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[TR] Pasayten Wilderness - Cathedral, Amphitheater, Unauthorized Squirrel 9/9/2007


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Trip: Pasayten Wilderness - Cathedral, Amphitheater, Unauthorized Squirrel


Date: 9/9/2007


Trip Report:

On September 9th, Blake Herrington and I headed out on our ~11 mile approach... not the 18 mile approach from Winthrop. *Thanks Darin Berdinka for the approach info!*


Blake and I thought this tundra-ish landscape looked more like a moonscape!



On the otherside of this we encountered the famous swath




We set up camp. As you can see, our approaches were quite short



The next morning we decided to do Darin's climb on Ka'Aba (Pilgrimage to Mecca). We highly recommend this climb. Every pitch (except maybe the last one... but we think we may have been off route) was stellar. This is Blake doing his Blue Steel look on pitch 2




Me on pitch 3- thorougly enjoying the finger cracks with great lock offs.




Once we got to the top we hiked to the very top of amphitheater. Looks like there's good bouldering up there. (this is actually the summit!)




The next day we climbed Cathedral Peak on the super-deluxe Southeast Buttress.




Great route again. This is the first pitch, starting on top a block of rock 150' up the gulley between Cathedral and Monk.



We both enjoyed pitch 3, which is a nice clean crack, and the two pitches on the head wall were great, with a scary ledge belay in between


- a 5.8 very exposed pitch on the headwall




and the 10.a finger crack that follows it was fun. Instead of doing the 5.9 offwidth we chose the finger crack. It is to the right of the offwidth about 2 feet.


Finally, after a lazy morning of lounging, eating, and photographing the goats that wandered into our campsite,



we decided to get after a line on the Minaret that we had our eye on ever since we got to camp. We followed the crack system all the way up. (4 pitches, some great, some too mossy)







At the top of the minaret on bonus pitch #5 (exposed walk to Amphitheater's top)



The rock was excellent and the weather was perfect. Say hi to our goats if you go out there.




Gear Notes:

Single cam rack up to #4 Cam. 3 hexes. Nuts. Sausage. Cheese, lots of butter.


Approach Notes:

Thanks to Darin we didn't have to hike 18 miles in from Winthrop

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Since Cathedral SE Buttress is one of the best routes I've done, and the headwall is better than the Gendarme on the NR of Stuart, here's some precise beta overload. I felt that the Beckey/Kearney guides were extremely vague at best.


p1- Start on the right edge of a block/pinnacle 150' up the Monk/Cathedral gulley. LFC and wide crack for ~50m to a huge ledge (5.8+)


p2 - Up the obvious chimney beneath solid chockstones for ~15m, then step right into a corner. Climb up the steep corner crack (easier than it looks) or belay at the chimney exit to avoid rope drag. (5.8)


p3 - Up the same corner crack feature, pass a small ledge or two. The last section of this features a short wide crack off a ledge. Stay to the right as you near the top. (5.8)


This next section might have a couple options, and is the most confusing of the route


p4 - From a nice cushy ledge that wraps around the buttress, go up a short obvious crack angling to the left, then stem up twin cracks near a corner, finally move left to the base of a quartz dike crack with huge crystals, and climb this to the last ledge. (5.8)


p5 - Walk to the FAR LEFT of the sandy ledge, and layback straight up, staying to the left when possible. Climbing becomes steppy, until a chimney appears on the right, which protects well with solid small gear inside. Belay atop chimney. (5.9)


p6 - Climb up and left on mid-5th terrain towards the looming headwall. 60m (5.7)


p7 - Continue up slightly steeper terrain and splitter cracks to the base of the headwall. 30m (5.8)


p8 - Follow finger/hand cracks straight up to a small stance at the base of the OW. The deadly-looking block is fairly solid. 30m 5.9


p9 - Punish yourself on the 1970s 5.9+ OW (#4/#5 camalot), or else take the .10a finger splitter just to the right. 25m (5.10)


p10 - 5.9 splitter hand crack for ~8m, then walk left on a ledge for a few feet, and up a final 5.9 splitter hand crack. ~30m (5.9)


(we did it in 11 pitches, with a belay atop the chimney due to rope drag.)


Descent is a bit of solid scrambling, then a walk off to Cathedral Pass.

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