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Rockfellow Dome
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Abracadaver T 
Good Zzzzzs T 
Inner Passage T 
Jabberwocky T,S 
Knead Me 
Labyrinth, The T 
Lumpy Unmentionables T 
Sensory Desuetude T 
Sound of One Hand Thrashing T 
Unknown S 
Unknown (NE Face) T 
Unknown (S Face) T,S 
Unsorted Routes:

Abracadaver 

YDS: 5.11a French: 6c Ewbanks: 22 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 22 British: E3 5c

   
Type:  Trad, 6 pitches, 500', Grade III
Consensus:  YDS: 5.11a French: 6c Ewbanks: 22 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 22 British: E3 5c [details]
FA: Mike McEwan, Steve Grossman, Dave Baker 1975
Page Views: 17,190
Submitted By: John Peterson on Feb 3, 2006

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Tesia laybacking up to the crux

Closed from March 1 to June 30 MORE INFO >>>

Description 

One of the finest routes in Arizona or anywhere. Every pitch is hard. Every pitch is different. The position of the route is incredible. An ascent of Abra is one you'll always remember.

The line of the route is all too obvious as you approach the rock. The route faces northish and remains comparatively cool. On the highest part of the wall two crack systems lead to either end of a small roof about 250' up. The right hand crack is mostly wide - Knead Me, a classic grunt. The left side is Abra.

Pitch 1: climb a funky crack / groove past a bolt to a belay on bolts. (5.10a)

Pitch 2: feed yourself to the offwidth above. Expect no mercy. Some large cams will make your life easier. The crack is about 6" or so and then narrows to fist size. Belay at a small stance where the crack pinches down to finger sized. (5.10)

Pitch 3: lieback for glory up the perfect crack to a roof. This gets harder as you go - the crux is the upper part of the crack. Traverse left, small cams, to the first real ledge of the climb. 5.11a.

Pitch 4: climb the face above. The fixed pin is gone so you'll need some small gear in a thin seam. Then make committing slab moves until holds appear. Then up a crack to a wonderful belay atop the "Friendly Flake". 5.10c. We did this in two pitches but Kerry indicates that one will do here.

Pitch 5: The guidebook gives a number of alternatives (left, up, and right). We took the left hand version: up a bolt, the back down and frictioning left (5.9) to a good crack that leads to the summit area.

At this point you've entered a world few ever visit. The summit area is vast and complex. We spent about an hour scouting around for the passage to the true summit. Eventually we found it - it's marked by a bolt and goes at 5.7. Unfortunately we were too lazy to go back for the rope so I haven't stood at the crest of the dome.

Descend by rapping the route on two ropes.

Protection 

The pro is mostly natural - just a few bolts on the route. Bring small wires (maybe small cams nowadays) for the crux. I did the OW back in the days of tube chocks - I assume big cams are the ticket now.


Photos of Abracadaver Slideshow Add Photo
Warning: the layback is steeper than it looks in t...
Warning: the layback is steeper than it looks in t...
Angelina leading P3 of Abracadaver.
Angelina leading P3 of Abracadaver.
The route from the approach. It goes up the thinne...
BETA PHOTO: The route from the approach. It goes up the thinne...
Joe Garcia leading P1 of Abracadaver in Cochise St...
Joe Garcia leading P1 of Abracadaver in Cochise St...
No Mercy- even with a good around the foot tape jo...
No Mercy- even with a good around the foot tape jo...
Awesome belay atop the friendly flake
Awesome belay atop the friendly flake
The remaining bong at the upper rap station
The remaining bong at the upper rap station
Sizing up the 4th pitch
Sizing up the 4th pitch
Pitch two: rock eats man.
Pitch two: rock eats man.
amateur tape job
amateur tape job
Joe atop Rockfellow Dome in Cochise Stronghold.
Joe atop Rockfellow Dome in Cochise Stronghold.
Relieved after the scary face climbing on pitch fo...
Relieved after the scary face climbing on pitch fo...
Fred on the second pitch
Fred on the second pitch
"Feed yourself into the offwidth.  Expect no ...
"Feed yourself into the offwidth. Expect no ...
As stated previously, "offwidth hell"  T...
As stated previously, "offwidth hell" T...
Pitch 3
Pitch 3
The upper pitches of Abra.  Fun climbing around th...
The upper pitches of Abra. Fun climbing around th...
pitch one
BETA PHOTO: pitch one
David Merin at the end of the Offwidth pitch in a ...
David Merin at the end of the Offwidth pitch in a ...
steep and strenuous
steep and strenuous
Dan almost to the belay on P3, about to do the ene...
Dan almost to the belay on P3, about to do the ene...
Looking down the groove 1st pitch
Looking down the groove 1st pitch
Pitch 4
Pitch 4
Offwidth hell on the 2nd pitch ...
Offwidth hell on the 2nd pitch ...

Show All 26 Photos

Only the first 24 are shown above.

