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[TR] Cathedral Rock - SW Face 7/20/2013

Jordan Roderick

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Trip: Cathedral Rock - SW Face


Date: 7/20/2013


Trip Report:

Trail 1345 is in good shape. There is plenty of water in Squaw Lake and the various pot holes along the trail. Unfortunately, this also means a healthy crop of mosquitoes. Just beyond the junction with the PCT, well before you reach the split to Deep Lake and Peggy's Pond, the trail splinters into a number of little trailets. From here we bushwhacked across country for about 20 minutes towards the wide gulley at the right end of the rounded spur which extends to the left of the summit formation. It was the widest gulley we could see and the only one with green vegetation in it.




This lower gulley is wide at the bottom and narrows as it rises. The scree in it is somewhat loose, and we found our best footing moving up along the right hand side.




We exited the lower gulley, moving left, to enter another steeper, narrower, looser gulley. As we scrambled up this upper gulley we ran into several increasingly difficult moves. In my judgment, two of them were harder than any of the moves on the "climbing" pitch. A fall off either of them would result in a rolling, bouncing slide down the steep scree. Very bad. After half the party had gone up we put in a hand line.




At the top of this upper gulley there is a stout tree with webbing for the rappel back down. On the left is a very impressive pinnacle of rock. Exiting the gulley somewhat before the tree, we moved left to follow the crest above the pinnacle for a few hundred feet to where it terminates at the base of the single climbing pitch. There is a substantial flat spot here, where we roped up.




The pitch is low class 5. It is about 100' long. On my lead I used two small nuts and a sling for protection. At the top of the pitch is a big rock with multiple webbing slings for use as a belay/rappel station. The summit is about 225' away across the ridge from here. The scramble to the summit is fairly easy, but a lot of the rock is loose and the exposure is huge. We used two climbing ropes as a handline to get everybody to the summit. There is a nice spot for lunch right at the top.




The rap down the climbing pitch is exactly right for a single 60 meter rope. We set a double 60 meter rap from the tree down the loose upper gulley. This got us out of the worst of the scree to more comfortable scrambling territory. The gulley is so loose that most raps set off a stream of rock fall, so we had everybody climb down the slope to the transition to the lower gulley immediately upon finishing their rappel. From here we down climbed the lower gulley and walked the trail back to the cars.



Approach Notes:

The 12 miles of gravel FS road 4320 is in bad shape. There are major pot holes and the water is about 8" deep where Scatter Creek crosses it. We averaged about 18 MPH over this bumpy bit. I think a high clearance vehicle is a must.



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Trip: ...As we scrambled up this upper gulley we ran into several increasingly difficult moves. In my judgment, two of them were harder than any of the moves on the "climbing" pitch...

Jordan - in that upper gully, just before, or as you got to the difficulties, if you would have looked left(not very intuitive), there was a much better route. it is class 3 and solid rock and would have led you to the stout tree.

for details see: http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=7976622

credit big steve for giving me the heads up on this excellent variation.


ps - someday i hope to do another trip with you :>)

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