Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Lower Cathedral Spire 5.9; October 2011

It had been raining the past days but we thought it would be ok to go for Lower Cathedral Spire’s Regular route.  It is 5.9 about 5 pitches but the 5.9 can be aided and becomes 5.7 A0.


The approach is really long and steep, plus it was slippery from the previous days rainfall.


After over an hour of hiking and scrambling we could see the route on the spire.  It goes up the left skyline to the large ledge and then traverses right on the ledge then up from the ledge to the top.


Anja gave the first pitch a shot but found the route finding to be difficult and set a belay and brought me up to confer on where to go.


The views on the route were stupendous.


Since at this point we were running a little late I took over the leads and found the route and shot to the ledge.  We did the traverse on the ledge and found the A0 move where I quickly pulled on a piton and swung though the 5.9 and onto the slightly chossy 5.7 flakes above.

After about 150 ft of climbing it was mostly over and it was 1.5 more pitches to the top.


We hit the top a little late but with daylight and got on rappel.  We got back to the base just after dark and started down the talas gully.


It was a bad descent as it was dark now and the talas was already covered in dew which made descending very slippery.  Anja slipped once and jammed some fingers and her hand.  I took all the weight I could from her and we finished out a kind of miserable descent in the dark.  Onto Royal Arches the next day.

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