Cathedral Peak

14 Apr 2014 09:48 - 14 Apr 2014 10:12 #60354 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Cathedral Peak
@Stijn: B is about 5 according to the MCSA conversion chart. I've never done a non-Berg route graded less than 9, so comparison is tough for me - but I do completely follow Mnt_Tiska's comments that Monteseel climbing won't help much aside from the basics of rope handling. I probably need to do lots of Berg climbing if I want to be any good at Berg climbing - ironic how these things work out sometimes!

@Intrepid: I think I have come to the conclusion that gullies and chimneys are more my strength right now. I guess I haven't done much proper balance climbing. I can do moves on descent holds easily enough. This weekend should be a good test of where I actually stand when on the end of a rope (definitely not even close to ready for the sharp end on Berg rock though).

Re grading of the route: my point isn't that Cathedral is necessarily sandbagged, I am just saying that the supposedly hardest pitch, for me, was easier than the 2 bottom pitches. The crux pitch had easy moves on solid rock with proper holds, the bottom 2 didn't really. The top pitch would have been easy if the exposure wasn't there.

Re comments on erosion of the route: I guess this isn't a sudden wash-away candidate as B's Gully doesn't have any notable drainage basin, but it is not in great shape on the side we were on. It looks like one would use the grass sides off the trail if the route was very dry or very wet - much like one has to do on certain bits of other steep and badly eroded trails. Of course doing this causes the eroded trail to become worse and inevitably you end up with an impassable and dangerous sand wall. It could probably use a few erosion barriers or some dong eradication style walls.

Re Cathedral erosion: perhaps I may exaggerate the pace at which this may occur - and with no prior reference point I can't say something like "it is looking worse than the last time I was up there". My point is simply this - you can see a clear trail between blocks of vegetation on rocks on that middle scramble (the easy middle scramble, not the C grade one). To me it looks like this was once a trail on vegetation, but now is scrambling with bits of the old trail left. With time these will probably become more and more washed away and Cathedral will probably become harder and harder to climb. It looks like the C pitch used to be avoidable by a steep gully which is now completely washed away (although this wash away may predate hikers on the route - I am really jumping to conclusions on this one) - my point is that the heavy traffic on the route may make this line more difficult.

@ST: thanks! I am surprised that you don't see more photos of the view from the top. My camera was stashed away for a fair amount of the trip - hence no pics of the middle stuff - but the view from the top is really quite something. For an Mnweni fan such as yourself, you would love the top - you can see practically everything at Mnweni. The view in the opposite direction is also pretty cool!
Last edit: 14 Apr 2014 10:12 by ghaznavid.

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14 Apr 2014 10:10 #60357 by Dillon
Replied by Dillon on topic Cathedral Peak
Awesome write-up and pics. :thumbsup: Definitely want to climb Cathedral Peak soon. The last time I went near there I was 10 years old and we stopped before the first scramble because it was really wet. We did Roland's Cave a couple of weeks ago and it's definitely renewed my interest in the Cathedral Peak area.

ghaznavid wrote: Grading is subjective and depends on each individual's preferences, ability and even just how they are feeling on the day. But to me, the following are equivalent difficulty (discounting for confidence issues resulting from exposure):
- The top pitch on Cathedral graded B
- The top pitch on Sterkhorn graded C
- The Hot Plate Route on the Near Eastern Buttress at Monteseel (maybe with the exclusion of the crux move). Graded 9/E1, probably 8/D without the crux move. Note that the difficulty may be higher without a rope and therefore this may not be a fair comparison.


Interesting that you mention Hot Plate @ Monteseel since I was there yesterday for the first time in years. Below is a pic of my 4 year old giving it a go! :)



You reckon the technical moves on Cathedral Peak are the equivalent of this?

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14 Apr 2014 10:19 - 14 Apr 2014 10:22 #60359 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Cathedral Peak

Dillon wrote: You reckon the technical moves on Cathedral Peak are the equivalent of this?


