Cathedral Peak A  
Condition Updates  
Route: ridge from EPP
Posted On: 2022-07-19, By: zootloopz
Info: I should have climbed this via the standard back in May. I do not recommend this ridge. Most of your time is spent on scree and talus with limited opportunities to actually scramble. Big cliffed out gullies are not fun to navigate. Definitely don't try this with a group. Rockfall is immense. Descent via Standard route SW Gully is almost snow free except for a band near the top about 50 feet in length. Was easy to kick into to cross over. I didn't bring traction, don't think it would be worth it at this point. Also cheers to the folks letting their dogs run wild at the TH and not picking up their shit. And the dog puke I accidentally put my hand in near Cathedral Lake. 
6 1
Route: Couloir
Posted On: 2022-06-24, By: illusion7il
Info: Couloir was firm and about half full this morning. Everything else is dry. 
Route: Standard
Posted On: 2022-06-19, By: Fisching
Info: Crampons and ice axe are an absolute must. No, not microspikes. That's not good enough. While snow in the basin can be avoided for some good old talus hopping, the ascent to the South Col is snow-filled. While the snow doesn't extend all the way to the basin, it's significant, especially through the choke and steep upper portion. The mushy quality now that we're beyond the freeze-thaw cycles of May required me to face in and kick step the entire way on the descent, which was about 400' of vert. It was not possible to downclimb any other way. And it would not have been possible without crampons. 
Route: Standard Col.
Posted On: 2022-06-04, By: goingup
Info: I would like to add a few things to Dan's report (we climbed Cathedral's standard couli the same day but we started at 4:10 a.m. and they started I believe around 3 a.m.) We did not need snowshoes but we carried them and stashed them under rocks at the lake. Picked them up on the way out. There is a continuous strip of snow from the Lake to the Saddle as of 6/4 and overall it should be there for another week or two (maybe melt out down lower in spots). We chose this over the loose rock/intermittent snow. The snow strip added mileage and a little bit of vert but it was cruiser. We did end up bushwhacking through some heinous willows to get there but that was 1) unnecessary and 2) short lived. We hate ourselves so much we actually went through them again on the way out. For those who prefer snow over rock, the strip can be found as far south as you can go around the north end of the lake, you will see it and it goes (it is also really pretty). We summited the mountain at 7:45 a.m. so we were in the col. around 6:30-6:45 a.m. Did not think it was bullet proof and was able to get good purchase around that time. We did have a few rock/ice showers rain down upon us on the way up. We were out of the col. by 8:45-9 a.m. ish and it was starting to get slick, mush on top of frozen. We only heard rockfall on the way down. As Dan said the ridge is dry. In my humble opinion, just stay on the ridge instead of trying to side skirt much of anything. It goes at 2+ This is a really really really really really fun mountain. 
Route: Standard
Posted On: 2022-06-04, By: Dan_Suitor
Info: Snow free until the upper switchbacks below the lake. The basin was combination of snow fields and rock fields. Couloir was bulletproof on the way up (6 am) then soft over frozen on the way down. (7:45 am). Dry from the saddle to the summit. 
Route: East couloir
Posted On: 2022-01-23, By: Geckser
Info: Had a beautiful day in the elks! Good snow conditions, minor wind and warm temperatures. Got some great beta from Blazintoes on the route that made this trip much easier. Started at 6:40 and got down around 1:20. We skied up to 12,800 and booted up from there to the ridge at 13,500 at which point we followed the largely dry ridge to the summit. The rock was dreadfully loose and while it was no more than easy class 3 on the ridge the snow and dreadful rock made it the worst part of the day. The descent was very nice and we only needed to put skins back on once. The bottom was a really fun trail with well spaced aspens. Many back country skiers up there with us. The skiing ranged from good to great. I would not attempt this route without a very solid avalanche forecast with no recent avalanches in the area. Some rollers on the couloir after noon. If it is a sunny and warm day be careful. 
