 2001 - 12:44pm
 
pitch 3 marked as 80 ft, but the way it is shown on
topo makes full pitch, 160 ft or about it (I had 60m, so can not tell exactly). The fourth pitch better end at the ledge with two bolts, just after the roof, to avoid the rope drug. The next pitch is short anyway.
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Mike

Advanced climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Sep 10, 2001 - 03:23pm
 
andrew,
Wear climbing shoes that are not uncomfortable, and leave your approach shoes at the base (the descent will take you back close to this point). Or wear flipflops then clip em on your harness. RE: water: collapsable is key. Use a Camelbak or (better) some collapsable 1 quart rig you can clip on your harness. Hydrate beforehand/leave water at the base. The less stuff you bring, the more fun you and your second will have. Use a 60m rope and run that sucker out if you wanna top out quickly. A pack on a free climb sucks for whoever gets it - if you must bring a jacket, tie it around your waist so nobody gets the sherpa treatment.
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andrew

Intermediate climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Sep 4, 2001 - 07:50pm
 
what is the best strategy for carrying water and shoes for the descent on this route. would the nature of the climbing make
climbing make wearing a pack awkward or difficult for the second?
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Chris McNamara

Big Wall climber
Mill Valley, CA
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   Jul 1, 2001 - 02:43am
Hey Rob,

To answer your question below, no it is not too late in october to climb NE Butt of Higher Cathedral Rock. However, with short days you better start EARLY to make sure you finish this demanding climb before dark.
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robert reilly

Intermediate climber
Mill Valley, CA
Jun 28, 2001 - 06:12pm
 
Is it too late in the year to climb n.e.b or routes of equal severity and lenghth dureing the last two weeks of october.
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BD

Big Wall climber
Albany
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   Jun 15, 2001 - 09:41pm
The NE Buttress route on Higher Cathedral is an amazing route. I believe it has to do with the beautiful location as well as the wonderful climbing. We turned pitches4,5&6 into 2 pitches very easily by belaying at the bolted Mary's Tears belay and keeping aware of rope drag. The 2in stance at the top of pitch 6 is easy to not see until you are close so go past the rap slings on the flakes and head for the second fixed piton. Pitch 7 is a full body workout so dive in, enjoy and don't let it intimidate you. The last couple of pitches are more fun than they look. We took the 5.9 hand crack to the 5.8 hands(very nice). Another amazing climb in heaven on earth. Cheers!
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Higher Cathedral - Northeast Buttress 5.9 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click to Enlarge
Northeast Buttress of Higher Cathedral is one of the best Grade IV climbs in the Valley.
Photo: Greg Barnes
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