|Peak:||Cathedral Peak A (13er)|
|Route:||Standard East couloir|
|Date of Information:||05/12/2012|
Great weather despite the forecast. (Well, the hike to the lake the evening before was no fun.) Trail is almost entirely dry for the first 2.5 miles or so from the TH. For the last 1/2 or 3/4 mile to the lake there is some posthole snow, but also a little bit of muddy trail. Approaching the couloir past the lake, it‘s a mix of moraine-ish rock-hopping and some snow travel. (Coming back to the lake in the late morning, you MAY want snowshoes. We managed without.) The couloir was in decent shape. We started up the couloir a little late (8-ish?), so it was a little soft (and mashed potato-y on the way down). We set up a handline with ropes/pickets for the trip down; these covered the top two-thirds almost; probably made things a bit safer and faster, but wouldn‘t have been too bad without them. The climb above the couloir was tougher than the couloir due to the little bit of new snow that made the loose rock slippery. Plus, there were a couple of little snow fields. I wish I had kept my crampons on for that portion; had them on for the trip down.
Photos are 3 views from the same location on the way down:
1) Wider shot that shows mixed snow and rock on the approach
2) Closer shot of the couloir (the right branch) and the other (left) branch that you don‘t want to take. That left one avalanched (wet slab, I hear) while I was about half-way up and some folks were still down at the base; they weren‘t too concerned. Well, one decided not to continue because it freaked her out.
3) Tighter shot showing 3 of our group descending after successfully summiting.
Photos (click for slideshow):