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Saddle Rocks - Skirt (West Face)
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Negro Girls T 
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Santa Cruz T 
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Where Have all the Cowboys Gone T 
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Santa Cruz 

YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 100'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: FA Todd Gordon, Frazier Haney
Page Views: 1,750
Submitted By: Murf on Jan 1, 2005

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (19)
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BETA PHOTO: First pitch of Santa Cruz starts in the thin crack...


Identical start as for Where Have All the Cowboys Gone (5.10d). Start 30 feet down from the Iconoclast arete, high on the left side of Saddle Rocks. A bolt and gear protect to a belay anchor. Continue up and right past bolt protected climbing. Listed as the dreaded "5.8+" grade elsewhere, this climb has a short, well-protected crux.

Best done as a single pitch; if the first anchor is clipped extend it to avoid rope drag. I suggest climbing this, rapping to the anchor and doing the second pitch of Where Have All The Cowboys Gone.


A few pieces in the medium range, including a few nuts, will add some comfort on the first section. Mostly bolt protected.

Photos of Santa Cruz Slideshow Add Photo
Kazu on pitch 2 of Santa Cruz.
Kazu on pitch 2 of Santa Cruz.
The start of Santa Cruz takes the right crack syst...
The start of Santa Cruz takes the right crack syst...
Kazu on pitch 2 of Santa Cruz.
Kazu on pitch 2 of Santa Cruz.
Looking down Santa Cruz from the top of the first ...
Looking down Santa Cruz from the top of the first ...
Looking up mid 2nd pitch of Santa Cruz.
Looking up mid 2nd pitch of Santa Cruz.

Comments on Santa Cruz Add Comment
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By Steven Powers
May 25, 2005
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

this is a great moderate climb, Frazier Haney was attending Santa Cruz university when he and todd put this climb up, thus it got its name. i would give this climb 3 outta 5 stars. i would rate it 5.9, probably not 10a.
By Tan Slacks
From: Joshua tree
Jun 1, 2006
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Have to say this was pretty fun. The first pitch of "...cowboys..." goes pretty easy and then The fun stuff. Up and right of the rap bolts, turn an overhang with HUGE holds and follow the bolts. Was able to put some pieces in to make the overhang move. Great views and exposure. 5.8+/5.9 you pick
By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From: Bend, OR
Apr 26, 2008
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

A fine route if in the area to do Where Have All The Cowboys Gone (10d), but I wouldn't hike all the way up for this route. Rap down to the Cowboys anchor and fire that one next!
By Bob Gaines
Feb 7, 2010
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

For a great 3-pitch moderate, climb pitch one of Where Have all the Cowboys Gone Cowboys (5.8), then Santa Cruz (5.9) for your second pitch, then straight up the obvious finger/hand crack of The Exhibitionist (5.9) for pitch 3.

You can down-climb a bit and rap from the Cowboys top anchor, or just climb up to the top and rap down the backside.
By susan peplow
From: Joshua Tree
Nov 27, 2011
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Fun first pitch takes good pro at the crack then basically run it to the anchors on low angle well featured rock.

As for Santa Cruz, unlike what hard-man Dan here stated ;0 it's seemed tougher than .8 or even .9 to me. I actually commented to my partner that if that was .9 we may have problems doing 'where have all the cowboys gone'. For me it was in the .10 range. Also as an added bonus ran up the well featured rock directly off the 1st pitch anchor to the top. I'm sure you could lead it with some slung chicken-heads but we did it on TR.

Disappointed that we didn't do the 3rd pitch. Came down to tackle the main objective WHATCG. At the time was thinking we would need to summit and rap off the back where after topping out on WHATCG it seems we could have shimmied down to that anchor.
By caughtinside
From: Oakland CA
Nov 28, 2011
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

As Susan said, that line directly above the 1st pitch anchor is fun, easy climbing on very featured rock. Maybe 5.5 or 5.6? But pretty cool. We TRd it after doing Santa Cruz, but it could be led safely with a few pieces and tie offs.

Santa Cruz itself was pretty nice, bullet rock with good exposure.
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