CLIFF CREGO | Cathedral Rocks TOPO, South Wallowas

Cathedral Rocks TOPO, South Wallowas . . . a 'blank page' composed of nearly vertical,
four or five hundred meter massive limstone cliffs (± from 1600 to 2050 m.) waiting
for the ambitious rockclimber to put up new routes. As far as I know, no one has of yet
attempted a first ascent.

Southern counterpole of the Matterhorn of Hurricane Canyon
and located on the westside of the spectacular East Eagle
Valley, is the formation I like to call Cathedral Rocks.
This seems to me a good name because of the manner in
which it lights up with early morning light, especially when seen
from the valley floor during the summer months. Like many
places of great power and dignity in the Wallowas, Cathedral
Rocks has been somehow given a name, Granite Cliff, which
seems to me rather like a lame cartographic afterthought.
First and foremost, the formation is limstone and not granite.
Secondly, these generic names are like calling your beloved
family dog 'dog.' But in all seriousness, the point is not
so much what a formation is called, but rather more the fact
that names are important because they are how we weave
together our own internal maps of the poetry of a place.

If you want a direct sense of how this works, all you have
to do is look up at this mountain with a small child. They
will point at it with the index finger of either the left
or right hand—the digit with seeks to indicate the meaning
of things—and ask its name. With children, bad names
confuse,whereas good names will light their faces up much
like Granite Cliff itself begins to glow with the first light
of a new day. This is a crucial part, it seems to me, of
how a young person grows up with deep, natural roots in
the spirit of a place.


Strong, bold, simple, clear lines.

A cloud passes by . . .

Strong, bold, simple, clear lines.

Hidden Lake,
Eagle Cap Wilderness,
Oregon, IX.7.2008

NEW: To view / purchase high quality prints & matted frames
at the
Photoweek Northwest online store, SLIDESHOW

All Photographs & texts by Cliff Crego © 2011
(created: X.11.2008)