North Ridge

Page Type
Route
Location:
Utah, United States, North America
Route Type:
Hiking
Time Required:
A long day
Rock Difficulty:
Class 3

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North Ridge
Created On: Aug 2, 2008
Last Edited On: Aug 2, 2008

Overview

Although the famed cliffs of the Cathedral guard seem to bar access to the ridge from all directions, the bands of cliffs of the SW slope are broken by two major gullies.

The one on the North offers a nearly routefinding-free way to the North Ridge and the main summit.
North Ridge RouteThe coloir and the North Ridge

Getting There

Sunset Alpenglow on the CathedralThe Cathedral in sight at last!
A glimpse of Lamotte from Norice Lake trailLamotte rises to the West of the trail

East Fork Bear River TH is located approximately 6 miles SE of the Bear River Lodge and Store (and the winter parking lot after the North Slopes road closes for the season). That's on UT 150, approximately 45 miles from Kamas or 25 miles from Evanston WY.

Leave the pavement and continue for 2 miles East on North Slopes Road, then turn right at a marked junction to East Fork. A well graded road continues for nearly 5 miles to the BSA Camp. Just short of the camp gates, a more wasboardy road continues to the left a short distance to the trailhead, set amidst a burnt-out forest from the infamous Scout Fire. The trail quickly leaves the burnt (and now overgrowing with young aspens) sections, and continues for 4 miles along the river's East Bank, to the confluence of Right Hand and Left Hand forks of the river, hardly gaining any elevation along the way.

At a signed junction, the trail to Alsop Lake takes off to the left, and the trail to Norice and Priord Lakes continues across a ford, the first one of the three along this less-used trail. Soon after, you get the first glimpse of the mountain peaks, Lamotte to the West, North Cathedral to the East, and Yard to the South. Finally, about 7 miles after leaving the TH, the main Cathedral also comes into sight.

Route Description

On the way to North RidgeThe coloir above the first cliffband
SW aspect of The CathedralNear the base of the gully

A logical place to cross the stream is near the first meadows below Norice Lake, about 7.5 miles from the TH and almost a mile shy of the lake. Head crosscountry to the base of the SW slope of the peak, into the prominent coloir leading up the col between the Main (central) Cathedral and the North Tower.
The final section of ascent to N RidgeUpper coloir below the col
The Guardian TowerThe Guardian Tower

Past the first major cliffband you have a choice of continuing up the coloir to the North Ridge, or angling to the right towards the South Ridge, as described by Jeremy Franchow.

The coloir becomes steeper at a base of a twin-headed Guardian Tower to its right, but does not exceed class 3. Keep left if in doubt.
On the top of the Guardian TowerThe top of the Guardian Tower
North Ridge of the CathedralNorth Ridge

Some 50 ft below the col, angle right and cross a tributary coloir just to the South, then continue directly up the ridge and the summit block.
Summit Block of the CathedralThe summit block
The three-pronged shadow of the CathedralThe gully on descent