Kor-Beck, Middle Cathedral 5.9

 
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Yosemite Valley, California USA

  • Currently 3.0/5
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Summary of All Ratings

SuperTopo Rating:   
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  • 5
 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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  • 5
 (4.0)
Your Rating:     (none)
Rating Distribution
11 Total Ratings
5 star: 9%  (1)
4 star: 82%  (9)
3 star: 9%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Jim

climber
Mammoth Lakes
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   Jul 21, 2003 - 09:11pm
Enjoyed the climb very much, but in a masochistic sort of way. Seemed to us that every pitch except the first is at least in reality one grade harder than it's rated (in fact, we agreed that the route is a great candidate for a 5.9 MA -- 5.9 My Ass).

Watch out for bees on pitches 1 and 4. My partner went for the 5.8 step-across on pitch 5, and a big piece of the arete (upon which he was lying back) came off, just barely missing us and a party below. So the 5.8 step-across is probably now 5.9 as well.

Looked like there was a rap route to climber's right after the first rappel (from top of pitch 4 on the Supertopo) that might allow for one less rap with a 60m. Not sure about it, b/c by then we were already on the second 110' rap in a row, so it would not have saved us anything. Anyone aware of this? Seemed to be on a somewhat new bolted route to climber's right of Kor-Beck.
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Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
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   Sep 13, 2004 - 03:52pm
Some thoughts on this route and the topo as of 9/12/04...

The route goes to the summit and does not end where the supertopo indicates (edit...although I see above that it states otherwise...You can't pull through the upper cruxes on gear). Although the Reid guide also only gives the bottom pitches stars, I didn't see that much of a difference in the upper and lower pitches. Perhaps before the recent rockfall, the lower pitches were significantly cleaner than the top ones? They aren't now. Rapping such a loose route when you have the option of summitting, especially if their are other parties on it, seems like a bad idea. If there's someone already on this route when you get there, it might be wise to return another day.

The route seemed to be pretty heavily impacted by the rock fall earlier this year. Lots of debris around and some missing trees. Most notably, the tree that used to be the belay for pitch 6 as per the Reid topo, used to be a 60 foot snag, is gone. Belays aren't easy to come by on that stretch (no stances and not much closely spaced gear), so it's probably best to belay on the ledge a very short distance into the 6th pitch...or run the two together for ~270ft.

The left wall of the chimney before the exit pitch has several incredibly precarious looking truck sized blocks...It was exciting to belay there and ponder the cruelty of nature.
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Doug Hemken

climber
Madison, WI
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   Jun 12, 2006 - 10:50am
This turned out to be more fun and less burly than I expected. Cruxes are less-than-vertical lieback moves. The route seemed pretty clean to me. What's with the fixed rope to the left of the start?

We were slaves to the modern aesthetic and rapped after the first 6 or 7 pitches, but it looked like an interesting afternoon to explore the route the rest of the way to the top. Guess I'll have to go back and do it again!
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le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
Jun 10, 2007 - 08:28pm
 

Fixed rope to the right of P1 is still there as of late May '07; I would have removed it if I'd seen this before I went up. A strange place for a fixed line.

The route was pretty clean when we did it - some munge down low, but it gets clean and nice and, in my mind, stays that way to the top of 6. Tried the .10- variation on P1: thin, thin gear, a couple of small cams take you to two fixed bashies at the crux. Too heady for me that day.

Many pitches link well with a 70m, probably a 60m as well. Great route overall, memorable and with good position.

-the bolted route to the right looks pretty good, looks like it also has bashies for pro at points, though never too far from a bolt.
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yellow mzungu

Trad climber
berkeley, ca
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   Oct 22, 2007 - 12:17pm
Just got on Kor-Beck yesterday and it is a stout climb! First 6 pitches are committing and a bit awkward.

We decided to summit, but could not find the 7 pitches of 4 class climbing. Instead, we went up a really messy corner system that required some committing face climbing, an awkward-offwidth-hands crack and had some tricky route finding at the top. I believe this is the version mentioned in Don Reid's topo.
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bergbryce

Trad climber
South Lake Tahoe, CA
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   May 10, 2010 - 08:56am
Climbed this the other day, what a fantastic route. The 6th pitch (final pitch for us) was the standout pitch. Great jams, secure liebacks, wild stemming, good pro and a great finish. None of the pitches are gimmies and none of the pitches are stinkers, imho.
If you don't like physical liebacking or semi-improbable stemming you probably won't like this route. These, combined with some required routefinding and the semi-adventurous nature of this route is what I liked.
I didn't find the route particularly dirty nor loose. There was one loose block at the top of the 4th (?) pitch right below the anchor. If you stack your rope on top of it be careful not to wedge it off. Had we had a larger backpack we would have rapped it down to the big ledge below it and left it there in a safer location.
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jfailing

Trad climber
PDX, North Slope, The Open Road
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   May 30, 2010 - 11:24pm
Did this route a few weeks ago. The 10a variation at the start is sweet! Quite technical, definitely required some thinking. The next few pitches are fun - great protection, a little awkwardness. Took a good sized fall on the fourth pitch negotiating some tricky liebacking.

