Peak:  Cathedral Peak A (13er)
 Route:  Standard route
 Range:  Elk
 Posted By:  Matt Lemke
 Date of Info:  05/20/2012
 Date Posted:  05/20/2012

Climbed Cathedral Today with Grover. I‘m sorry to hear you got turned back yesterday but today was absolutely fantastic! I ran up the trail to the lake around 6 pm yesterday and saw Bob and Matt there. Since I was hanging out in Castle Creek all yesterday I didn‘t get the word they were going to be there. I stashed all my gear off the trail and headed back down to meet Grover at the TH. We started from the trailhead around 5am today and was at the base of the steep gully around 8:15. The snow was actually great for cramponing up despite one small 5 foot area of bare scree which posed no problems. The ridge above the gully was snow free although we did climb up one small section of snow that can be avoided. The summit views were beautiful and rivaled Sneffels for me as my favorite. Calm and warm sunny day. The descent down the gully was slow and tedious but not bad at all. Just be ready to arrest if you slip (which I did for one small 5 foot section). Who ever told me that the angle of this gully is 48 degrees, you are spot on. Slightly steeper than 45 but not quite 50. The trail itself to the top of the final steep switchbacks was snow free but the area around the lake still held some soft snow that is best walked around far to the north of the lake on dry but willow infested terrain to reach the upper basin. Upper basin was about 75% covered in snow but very firm in the morning...even pretty firm around noon...the fresh snow yesterday made the snowy areas very white and bright. Lake is still frozen over but will likely melt out within the next 2 weeks. All in all, a great climb that will only hold good snow for at most another 2 weeks. The small 5 foot scree bare spot will quickly begin to melt and the couloir will melt from the base upwards. So go do it now!!!

 Comments or Questions

05/23/2012 13:05
Thanks for that update Matt. Hopefully the gully holds until June 2nd. Did you just take crampons or did you need snowshoes at all?

Matt Lemke

05/23/2012 15:05
No snowshoes we not needed. Just crampons and solid boots. Good luck! June 2nd you will likely have a decent stretch in the lower section melted out but at least half will be still snowy (I'd think)

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