Peak(s):  "Electric Pass Pk"  -  13,635 feet
Leahy Pk  -  13,322 feet
Date Posted:  06/21/2017
Date Climbed:   06/03/2017
Author:  koeffling
 A good day in Cathedral Basin   

I'm not quite sure how Electric Pass Peak got on my radar, it's no 14er or Centennial, but just seemed like an good peak to do in the spring with a nice view. Cathedral basin is incredible and I wanted a look at the Cathedral's couloirs to see if it was something I could get up. I'm not great on steep snow, but enjoy a moderate climb. The forecast looked great so we headed out Friday after work and slept at the Cathedral Lake trailhead. There were a couple of other vehicles parked and sleeping when I arrived around 10pm and settled in under a clear sky before a 3:30am wake up call.

The Cathedral Lake trail was easy to follow and was a mix of trail and hard packed snow. You start out through a grove of Aspen trees, newly budding and bright green at this time of year. There were several sections of trail in old avalanche paths with whole sections of downed trees, requiring some bushwhacking and hurdling. A steep set of switchbacks arrived after a talus field, leveling out a bit about 1/2 mile (or so) to the lake turnoff. The steep section was mostly dry and not a problem ascending early in the morning. On the return it was muddy and sloppy and turned most parties around (who were traveling to the lake in tennis shoes).

Some of the downed trees

Fairly soon after re-entering the forest you come upon the turnoff for Cathedral Lake and Electric Pass. Turn right for Electric Pass and head up a hill into a clearing. Soon after, the spires of Cathedral peak come into view just as the sun starts to rise. There was quite a bit of snow in the basin, Malemute peak looking majestic. We headed north in the basin and up toward the slopes of Electric Pass Peak. The actual trail up Electric Pass traverses the slope west and turns around east to gain the summit. We heading straight up the snow slope to the summit, topping out on the ridge just east of the summit. We soon get stopped by a cornice that I'm not willing to cross so we head back down the ridge, traverse west across the slope and gain the summit from the west. A lot of loose scree to reach the ridge, on the western side, but parts of the trail were visible.

Sunrise back up drainage

Dawn coming over the Cathedral spires

I think Malemute?

Spires and slides

Cathedral looking more Cathedral-y a little further up the basin

Heading up the slope

Looking back down the basin

The views from the summit were incredible, Cathedral Peak and Castle Peak to the south. Hayden to the north. Leahy to the east. The Bells, Snowmass, and Capitol in the far north distance. The basin and lake were snow covered and gorgeous. We took in the views and headed back down the scree slope to traverse over back to the EPP and Leahy saddle. It was a quick jaunt over to Leahy with patches of snow and trail. Another amazing view of the Cathedral spires. We sat in the sun for a long while on Leahy before heading back tot he saddle and getting as much glissading as we could.

Up the scree slope near EPP's summit

Pretty hard to stop looking back down

A look over to Leahy

EPP summit pano to the south

Bells, Pyramid, Snowmass, Cap

Heading over to Leahy

The traverse across below the summit

The quick and easy trek over to Leahy

Leahy summit pano

EPP from Leahy

At 9:30am the snow was already getting pretty soft and we post-holed quite a bit. We met a nice pair in the basin who had just skied the Pearl couloir with excellent conditions. These were the only other people we encountered in the basin all day. We took a detour back to the lake which was just starting to melt. I took another couple hundred photos before packing up and heading back down.

Heading back down

Down at the lake, a small melted portion

The snow was softening and the trail was muddy on the return. We passed several parties headed up towards the lake and the parking lot was nearly full on our arrival. What a fabulous day in the Elk range and some wonderful views.

My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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Comments or Questions

06/22/2017 15:58
good beta


Great Trip Report
06/23/2017 00:01
Thanks for posting this beta.  Extremely well done.  Good recap of a real nice Elks outing in all regards.  Way to make mountaineering look nearly effortless too.


love those views!
06/23/2017 10:26
Electric was my first ever summit as a teenager, will always love those views! You should go back in August for the wildflowers! Also, on a clear day you can make out Holy Cross to the north

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