Route: Cathedral Peak - Eichorn Pinnacle Loop (CA)

Submitted by Jason Hardrath… on Sat, 07/06/2019 - 07:58am
Location
California, US
Distance
6.6 mi
Description

Submitted by Jason Hardrath:

Cathedral Peak 

 

The “Southeast Buttress” 5.6yds of Cathedral Peak is justifiably one of the most well-known and popular climbs in Tuolumne Meadows. Originally climbed in 1943 by Wilts and Spencer Austin. There has been a culture of speed running + climbing Cathedral via the Southeast Buttress, most recently times have been tracked round trip via Strava on this segment

 

History of Efforts on Cathedral via SE Buttress (car-car):
Men:
Andy Liu (July 12, 2016- xx) in 1:44:13
Phil Wesseler (Oct 2, 2015-July 11, 2016) in 1:56:51


Noteworthy: Christian Adam in 2019 in 1:45:0

Any time submitted should eclipse these times.
 

Route description:

Start at the rocks delineating the edge of the “bear box area” at the Cathedral Lakes pull off on Tioga Road.

Run up the trail for .43ish mile before you find the climbers trail breaking left from the JMT

Follow this for about 2.2 more miles (you do have to follow cairns intermittently)

Then, As you get to the climb (see photos)...

You can really climb all over the southeast buttress. You get the most climbing if you start at it's lowest point, in the middle. Many people start up and to the right a little, which loses some vertical, and the first pitch over there isn't so good. However you start, after 3 pitches, steadily increasing from 5.3 to 5.6, you'll probably be funneled into a chimney. It can get crowded here, and a backpack can be a real pain. Climb around to the left and it's smooth sailing however. There are so many options, passing people is generally easy if you're competent at the grade, and there are usually people all over the face. A spectacular climb not to be missed.

After tagging the beautiful summit and snapping your summit photo
You descend via the classic 4th class John Muir Mountaineers route then follow down the way you came up
 

 

Cathedral + Eichorn Pinnacle Loop Variation:

 

The “Cathedral + Eichorn Pinnacle Loop” takes the climbers trail left around to the classic “Southeast Buttress” route up the astonishing Cathedral Peak then crosses the saddle to the also classic “Eichorn Pinnacle - North Face” 5.4yds before descending down to the John Muir Trail (or returning to the usual cathedral descent) to return to the car. 

 

Route description:

Start at the rocks delineating the edge of the “bear box area” at the Cathedral Lakes pull of on Tioga Road.

Run up the trail for .43ish mile before you find the climbers trail breaking left from the JMT

Follow this for about 2.2 more miles (you do have to follow cairns intermittently)

Then, As you get to the climb (see photos)...

You can really climb all over the southeast buttress. You get the most climbing if you start at it's lowest point, in the middle. Many people start up and to the right a little, which loses some vertical, and the first pitch over there isn't so good. However you start, after 3 pitches, steadily increasing from 5.3 to 5.6, you'll probably be funneled into a chimney. It can get crowded here, and a backpack can be a real pain. Climb around to the left and it's smooth sailing however. There are so many options, passing people is generally easy if you're competent at the grade, and there are usually people all over the face. A spectacular climb not to be missed.

Then after a short down-climb traverse the saddle to Eichorn Pinnacle wrapping around it to your right as you approach to find the 5.4yds line to the summit 

Reverse this upclimb of the Pinnacle back down 

then descend below the Pinnacle to the JMT below and run back to the car.

Images

Comments

Can we get two tabs here

"Cathedral Peak"

"Cathedral + Eichorn Loop"