Climbing & Skiing Cathedral
This gallery contains images of skiing Pearl Couloir in 2017 and climbing the South Ridge in 2016.
In 2016 year Kristi and I attempted to ski Cathedral but were turned around by soft snow and bad wet slide avy conditions. So given out goal of completing the Centennials this year we returned on Sunday July 24th to make a second attempt. Our day started at 5:00am and covered 8.5 miles/4600 vertical in about 8.5 hours... including 30 minutes on the summit. The hike was easy going up to the lake. From the lake the hiking was tedious scree scrambling until the base of the couloir. The bottom half of the couloir was much easier to climb than it looked and the snow in the top half of the couloir was perfect for climbing (with crampons and axes). Once at the top of the couloir the scramble to the summit was fun and easy class 3. We spend 30 minutes on the summit enjoying incredible views of the Elks and the towers that are a part of this amazing mountain. The crux of the day was down climbing the couloir. This mountain seems better suited for snow and skiing than summer conditions but we were pysched to be able get on a little snow and enjoy the fun scramble to the summit.
In 2017 Matt and I skied Pearl Couloir
Here is a link for the GPX file from the 2016 climb.
Cathedral comes into view just above treeline
Alex approaching Pearl.
Matt Boot'in coolies
Matt approaching the summit ridge above Pearl
Matt dropping into Pearl
What a day!!!
Our route covered 8.5 miles and 4600 vertical in 5.5 hours with 30 minutes on the summit.
Morning clouds made for a cool sunrise but we were concerned that the weather might deteriorate.
Dark clouds... rising sun
From Cathedral Lake we could see our route to the top of the East Couloir which was snow on the upper half.
Kristi excited for the couloir!
The bottom half of the couloir looked looser than it was. We scrambled up to the snow and put on our crampons
The snow was perfect for booting
Kristi having fun on July snow with Cathedral Lake in the distance
Kristi reaches the summit with Castle and Conundrum looming large in the distance.
Alex on Cathedral's summit
The views were great in every direction
Alex taking it all in
The Bells, Thunder Pyramid, Pyramid and Capitol. Snowmass hiding behind Pyramid
Summit time is over... time to scramble back down to the East Couloir
Alex with crampons and ax gets ready to descend the East Couloir
It seemed much steeper coming down than going up... skis would have been nice.
Some fun glissading
The most tedious part of the day was hiking from the bottom of the snow back to the lake.... loose scree
Last look. I think we will come back next spring and ski Cathedral... this mountain was made for snow.
A nice view of Pearl Couloir