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Cowboy Ridge T 
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Cowboy Ridge 

YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b

   
Type:  Trad, 10 pitches, 1200', Grade IV
Consensus:  YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b [details]
FA: "Jersey" Dave Littman, Gordy Loritz, April 2006
Season: late fall and early spring
Page Views: 6,987
Submitted By: john durr on Nov 13, 2009

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Looking down the Cowboy Ridge from the start of th...

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Description 

Cowboy Ridge is a long day, hiking, scrambling and climbing through some amazing terrain to a fantastic summit. Mostly easy roped scrambling. Great exposure and plenty of loose rock to help stay focused all day long.

Approach
From where you leave the Anasazi Plateau Subdivision and start on the Chinle Trail (marked), hike northwest on the Chinle Trail about 200-300 hundred yards and then turn north up an obvious wash. There should be flat desert to the left (west) and a low hill to the right (east) of you.

Follow this wash a long way, past many side branches, but it is pretty easy to follow the trail here. Early on the NPS park boundary barbed wire fence is passed. A while later spot high tension electric lines on top a split hill, power up this to an obvious break in the Springdale Band.

From the top of the break, hike west along the top of it to the deep cleft leading up to the southwest end of the ridge. Allow about 2-3 hours from car to the ridge crest.

Route
From near the bottom of the ridge, head up into a recess located a short ways up the ridge. 2nd and 3rd class scrambling on blocks and ledges up to and along the ridge, passing any hard looking gendarmes on the right (east) sides.

At some point you will put on a rope, but likely stay in your approach shoes. A narrow passage with great exposure and a short gap will get your heart racing. 4th class up from the gap either straight up or instead head right and then up maybe easier and safer but less exposure. Head back left and up to a big dark chimney, the right one of two on a small buttress. This has a ramp in the back that is class 3 or 4 at the very end.

A great view of the upper ridge comes in view here. Head towards a prominent cleft, then up the fun 4th class ramp/flake in the cleft. A large shrubbery is at the end.

Technical climbing for the next two pitches. A low angled corner with a nice crack steepens and widens as you go up, move left just before the end to gain a flat ledge on top the block. Keep heading down and west to a ledge below the other side of the block. The 5.7 hand crack is right in front of you. Climb it (40') and then work up and left on pretty chossy rock to a big oak and a ledge like alcove.

Very loose, moderate 4th class scrambling for another rope length, then things ease to class 2 or 3 for 200 feet to the south summit marked with a distinctive cairn.

From the south summit, continue north descending on class 2 down to a large prickly pear filled meadow. On the east side of the meadow past a few notches is the top of the descent gully. On the opposite (west) side of the meadow, a short class 3 ascends Mt. Kinesava.

Descent 

Descent is class 3 if you do it perfectly (and in the daylight). Expect some 4th class if you miss the optimal way, but if you are thinking about rappelling or doing something extreme, you are going the wrong way and should look around.

Scope out the descent before you pass through the Springdale Band on the approach, it is the blocky green slope and chute on the east face. The chute diagonals down from the summit to the southeast. You will definitely see signs of previous passage if you are going the right way and possibly a few cairns. Look for, but do not enter a very deep chimney about 3 feet wide between the rock face and the ramp near the start, see photo. Head down (south) and zig a little left (east) then zag back south to the end of the 3rd class along the wall and to the other side of a small E-W ravine.

Hike south along the wall for a few hundred yards then down the slope passing south around some large red boulders, head to a low notch in the ridge to the east and down a deep ravine to the top of the Springdale Band. Retrace your steps to car from here.

Plan 3 hours from the start of the descent back to the car, minimum not including time spent arguing about where you think the start of it is. This would be a real adventure in the dark.

Other things
There is a notch between Mt. Kinesava and West Temple, its about 400 feet, steep and loose. This should not be considered a descent option.

Protection 

A helmet may be a good idea, a light rope that you don't mind getting sand and cactus spines in. About 4 double length runners and 4 shoulder length runners, a good, but light selection of stoppers and cams to 3" with a couple extra hand sized.

Headlamp, tweezers and cute power rangers bandaids?


Photos of Cowboy Ridge Slideshow Add Photo
Looking up the ridge from low on the route.
Looking up the ridge from low on the route.
The top of the descent with the deep, 3 foot wide chimney on the right.
BETA PHOTO: The top of the descent with the deep, 3 foot wide ...
The start of the hike through the Anasazi Plateau subdivision.
BETA PHOTO: The start of the hike through the Anasazi Plateau ...
A photo of the approach.  Pass the Springdale cliff band to the right of this photo and traverse along the cliff band west to the second deep ravine (above white spot in cliff).  Up to the ridge.
BETA PHOTO: A photo of the approach. Pass the Springdale clif...
Her exalted highness demonstrates how the big horn sheep run across the panel in a herd...
Her exalted highness demonstrates how the big horn...
Head up to the ridgecrest here passing some easy chimneys, cracks, and ledges to start the Cowboy Ridge.
BETA PHOTO: Head up to the ridgecrest here passing some easy c...
Leading the 5.7 hand crack, still in approach shoes
BETA PHOTO: Leading the 5.7 hand crack, still in approach shoe...
True summit of Mt. Kinesava with the meadow, descent starts on the right (east) side of this meadow.
BETA PHOTO: True summit of Mt. Kinesava with the meadow, desce...
Diana posing on a traverse around a gendarme low on the ridge.
Diana posing on a traverse around a gendarme low o...
Fun climbing up the right hand chimney on the bottom half of the route.
BETA PHOTO: Fun climbing up the right hand chimney on the bott...
West Temple's southwestern aspect.  The prickly pear meadow's right (east) side holds the descent gully near about the center.
West Temple's southwestern aspect. The prickly pe...
Do you prefer large loose blocks?
Do you prefer large loose blocks?
Looking east across the meadow, the top of the descent gully is at the pine, left of the two pointed rock towers.
BETA PHOTO: Looking east across the meadow, the top of the des...
The upper pitches head up the center chute.
The upper pitches head up the center chute.
Picture of the descent from below.
BETA PHOTO: Picture of the descent from below.
Cool face and stemming in the corner with pockets!
Cool face and stemming in the corner with pockets!
topo.
BETA PHOTO: topo.
Stemming up the corner, next pitch is the 5.7 hand crack.
Stemming up the corner, next pitch is the 5.7 hand...

Comments on Cowboy Ridge Add Comment
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By Fett
Nov 14, 2009

We will see what Jersey thinks about this post, isn't there some access issues with the approach?