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North America, United States, Wyoming, Tetons, Peak 10552, Cathedral Rock, Pillar of Death

Peak 10552, Cathedral Rock, Pillar of Death. On July 19 Rick Medrick and David Dornan climbed the prominent buttress on the right (east) side of Cathedral Rock, which is the last formation encountered on the right (north) as one proceeds up the Death Canyon trail prior to reaching the Ranger Station. A long scramble from the trail led to the base of the pillar, where they began the climb on the left of the crest in an F6 chimney system. The first two leads go up this system and then out on a traverse to the right on a rotten ledge beneath a blank wall. The third pitch, F8 and exposed, is a diagonal traverse upward with poor protection, finishing with a series of delicate steps to reach the belay ledge above. Aid is used to pass a small overhang above the right end of the ledge in order to gain a large, open-book chimney. After a pitch which ascends this chimney to a broad, sloping ledge, the route goes left around a corner and starts up at the west end of the ledge. An easy pitch then led to a large overhanging chockstone. This was passed by squeezing upward on the right, and then crossing back to the left to reach the base of a gully in which the final two leads took the party to the top of the pillar. Descent was made via a high traverse around to the left until access to the Death Canyon trail was reached. This route, a III, is, except for the third pitch, on generally good rock with good protection, but nearly every pitch has a difficult section.