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Sabino - Cathedral Peak - Mt Lemmon, AZ
mini location map2016-05-07
33 by photographer avatarGrottoGirl
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Sabino - Cathedral Peak - Mt Lemmon, AZ 
Sabino - Cathedral Peak - Mt Lemmon, AZ
Hiking avatar May 07 2016
Hiking18.22 Miles 9,800 AEG
Hiking18.22 Miles   13 Hrs   24 Mns   1.93 mph
9,800 ft AEG   3 Hrs   59 Mns Break30 LBS Pack
1st trip
We started out the day just after day break. The pretty sunrise colors were still in the sky as we turned onto the Esperero trail. We took a couple short breaks at Cardiac Gap and Bridal Veil Falls. Mark had started with us but he wasn't feeling good so he turned around before the falls.

The first challenge was climbing into the Inner Sanctum of Cathedral Rock. The handline at the notch was missing. I'm 8+ weeks out from a total shoulder replacement and haven't done any climbing so Garrison grabbed by pack and Mike boosted me up until I could clamor up on my own. In the Inner Sanctum we ate our first lunch. I ate two pieces of pizza. Carole whips out pumpkin and chocolate chip cookies she baked me and then starts playing Happy Birthday on the harmonica! Josh pulls out an espresso maker and starts to brew me a double shot! He pours it into a fancy espresso cup that he had been carrying. These people are crazy! Did they really do this for me??? Yep!

After lunch, we go to the summit climb. I still hadn't committed to the actual climb. But let's face it, I had gotten this far do you really think I'd turn around without going to the top?? It's likely that the rope is the Sam one that had been hanging there since my first ascent years ago - scary! Remarkably it is still black! Josh who climbed first without using the rope checked it out and saw that the sheath is getting abraded but was still intact. I had left my technical gear the car but Garrison had decided not to use his so I put it on and scooted up the 5.4 crack on the rope using ascenders. After the climb I did the small exposed scramble to the top wth just a few tips from Mike. Soon, I was enjoying the best views of the area but also my third summit of Cathedral Rock. The rest of the crew had gone over to the another set of rocks so it was fun to get pictures of everyone.

After enjoying the views we headed down. The borrowed gear I had didn't include a descender and likely none would have worked because the rope was really thick, so I set up a munter on on a large HMS carabiner and down I went. We retraced our steps and then headed down the extremely steep Cathedral Rock trail to the West Fork.

At the junction with the West Fork trail we had another lunch where I finished my last two pieces of pizza. Suddenly, I realized I had eaten at least 5-6 cookies! It takes a lot of calories to do this hike!

The food gave me what felt like my first wind. The trail up to Romero Pass seemed easy! From there I knew it wasn't long until we would hit the Lunch Rock where I had cached water. We trudged long until we finally reach that milestone.

Chumley met us lunch rock. The breeze there was cold but the views made us sit on the rock and enjoy them. We enjoyed more cookies and drank lots of water to get us refreshed for the final push.

As we started again we could see the Mt Lemmon summit in the distance. It was hard to believe we still had that far to go. There was at least 5 miles and nearly 2000 ft of gain left. We were getting tired. I had done this stretch the following weekend and at that time it didn't seem so bad. So I kept that thought in my head and kept walking. It's amazing what the body can do when you put your mind to it. Granted good physical fitness, proper food, water, and gear are all important. It's not like we could just quit and sit there but it sure would have been nice if the last few miles of the trail had just magically shortened.

The sun started to set and the cold came upon us. I realized how wet I was from sweating. I was so glad I had a change of clothes in my car at the top. The thought of the car and the clothes made me press on even though a jacket might have been a good idea.

Ahead of me I hear a joyful yelp! I just figured it was Mike reaching the cars. I kept going until I too yelped! Our friends Kevin and Kim had met us. They had a cooler of drinks, crackers and cheese, and chips! We were done and a celebration was in order!!!

We changed, munched, and then headed down for my birthday dinner at Gavi near Sabino Canyon.
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Lemmon Rock Fire Lookout
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