Southeast Buttress 5.6
Trip ReportCathedral Peak- The hard way
I decided to climb Cathedral Peak's easiest route (4th) class the hardest way I could think of:
As I drove away from my home in Mammoth Lakes the sun was just starting to crest over the White mountains
I started off on my bike just across from Tioga Pass at 6:45AM and headed up the pass right away, I have driven up and down Tioga Pass too many time to count, I have also biked and hiked up it once each before. The view never gets old though
The shoulder on Tioga Pass is plenty wide for one rider, no close encounters with RVs luckily! The pass was a tough ride, especially with a backpack loaded with shoes and lunch on a little rack behind my bike. Finally made it up and over the pass. I took this photo below as I watched my bike get speed wobbles from the rack behind.
A quick stop at the crowded Tuolumne Grill for some water before I headed to the Cathedral Lakes trailhead and changed into hiking clothes and shoes. I locked my bike up in the forest behind the porta-potis. I started hiking and was already pretty tired, once I hit the Budd lake trail I settled in and never saw the people that started right behind me. I turned around to find Lembert Done sticking out of the forest.
Finally the objective comes into sight, Cathedral Peak. I have had some knee problems in the past and my knee started to ache, but the pain wasn't bad enough to turn around. The trail steepens, but the trail crews have made some amazing steps through the sand slopes. I managed to get to the backside of Cathedral Peak and pulled on my climbing shoes for the scramble. I had to wait for the first party to summit that day to get off the short double cracks up the summit block. I ended up sharing the summit with a few other people. The view was great, but I was exhausted so I hung out for a while then made the trek back to my hiking shoes.
Unfortunately I could see the road winding back up toward Tioga Pass, I still had a long way to go!
My knee was killing me on the hike back to the trailhead, but I was just hoping it wouldn't hurt when I got on my bike. I was out of water and ready to get back to the grill to refill the bottles. Luckily my knee felt fine pedaling!
The ride back up toward Tioga Pass was hot, super narrow, and I was tired to say the least. A few cars made close passes, but for the most part people were respectful. Some RV went to pass me 1/16th of a mile from the gate and there was stopped traffic in front of me, obviously he was only looking at me and not the stopped cars in front of me. I flashed my expired pass and I was only 12 miles from my truck. I flew down the pass hoping my tires wouldn't blow, hopped into my truck and drove right over to Mono Cone for a nice reward.
The whole journey ended up being approx. 47.2 miles and 7,500 feet of gain.
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