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Cathedral Peak


Tuolumne Meadows, California USA


Trip Report
Updated and Now Complete: An Almost Cathedral Traverse
Monday August 29, 2011 5:15pm
Pics are all below if thatís what you are here for! And sorry for typos-
The beginning of this summer started with some very exciting news. It was my last summer of college and I had already done the intern thing a couple of times so I figured it would be fun to work in Yosemite. So I applied and had a job within a week, which came as a surprise to me because Iíve heard its hard to get picked up by DNC because so many people apply. I would, explanation soon to follow, been working at the snack shack on top of Glacier Pt. serving hot dogs and other various crap to all the tourists.

But I also had applied for a strategic pricing analyst position for a company called Micron, they make semi-conductors or memory chips for those of you who are less tech savy. And hereís where they ironic part happens. As I am standing in line at Camp 4 waiting for the ranger station to open I get a call from Micron saying that they want to bring me on board for summer. So Iím standing in the place where Iíd always dreamed of living, but being offered what I thought would be a better resume builder. Long story short, I ended up taking the job at Micron. I could also live at home, in Folsom, and save some money.

I still donít know if it was the right decision for a potential career path because I, like most of you probably reading this despise the cubicle. I ended up leaving every weekend for the Valley, Tuolumne, or Tahoe. So I got my fair share of outdoor time, but it was just a complete 180 from my previous plans.
So sorry for the short rant and letís get on the trip report:

Iíve spent most of my breaks at work and during the day readying reports about people doing the High Sierra traverses (Pallisades, Evolution, Sawtooth, MinaretÖ). So I started thinking about how to get ready for a trip of my own. My buddy Andrew found a link: http://vccv.posterous.com/tuolumne-alpine-trifecta-tenay of a possible Tuolumne linkup. This trip seemed perfect because I had never climbed any of the potential peaks.

I believe the route is somewhere between 8 to 10 miles including descents. Our route was to link Tenaya, Matthew, one of the Echo summits, Cathedral and then Eichorn if we had time.

I checked the weather on Friday before leaving work and it said 20% chance of T-storms for Saturday and Sunday, crapÖ I rolled into the Tuolumne campground at about 10:30 pm and settled down for the night. Woke up about 3 to take a leak, and upon getting back into my tent it started to rain, shitÖ Well got back up about 5:15 am, with no rain but heavy cloud cover. We decided to see how far we could get before the rain hit.

We rolled into Tenaya Lake about just about 6 am and started the approach to the peak. It was a pretty easy approach. We stopped at the base of the peak to harness up. Our idea was to solo as far as possible until we felt like we needed to rope up. Well, we ended up soloing the whole peak. Coming from a person who has never soloed anything but easy 4th class, Tenaya is pretty easy (I know its only 5.4). It felt awesome getting to the top of the Peak at 7:30, only 90 mins from leaving the parking lot.

We stopped at the top to grab second breakfast and then continued to keep going. The approach to Matthes is pretty easy, just cross the meadow and approach the summit saddle.

Matthes was awesome! We elected to simul-climb as much as possible and only ended up pitching out one of the summit towers. It felt great to move fast and do nothing but non-stop climbing. The only real problem we had on Matthes was bad gas! I felt pretty bad for Andrew, because between me and our other partner Matt, we probably had a continuous stream of lethal fumes that stretched the whole mile traverse!

After we got off of Matthes I almost passed out because I felt so bad. Iíve come to realize that I donít get enough salt in my diet for these long trips. I had brought 4 cliff bars, 4 glu packets, and a bag of dried fruit. What ended up saving me was the bag of gold-fish that Matt had brought! Thank God for GoldFish.

We stopped at a stream on the way up to the Echo summit pass and bagged the closest spire. We continued downhill towards Cathedral from there. Cathedral has now become one of my favorite climbs! We elected to simul/pitch it to the top. The worst part was climbing through Mattís fart that he let out in the dam chimney!!

We hit the summit just at sunset and decided we were to beat and had no time to snatch Eichorn, so we proceeded to downclimb and start the hike out. We passed an Asian couple on the way down that probably made it back to camp around 12-12:30. We asked what site they were staying in to tell their friends that they were alright, hopefully they made it back! The last 3ish miles out to the road took about 45 mins, with me jogging every now and then to keep up with Andrewís and Mattís giant steps.

In the end it took us 11 hours car to camp. We probably could have moved faster, but we took a couple nice well needed breaks at streams and also took plenty of photos. It was really nice that the weather held up the whole day, and that we only got a couple sprinkles every now and then.

Hopefully this climb served as a nice warmup to one of the traverses that are yet to come. Me and Andrew have Temple Crag/Gayley/Sill traverse lined up in October, so hopefully that bodes well.

It may not have been the summer I expected, but Iíd say that Iím still pretty darn lucky to be so close to the Sierras.

I head back to school in two weeks (Yah Cal Poly) and am pretty excited because I only have class Monday/Wednesdays so if anybody needs a partner let me know!

