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Home/2000 photos/Rock Climbing Tuolomne [17]

a few climbs in Tuolomne including Cathedral Peak It wasn't difficult to decide to climb Cathedral Peak. It was an appealing climb (from the short description in the Tuolomne book) and everything we read talked about what a classic climb it is. And you really don't need a detailed plan as there are "many easy routes" to the top. We arrived at Tuolomne campgrounds at around 10:30 on Thursday night and after some gear sorting it was time for bed for our early morning. No alarms, but we're both up at 4:30 packing up the last gear and heading out. We hit the trailhead at about 5:00, the sun was nearly at the horizon, and we had the benefit of a large moon, so no headlamps this morning. After we hit the turnoff for Budd lake we knew we were heading the right way. We gained some elevation, we saw our destination.. The hike starts at about 8500 feet, and ascends to the base of the peak, at about 10,000 feet. With only about 5 hours of aclimatizing the night before (while sleeping), we were definitely feeling the effects. The hike in took us about 3 hours. We got on the first pitch just before 8:00. All along the route we had beautiful views of Tuolomne meadows and the surrounding domes and peaks. What began as a cold morning was turning out to be another beautiful day in the Sierra. We took turns swapping leads (Jim started based on rock-paper-scissors) and had a blast the whole way up - choosing the route, finding the chimney, and eventually the top. The view from the top was awe-inspiring. OK, actually it was horrifying. The top was about 4 feet wide by 8 feet long. We were at 10,940 feet, I had a headache (and was beginning to feel nauseous) from altitude and my fear of heights was raging! We hung out on top just long enough for Jim to set up the rap (Will the ropes make it to that belay anchor? ... What belay anchor?) and for the 'summit shot.' What a climb! The rest of the weekend was spent lounging around Tuolomne Meadows with friends climbing up smaller routes.