|Lower Cathedral Spire
This route is followed by parties in a hurry to get on the Regular Route. They can't believe how high it begins and they start at an area which seems to fit the route description. This route joins the regular route in the middle of the traverse along Main Ledge.
Begin 100-200 feet lower than the normal start (climbers right). A hundred feet up is a tree which you may convince yourself must be the one on the regular route (it is not). Climb a 5.7 pitch to this tree.
Above things get steeper and the difficulty increases. Follow thin cracks up the vertical face to Main Ledge. This section is much more sustained than the crux of the regular route.
This may be the "NE Chimney (5.8)" route described in Stever Roper's 1971 guide. It is in the same area, but there is no chimney on this route!
After reaching Main Ledge follow the remainder of the Regular route to the top (including the crux pitch).
|By George Bell|
From: Boulder, CO
Feb 4, 2007
When I climbed the Regular Route in about 1985 we were impatient and climbed this start, thinking we were on route. The remarkable thing is that when I climbed the NE Face route 9 years later, we rapped off and were walking down the gully. There was a pair of climbers doing exactly the same direct start. The leader was right at the crux section of the second pitch. I can only believe that this party also started too low, and was making the same mistake as I had made 9 years earlier.