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Jap Head
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Crimson Crescent 

YDS: 5.10+ French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 20 British: E3 5b PG13

   
Type:  Trad, 4 pitches, 400', Grade III
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10+ French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 20 British: E3 5b [details]
FA: Mark Geikenjoyner, Manny Rangel
Season: Spring, fall, winter.
Page Views: 1,035
Submitted By: markguycan on Apr 16, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (6)
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BETA PHOTO: Crimson Crescent Topo

Description 

Varied route up South face. P1: 5.9+ corner; P2: 5.11- exciting face climbing past 10 bolts. P3: 5.9 varied cracks & 3 bolts to anchors below crescent. P4: 5.10+ up and under crescent (many bolts, some gear) to summit slabs. rap the route w/ one 70m or multiple ropes.

Protection 

Stoppers, 10 QDs, single set of cams to #4 Camalot.


Photos of Crimson Crescent Slideshow Add Photo
Cullen exiting the huge roof on Crimson Crescent l...
Cullen exiting the huge roof on Crimson Crescent l...

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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Mar 26, 2011
By Kole DeCou
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Apr 22, 2006

The 2nd and 4th pitches of this route are classic. Great climb, great summit!
By Seth Dyer
Dec 23, 2006
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b PG13

This poorly equipped route takes a nice line up Japhead, but unfortunately the climbing is mostly on choss. If one were actually to clean the route of all the loose rock, friable flakes and sugar rock, there wouldn't be much left to climb. Also, despite having a number of bolts, the climbing is necky and committing and at times the anchor placements leave you exasperated. Nice summit.
By James Q Martin
Dec 26, 2006
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b PG13

Although it was nice to free climb to the enjoyable summit of Jap Head, the route is less than desirable as the rock is chossy by nature. You often climb on suspect rock with dodgy pro to anchors that are questionable i.e. spacers behind the hangers, 5/8 studs w/ cold shuts & one of my least favorites of all time... hand sewn webbing.
By Kole DeCou
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Jan 2, 2007

I'd agree it's 5.10+. I must be climbing too much choss because I remember this one being pretty solid. Except for the hand hold that busted on me just before I clipped the bolt under the roof and almost sent me flying... Well yea that pitch is a bit soft, but fun anyways.
The crux pitch is on good rock.
By Seth Dyer
Jan 2, 2007
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b PG13

I don't mean to harp on it too much, but I would have to say that all the pitches seemed to be left 'uncleaned' to me. It didn't appear that any significant effort had been made to remove any of the loose holds on any of the pitches. I've spent some time putting up new routes in Sandony, so I feel like I know whats involved.... If I had had a screwdriver with me, I could have cleaned off at least half of the holds I stepped or reefed on on the second pitch, leaving you to wonder what will be left after future ascents.
By Kole DeCou
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Jan 2, 2007

You're probably right about the rock being loose. My memory is fuzzy about this route. Mostly I remember it being warm and having a good time with Jon and Lisa, and the summit having a really nice view. The bigger issue is how much should the FA'ist clean when doing a new route these days. Of course the old routes didn't get cleaned at all, to the point that I've kicked of monster chuncks of rock with my foot on some older routes. Heck I got spooked on Vortex in a Can the other day when I stepped on a chunk of rock assuming Chris and John had cleaned all the loose stuff off and it moved under my foot. It reminded me that no matter how much we clean it's still Sedona and we shouldn't let our guard down. I think there's room in Sedona for all sorts of FA styles, Bircham being one extreme and Bloom being the other. In general I lean tward the Bircham standard when establishing new routes, but I wouldn't hold everyone to them.
By JJ Schlick
Administrator
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Jan 2, 2007

The standard should be, would you send your good mates up the thing... without fearing for their general safety? Burcham's routes will be repeated often and enjoyed. If you are in the FA business for other reasons chances are your routes will disapear into the sedona obscurity like so many before it.
By Seth Dyer
Jan 2, 2007
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b PG13

I agree with you Kole. There IS room in Sedona for all types of FA styles, and I give respect to all and sundry that put in their time, energy and money into establishing new lines for all to climb. As for the rock quality, again I agree with you...it is Sedona after all, and who knows how many of todays routes will exist in 20 or 50 years (Miami for example). But when one extra day spent cleaning and installing sensible anchors on a multi-pitch route in Sedona allows for a more pleasant experience for all....? And don't get me wrong, I love scaring myself shitless on commiting routes...some of my fondest memories :)
By Kole DeCou
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Jan 4, 2007