Comments on Abracadaver Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Dec 18, 2013
By Jimbo
Feb 1, 2007

The bolted line to the right of Abra was done by, of course, Scott Ayers.
I have done the first two pitches at .11a and .12a. According to what Scott told me several months ago, the next pitch is 5.10, then another .12 pitch and a .11 pitch. I think. I do know he said the 5.12 2nd pitch I did was not the crux pitch of the route.
Lots of hard slabby climbing, on this one.
Just the first pitch is fun and worth a quick go.
By Paul Davidson
May 9, 2008

An absolute classic test piece.
11a ? I guess with sticky rubber, micro cams, etc...

I remember taking a fall from the top of layback in '77 or so.
I ripped two pieces and fell past Steve at the belay.
I had just grabbed the flake that stuck out (which later cut loose on some poor party.)

A few weeks later, Fig Fiola took a similar fall and broke his ankle when he popped the bottom of the small ramp. Very nasty walk out...
Steve and I were down in the drainage soaking sun and watching Fig and Dave have a go.

Another variation: In early/mid 80's, I led the first 3 pitches (this time the 3rd felt pretty good, hmmm, stickier shoes (Fires), TCUs (set of Bryne's beta versions) and better technique (done a few more finger cracks by that time) with JJ (John Juraschek.)

From the top of the third, I led out left across the main face for 50-100 (?) ft or so, no gear but easy climbing. This put us into the crack system over there that is probably the upper Jaberwocky pitches. It's a corner groove that took a couple of sketchy nuts. I believe it was a set of three discontinous cracks up and right. Belayed in the second one. I recall being somewhat frazzled by the moves with only 2 questionable pieces between me and a full rope whipper.

This set of cracks had been climbed a few weeks earlier by ??? (either Eb Webster or Chip Chase, Webster I believe.)

They eventually link you into the main cracks with the rappel bongs.

A bolt or two would make it a pretty neat variation. Maybe one at the bottom of the system or perhaps one towards the end of the long traverse ?
By Paul Hunnicutt
From: Boulder, CO
May 27, 2008

Does anyone know how many pitches can be linked on this climb? Especially if you have a 100m rope!!!
By Paul Davidson
Aug 14, 2008

I suspect you could combine 1 and 2 (heh heh.)
And probably stretch the original #4 out for a long ways and belay up in the upper crack somewhere.

Not sure why'd you want to do that. The current belays are very natural breaks.
By randy baum
From: Minneapolis, MN
Oct 16, 2008
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

with a 70m, you can link pitches one and two. just make sure you bring enough pro for the belay. there are two good spots for the belay where the crack narrows below what is traditionally regarded as the third pitch. using the large pinch/flake located where the crack starts to narrow, you can belay off .75 and #1 camalots and/or large nuts. go another 10 feet or so and you can belay right at the base of the dihedral off of red TCUs, .75 camalots, and/or large nuts. while the higher belay may be more comfortable, it reduces the length of the stellar third pitch.

other notes:

third pitch didn't feel like 11a. more like 10a/b. bats like to nest inside this crack, fyi. kind of freaky when you climb past (or over?) them. take yellow or blue TCU for section (crux) below the roof traverse.

beginning crack of traditional 4th pitch feels close to 11a. purple TCU or small nut works well for crux. take some runners for the rest of this pitch. about a 180' pitch. belay atop flake is cozy, though.

fifth pitch has two bolts. after climbing up the 3-4" crack above teh belay, you reach a big flake/jug. directly above this about 10' is the first bolt. the next (and last bolt) is about 30' higher. moves at first bolt are fun, airy, and solid.

two metolius rap anchors have been put in next to the old rap station, of which only one bong is left. first rap station (down and to the left of the huge flake(pitch 4 belay)) is easy to find. we had trouble finding the last station, as it's a ways to the right and a pain to get to.

with offwidth, hands, fingers, laybacking, flares, and even some face climbing, abracadaver might be the astroman of cochise.

By Mike
From: Phoenix
Oct 7, 2009
rating: 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c

What a day! Rugged approach, excellent & varied climbing, solid rock, great position & beautiful views.

I thought the start of P4 was at least PG-13, and I never saw the piton. A fall onto that ledge would suck.

We finished on the 11a face. Tough move past the bolt, but then it eases off considerably, which is good because it's a long way to the second bolt.

I love the description above for P2: "Feed yourself into the offwidth above. Expect no mercy." Very descriptive. I taped my ankles ant still got ankle gobies!
By stevecurtis
From: Petaluma California
Nov 18, 2009

A few things to add.
I thought it felt like yosemite 11A crack. Arizona??
Pitch 4 is the sleeper. I placed a red alien blind from a layback. I'd give the pitch an R. One of the best climbs of the grade on granite.
By Daryl Allan
From: Sierra Vista, AZ
Nov 22, 2009

Paul H., linking 2 and 3 works very well and cuts out the hanging belay.
By Bill Wright
Dec 15, 2009
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c PG13

Absolutely stellar route! I just climbed it last Saturday (Dec. 12) and feel it's the best route I've done in Arizona. I know that means little without a list of routes that I've done there, but the route is outstanding. Each pitch has such unique character. It was quite cold when we did and somewhat wooden hands might have colored my perceptions. I thought the first pitch had one very hard, super insecure move. It just didn't seem like it would work out. Besides that one move the first pitch isn't too bad. Some offwidth at the top to warm you up for the second pitch. The second pitch is probably sustained Yosemite 5.9+ offwidth, meaning, it's pretty brutal. But you can push an old-size #5 Camalot up almost the entire way, so it is very safe with this piece. Besides this piece bring one more #5 Camalot (old size) to leave, and singles of #4.5, #4, #3.5, #3, #2, and #1. I used the #1 and #3.5 for the belay. There is an old bolt about 40 feet up and a fixed copperhead/stopper 20 feet up.

