Trip Report
Middle Cathedral Rock--1974
Saturday September 1, 2012 6:57am
Jim Shirley, Cowboy Larry Moore, Mouse. Late spring, on the East Buttress of Model California Rock.

Both these guys were best men at my weddings!

Larry is in an ashram in the northwest, the last I had word.

Jim is busy with Mars, here lately.

This is such a beautiful climb. I first tried it barefoot in a stupid fit of rock lust with Muskrat Mathis. I finally got it ticked in '71 with Randy Hamm.
I got in a fast ascent with Dick Ellsworth on Memorial Day of '72. I must have climbed this fascinating and satisfying route nine or more times, one for each finger, once before this with Larry, and enjoyed every one of them.

This was Jim's first multi-pitch effort; so the n00b, a graduate of RCS and Cal, learned quickly. We had been to Pinnacles once and did an aid route. Let's raise a glass to UC climbers! He got on jumars and acquitted himself better than Larry or I expected. And he got some good clicks in, too!

Enjoy...

My girl in one of her frigid moods.  So sexy in her winter lingerie.  ...
My girl in one of her frigid moods. So sexy in her winter lingerie. 1970 Instamatic.
MCR
Credit: mouse from merced

The Model California Rock.  Always in the middle of everything!  Flaun...
The Model California Rock. Always in the middle of everything! Flaunting it for all the El Cap parties. Standing next to the road, she plays the little tramp. Jim shot these with a Pentax.
MCR
Credit: Jim Shirley

This is about as far as Muskrat Mathis got with no rope and barefoot i...
This is about as far as Muskrat Mathis got with no rope and barefoot in 1968.
MCR
Credit: Jim Shirley

The beginning...This is almost as far as I got bare footin' in 1968 wi...
The beginning...This is almost as far as I got bare footin' in 1968 with Mathis. We were soooo stupid.
MCR
Credit: Jim Shirley

Mouse following the 5.9 roof.  Jim is already at the the small belay l...
Mouse following the 5.9 roof. Jim is already at the the small belay ledge.
MCR
Credit: Jim Shirley

Mouse, higher yet.  Someone light a fire under his ass! <br/>
MCR
Mouse, higher yet. Someone light a fire under his ass!
MCR
Credit: Jim Shirley

"Took ya so long, Pard?" <br/>
MCR
"Took ya so long, Pard?"
MCR
Credit: Jim Shshshirley

Mouse, higher.  MCR
Mouse, higher. MCR
Credit: Jim Shirley


Say cheesey, Mouse. <br/>
MCR
Say cheesey, Mouse.
MCR
Credit: Jim Shirley

Everybody poops.  Everybody pees. <br/>
MCR
Everybody poops. Everybody pees.
MCR
Credit: Jim "Golden Showers" Shirley

Who could tire of this vista?
Who could tire of this vista?
Credit: Jim Shirley

Vous etes l'epitome des grimpeurs, en Galibier modele BB.--Gasse don R...
Vous etes l'epitome des grimpeurs, en Galibier modele BB.--Gasse don Rubberfoot
MCR
Credit: Jim Shirley

photo not found
Missing photo ID#261525

Not a care in the world up here!  Thank you, Miss Cathy! <br/>
MCR
Not a care in the world up here! Thank you, Miss Cathy!
MCR
Credit: Jim Shirley

Larry cleaning.  MCR
Larry cleaning. MCR
Credit: Jim Shirley

Cowboy style.  The Trough.  MCR
Cowboy style. The Trough. MCR
Credit: Jim Shirley

The Trough belay station.  MCR
The Trough belay station. MCR
Credit: Jim Shirley

Mouse giving the old tramp a thrill.  Hardly... <br/>
 <br/>
MCR
Mouse giving the old tramp a thrill. Hardly...

