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Ascent to Cathedral Peak-Arete below summit block on 2016-07-16

Climber: JT Newgard

Date:Saturday, July 16, 2016
Ascent Type:Unsuccessful - Turned Back
Point Reached:Cathedral Peak - Arete below summit block
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:10910 ft / 3325 m
    Remaining Elevation:1 ft / 0 m (100% left to go)

Ascent Trip Report

Last weekend I led my first real bona-fide multi-pitch trad climb (Southeast Buttress) with my roommate Jason. I sort of dragged him along and he did great following through all the varied climbing and cleaning gear. We cruised up the slabs near the base and got in line at the chimney. The face was swarming with climbers all day, but everyone was really courteous and helpful to each other. I could get used to hanging out with this crowd!

The crux of the day for Jason definitely came when he had to get through the chimney with a pack on. Thankfully we had him girth hitch the pack to his belay loop which allowed him to shimmy on up with the pack dangling below. Meanwhile I was having a blast on lead, finally putting everything I had learned to good use. The face takes all kinds of gear, really easy to find placements on this one.

Near the top I got a little ambitious and tackled a flaring crack which I promptly fell out of - foot slipped right off! I knew the move was tricky and had already placed a solid nut from a secure stance. Thankfully Jason caught me!

The icing on the cake was meeting Hans Florine on the descent. He let us rappel down his line which saved us some time zig-zagging the slabs. Of course we thanked him prodigiously and tried not to stammer too much the way you might when meeting your favorite celebrity / hero.

The southeast flank on Cathedral has so many variations...it's a playground for climbers and I'll definitely be back!

PS. I'm calling this one an unsuccessful attempt on the summit as we skipped the final summit block: it was overrun with climbers. I used some creative rope management to belay Jason over the arete next to the summit block and on to the descent on the other side of the peak.
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
at the base of the Southeast Buttress (2016-07-16). Photo by JT Newgard.
Click here for larger-size photo.
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