I think we're all in agreement. It's all about expectations. When I dig up a route out of Toula's guide out of curiosity I expect to get the crap scared out of me. If I climb a route put up by you Chris or John I expect a fun experience on clean rock, but with a little less Sedona "character". I'd put Crimson Crescent in the middle. It had a little spice and could use some cleaning, but I wouldn't hesitate to recomend it to my friends. Jon took the worst fall possable on that route (before he did it with me) when a hold popped on him just before he clipped the 2nd(?) bolt under the roof. He came out without a scratch, and when Manny sugested adding a bolt he didn't think it was necessary. I almost did the exact same thing and was more ammused than scared. Manny actually shares you and John Bircham's philosophy in reguards to safety and hardware, so I'm surprized the rap is in the condition you say it is. Send him or Mark an email. I don't know Mark, but I know Manny wants his routes to be fun and enjoyed.

Anyways, I'm off to cochise for a few days so I'll end the discussion here.
By Seth Dyer
Jan 4, 2007
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b PG13

It wasn't so much the condition of the anchors that was vexing, just the location of them...kinda like, 'why belay at that convenient & comfy spot when we could belay here?'
And on a final note, I vehemently disagree that any of the routes that I or Burcham or Chris have established are in any way lacking 'Sedona character'. It is my belief that even in Sedona one can establish routes with plenty of 'spice' sans choss and loose rock with only a little more effort. There's no hard and fast rule that routes with 'character' must have run-outs on suspect holds and loose blocks. Should things be any different in Sedona?
By manuel rangel
From: Tempe, Arizona
Jan 22, 2007
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c PG13

It's almost like Seth and Jeremy did another route. I thought the anchors on the route were comfy and sensible, none are hanging belays, although the last pitch does stretch around the roof a tad more than we liked. We would have had to make a really short 30' pitch if we had done that. We tried to clean as much as possible but there are a couple spots high on the third pitch where you have to climb softly, the stuff we removed was even worse than what's left. This pitch is a bit runout on easy rock, not unlike a lot of routes I have done in Sedona that others created. Mark and I both felt it was ok, although I wanted to add a bolt on the lower part of pitch 3 and one at the very beginning of the first pitch. Still, I don't have problems recommending it to my friends or even folks I don't know. What would you do to make it better?
By Seth Dyer
Jan 23, 2007
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b PG13

I guess the bottom line is 'Different strokes, different folks'. My opinions and advice are worth what anybody paid for them...jack shit.

If you're really curious though...I'd probably spend the better part of 1 or 2 hours cleaning the first pitch from the top down. Removing all the loose blocks and flakes that would easily pry out and exfoliate with minimal effort. Then, why not belay on TOP of the actual pitch instead of at the spot where the rap anchors are (chains or rap hangers would be nice). Then second pitch...hmmmm, maybe I'm just a fanatic with the screwdriver but I don't doubt I could easily spend a couple hours cleaning that pitch of lots of significant holds as well. (Curious, did you guys bolt that thing on lead?) Third pitch, yeah, getting into sugar rock territory, anybodys guess where to stop cleaning.... Fourth pitch, same...maybe I'm just a fanatic with the cleaning tools. A short 30' pitch seemed to me to be much more logical than having to belay your second from all the way on top of the hump (rope-drag, communication issues, etc).

Some people like safe and sanitized, some people like outrageous spice, I enjoy both but I prefer clean (old school routes aside, as one must allow for a certain amount of evolution in schools of thought)
By manuel rangel
From: Tempe, Arizona
Jan 23, 2007
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c PG13

Thanks for your suggestions. I guess I am just used to looser rock and climbing like a cat. I grew up on Camelback routes, some of the finest loose routes around. I will return and look at it with your thoughts in mind and look for stuff I missed on p1. The anchor on p1 is convenient and safe, if we moved it to the base of p2 it would cause the rope to drag over even looser crap. The webbing was temporary and thru neglect haven't changed it though Mark and I have been on it repeatedly. My bad. We did spend time cleaning p2 (bolted on rap). It seemed safe, nothing big coming down anymore and nothing I nor anyone I saw yarded on holds that I thought were suspect. I'll have to look at your routes to see where you're coming from on cleanliness. Any suggestions Seth?
By Seth Dyer
Jan 26, 2007
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b PG13

Once again the preface of 'different strokes for different folks'.