5 2
Route: South ridge
Posted On: 2021-07-31, By: cochsman
Info: Would I have preferred to climb this with snow, yes. Yesterday there wasn't a hint of snow anywhere on the route and I survived. There is in fact an extremely faint trail that shoots off the main trail a bit before the lake, which will take you through the rocks and up past the mini mine. I didn't catch this until my way back down. Conversely, I found an easyish way through the willows and started up the rock. The gully looked gross from below but I eased into it on climbers right and was able to use the solid rock on the side of the gully to hold on to and sometimes scramble on. At one point I walked through the trench dug by the previous evening's rain, then back to the right. I did not slip once nor did I find it to be difficult to ascend. I think the rain cemented a lot of the dirt and rock in place and it really wasn't that bad. However, it is steep and once in a while I did dislodge a rock. This is not a place you want to be below someone. Wear a helmet. 
Route: Standard south ridge
Posted On: 2021-06-20, By: dcruz654
Info: 3am start time. Intermitted snow above the lake was bulletproof. Topped out the couloir around 645, it currently is about 50% dirt in the bottom half, 50% snow in the upper. Snow was very well frozen on our way up. I noticed the top part of the couloir starts getting sun around 615 right now. Summited at 720. Started down climbing snow at 8 and it was still holding up well except for at the very top. 1045 back at car for total time of 745. Route finding above/around the lake was a little annoying in the dark, but not an issue on the way out. It was absolutely cooking today by 9am. Pearl is super donezo this season. 
8 2
Route: south ridge
Posted On: 2021-06-13, By: rachel
Info: Good overnight freeze. Bottom section of the couloir is melted out. Should have gone at least two weeks earlier. 
3 2
Route: South ridge
Posted On: 2021-06-06, By: graberz
Info: Busy day on the mountain with several groups. We started around 3 am from trail head. We wore snow shoes only briefly before and around the lake. The snow was relatively supportive away from the big boulders above the lake. The coolie was in good shape and we were able to kick step nicely around sunrise. No traction needed for the ridge. We did find trail on and off that side hilled for a bit and then we gained the ridge through a gulley with some easy scrambling. Low wind on summit. Around 8:30 the coolie was soft enough to plunge step down. The snow still was relatively supportive heading back to the lake and there is a few opportunities for small glissades. It appears to be melting fast compared to previous reports. 
Route: Pearl Couloir
Posted On: 2021-06-01, By: Snow_Dog_frassati
Info: Certainly enough snow currently the Couloir to justify skiing, but it is getting skinnier and the line is not doable from the summit. Beyond that don't expect a lot of skiing to happen, The approach is dry as stated by other reports. At the top of the couloir we cut left to avoid the cornice and find a very loose class three scramble to the summit Ridge. I switched from ski boots to trail runners here which proved to be very helpful, I don't think I would have been comfortable trying that in ski boots. An early start is essential right now to mitigate rockfall danger and potential for wet slides. We saw evidence all over the place of past slides and even at 5:00 in the morning there were small rock falls. An 8:30 descent was pretty much perfect. Also important to note that this route is different from the southridge described by most reports and Jerry Roach - when I was first researching this climb that wasn't immediately obvious Will post pictures soon 
Route: South Ridge via Cathedral LAke
Posted On: 2021-05-30, By: durkan
Info: Camped at Cathedral Lake. Snow unsupportive without snowshoes anywhere by the afternoon around the lake Entered the northern-most gully for the south ridge around 06:30-07:00, and sun began hitting parts of the steep snow but then. Some difficulties kick stepping in some areas, but no issues ascending nor descending. For the scramble after the snow climb, we stayed west of ridge proper in the choss on what trail we could find (very occasional cairn) until about 13,750ft. From there it was ridge proper. On the descent we plunge stepped for the most part down until the lake. Staying away from bigger, radiating rocks mitigated postholing for the most part, even around 10:30~11:30am. We donned snowshoes from the north side of the lake until the switchbacks since the trail was soft and littered with postholes (we attempted to trench what we could). It could be argued that no snowshoes were needed until back around the lake with an early start, but that could change with warmer temperature. I'd say they saved a lot of our party since we did not leave a wide enough berth on the NE side of the lake when crossing the snow covered Pine Creek. 
