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This is a good route with two awesome crack pitches that would be classics as single pitches on Mount Lemmon, two mediocre pitches, and in places a fair amount of vegetation and loose rock. Overall it climbs better than it looks and is at least worth doing once.
Kerry's description is good and can be found here:
P1: climb the large right-facing corner, about 5.8 w/Ok climbing and pro. Belay at the highest tree.
P2: do not move out left, but climb directly up the narrowing corner with mediocre pro and rock (we cleaned this up a fair bit). The pro and rock improve dramatically just below the small roof, as you gain a beautiful steep 5.10 finger crack that goes for 100 feet. Traverse right to the anchor (one bolt & one nut) when the cracks ends; I would recommend skipping this semi-hanging belay and continuing another 20 feet to a good ledge where it is easy to set up a gear anchor.
Kerry describes a variation to this pitch which we could see some of on the left, but I can't imagine it's as good as the classic finger crack.
P3: continue up the crack system, about 5.8 with some short chimney sections. Belay at a fixed hex (on Kerry's topo this is shown as a 2-nut belay) below the obvious large roof with a hand crack.
P4: a wild pitch! Undercling/jam right under the roof (this was soaking wet when we did this, 4 days after a major rain), clip a bolt then pull up into an overhanging bombay chimney. The crux of the chimney is protected by a bolt (actually, 2 bolts side by side), but then you'll have to punch it a ways to get to the next good gear, and eventually a nice thin crack which leads to the belay. Awesome climbing, 5.10++.
We took Kerry's advice, per the first ascentionists, to rap off here. The route appears to duck around the corner left and continue up lower angle terrain to the top; the climbing did not look appealing and not worth a very long walk-off.
Hike the main trail from the Linda Vista trailhead as Kerry describes. Do not go all the way to the waterfall, but break off and cross the wash before the trail starts moving right up the hill. Bushwhack up the hill following some cairns (this is a ways away from the cliff face). Once you round the first buttress, the cairns end, but your destination is fairly obvious: the pillar toward the horizon which is basically the tallest section of cliff. As Kerry describes, the route starts about in the first feasible right-facing corner left of the massive roofs that are several hundred feet up. Approach took us a little over an hour with most of that being bushwhacking, but it's not nasty, thorny bushwhacking.
Descent: to rap from the top of P4, we used 2 60 meter ropes and skipped the 2-nut belay on Kerry's topo. We almost made it to the belay atop P2, but had to set an anchor and downclimb. We then rapped to within 20 feet of the ground, and downclimbed then rest, thereby skipping the tree belay at the top of P1.
If you choose to top-out, the walk-off looks pretty obvious (and long), but I haven't done it.
We brought: lots of long runners; sets of nuts and rps; 1 ea. 00 and 0 tcus; 2 ea. 1 & 2 tcus & .5 & .75 camalots; 1 ea. 1, 2, 3, & 4 camalots. We didn't use the 00, but I would bring it again; we used the 4 but I would probably leave it behind next time.
The anchors and occasional lead protection bolts are buttonheads from 20+ years ago, so not necessarily the most trustworthy, but could be worse. Also, leader should have a nut tool for cleaning vegetation and dirt.
The route from directly below. It starts center-r...
The ancient webbing that we cleaned off the rap an...
BETA PHOTO: Photo of route with the following features marked:...
|By Charles Vernon|
From: Tucson, AZ
Feb 15, 2010
Kerry calls P2 the "finger stinger." I found this appropriate, as my right index finger went numb midway through the pitch, and still feels funny a day later.