MCR
Credit: Jim Shirley

"Hustle up, slow poke...Daylight's fading and you're faffing around." ...
"Hustle up, slow poke...Daylight's fading and you're faffing around."
MCR
Credit: Jim Shirley

Ante meridian view of the HCS.  here's a shot you often don't see &#40...
Ante meridian view of the HCS. here's a shot you often don't see (and the following one of the Cathedral Chimney). It's dawn. We bivvied above the "funny climbing" on the last pitches. Below this broad area.
Credit: Jim Shirley

Cathedral Chimney in the a.m.
Cathedral Chimney in the a.m.
Credit: Jim Shirley

Jim Shirley on the 4th class route on east arete, Mt. Winchell, ca. 19...
Jim Shirley on the 4th class route on east arete, Mt. Winchell, ca. 1984. Got to get his mug in here too. Only fair.
Credit: mouse from merced

Edit: What I failed to mention is that we started this at 1:00 p.m. Real alpine start, eh? It's why the shots are so dark and the Captain is so lit up.

  Trip Report Views: 2,496
mouse from merced
About the Author
mouse from merced is a trad climber from merced, california.

Comments
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Comment on this Trip Report
martygarrison

Trad climber
Washington DC
  Sep 1, 2012 - 09:47am PT
Love the pic of the brand new EB's! bitd!
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
  Sep 1, 2012 - 09:52am PT
Great days climbing. The East Buttress is so classic and it has good climbing. Was Larry a Park Ranger?
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Author's Reply  Sep 1, 2012 - 09:59am PT
Plumber.
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
  Sep 1, 2012 - 10:46am PT
So, how come Larry had on a Park Service Shirt? Was he a Park Service plumber?

Brian, when the weather is just right and I am trying to drift off to sleep, I think about climbing on Middle. It is visceral. This is a photo of me climbing the bolt ladder on the East Buttress. Fig took the picture.

East Buttress of Middle Catherdal Rock.  Free climbing the bolt ladder...
East Buttress of Middle Catherdal Rock. Free climbing the bolt ladder. Early 1970s.
Credit: Roger Breedlove
PhilG

Trad climber
The Circuit, Tonasket WA
  Sep 1, 2012 - 10:54am PT
Great trip report of a beautiful, beautiful climb.
Gene Foley, an Englishman, and myself did that route back in those days. Caught by darkness on the descent(who carried "headlamps"?), we spent the night huddled around a campfire. The dawn greeted us with inches of fresh spring snow and a white-out.
Your classic pictures bring back the "fun" of those days!
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Author's Reply  Sep 1, 2012 - 11:30am PT
Thank you Phil and Rog. Nice figure you cut, Rog. I've always appreciated the write-up you did on the old gal.

We all love Cathy, the middle of a three sisters act. Counter-family to the Three Brothers.

And I always appreciated Phil's description of the top pitches of EB as "funny climbing." It's how he labelled it in the old binder of topos we kept in the Mountain Shop back in '71.

Who has that binder? It's worth oodles.

And yes, Cowboy was a NPS plumber who started out packing out effluvia from the high camps. (Pat Stewart may have done that packing with him.) He stayed in '74 with Chris What's-Her-Name-the- seasonal-rangerette-who-worked-in-the-kiosk-in-Camp-4-when-it-was-at-the-entrance-to-the-old-entrance in a tent in Government Housing.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Relic MilkEye and grandpoobah of HBRKRNH
  Sep 1, 2012 - 11:24am PT
Someone had some NEW EBs! NICE shots Mouse!
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Author's Reply  Sep 1, 2012 - 11:30am PT
Chis PERRY!

tnx, Ron.
Roadie

Trad climber
Bishop, Ca
  Sep 1, 2012 - 11:35am PT
thanks mouse, that makes me sad i missed those days.
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Sep 1, 2012 - 12:42pm PT
Supreme Mouse Old Skool Bump!
rockermike

Trad climber
Berkeley
  Sep 1, 2012 - 12:57pm PT
great TR. Back in the day things were always more interesting. ha I think I first climbed middle in '78 and have lost count of how many times I've been up there at this point. Best time for me was 3 hours car-to-car, when I was about 24 yrs old and climbing everyday. Now its a full day affair for me, but still love it.
Cosmiccragsman

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
  Sep 1, 2012 - 01:05pm PT
Great TR Mouse!
Do you still get out climbing?
If you do, you have to visit me here in Vegas to climb after my shoulder heals up from my surgery on Sept 20th.

