Middle Cathedral Rock

I met up with my partner at 6:30 at the pullout where the approach starts. We had only climbed together one time before but had a smooth time going up nutcracker the previous October. I had packed all the gear the night before but we grabbed his rope and headed up the approach trail. We got there as one party was just starting and another party at the base, not too bad for a weekend of perfect weather on the mega-classic that the EB of middle cathedral is.

After not too long the other parties have left and I started up the first pitch. According to the guidebook 1-2 linked easily with a 70m rope so we decided to do that. I thought they linked without much issue and it seemed like one natural pitch so I would definitely recommend doing that. At the first belay we found some water stashed in a corner, surprising for the first pitch of a climb. Though I am sure it gets quite hot on that climb in the middle of that summer so I can’t entirely blame whoever left it there.

The next couple pitches flew by as the parties in front of us moved at a good clip. There were some awesome jams on the 4th (guidebook) pitch. After a bit we came to the point where the 50-crowded variation heads right avoiding the bolt ladder. The party in front us took that so we headed up the bolt ladder which my partner lead. A .75 C4 had walked its way into the back of a flake and I sat there for 30 minutes trying to hook the trigger wires with my nut tool but it was a lost hope so I took the carabiner and kept moving. I hope someone was able to get it out.

The next pitch was a traverse back over to the top of the 50 crowded variation. This traverse was easy but kind of run out, the first half of the pitch didn’t offer on any placements for cams or nuts but had a few good pitons. After that pitch we swapped leads for the rest of the climb and got to the top where the 12 single rappels began. The first few were a little awkward and we had almost went past the anchors a couple times. About half way down we joined forces with the party behind (now on top) of us. After tying our ropes together we started moving quite fast and made it down in no time.

View of El Capitan from the EB