2 8
Route: Cathedral Lake
Posted On: 2021-05-30, By: wintersage
Info: Completely dry up to 11,300ft with consistent snow from 11,500ft (just before the stream crossing) to the top of the gully. Couloir has a lot of snow and is in great shape but since it gets early sun it heats up pretty quickly. By 10am it gets slick and starts melting but is still mostly supportive. The snow below the couloir and back to the stream crossing is without shade and heats up even faster, resulting in frequent but not horrible postholing. No snowshoes needed, just crampons and axe. 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2021-05-16, By: Danger_D
Info: I posted a more detailed trip report with more information. Scattered snow on trail down lower, with mostly constant snow above 11,300'. The steep switchbacks were thankfully snow-free. Mostly firm snow in the morning from the switchbacks to the top of the couloir with routefinding fairly straightforward. The basin between the lake and couloir had firm snow on the way up and down. The freeze the night before wasn't great, so even by 7:00am the couloir was softer than I would like. The trail after the couloir was 95% snow free but looser/more annoying than I was hoping for. Lots of evidence for wet slides in the basin and it looks like the trail couloir wet-slid within the last week or so. The trail on the way down after the lake was a real wet mess with post-holing even in our snowshoes. Truly miserable descent, but fun day 
Route: cathedral lake
Posted On: 2020-08-11, By: tdawg012
Info: gully is snow free. dirt is hard-packed but last 20ft is somewhat moist from melted snow I assume. partially clinging to either side of gully helps going up. going down takes some effort (unless you care to pad up and slide, weeee!). snow+crampons is a much better option as we know 
Route: south gully
Posted On: 2020-07-30, By: sstratta
Info: In case anyone wants to slog up this nasty gully in summer conditions, here is what it's like. It's possible to get around the snow at the top on climber's left without an axe. The gully is just as dangerous as all the books/websites describe in terms of rockfall, but it works. 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2020-06-21, By: CheapCigarMan
Info: Couloir is in excellent condition. Hard snow on the ascent, softer on the descent. The cathedral below the couloir reminded me of Pyramid's amphitheater. The old miner's trail is a super nice trail through the rock. It can be found north of the lake then goes west. I camped at the lake, walked down to the northeast section of the lake, crossed the creek, then up the rocky slope to find it. It is well marked with cairns. The scramble to the summit wasn't as straightforward as I had imagined. The couloir is rounded out at the top making it easy to begin your descent. I found this steep couloir to be the easiest of the three steep couloirs I've done (North on Pacific, Refrigerator, and Cathedral). 
10 3
Route: Pearl Couloir
Posted On: 2020-06-07, By: jjust
Info: The standard route couloir and the Pearl Couloir should be in for a bit yet. The trail is dry to Cathedral Lake and slightly beyond. 
Route: Pearl Couloir
Posted On: 2020-05-31, By: Grover
Info: Two images of the Pearl Couloir as I passed by today during a hike up Leahy Peak. 
Route: Cathedral Lake
Posted On: 2020-05-16, By: angry
Info: From th to ~11,500, some completely dry stretches with intermittent snow patches. Continuous snow from 11,500 to top of couloir. Booted from th all the way to 13K. Did not use flotation as the snow was supportive entire way. Crampons up couloir to gain ridge which consisted of old avy debris. Ridge to summit was dry. Was able to glissade portions of the descent, no signs of instability. Booted all the way back to th. Snow was still in good condition on the way out despite the warming temps, again no flotation. Fantastic conditions today. 
5 3

Return to the main Peak Conditions page
© 2022®, 14ers Inc.