Cosmic
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Author's Reply  Sep 1, 2012 - 01:37pm PT
I have some plans for September in the Valley. Oops, it's September. I'll be at FL in one of the Pines CGs. My climbing is limited to stairs at present. I earnestly hope to change that soon.

A supreme? Gosh, dude...you'll give me a swell head. These are JS' pix. I'm only the cabin boy.

I suppose you could then call me the Supreme Unlimited Old School Brian>ala WBr? sheeit...

Jim will have more slides to send me. I'm sending a batch back and he'll replace it with another, I hope.
Cosmiccragsman

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
  Sep 1, 2012 - 01:29pm PT
Oh well, whenever that changes, shoot me a PM.
Sure wish I wasn't going in for surg on the 20th,
because I had plans for either Facelift or CoR.

Have fun at FL, Mouse! It's a Blast, and I sure had FUN last year
at FL.

Radish

Trad climber
SeKi, California
  Sep 1, 2012 - 01:32pm PT
Always nice to see the old pics. That is a great route too! Cool, Thanks!
micronut

Trad climber
Fresno/Clovis, ca
  Sep 1, 2012 - 01:37pm PT
That was a great walk down memory lane. But I was born in 1973.

Thanks for the cool report old skool style.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
  Sep 1, 2012 - 01:54pm PT
you might entice Peter into helping out with the Photoshopping...

lightly photoshopped
lightly photoshopped
Credit: mouse
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Author's Reply  Sep 1, 2012 - 03:13pm PT
Too much tint, but I wanted the color of the Mammut Rope to stand out.
Too much tint, but I wanted the color of the Mammut Rope to stand out.
Credit: Jim Shirley. Mouse's "fix" on Vista Photo Gallery.

Mammut ropes product shot.  North Face was the distributor in the USA ...
Mammut ropes product shot. North Face was the distributor in the USA for a time in the 70s...
Credit: Jim Shirley. No enhancements.

Larry Belazy.
Larry Belazy.
Credit: Photo by Jim Shirley, photoshopping as well

First, I did some fooling around in Windows Gallery.

Second, Jim's original attempt at a product shot for the TNF catalog. North Face was our supplier of these ropes, as the USA distribution was in their hands: mine, in fact, running the warehouse in Sparks for six or so months.

And the last one, Jim photoshopped at his place in Simi last June when we acquired the slide scanner, a Hammacher Sclemmer Stand Alone DI Copier.

If you are interested, PH, you have powers beyond mere mortal mice. pm a moi, s'il vous plait. Souris de Merced
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
  Sep 1, 2012 - 03:35pm PT
Those EBs are right out of the box.
zBrown

Ice climber
BrujÚ de la Playa
  Sep 1, 2012 - 06:04pm PT
hey mousie

very interesting trip back in time

? What happened ?

I first tried it barefoot

Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Sep 1, 2012 - 05:50pm PT
loooove the old Skool, thanks!!!
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Author's Reply  Sep 2, 2012 - 08:05pm PT
Sixty-eight

Yelling Cowwabunga! for the sheer joy of expending energy
Muskrat and Mouse take off running
Rounding first at the Sentinel bridge after Leideg
They haul young ass through the south side of the Merced
Second is rounded at the intersection of El Cap bridge
Roounding this to the Southside Street and hanging a right
Heading for Cathedral gully
And a buttress of siren quality
Around third up the gully
Then the dash for home
And dreams for a lifetime.

Doffing tennies
Scoffing at mild steep
They creep
Egging each other
Silent mostly
Awed by the space opening beneath
The trees and holds appear magically
So magically they are now beanstalking
And not eager to progress
So they press the last bit
And it's no.

No one had informed them
That to be able to climb down
From what you climb up
Is a prime requisite for bold climbers
But it was done
And so were they
After an afternoon at play
Following the call
Of the siren.


That's kind of how that happened, a spur-of-the-moment idea to go running. Stupid!

