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Re: TR: Budd-Matthes-Cathedral

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TR: Budd-Matthes-Cathedral
July 07, 2016 11:47PM
Hi All,
I am new here, so let me start with a big thank-you to everyone for sharing valuable information on your trips, gear, and all. I've been reading and learning from this forum for more than a year by now and finally decided it was time to join especially after an unexpected and joyful meeting with two great contributors to this forum in person (their nicknames will be revealed later).
As for myself, I've been backpacking for a few years by now and recently started x-countrying (thanks to this forum again) which I find much more exciting and rewarding than hiking trails. My routes are not new to most of you, still I hope that my posts may be useful in some way.
So, here is my first TR to two of my favorite destinations in Yosemite, Matthes & Cathedral. The trip was over the 4th of July weekend and I was surprised not to see many people out there (mosquitoes perhaps?).

My wife and I started at Budd Creek TH and followed the climber’s trail till the first open area from which we enjoyed the view of Unicorn Peak and Cockscomb.


From there we decided to leave the trail and cross Budd creek to explore a small canyon that still had snow and interesting rock structures.


We stopped for snack at Budd Lake and met a guy who was contemplating crossing the saddle between Cockscomb and Echo Peaks that was covered in lots of snow.


We wished him good luck and resumed the hike up. The view from the top was spectacular.


My original plan to get to Matthes Lake was via the Northern saddle between Matthes Crest and Cathedral Range, but I quickly discovered that to get to the saddle you need descend to the forest below first and then ascend to the saddle. That unexpected challenge made us change the plan and we decided to traverse the Western side of Matthes Crest and cross it via the Southern saddle. The view down to Echo Lake and around was breathtaking.


Traversing was relatively easy. We managed to stay high and enjoyed many stops to admire the scenery and take pictures. Finally, we descended to the lake that greeted us with flowers and clouds of mosquitoes. There was not a person at the lake; we had it all for ourselves. I fished a couple of brookies for dinner and we called it a day. Next day we got up early for sunrise photo shoot and enjoyed the first rays of the sun on the crest and the lack of mosquitoes.


After breakfast we packed and took a faint trail around the crest down towards Echo Lake. Did I mention how horrible mosquitoes were yet? Nets saved us from 100s of bites. Echo Lake meadow was lush green and full of small streams of water feeding the lake.


We chose an easy way up to Cathedral Pass by taking a use trail at the Northern end of the meadow. There were a few tents on the Western shore of the Upper Cathedral Lake, so we set up ours on a high ground on the Southern side. I tried fishing, but didn’t get a single bite.


Next morning we hiked up to the base of Cathedral Peak to see both lakes and peaks around and the view did not disappoint.


We took the climber’s trail back to TM and then drove to Tenaya Lake for a swim and also tested our new Supai (thanks to this board again).


The trip was almost over and while we were packing the van I noticed two hikers walking into the parking lot. One of them had outfit that I recognized instantly from many posts on this forum and that’s how we met basilbop . The other hiker was Old Dude. We had a great chat and in 5 minutes or so received valuable tips on boating and more. Thank you much guys!

Still awake and want to see more? Here it is: More photos from the trip

Cheers!
Re: TR: Budd-Matthes-Cathedral
July 08, 2016 01:27AM
That view of echo is stunning! Last time I was there I remember the mosquitos bring pretty bad. Good thing you had nets! Thanks for sharing
avatar Re: TR: Budd-Matthes-Cathedral
July 08, 2016 07:55AM
Nice report and pictures, thanks!
avatar Re: TR: Budd-Matthes-Cathedral
July 08, 2016 08:36AM
That's one heck of a first post! Fantastic photos, it looks like an awesome trip. Thanks for taking the time to write a report.
Re: TR: Budd-Matthes-Cathedral
July 08, 2016 08:40AM
Thanks for posting--great pictures and write-up! And it was great to have met you and your wife at the parking lot!

JKW is currently back in the mountains, so I'll let her post about crossing between the Cockscomb and Echo Peaks with snow.

Did you boat Budd or Echo? Because if so you're one or two-up on a certain pink bird in the Great Yosemite Lakes Boat-a-Thon.

Oh, and for other Supai/Matkat and Microburst owners, a free PRO-TIP: remove the tempering/top-off hose and inflate by affixing the pump directly to the boat. You can squeeze the rubber nozzle into the threaded white nipple, or what I have done is cut a hole in a bottle cap that fits over the rubber pump nozzle and threads onto the nipple. The Microburst pump can move a lot of air, but only if there isn't much backpressure. The boat should inflate in just a few minutes.

(Separate PRO-TIP for Klymit/Ruta Locura/LWD owners: inflate through the dump port, not the inflation port, to avoid backpressure from the inflation port's valve. The same bottle cap as above works well as an adapter.)

Finally, there is no real secret trick to getting into or out of the boat. The ideal launch/landing spot is a smooth rock (or sand or grass or a log...) 4-6" below the surface of the water near the shore--you can step onto it through the bottom of the boat, but once seated and your weight is more evenly distributed you float above it.
Re: TR: Budd-Matthes-Cathedral
July 08, 2016 05:36PM
No, we did not boat other lakes yet. This was the first time ever at Tenaya as you could guess from my "how-to" questions smiling smiley Thanks for writing the answers. Now that the fun process has been tested, we sure look forward to participating in the Boat-a-Thon smiling smiley
avatar Re: TR: Budd-Matthes-Cathedral
July 11, 2016 07:57AM
Awwww-sum-ness!
smiling smiley

Boat-on ProTip 201: Boat w/a friend.. it's more funner... n safur.

Boat-on ProTip 301: If there is an island... boat around it... lest u have not boated lake

tongue sticking out smiley

(from forth o July... ) (Vogelsang Lake) (including boat around island)
tongue sticking out smiley



Have fun!



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: TR: Budd-Matthes-Cathedral
July 12, 2016 09:04PM
What?? Another boat set to carry? As long as it is not me who is carrying I am OK smiling smiley Jokes aside, appreciate your tips and encouragement.
avatar Re: TR: Budd-Matthes-Cathedral
July 08, 2016 11:43AM
One of my favorite areas, as you can tell by my avatar. Thanks for posting.
Re: TR: Budd-Matthes-Cathedral
July 08, 2016 12:24PM
Was it very boggy between Matthes and Cathedral past Echo?
Re: TR: Budd-Matthes-Cathedral
July 08, 2016 05:42PM
Not at all. There were a few areas where we walked on the wet grass and crossed small streams, but nothing that cannot be easily walked on. The East side of the pass closer to the forest is drier though.
Re: TR: Budd-Matthes-Cathedral
July 10, 2016 09:55AM
Was at Echo one week before you...no mosquitos there. The most mosquitos were on the lower part of the main trail (JMT) to Cathedral Lakes in the Budd Lake trail vicinity.
Re: TR: Budd-Matthes-Cathedral
July 11, 2016 09:03AM
Both TM and Tenaya were mosquitoes-free with just a few buzzing on the climber's trail. However, all lakes had them in amounts I have never experienced before. Hopefully, the bloodsuckers will be gone by 24th, my next backpack in Sierra.
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