The lieback pitch felt very hard, following, and obviously harder leading. Pulling out of the lieback to place gear is really burly and I was glad my partner led it. The crux of the pitch is just endurance and getting into the stem when you hit the roof. Your fingers never really sink into the crack. The traverse to the belay is 10- at most.

Pitch four is a bit heady to be sure. I took a 15-foot fall here. It's sort of hard to get the gear in. Small cams and RP's work well, but the crack is a seam and you have to run it out between placements. The fixed pin is gone - there is no fixed gear on this pitch now. It is also a long pitch, at least 150 feet, but the hard climbing is all in the first 40 feet.

The fifth pitch is ridiculously easy compared to the other pitches. 11a??!! No way. It is literally one move, with your nose at the bolt. My partner called it 5.9. It might be 10-. Above there the climb is 5.7 and on good edges - no dicey friction moves. The next bolt is 20 feet up and it causes zero stress. The rest of the pitch is super easy slab paddling.

Finding the summit is indeed very complex. There is a great description in the Southern Arizona guidebook. It took us 90 minutes and 6 tries to finally find the route. We were only the 4th party all year to summit.
By Brent Silvester
Dec 22, 2009
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b

I am sooooooo glad that I finally got on it. I climbed it with Chris, and hats off to him for leading the second pitch. I thought it was really straighforward climbing (except pitch 2, which involved some serious effort). Pith 3 is amazing, if it could only go on and on. I would highly recommend this route to anyone climbing at the grade. Pitch 4 is a little heady to start, but eases up and the friendly flake is absolutly wild! We didn't have enough time to do the final 6th pitch, but I WILL STAND ON TOP SOON. I cannot wait to do it again!

Outstanding!!
By Paul Davidson
Dec 23, 2009

FWIW - Steve Grossman always felt the 4th pitch was the true crux of the climb. Maybe technically it is. Nasty little fall.

There's also the first pitch which no one ever mentions. Relative to the others it's not that notable but if you're not familiar with groove climbing, I bet it could wake you right up. How does it protect these days with newer gear ?

I'm still waiting to read about the new route up the rappel line.
By Aleix
Dec 24, 2009

Hi Paul, protecting the first pitch is now a no-brainer, with cams.
I wonder how it was with nuts & hexes back in the day ?!
New route in the rappel line? Would love to know about it.
By dcohn
Jan 12, 2010

Is it useful to carry a #6 camalot up this route?
By Daryl Allan
From: Sierra Vista, AZ
Jan 12, 2010

Not really unless you wanted to push it up p2. Otherwise it might be hard to climb 'around' since it would be out on the edge. You'd benefit more by doubling up on 3's and 4's. They go in deep enough to allow climbing past. Might be able to place a 6 on p4 somewhere but definitely not required.
By Charles Vernon
From: Tucson, AZ
Jan 12, 2010
rating: 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c PG13

I was happy to have one (old #5 camalot works too). You can walk it for a long ways.

On the other hand, I think Dave Baker had one #11 hex on the first ascent.
By Geir
From: Tucson, AZ
Nov 7, 2010
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

Stellar climb, certainly among the very best in the Stronghold.

The route descriptions here are terrific, to this I can only add a topo to consolidate the information. Simply PM me if you would like it. You can also get one by registering at the toofasttopos website.

thumbnail of topo
thumbnail of topo
By Jon Clark
From: Philadelphia, PA
Dec 10, 2010
rating: 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c

Skip the #6, you don't need anything more than singles including a #4 BD camalot

The OW is the crux!
By Daryl Allan
From: Sierra Vista, AZ
Sep 16, 2011

Awesome topo Geir but you left out the breakfast sandwich, lower two-thirds of small intestine and socks I barfed up on p2. Last I checked, it was all wedged in right about where you have "5.10OW" annotated.
By Geir
From: Tucson, AZ
Sep 9, 2012
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

^^^^^^^^^ Hahahaha Daryl I just saw this post!!!! Hilarious! And sorry to hear that too. :)
By Jeffrey Hyman
From: Santa Fe, New Mexico
Nov 24, 2013
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

I believe I left a white marmot rain coat at the base of the climb Sunday Nov. 24th, 2013. If you find it please PM me.
By Drew Marshall
Dec 18, 2013
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

Rad! Sustained in quality and difficulty, with a little bit of everything!
A #6 Camalot is very nice to push up the second pitch, but probably not needed
Easy to link 1 and 2

edit: oh and no raincoats at the base, sorry Jeff!