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[TR] Cathedral Peak, Pasayten - 8/8/2007

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Trip: Cathedral Peak, Pasayten -


Date: 8/8/2007-8/13/2007


Trip Report:


“Jesus, I didn’t realize BC was so…WIDE. We might as well drive to the Rockies at this point.”


Never have so few driven so far to save so little time for so little climbing. The plan was sound enough: avoid the 18 mile trudge into Cathredral Peak from the south (we looked into renting a mule; for $275/day, do we get to eat it afterwards?”), Eric (aka 'Ivan') and I opted for the ‘reach around’, an interminable drive to the km 38 point on the Ashnola River Rd in Cathedral Provincial Park. It rained 3 out of 6 days, and threatened to rain the rest of the time, but armed with enough whiskey, wine and smokes, we persevered and managed to sneak up Amphitheatre’s Ka’aba buttress on the 2nd try, a fun solo jaunt up Amphitheatre’s NE buttress (straight up from Cathedral Pass), a failed attempt after trying several ‘new’ lines on Cathedral’s SE butt, and finally a consolation climb of same via it’s fun and interesting W ridge.


Other than Ivan’s slight tussel with gravity while leading the final pitch of Ka’aba (from his pre-fall sound effects, I mistakenly assumed childbirth), we had a relaxed time in a beautiful area.


In general, we found the rock on Amphitheatre is much better than the flared and more weathered stuff on Cathedral. This is one very long escarpment that begs to be played on.


Approach: Drive the Ashnola River Road to km 38, take the unsigned footbridge and trail. Take the R fork to the cowboy camp. Cross the creek, follow the boot track up the ridge, then right through meadows/swamps to the 1st pass. From here, either a) traverse around to the pass E of Cathedral, then down to the trail, then over Cathedral Pass to Upper Cathedral Lake or b) Pick through cliff bands into the valley between you and Cathedral, then re-ascend for the Lake.





Cathedral, from Amphitheatre




Ivan in self discovery on Amphitheatre’s Ka’aba Buttress




A rash from a sudden bout with gravity




Upper Cathedral Lake, from the summit ridge of Amphitheatre




Looking S to Remmel, from Amphitheatre




Lichen on Amphitheatre




Not exactly Gaston. Summit ridge of Amphitheatre




Riding the maoi




Dandelion. Upper Cathredral Lake








Small Milkweed Bug





Gear Notes:

Gear to 4", whiskey


Approach Notes:

See above

Edited by tvashtarkatena

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It took us over 7 hours to drive. The hike in takes 5 + and is about half backcountry travel. The Chewak TH is about 4.5 hour drive, and hike 18 miles on good trail.

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That looks really nice. I actually think your Remmel shot of you is really good, Pat. Way to be out there!

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That place is really great. Soooo much stone. Beautiful setting. I think there is plenty of room up there for more routes. I tried to climb the Monk a few years back and was stymied by the last pitch. Good on you guys.

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a very fun trip - i'd recommend climbing the monk and cathedral first, then going to amphitheatre, that way you don't feel as pissed as we did at the dramatic decrease in rock quality - what an awesome place to chill out for 4 nights! if only i'd had more whiskey and more smokes....


kat - we didn't climb on the monk, but it's right next to cathedral and the rock looks exactly the same - i didn't care for it - very large grains in the granite which tended to crumble under pressure - lots of huge boulders and flakes which were very loose - the pro frequently was very unreliable. amphitheatre on the other hand was diviiiiiine


regretably all of the goodstuff on amphitheatre near the upper cathedral lake, including the kabba buttress, is north facing - the sun hits it a little bit in the morning and a little bit in the afternoon, but mostly it was shady and damn cold for august - definitely recommend cold-weather belay accutrements!


for the kabba buttress route, don't be a dumbass like me on the last pitch - after the short, hard, wide crack, step left of the big old offwidth (or better yet, bring the #6 and hit it! looks tasty...) and then proceed strait up a kinda dirty looking crack - i tried to be all smart and follow an easy low angled ramp which got hard towards the end - hard enough that once on top of it i discovered i couldn't really downclimb it and i'd screwed meself good n' proper - the rock suddenly turned to orange kitty-litter and the only way to climb the last few feet to the top was by liebacking a 2000 lb boulder that was adhered to the wall by a 1 inch ledge - the thought of pulling on it made me want to retch as it surely would come out, crushing me or cutting the rope or both


so anyway, get out there and do it folks! fantastic place to spend a bunch of days and don't skimp on the recreational substances! with a spectular high-tundra-like camp only 10 minutes from several dozen routes, there's plenty of time to both climb and party like a champion!


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Whats up with all the slander about Cathedral Peak?


Practically every pitch of the SE buttress is a **** classic on solid rock. Sounds like you were on a different mountain!

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yeah, i really chock it up to starting on amphitheatre then moving over to cathedral - however poor or good cathedral rock might be, the rock on amphitheatre is much, much better


that said, the se butt route on cathedral is a fine climb - we started it in poor style though w/ 2 false starts too far up the gulley, which irked me as i was belaying in the chilly-willy shade the whole time - starting low on the buttress from the start woulda been much more copacetic and improved me overall humors

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Kat- I thought that the stone on the Monk was great, not outstanding. There was some large grains in a few places and I don't know that many of those routes have seen much action so there is a bit of loose stuff aroun, mostly in the viens and dikes.

The rock on ampitheatre is tighter grained.

This area is a true gem.

Pete Doorish is a stud.

If you look close you will see a red shirt just below the "belay cave" on the left of the face.

The buttress of Cathedral is the feature in the left of the photo.


Edited by BigWave

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