BETA PHOTO: Composite shot of most of Ewephoria from Muttonhea...
Ewephoria is a great, mostly bolted route up the North side of the dome. Though not as classic as Absinthe of Mallet, its shorter length, many bolts, and easier rating make The Sheepshead more accessible. Don't bother with the standard last pitch chimney. Instead, finish on the last pitch of Too Tough To Die, which goes at 5.9 (more like 5.8) and is much more fun and exposed.
The first pitch is trad and takes pro to 2". The second pitch is mostly bolted, but pros with a couple of small to medium pieces in the crack. All other pitches are bolted. However, a couple of large hexes & nuts slotted between plates will help tame the runout on easier terrain on pitches 4 & 5. All belays are bolted.
Take the approach trail to where it meets the dome at Absinthe of Mallet. Follow a trail left, contouring around the dome and working up until reaching the 1st pitch ramp/dihedral (see picture). Note that you can't see the 1st belay bolts from the ground. Follow the dihedral until a bolt leads out left to a bolted belay. The second pitch continues left past a bolt to a crack. Follow the crack up to a few more bolts which lead to a belay, then follow the bolt line all the way to the large ledge atop the 4th pitch. The regular route then follows the large chimney up to the top, or follow the bolts on Too Tough To Die for a much better finish. To descend follow cairns down and left to the obvious gully on the North side, then follow the trail back to the start.
I think Christian is turned around. Ewephoria is on the north face of Sheepshead and starts in the large descent gully between Sheepshead and Muttonhead.
By David C. Burke From: Tucson, AZ Mar 7, 2007 rating: 5.7+5a15V+13MVS 4b
The easiest way to find this climb is to think of the Sheepshead as a clock, the face visible from the parking area with Absinthe, Peacemaker and Ides is roughly 6 o'clock. Ewephoria is at about 9 o'clock.
I've done this a couple times, and each time I am surprised at how slippery and technical I find the first pitch. After the first trad pitch, it's a relative cruise (except for one move off a ledge with a bolt that won't protect your ankles). Good clean fun, and the wild alternate finish is definitely recommended. The chimney is easier, but half scrambling and half chimney. It does have some bolts near the top of the chimney if you stay out of the back.
If you're not completely sure where the route starts, you can hike a little more up the trail and see the anchors from the side.
This a really fun and satisfying climb. I like that it 'summits' and that it has a lot of nice variation. That said, this is a sand bag rated at 5.7 and if you believe the 1st pitch is 5.5 then I'd like to talk to you about a land deal. I would excercise caution when recomending this 1st pitch to less experienced trad leaders. Now having said that I would still give this climb a bunch of stars and highly recommend it to anyone ready for it. The last pitch up the final head wall though harder and short is still a real grin fest.
By joshf From: missoula, mt Oct 25, 2007 rating: 5.8+5b16VI-15HVS 4c
The first pitch of this climb protects well but is harder than 5.7. The route starts up a gully thats mostly in the shade so the slab can be wet a long time after rain.
By Christian From: Casa do Cacete Oct 29, 2007 rating: 5.85b16VI-15HVS 4c
Haven't led the first pitch yet but on parts of it the rock is very water-polished, which adds to the difficulty. I'd guess at least solid 5.8 on lead.
i climbed this a few days ago and on the last pitch we climbed a bolted line that started at the base of the chimney and went up and left - clipping the last slab bolt on the Too tough to die variation. anyone else done this ending - i was curious about a consensus on the rating?
By Christian From: Casa do Cacete Dec 1, 2007 rating: 5.85b16VI-15HVS 4c
If you know how to lie-back the first pitch is probably no harder than 5.6 or 5.7. If you can't do lie-back probably want someone else to lead or you're going to grunt up it. Bring lots of small to medium cams for pitch one and you won't have any problem with protecting this pitch. Be sure to climb to the chicken heads above the dike before stepping across to the face. Makes the step across onto the face easier and allows better protection in the crack.
There is a new route to the left of Ewephoria (name is unknown). If you keep heading to the climber's left on the second pitch it is possible to continue following the bolts to the other route (over a small runout). To stay on Ewephoria angle straight up the rock from the 4th bolt and the belay station will be at the water stain. If you end up on this other route it is probably a 5.10 mixed and if you had trouble leading pitch one you are in for a difficult climb. Personally, I found the first pitch of Ewephoria to be just fine and I could not figure out what all the hype is about.
