Tenaya-Matthes-Cathedral Traverse

Heading for our last stop—Cathedral Peak

Limited by my injured wrist and smoke from the Rough Fire, Dale and I explored our options. He'd done most of the low-5th class climbs in the region. Thankfully, he hadn't yet linked up "The Big Three" in Tuolumne (a.k.a. The Triple Crown).

We got up at 6am in Mammoth Lakes, ate a quick breakfast, and hit the road. We were hiking around the lake below Tenaya around 8am. The approach went quickly and we bypassed some of the lower slab bits by hiking up to the saddle on the left. We soloed most of the climb except for a few moves in the middle and then the finish. I didn't want to take chances with a bum wrist.

We enjoyed summit views at about 9:40am and then set off for the Matthes Crest, about 3.5 miles away and over the pass between Tresidder Peak and Columbia Finger. We were roped up and heading up the first entry pitch of the Matthes Crest at 11:45am. From the crest, things were pretty straightforward and we didn't rope up again until gaining the first tower, where we down climbed and then gained the second tower. My wrist hurt a bit, but was manageable. We were at the summit by 1:45pm and kept moving along the ridge, exiting the technical difficulties and taking the rope off around 3pm.

It was an easy scramble off the North end of the ridge and we quickly went over the Echo Peaks col, then down toward Cathedral. We roped up at the base at about 4:30pm. The climbing was really fun and went quickly in simul-climbing blocks with our 30m rope. We reached the summit before 6pm and then descended to the West, past Cathedral Lakes, and down the standard approach for Medlicott Dome, reaching the road right at dark.

Thankfully, a car going North picked Dale up and drove him back the 2 miles to our car at Tenaya Lake. We went straight to the Mobil and enjoyed some dinner, live music, and celebratory beers. Awesome day.