We did the 5.9 traverse variation on the 5th pitch - wild!! Definitely some spiciness on that... The whole route is *almost* doable with a 70m rope. We were about 5 feet away from the anchors rappelling from the tree at the top of the 6th pitch... although we did leave a rope fixed at the top of the 1st pitch. Overall fun route!
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pvalchev

Social climber
Truckee, CA
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   Sep 28, 2010 - 09:30pm
I really liked this climb - nearly as good as the Central Pillar! I didn't pay attention to the topo, and found myself following the sweet crack, and soon doing the 5.10 variation to the first pitch while thinking "there is no way this is 5.7, what a sandbag!" - it's actually very solid rock, and cool, thoughtful moves, I'd do it again. Pulling the moves above the "bashies" is definitely very exciting, but thankfully eases quickly. You can do it as 5 pitches if you go higher on the 3rd pitch (optional belay shown in the supertopo), then belaying after the 5.9 traverse. The last pitch was very cool and didn't feel that burly. Would be cool to go to the top..
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Archie Richardson

Trad climber
Grand Junction, CO
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   Aug 10, 2011 - 11:56am
Did the route yesterday and found it mostly enjoyable (after pitch 1). It appears that you could easily access Space Babble from the bolts at the top of pitch 4 (with two ropes)as a descent alternative. We opted to continue down Kor-Beck, which went smoothly despite some loose terrain along the way.
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ilona

climber
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   Sep 29, 2011 - 03:59pm
Great Route! solid alternative to Central Pillar, much more interesting climbing on mostly solid rock after pitch 1. Did it in 5 pitches with a 60m without problems or rope drag. Spent a while trying to figure out the 5.8 step across move on pitch 5 - someone else noted that a flake pulled off? I couldn't figure it out, so downclimbed and did the 5.9 traverse instead which seemed much more straightforward. Maybe the upper traverse is height dependent?? The last pitch is a standout - awesome three dimensional climbing.
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Lazy bum

Gym climber
Redwood City, CA
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   Sep 20, 2012 - 12:05pm
I did this route a few years ago, all the way to the summit. We never found the 4th class section, and ended up climbing straight up and then left in the U shaped bowl. It is really not that dirty and the route finding is reasonable. The protection is good and it goes at about 5.8+ most of the way. After I lead the first pitch, my partner announced he was too tired to lead, so I lead the entire route, about 10~12 pitches, depending on where you belay. This is a good route to climb before getting on DNB, and I though it was better than East Buttress.
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mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Sep 20, 2012 - 12:16pm
 
I was sitting on the Valley Shuttle and heard bus lady say "Here are some rock climbers who just come off El Capitan." They were Czech, Martin and (duh) and GF. They looked and smelled the part, so I asked about this and they'd done the EB on EC in a party of 3 the day before. They took 4.5 hrs. They were returning from a GF trip up Royal Arches. They related that they'd done KB as well. I asked about the current (40 yrs later) state of what we called the Dirt Direct and they goggled and said it wasn't that way at all anymore. I pointed out that it seemed like an adequate substitute for climbers not wanting to wait in the Cental Pillar of Frenzy queue. They looked at each other and grinned!!!
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Alpamayo

Trad climber
Sacramento, CA
Sep 20, 2012 - 01:34pm
 
There were a significant number of wasps in a crack early on the first pitch in early Sept. I got stung a few times on the hand.
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briham89

Big Wall climber
san jose and south lake tahoe, ca
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   Jun 7, 2013 - 07:30pm
Roger Putnam (aka RP3) and I climbed this route on Wednesday 6/7/13. We trundled a death block off pitch 1, so the first pitch is now much safer without it. It was amazing how easy the thing cut loose. There were other loose sections on the route, but most of it was small and avoidable.

Overall, I was really surprised at how good this route is.

Beta alert:
On pitch 6 (technically 5 since we linked 5 and 6) try to chimney near the top instead of liebacking. Super fun!


Here's a picture of the dirt that was holding the block in...
Credit: briham89
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Middle Cathedral - Kor-Beck 5.9 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click to Enlarge
Photo: Chris McNamara
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