Cathedral Peak is an icon among climbers, and it’s one of the first “must-see” locations of the John Muir Trail. It’s an enjoyable, classic 5.6 alpine climb with a spectacular view from the summit of the entire Tuolumne Meadows area. I have climbed it countless times.
My son Dylan and I had just started a five-day hike in the Cathedral Range. I had tried four times before to photograph in this area, with mediocre results. This time, there was a wild lightning storm in the afternoon. The clouds cleared just at sunset, and for once, I was all set up and ready when the alpenglow appeared. I vividly remember a six-year-old Dylan saying, “Don’t do a mess-up, Dad.” He was already translating a successful photo into trips to the local department store to buy toys.