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The Pit (aka Le Petit Verdon)

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The Pit (aka Le Petit Verdon) 


Photos: Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 7,000'
Location: 35.1292, -111.5973 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 183,090
Administrators: Greg Opland, James DeRoussel, JJ Schlick, Hendrixson, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: Josh Janes on Jan 19, 2006
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Description 

The Pit, with its pocketed white limestone, was Arizona's first foray into the realm of sport climbing in the mid to late 1980's. Today, it's northern Arizona's prime sport area. Well, if by prime one means most convenient for Flagstaff locals. It's a popular area that offers average quality climbing on average quality limestone, but is nice for an afternoon workout and certainly beats the gym. The area is pleasant and climbable year-round. Routes are well bolted, generally short, and distinctively pocketed and edgy in style.


Getting There 

Drive south of Flagstaff on Lake Mary Road. About six miles out, turn left into the Canyon Vista Campground. Drive through the campground to a lot at the far end. Follow the obvious trail for five minutes, breaking right to descend to the he cliffs.


84 Total Routes


['4 Stars',3],['3 Stars',26],['2 Stars',47],['1 Star',6],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',1],['5.7',1],['5.8',2],['5.9',9],['5.10',18],['5.11',27],['5.12',16],['5.13',9],['>=5.14',1],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for The Pit (aka Le Petit Verdon):
Sunshine Daydream   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, 1 pitch, 75'   The Sun Tower
Mr. Slate   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Swiss Tower
Barney Rubble   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Bedrock
Sporte   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport   The White Wall
Mordor   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport   The White Wall
Popeye Meets The Burrito Master   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 55'   Mall Wall
The Abyss   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Swiss Tower
True Value   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Swiss Tower
Avalon   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 35'   Nose Rock
Shark Bait   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Swiss Tower
The Viper   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 55'   Bedrock
Purple Shark   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch   Swiss Tower
The Energizer (aka Aerial Vermin)   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a PG13     Sport, 1 pitch, 30'   Way Gone Wall
Running Man   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 40'   The Oven
The Joker   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   The White Wall
Excaliber   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch   Way Gone Wall
Aggro Arete   5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b     Sport   Nose Rock
The Pulse   5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Pulse Roof
No Joke   5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c     Sport, 1 pitch   The White Wall
Total Recall   5.13c 8a+ 30 X- 31 E7 7a     Sport   The White Wall
Browse More Classics in The Pit (aka Le Petit Verdon)

Featured Route For The Pit (aka Le Petit Verdon)
Joel Unema on No Joke, The Pit <br />Photo by Carrie Albrecht

No Joke 5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c  AZ : Northern Arizona : ... : The White Wall
Combo of The Joker and Total Recall.Climb the first part of The Joker clipping 4 bolts and finish on Total Recall....[more]   Browse More Classics in AZ

Photos of The Pit (aka Le Petit Verdon) Slideshow Add Photo
More cacti
More cacti
Colin on the Joker 5.12c
Colin on the Joker 5.12c
Nuria on THE warm-up classic of the Pit, Popeye Meets Burrito Master (5.9+)
Nuria on THE warm-up classic of the Pit, Popeye Me...
Treacherous conditions at the Pit
Treacherous conditions at the Pit
limestone is really awsome
limestone is really awsome
Who's afraid of global warming?  Gordo crossing the raging river to get to the Pit
Who's afraid of global warming? Gordo crossing th...
Old fold out guide by John McMullen #6 1/2
BETA PHOTO: Old fold out guide by John McMullen #6 1/2
Old fold out guide by John McMullen #6 1/2
BETA PHOTO: Old fold out guide by John McMullen #6 1/2
Cacti in bloom by the Mall Wall
Cacti in bloom by the Mall Wall
Old fold out guide by John McMullen #6 1/2
BETA PHOTO: Old fold out guide by John McMullen #6 1/2
There is something interesting about being 4' off the ground and clipping your second bolt. But hey as long as your having fun. Loved the area and can't wait to get back out. (unsure which route this is though)
There is something interesting about being 4' off ...
Old fold out guide by John McMullen #6 1/2
BETA PHOTO: Old fold out guide by John McMullen #6 1/2
I"m always out of place in the desert, yet perfectly at home in the shade :)
I"m always out of place in the desert, yet perfect...
Comments on The Pit (aka Le Petit Verdon) Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated May 10, 2012
By Ladd Raine
Administrator
From: Plymouth, NH
Jun 1, 2007

The Pit is an awesome cold weather crag, a destination in the Flagstaff area.

