Cathedral Peak - 13943' - South Ridge Class 2
Cathedral Peak was a fun one with a steep snow climb. I met a friend at the Cathedral Lake Trailhead and we just camped there. We agreed to wake up around 5:30 am and hit the trail. So we woke up and started up the Cathedral Lake Trail. I had just ran up and down this thing since I was worried the guy i was supposed to meet already started up so I got all the way to Cathedral Lake that evening and never found him. I did run into a couple other 14ers members though who got turned around on Cathedral Peak that day. So I ditched some gear and ran back down. I planned to pick it up when we came back. Just as the sun rose I noticed beautiful alpenglow on nearby Malemute Peak shown at left. We reached my gear stash and I switched into my mountaineering boots. The last bit to the lake was through some deep snow and willows but once there we saw it was still frozen to our surprise. I guess it is only May but the winter was so dry and warm. We started up the valley above the lake and got to the key gully. We started up this 600 foot 50 degree gully and made it to the saddle at the top in good time. The last 800 feet was on easy ridge. I was shocked to see so little loose rock on the route when all I had ever heard was how loose the rocks were. Views from the summit of Castle Peak, the Maroon Bells and the Pyramids were incredible. We sat here for over a half hour before heading down. Going down the gully was a little sketchy and I did slip once but the axe was handy for sure. The hike out was quick and we were back in Aspen by mid afternoon.