Very good intro to multi-pitching. First pitch is significantly harder than the rest of the pitches - I'd probably say 5.8+. All of the run-outs are on 5.4ish terrain. TTTD finish is definitely a GREAT way to finish, with excellent exposure!
By Forest Hill From: Denver, CO Jan 3, 2009 rating: 5.8+5b16VI-15HVS 4c
I actually think the crux of this climb is at a bolt on the third pitch just when it gets near vertical.
The beta photo of the first pitch is worth bringing along: We spent awhile looking around before deciding the the bushy gully was the actual start. In fairness, the snow piled up at the base and lack of footprints didn't help us much either.
My gear list: 1 ea, blue TCU, .5 and .75 camalot, 2.5 friend, 2 ea 1 and 2 camalot, 2 pink tricams. There were many opportunities for additional placements if needed. The moves on P1 aren't hard, but they aren't terribly obvious either.
The 5.9 finish is an excellent option. Very airy as you pass the bulge and top out on the arete.
By David K Feb 28, 2009 rating: 5.8+5b16VI-15HVS 4c
Definitely not a 5.7. I fell on the 4th pitch and I lead 10s on Lemmon.
By Geir From: Tucson, AZ Oct 8, 2009 rating: 5.85b16VI-15HVS 4c
A new topo with this climb can be downloaded by clicking the link below:
Pitch 1 seems about 5.7+ or 5.8 and pros very well. A bit awkward, but not bad at all. The crux seems to me getting over the bulge on P 3, however, the final 'chimney' pitch seems awkward, to say the least. Finish the 'Too Tough to Die' exit. We did it in about 4 hours as we had to wait on another party ahead of us. Can easily be done in three hours or a bit less.
Definetly a good route - bring your slab climbing shoes.. Pitch one was the hardest... Pitch three was interesting - kind of run out above the bulge...imho and pitch four was the easiest... Good Route, great new climbing friends, and awesome day!
By arjunmh From: Phoenix, AZ Dec 6, 2009 rating: 5.85b16VI-15HVS 4c
Thank you, Geir, for another awesome topo! Sweet intro to Cochise for me -- soloed it with no hitches and lots of fun in well under 3 hrs.
The last airy move is definitely tricky for the follower (Did it both ways, obviously) -- watched 2 parties struggle with this because of poor communication. The follower has to have enough slack to flick the rope around the arete and move left.
I really liked this climb. A trad first pitch, (slippery) then the nature of the climb gets sporty. I thought the crux move was on the 4th pitch. If you top it off with the "too tough to die finish" you have a classic. highly recommended.
By TylerW From: Flagstaff, AZ Jan 11, 2010 rating: 5.85b16VI-15HVS 4c
Ah man did this sweet route on April 19th 2010...I thought the first pitch was definitely 5.8+ maybe easy 5.9...Do not try and go left into the small chimney...hahaha I did that and realized it was not indeed not easier so I had to down climb. Of course I was leading it with a bunch of gear on and only a year and a half experience trad leading. The pro is kinda sketch around half way up before leading to some bomber placements...Currently there is a fixed nut around 3/4 of the way up someone left...I thought the second pitch was 5.7- very easy. 3rd pitch was 5.8 with a moderate run out. 4th pitch was two hard 5.8 moves with solid bolts and you are very tempted to cheat using the bolts, just trust that the move is there!!! pitch 5 is super awesome and exposed. Cheers to the setter on this one. leave your extras in the car just take what you need for the wall the hike isn't that bad...
climbed Dec 2, bent bolt able to clip, Looking for the photographer who got the great shots, Sun2stone@cox.net
By Brandon Baldwin From: Sahuarita, AZ Jul 8, 2013 rating: 5.85b16VI-15HVS 4c
I realy enjoyed this climb, it was my first multipitch climb and it beat me up physically. Since most of it is bolted I only brought a couple sets of nuts and a set of hexes. If I do it again I will only take one set of nuts and a couple hexes. We got off route on the second pitch and went to the anchors on "Get The Flock Out Of Here" but we were able to get back on route fairly easily following a ramp up to the right. My second couldn't make it up the TTTD finish so I got to climb that finish, rap down and lead the original Ewephoria finish. I enjoyed both finishes. I felt the slab sections were the hardest, but I am not very good on slab.
By Ben Lock From: Cedar City, UT Mar 21, 2014 rating: 5.8+5b16VI-15HVS 4c
Excellent climb, yes first pitch is quite slippery, I think crux is through some technical slab that is not super protected on fourth pitch. Heads up. 8+