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Higher Cathedral Spire: East Corner (5.10a)

Originally I was planning on linking this obscure route with South by Southwest on Lower Cathedral Spire.  Well, with me and spires, there apparently is always rain involved, so the linkup degenerated into topping out in the rain, and hiking out.  Here’s the mini trip report for your pleasure.

Pitch 3, (the money pitch) on East Corner. 5.10a hands in a flaring corner

Me on pitch 3, (the money pitch) on East Corner. 5.10a hands in a flaring corner

Man, the corner was great. Lots of fun. It was somewhat intermittently vegetated, but good jams abounded around the plants. Turns out there is a fixed nut right before you enter the flare (which I didn’t see until I was already above it), and there is a piton with a big ring hidden in some of the greenery. Good jams and some knee-bar action (learned on The Drainpipe in Indian Creek) made this steep pitch manageable without too much pump. Figuring out the moves to get through the roof was quite fun.

I brought my partner up, and she took the right-facing-corner up to the summit — just in time. As she topped out, the sky opened up and the rain came down in sheets. By the time I started climbing, everything was soaking wet and slimy. I kept expecting to find a 5.6 squeeze somewhere, but ended up doing wet slippery lichen covered face climbing ending with a mantel onto the summit ledge to top it out.

Whoo! Finally I made it to the top of a spire… in a downpour. What is it with me and spires and rain? Anyway, we didn’t take any summit shots, and high tailed it down the Regular Route raps.

Needless to say, given the rain, we didn’t attempt the linkup. We were back at the car by 3pm, chased by intermittent rain showers for the rest of the day.

Great day, but I still need to get another spire summit. Maybe next time.



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