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Raoul Duke

[TR] Cathedral Peak - SE Buttress 7/6/2016

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Trip: Cathedral Peak - SE Buttress


Date: 7/6/2016


Trip Report:

Memorized every turn on the Colchuck Lake trail? Tired of waiting for the rap stations to clear at Washington Pass? Consider strapping on those running shoes and getting your golden granite fix on the SE Buttress of Cathedral Peak.


We approached via Tungsten, and while yes that means 20 miles of hiking, I know of many North Cascades approaches that are more taxing with less mileage. From a camp at Upper Cathedral Lake, we were roped up in less than 30 minutes. We also went from the summit back to Upper Cathedral Lake in less than 30 minutes. Moral of the story, once you pay the price of admission, the Pasayten is very accessible country.


We thought every pitch felt kinda 5.8. We probably deviated rightwards from the standard line on pitches 2 and 6. Who cares! There are so many corners up there, and the gear is always good.


Also: if the 5.9+/5.10 pitch on the headwall gives you pause, know that the "5.6 chimney" to the right (on the topo in an earlier edition of Beckey) is a natural line that climbs well and drops you at a big ledge at the base of the final pitch. We were not in a .9+ mood after 8 pitches, but if you are, the headwall is clean and proud.


At mile 17, there she is:



Walking under the South Face on the way to Upper Cathedral Lake:



Upper Cathedral views:





Pitch 1, the 5.8 way:



Our pitch 2, right of the chockstone chimney:



Pitch 4:



An easier step at the start of pitch 5:



Starting the 5.6 headwall bypass:



Final moves to 4th class ground on pitch 9:



Summit views to the Southeast:



The easy descent:


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It's a pretty awesome route alright. How were the bugs around the lakes?


A steady breeze and cool temps kept them at bay for us, but they are definitely up there.

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