I relinquish Supreme and settle for Joe Blow.
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
  Nov 2, 2012 - 09:47pm PT
Very cool BITD report Mouse!
Thanks for the e-mail, hope to meet you soon.
Tad
socialclimber

climber
CA
  Nov 2, 2012 - 11:03pm PT
Excellent!

Charles
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
  Nov 3, 2012 - 02:27am PT
Very cool Mouse!! East butt of middle is on the tick list for sure!! next time!
RyanD

climber
Squamish
  Nov 3, 2012 - 02:50am PT
Yes, awesome bump! Stellar report Mouse, I learned a lot right there. Thanks!
I want to do this climb! The historical TRs are soooo cool.
Borut

Mountain climber
Ljubljana, Slovenia
  Nov 3, 2012 - 02:53am PT
TFPU
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Author's Reply  Nov 3, 2012 - 07:52am PT
Speak English.

IDKWTM.

:) all who enter here.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
  Nov 3, 2012 - 10:04am PT
1974, 1974.....EB,s, swamis, painter pants- different era but the same rock.
Fletcher

Gym climber
A very quiet place
  Nov 3, 2012 - 01:43pm PT
Very nice. One of my all time favorite climbs ever (and one of my first). It was a sublime experience that stays with me to this day, many years later.

Not as many later as MfM's though! Ha ha!

Eric
bmacd

Trad climber
100% Canadian
  Nov 3, 2012 - 07:21pm PT
You guys need some new gear and modern clothing. Pass on an address I have some hand me downs for you
Kalimon

Social climber
Ridgway, CO
  Nov 3, 2012 - 11:00pm PT
Thanks Mouse!

Many great moments on the East Buttress. Many thanks to my old climbing bros, Bob Burke and Chris Mayr.
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
  Nov 4, 2012 - 07:10pm PT
photo bump!!
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Author's Reply  Nov 4, 2012 - 07:57pm PT
eKat, get out the slats!  Vintah's a-comin'!
eKat, get out the slats! Vintah's a-comin'!
Credit: Ansel Adams
Big Mike Mover of Mountains, come to Yosemite in the winter. Imagine the flying finger pointing you in the direction of the CPF in wintry-ass conditions, like the face is totally socked in by frozen fog at say, around a hundred feet. There's ice in the cracks low down from a rain/sleet thing, there's slushy sh#t at the base but it was two feet of deep slushy stuff yesterday and it almost froze up, but it's really breakable. It's quarter past ten, the warmest part of the day is before you. Are you smarter than a fifth grader? Wouldn't you go home? Of course you would, but you're not as smart as a fifthgrader, because the average fifth grader knows enough to not be out therein sh#t like that! Except for lady gym climbers from the Sacramento area and friends. Condensed to save space. I was in a frenzy of thought.
We ate a meal at that Italian restaurant on 120 in Oakdale, Firenze.  ...
We ate a meal at that Italian restaurant on 120 in Oakdale, Firenze. It was decent fare, but not as tasty as Frenzy, which lives up to the name...
Credit: BEEGA MIKE


I found a taco wagon called Taco the Town.
Darwin

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
  Nov 4, 2012 - 10:29pm PT
Mouse,

Thanks!

I missed this back in September. It's hard resurrecting those old slides and prints. I thought
http://www.supertopo.com/photos/14/0/261517_5277_L.jpg
was a prety darn good photo. It captures a certain type of climbing move for me.
Zander

climber
  Nov 4, 2012 - 10:39pm PT
Nice Mouse!
I love this climb. Better get on it again. Thanks for posting.
Zander
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
  Nov 5, 2012 - 05:41pm PT
Mouse, if I come to Yosemite in the winter it would be with my split board in hand.... Maybe some ice gear if someone wanted to take me out.... ;)
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Author's Reply  Nov 5, 2012 - 07:35pm PT
Darwin, I liked that too. Just enough butty, just enough lying camera angle.

