Topping out on
Cathedral Peak's SE Buttress
The last time Misha and I
set out to climb some granite in Tuolumne, a friggin' deer
ran into my Volvo and we got shut out by crappy weather.
This time we had significantly better luck; the animals kept
their distance and the clouds never threatened. The
result was a perfect day in the meadows.
Misha had grand plans for the
next several days -- to traverse Russell, Carillon and the
Cleaver out of Whitney Portal. On my schedule was a
dayhike of the NE Ridge of Bear Creek Spire -- not as
ambitious as Misha's plan, but a fairly lofty goal in light of
my summer of excess (let's just say the neighborhood
chimichanga joint isn't going out of business anytime soon).
Given the recent snowfall, we both questioned the wisdom of
our plans but we intended to forge ahead nonetheless.
Since we both needed a warmup on Saturday, I suggested the
classic SE Buttress of Cathedral Peak. Ordinarily this
is an easy sell, but Misha had just climbed it two weeks
earlier. After some coaxing, he agreed to the plan and
by Friday night we were camped bandit-style out on Evergreen
Driving up the Tioga road,
Misha pulled off past Olmstead and stared up at Tenaya Peak.
He half-heartedly tried to sell me on doing something other
than Cathedral, which he feared would be crowded by multiple
parties on route. I pushed back mildly. "Sweet
line dude, but it looks north facing and pretty chilly for
October. Let's drive up the road and see how many cars
are at the trailhead for Cathedral". Misha agreed.
Upon arrival, we were the first and only car. Game on.