Blood, Sweat and Fears follows the last free-climbable crack that splits the summit tower of the Mace, an impressive fissure that looms above the second pitch of the Original Route. To gain this crack, we free climbed the first half of the first pitch of Wind, Sand, and Stars, then a short pitch hand-traversed to the notch. (Note: This first pitch was virtually eliminated in the late 1980’s by a party that bolted the crack line that Blood, Sweat, and Fears followed to the hanging belay. Unfortunately, since the crack features some of the softest rock in Sedona, removal of the bolts to restore the route would only create horrific scars and damage the spire beyond repair. It is hoped that the bolt ladder will stand as a monument to the folly of a style of climbing that ended long ago- and was over LONG before the “new route” was installed). Tim Coats’ on-sight flash ascent of the first and third pitches ranks among some of the boldest climbing in the history of Sedona. The third, and final pitch most likely awaits a second ascent.
Pitch 1: Tricky, strenuous climbing on soft rock works up the pocketing crack as it steepens. The upper third of the pitch is the crux (5.11 R), with bold moves required above at times marginal, thin gear. The pitch ends at a two-bolt hanging belay left of the obvious hand traverse.
Pitch 2: A short hand traverse right (5.9) past a drilled angle leads to the ledge and anchor for the final rappel station from the Mace. Move the belay into the chimney proper below the intimidating final pitch on the main tower.
Pitch 3: Climb the leaning, overhanging, easternmost of the cracks on the main tower that looms over the Original Rt. The crack does not reach the ledge, so very poorly protected climbing (5.11 R) up a seam in soft rock leads to better rock where the crack appears. A poor baby angle piton was originally placed in this seam. Wide-hands jamming (5.10) in the crack above leads to the easier summit chimney exit.
Typical Sedona rack, from RPs to 5" cams.
BETA PHOTO: The third pitch of Blood,Sweat, and Fears.