By ElyseSokoloff
From: Spokane, WA
Mar 2, 2008

So was anyone around when the anchor rock fell off of Sporte (right of Mordor)?

By Ladd Raine
Administrator
From: Plymouth, NH
Mar 5, 2008

Check out the Dr. Topo guidebook here

By Chris Tatum
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Oct 26, 2008

Hey, Anyone know what caused the massive puddle of blood at the base of Mr. Slate?

By John McMullen
From: El Portal, CA
Apr 23, 2009

Most of the routes we put up at The Pit were climbed in the winter when we didn't want to drive south, or go out of state. "The Oven" was a favorite hang on days when it especially cold, and that is how it got it's name.
Locals climbed at The Pit for almost two years before we let the cat out of the bag. This was based on a vote at Alpine Pizza of course.

I can remember climbing on the Gone Wall one day and getting a cactus needle stuck in my arm. At the base, I pulled out the needle and it had gone into my brachial artery. Jets of blood sperted out of my arm every time my heart beat. My partner that day, Paul B almost passed out looking ... so I teased him by slapping my hand over it every once in awhile to stop-start it. It was hilarious. Left a huge puddle of blood (although that was many, many years ago)! Funny stuff!

By CO_Michael
Apr 24, 2009

Hey. Cool that John M. has jumped in.

By Richard Fernandez
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Jun 14, 2009

Sorry FUNGUY, no such luck, from the looks of the two shiny draws hanging, the second one way off route I might add, the poor individual pitched making the third clip & decked, Haaard. Fresh blood at the crag, kinda surreal. Hope they're ok.

By drmartindell
From: Homer, Ak
Apr 7, 2011

I notice on their website that Canyon Vista Campground is open May 16-October but many people comment on the great winter climbing here. Am I right to assume that the campground is accessible during their off-season? I'll be traveling through that area around late April and wanted to check out the pit for a day but didn't want to waste my time if it is going to be gated up or something. Thanks.

By CO_Michael
Jun 30, 2011

New 1/2" Anchors for The Twister and Dee-Lite on the Upper Tier.

A block with Anchors for some Upper Tier climbs (Dee-Lite & The Twister) had fallen sometime Nov. 2010.

There is a piece with a bolt at the bottom of The Twister.

By Jeremy Jacobsen
Jul 30, 2011

We were harassed by the park management at canyon vista for supposedly speeding (even though we weren't). These people were totally irrational and I would say hostile had they not been in their 80s. They told us the speed limit is 5 MPH (we were going maybe 10?) and then admitted to us that it isn't posted. They even threatened to call the sheriff for no apparent reason. I think these people may be trying to deter climbers. When I lived in Flag the place was under different management and we didn't have any problems. Has anyone else caught flak from these loons?

By Andrew Ryder
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Aug 5, 2011

Jeremy, I have also been chased down by the camp host for "speeding." That was about three years ago. I doubt they are trying to deter climbers specifically because that parking is also used for the popular Sandy's Canyon hike. I'm not sure why they're so hostile about it.
They're probably just bored. It's probably best to just humor the hosts and take it slow through the campground.

By MacM
From: Cave Creek/Preskitt, AZ
Aug 27, 2011

Jeremy, It as about Mid July when my friend and I got into a "conversation" with the new camp host. He gave us trouble because we backed into the parking spot, instead of pulling forward. He said we were going to cause a forest fire with our "Hot" tailpipes backing up to the meadow and we should be written up for it. Alos we were coming out after 8pm, evidently The Pit and not just the parking area closes after 8pm. He was also trying to tell us it would be out fault if climbing at The Pit was closed indefinitely, haha. I miss the guy from last summer, he was definitely more of a people person.

Climb on!

By Michael Kukral
From: phoenix az
May 10, 2012

Where can I find a guide?