Funny enough I have lead that route once (first route I lead at Monteseel) and seconded it twice. The latter time, the route was lead by Hobbit (12 at the time).

Hot Plate has huge holds the entire way through, you consistently stand on ledges, it is really a big rock staircase! The bottom 2 bits on Cathedral are the exact opposite - the slope is gentle, but there is not much in the way of holds. The C-pitch and top pitch are very similar to Hot Plate - big ledges and huge holds.

My point in all of this is that cross comparison is really odd - either I have highly unusual technique that makes very easier stuff harder and moderately easy stuff easier or I am just terrible at grading routes...

Ps. I think my climbing shoes should have not just stayed in my pack on the lower scrambles!

@Anyone who doesn't know Hot Plate - note that you reach that ledge by a rock staircase to the right.

Btw - did your 4 year old get up it?
Last edit: 14 Apr 2014 10:22 by ghaznavid.

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14 Apr 2014 10:32 - 14 Apr 2014 10:53 #60360 by Dillon
Replied by Dillon on topic Cathedral Peak
I agree, gradings can be so subjective! I find photos often provide better insight, thanks for posting the scramble pics.

ghaznavid wrote: @Anyone who doesn't know Hot Plate - note that you reach that ledge by a rock staircase to the right.

haha, oops - I sent him straight up the face!

ghaznavid wrote: Btw - did your 4 year old get up it?


He did, but he was shouting for quite a bit of "tight rope" haha :lol:

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Last edit: 14 Apr 2014 10:53 by Dillon.

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14 Apr 2014 10:46 #60362 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Cathedral Peak

Dillon wrote: haha, oops - I sent him straight up the face!


Otherwise I may have been making this route easier than it should be :laugh:

Dillon wrote: He did, but he was shouting for quite a bit of "tight rope" haha :lol:


Nice :thumbsup:

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14 Apr 2014 13:42 #60365 by Viking
Replied by Viking on topic Cathedral Peak
On our way up to OPG we were passed by a trail-runner who had left two hours after us. He then managed to get up and down Cathedral and over Bugger's Gully before we reached the scrambling bits. He was heading off along the Bell Traverse and then back to the hotel presumably via the pass.

I would just like to thank this guy for making me feel totally inadequate in the hiking/fitness department!!! :silly:

“Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So… get on your way!”

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14 Apr 2014 13:46 #60366 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Cathedral Peak

Viking wrote: On our way up to OPG we were passed by a trail-runner who had left two hours after us. He then managed to get up and down Cathedral and over Bugger's Gully before we reached the scrambling bits. He was heading off along the Bell Traverse and then back to the hotel presumably via the pass.

I would just like to thank this guy for making me feel totally inadequate in the hiking/fitness department!!! :silly:


His photo was shared by North Face SA on fb. Apparently he is training for the Mnweni Marathon.

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17 Apr 2014 19:18 #60408 by relevitt
Replied by relevitt on topic Cathedral Peak
Hope this isn't considered off topic ... here are a couple of videos of a helicopter ride to Cathedral Peak in 2004.

The first clip is from the hotel, up to Cathedral Peak, around the back, Horns, Bell etc and landing on one of the puddings.



The second clip is the rollercoaster ride back to the hotel, via one of the valleys on the northern side, that I'd never walked in before.

The following user(s) said Thank You: Smurfatefrog, Spykid

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09 Mar 2015 15:03 #62978 by GerritHuman
Replied by GerritHuman on topic Cathedral Peak
Hi all,

I found the pictures on the 1st page of this thread very informative of the "new" route to the top. But would anyone happen to have the gps route from the hotel to the peak? I searched the downloads and found a few things regarding Cathedral peak, but not the route from the hotel to the peak :( .

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09 Mar 2015 19:41 #62979 by tonymarshall
Replied by tonymarshall on topic Cathedral Peak
Hi Gerrit,

Yes, I have a gps track from the same trip as my photos that I can email you, pm me your email address.
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