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Lower Cathedral Spire
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Northeast Face 
Regular Route 
Regular Route - Direct Start 
South by Southwest 

Northeast Face 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI British: HVS 5a

Type: Trad, 6 pitches, 800', Grade III
Consensus:  YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI British: E1 5a [details]
FA: Mark Powell, Frank Sacherer and Bob Kamps, 1963
Page Views: 1,387
Submitted By: George Bell on Feb 4, 2007
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Your first goal is to reach the notch (from the east) between the Lower Cathedral Spire and Church Tower. This is 3rd-4th class, and if you do this unroped, don't fall. If you rope up, the biggest problem is the rope knocking loose rocks onto the belayer. Be careful, helmets recommended!

From the notch another 4th class pitch continues to the base of a steep vertical wall. The next three pitches are each rated 5.9. Follow a left facing corner up through an overhanging slot and find a small ledge on the left to belay. P2: above lies a large left facing dihedral, the first ascent followed a crack on the left face. Better, follow the dihedral itself, which is 3-4" wide the whole way (Pratt-Faint variation).

P3: traverse right to a strenuous vertical crack, crank up this short move (crux), follow a ramp past a scary loose flake and continue more easily to the top. This pitch also has a variation to the left up a right facing corner (Fredericks-Sacherer variation, looks more strenuous). Continue to the summit via one more 4th class pitch.

With 60m ropes, probably some of the crux pitches can be combined.

Historical Note 

This route was once popular but rarely sees ascents these days.


Standard rack with doubles in #3-#4 Camalot size for the 2nd crux pitch variation described.


To descend, rappel the opposite side "South by Southwest" with two ropes.

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