Southeast Buttress 5.6
Trip ReportCathedral Peak TR
I'd only done Cathedral Peak's SE Buttress once before, in August 2006. My intent was to do it again in 2007, but instead I wrecked my car on the way up (late night + deer), broke my neck, and sustained a spinal cord injury.
My friend Matthew has a thing about death marches. His goal for the past several years has been to day-hike all the peaks on the Sierra Peak Section list. In fact, he is almost done with the list (only a few left to go). So he hasn't been climbing much.
I started technical rock climbing outdoors with him though, and we climbed stuff like Mt. Starr King and the Cosmic Wall (up in Castle Crags state park). He also helped me while I was in the hospital, and after I got out. So I owe him.
Saturday I drove up to Tioga Pass and spent the night nearby to acclimatize a bit. Here's Dana from Saddlebag Lake Road -
Sunday we got an early start (7am), but not early enough. There were already several parties hiking up with us. Still, the SE Buttress looked beautiful as we approached.
I hadn't slept as well as I wished, and above ~9500' I always slow down. The other parties beat us to the start and staked out their positions, but we had a decent line. Matthew hadn't led for a while, so I decided to lead this one.
I'd forgotten how nice the rock was on this peak ! I kept on leading. The second pitch flew by, and I managed to get some nasty rope drag on the third, but fixed most of it before embarking on a 5.7 variation up to the left of the base of the chimney.
The fourth pitch we did was the 5.7 knobs + arete to the left of the chimney pitch.
I thought this was the best pitch of the day. The views were stellar of course -
It goes without saying that on a nice weekend in Tuolumne this climb gets crowded -
this belay would shortly become home to 2 or 3 more parties ..
We decided to bail on the last bit of 4th class to the summit because of the crowds and the fact that we had already been up to the top before. We also wanted to do Eichorn's Pinnacle -
Turns out Matthew hurt his foot slightly while we scrambled down to the base of the NF route, so we just traversed back to the standard descent. But on the way I spied the West Ridge of Conness -
The weather was pleasant, sometimes a bit cloudy and breezy. I was worrying about thunderstorms, but things stayed dry all day. The mosquitoes were out in force though .. they followed us up most of the climb.
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