Side trip during a backpack on the Cathedral Pass Loop. Followed the trail around into the amphitheater and then all the way to the west summit. Spectacular!
Our party of 6 humans (5 in our party + tag-a-long Josh), 2 goats, and a dog set out for Ampitheater from the cabins. We gained Apex pass and then crossed 5 snowfields on the way to Cathedral pass. From there we picked a route up the least steep looking topo lines. In one section it was steep enough that we opted to take the goat packs off so we had to worry less about them struggling and kicking rocks loose above us.
After gaining the first steep ridge above Cathedral Lake, it's just a rock scramble to the summit of Ampitheater. We ditched our hiking poles and scrambled up to the top. There were several snow fields remaining including some large cornices above Cathedral Lake. Keep those without cornice knowledge away from the edges.
The trip to and from the cabins was a hefty 13 mile round trip. However, because we had light day packs, it wasn't a rough day. We'd had hoped to bag Cathedral on the return, but the soggy weather. snowfield crossings, and some inadequate footwear in our party meant that by the time we got back to Cathedral, it was no longer viable.
We wanted to climb one of the rock routes just above Cathedral Lake, but climbing the W buttress of Cathedral took a little longer than we wanted so we walked up at sunset. Gorgeous view of the route we had just climbed! Long day getting both these peaks from our camp at Andrews Pass.
3 days out with Heather. We camped both nights at upper Cathedral Lake. The first day it rained on us continuously.
Both summits offer amazing views. We had perfect late summer weather, and got some amazing photos. This area of the Pasayten is by far the most impressive. Upper Cathedral Lake, at the bottom of the shear face of Amphitheater, has some fantastic camping spots as well.
Hit both west and southeast summits. Dramatic views of Upper Cathedral Lake below.
Skied up easy side years ago while skiing all over the area. This is another area perfectly suited to backcountry skiing: lots of open, arctic-like rolling terrain, and dryer snow. It also unfortunately suffers from trespassing by snowmobiles on occassion, especially over toward the east near Horseshoe Basin.
My daughter and I climbed the N Ridge route (beginning from Cathedral Pass) and had a pretty good time - the route finding wasn't always clear, and the pitches were often very short, with some potentially loose boulders, but we had fun and encountered up to 5.5 climbing in a couple of spots. The best part was topping out and exploring the long South ridge (main summit and beyond) for a couple of hours. It is a beautiful mountain. The worst part was seeing the horse damage to the alpine meadows on the descent (we hiked out down the main ampitheatre to the SW and around to Cathedral Lake and Pass on the main trail) - I was shocked to see people ride their horses into such a fragile zone, and then don't even stay on the trails...