I guess if you're not into 'screwdriver-ing' the red band but instead just rely on yarding on holds it might not be obvious how much stuff is really yearning to be set free. But then again, maybe that's not what you're after.

I haven't been involved in too many routes that take the red band up anything other than crack lines.... But for red band routes you could check out Desert Mule or Cat Claw. For general cleanliness you could try Good Friday on the North Church Spire or around the corner there's Trundler's Club and Pussy Mind Trick. One of my erstwhile partners will probably try and track me down and flog me with a braided whip for saying anything (we never punched the routes to the top as we had planned...I blew a tendon and subsequently left town) but we did partially establish, after heavy cleaning, Stiff Mister (10+) and Neighborhood Threat (11+) in the same area (JJ knows where they are).

It is not my intent for this energetic discussion to escalate to the level of a polemic debate, but without reservation, I stand by what I said in my first post. If I were actually in town and not living half a world away, I'd love to meet up and climb the route together, hammer and screwdriver in hand :D And afterwards, hopefully we'd still both be interested in sharing a few pints down at the Oak Creek Brewery.

Cheers.
By rick klemens
Jan 22, 2008
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b PG13

Hi all,
I was in Sedona just recently from southern California and spent a couple days climbing. I climbed 4 days, did some classics... Mace, Dr. Rubos, Coyote Tower. Had a great time! I was intrigued by all the comments around the "4 star" Crimson Crescent. I set out with great anticipation of climbing a new classic. I was disappointed with every inch of that route, with exception to the position. Not to be an ass, but it was awful. I do most of my climbing in j tree, suicide, tahquitz etc... and if this route was in any of those places, it would barely rank with one star! I just don't understand your star system. What makes this a 4 star route and Dr Rubos only a 3 star route? I know Sedona is NOT granite and not even Red Rocks quality sandstone but still... what gives? Does it need to be 'chossy' to be a classic. There is a huge difference between 'a little soft' and choss! I propose that this route gets 1 star so that someone doesn't go out and get hurt on it. I definitely have a skewed perspective of routes in Sedona. I have heard of some other routes that are suppose to be spectacular that are only given 2 stars by you... Not sure if I want to get on them.
By Kole DeCou
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Jan 23, 2008

Wow, so much controversy over a star or 2! :-) Does every day on the rock have to be better than sex with a russian prostitute? Anyways, I was kind of curious so I looked at how many stars I gave various routes. This is definately not 4 stars, not Coyote Tower or Duck For Cover for example. But looking at routes I gave 2 stars (slingshot rock south face, down periscope on steamboat rock ...) It's probably a bit better. If you don't believe me, climb 'em! I'd say it's comprable in style and position to Vortex in a Can, but a bit dirtier. Verdict is 2 or 3 stars.
QED.
By markguycan
From: flagstaff, AZ
Mar 23, 2008

bottom line is THIS IS SEDONA. unless you stick to the most frequented routes, expect some loose rock. Wear a helmet, climb gently, be aware of loose rock, & if you are belaying look for cover.
By JJ Schlick
Administrator
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Dec 2, 2010

Never climbed the route, and probably glad I let it slide by... I was just voicing a personal opinion for new routes in Sedona. Certainly Sedona can be scary, and certainly Sedona can be solid... Whatever you want I suppose, just do your research first, and stars don't really account for quality, but a love of the route/line?
By gblauer
From: Wayne, PA
Mar 26, 2011

Kudos to Mark and Manny for putting up this climb. This is one serious, badass climb. As Gunks climber (read that as solid rock) I made the mistake of using my typical gunks technique on the climb. In the first pitch I pulled off more rock than in my lifetime of climbing. I really had to adjust my technique to Sedona Sandstone technique. Step lightly, test holds and then move deliberately. I enjoyed this climb. P2, was fun, the crux (as a second) flowed easily. The troubles began under the roof between bolts 2 and 3. It took me a while to commit (even as a 2nd) to make the moves. Turns out the hand holds are much better when you get yourself square on the rock. Regrettably, we had to contend with low temps and very high winds, making the last two pitches rather uncomfortable.

Nice lead Manny!