View of Tenaya Peak in early morning
View of Tenaya Peak in early morning
Credit: Sonic
Tuolumne texture, you never know which knob is attached and which is s...
Tuolumne texture, you never know which knob is attached and which is scree
Credit: Sonic
Early morning view of Tenaya Lake
Early morning view of Tenaya Lake
Credit: Sonic
Cathedral from somewhere in between Tenaya Peak and Matthes
Cathedral from somewhere in between Tenaya Peak and Matthes
Credit: Sonic
Approaching Matthes
Approaching Matthes
Credit: Sonic
Start of Matthes
Start of Matthes
Credit: Sonic
Side view of Matthes
Side view of Matthes
Credit: Sonic
Clouds that luckily never gave us problems
Clouds that luckily never gave us problems
Credit: Sonic
View of High Sierra from one of the Echo Summits
View of High Sierra from one of the Echo Summits
Credit: Sonic
Matthes Ridgeline
Matthes Ridgeline
Credit: Sonic
Downclimbing on Matthes
Downclimbing on Matthes
Credit: Sonic
View of Matthes from Echo Summit
View of Matthes from Echo Summit
Credit: Sonic
Another shot of Matthes ridgeline
Another shot of Matthes ridgeline
Credit: Sonic
Another cool possible summit along the way
Another cool possible summit along the way
Credit: Sonic
One of Matthes Summit Towers
One of Matthes Summit Towers
Credit: Sonic
More of Matthes
More of Matthes
Credit: Sonic
And the traversing continues...
And the traversing continues...
Credit: Sonic
Matthes
Matthes
Credit: Sonic
The Wave
The Wave
Credit: Sonic
Stopping after Matthes for a waterbreak
Stopping after Matthes for a waterbreak
Credit: Sonic
Boot skiing down from echo
Boot skiing down from echo
Credit: Sonic
The summit we chose for Echo
The summit we chose for Echo
Credit: Sonic
Hiking towards Cathedral from Echo
Hiking towards Cathedral from Echo
Credit: Sonic
Sunset on top of Cathedral
Sunset on top of Cathedral
Credit: Sonic
Sunset on top of Cathedral Peak
Sunset on top of Cathedral Peak
Credit: Sonic
Blurry photo of eichorn
Blurry photo of eichorn
Credit: Sonic
Sunset on Cathedral
Sunset on Cathedral
Credit: Sonic
Shot of Tenaya on the way out of Tuolumne
Shot of Tenaya on the way out of Tuolumne
Credit: Sonic

  Trip Report Views: 3,461
Sonic
About the Author
This is hopefully a good warm up for one of the other high sierra traverses I want to do in October!

Comments
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Friedo

Trad climber
South Lake Tahoe
  Aug 29, 2011 - 05:37pm PT
Awesome day! Thanks for sharing...
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
  Aug 29, 2011 - 05:54pm PT
Fabulous day. Thanks.

John
Plaidman

Trad climber
South Slope of Mt. Tabor, Portland, Oregon, USA
  Aug 29, 2011 - 05:55pm PT
Looks awesome. Thanks for the pics. I gotta get up there. Next time I am in the Valley I am making a trip to the Meadow.
Thomas

Trad climber
The Tilted World
  Aug 29, 2011 - 07:56pm PT
Nicely done! Thanks for sharing--I would love to hear more commentary on the experience when you get around to it.
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
  Aug 29, 2011 - 08:07pm PT
Nice! Best moment of the day?
SamP

Trad climber
Tuolumne Meadows
  Aug 29, 2011 - 10:44pm PT
Nice work, looks like a great day. Just for clarification, THE Cathedral Traverse involves the range in its entirety: Tenaya, Tressider, Columbia Finger, Mathes, all of the Echo peaks, Echo Ridge, Cockscomb, Unicorn, Cathedral and Eichorn.

Beautiful photos of the trip and made more impressive that you managed what you did in that time while using a rope!
O.D.

Trad climber
LA LA Land
  Aug 29, 2011 - 10:47pm PT
Oh, the features on that rock...just makes you want to grab on! Fabulous photos, looking forward to the write-up.
phylp

Trad climber
Upland, CA
  Aug 30, 2011 - 08:18pm PT
Sonic, how many miles car to car is this day - including the climbing and descents? Of course this assumes you started from a car - perhaps you rode a bicycle to the Meadows, and then did this day!
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Aug 31, 2011 - 05:48pm PT
Sweet, Thanks!
Sonic

Trad climber
Boulder, Co
Author's Reply  Aug 31, 2011 - 06:08pm PT
Ill have some time later this afternoon to finish the write up. Work has me swamped this week.
Sonic

Trad climber
Boulder, Co
Author's Reply  Aug 31, 2011 - 07:21pm PT
Tenaya Lake under cloud cover
Tenaya Lake under cloud cover
Credit: Sonic
Soloing Up Tenaya
Soloing Up Tenaya
Credit: Sonic
Approach Beta: Hike towards that Saddle, Matthes is on the other side
Approach Beta: Hike towards that Saddle, Matthes is on the other side
Credit: Sonic
Credit: Sonic
We were under an angry looking cloud the whole time on Matthes
We were under an angry looking cloud the whole time on Matthes
Credit: Sonic
Matthes Ridgeline
Matthes Ridgeline
Credit: Sonic
Pristine Tuolumne!
Pristine Tuolumne!
Credit: Sonic
Lots of downclimbing
Lots of downclimbing
Credit: Sonic
Self-Portrait
Self-Portrait
Credit: Sonic
Les

Trad climber
Bahston
  Sep 1, 2011 - 09:01am PT
Nice outing!
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Sep 1, 2011 - 09:18am PT
Big Awesomeness!!!

Thanks for taking us along!!


Was just there diggin' it with the fam.
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Cathedral Peak - Southeast Buttress 5.6 - Tuolumne Meadows, California USA. Click to Enlarge
One of the finest routes in Tuolumne Meadows.
Photo: Greg Barnes