Not quite Comici, but tempo, tempo, take tiime, then go...con Geronimo! Another climber of note.
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
  Jan 23, 2013 - 09:09pm PT
Bump cause this is way more interesting than Taco-drama.
Some Random Guy

climber
  Jan 23, 2013 - 09:28pm PT
This was Jim's first multi-pitch effort; so the n00b, a graduate of RCS and Cal, learned quickly.

NICE! i was born in '74. cool to see this. this was also my very first climb ever in the valley. i did it the day after getting food poising from that f*#kin' pizza deck. go big or go home, that's what i told myself. that's what i still tell myself.
NoTokeRedKneck

climber
  Jan 23, 2013 - 09:40pm PT
Mouse is the roof the 1 around the 4'th on Frenzy?

This does not look like traverse to Kor Beck from Frenzy and it reminds me of nothing on Frenzy up to 7. Is it the last or close
to on East Butress?

http://www.supertopo.com/photos/14/0/261571_17532_L.jpg
Captain...or Skully

climber
in the oil patch...Fricken Bakken, that's where
  Jan 23, 2013 - 10:20pm PT
It's amazing how many threads and trip reports can slide by without notice....scary, even.
Mouse, I'm diggin' yer stylings here. TFPU.
nutjob

Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
  Jan 23, 2013 - 10:35pm PT
I love it! Love it even more now that I'm in LA. Still think of Yosemite as my second home, the Cathedrals like familiar living room furniture or wall adornments.
rockermike

Trad climber
Berkeley
  Jan 23, 2013 - 11:36pm PT
one of my favorites, and probably the most repeated climb in my resume. Maybe 12 ascents at this point. Maybe more - who knows. Did it once 3 hours camp 4 to camp 4. And I'm generally a slow bastard. But that climb just felt right that day. Who needs pro. ha First time up was '78 I believe. TFPU (sure wish I hadn't dumped all my photos from BITD. Life was good then....


(by the way, does anybody really do that bolt ladder free? Always felt rather stiff for 10c to me - and time pressure has always impelled me to move on.)
philo

Trad climber
Is that the light at the end of the tunnel or a tr
  Jan 23, 2013 - 11:43pm PT
Oh wow nice BITG pics. Thanks for posting this TR. I love that Climb.
NoTokeRedKneck

climber
  Jan 23, 2013 - 11:58pm PT
The 1'st pitch of Frenzy is probably the least quality. This
looks to be past the 1'st.

http://www.supertopo.com/photos/15/7/272186_26050_L.jpg

I haven't been past 7 but there's face on E. Butress.

I think there is more than 1 climb pictured in here?
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Author's Reply  Jun 9, 2014 - 01:54pm PT
I just fell across this video looking for something else.

East Buttress is "popular for a reason."--Smiley-Gal
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
  Jun 9, 2014 - 06:14pm PT
Thanks for posting!

One of my favorite routes. Probably done it dozens of times. (need to go back soon)

Probably only freed that bolt ladder a time or two then either went the 50 crowded way or just frenched it. (I'd say 11a or 10.d minimum)

Going the Left hand variation is quite an adventure (don't remember if I repeated that but probably not)

Peace

Karl

Traverse, high on East Buttress of Middle
Traverse, high on East Buttress of Middle
Credit: Karl Baba
murcy

Gym climber
sanfrancisco
  Jun 9, 2014 - 06:21pm PT
Awesome, thanks MfM!

Twice for me, most recently with JoeyF on a perfect day with only one other party on the route all day (and they zoomed out of sight). It's still a good adventure, and everyone should do the gully descent once (but not necessarily in April, in the dark, in a snowy year, without a headlamp--some dim memory tells me that that would be a mistake).
HighTraverse

Trad climber
Bay Area
  Jun 9, 2014 - 08:24pm PT
Hmmmm......I've only climbed it once........now she's calling me back. Maybe I can free that bolt ladder this time.
Relic

Social climber
Weenie
  Jun 9, 2014 - 11:02pm PT
Hey derrrrs a picture of me climbing a rock climb!
moosedrool

climber
lost, far away from Poland
  Jun 9, 2014 - 11:15pm PT
So cool.

Thank you, Mouse. My best read in a while.

Andrzej
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