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Secret Canyon
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Desert Mule T 

Desert Mule 

YDS: 5.11+ French: 7a Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII ZA: 24 British: E4 6a

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 225'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.11+ French: 7a Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII ZA: 24 British: E4 6a [details]
FA: John Burcham, Seth Dyer
Page Views: 659
Submitted By: markguycan on Apr 13, 2012

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (5)
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One of the most erect towers around


Phallic spire north of trail as you approach Secret Canyon. P1: 5.10 OW, P2: has 3 distinct cruxes: 5.11OW off the belay, 5.11fingers midway and then 5.11bouldery move to summit cap.


hike past the spire and look for a climber trail heading up the ridge thru the manzanita. The route is visible on approach (on the west face). Just before you get there you pass a steep thin to wide 3pitch crack on the main wall: "Pink Wiggler"


at least 2 #4Camalots, a #5(new) and a #5(old)or new #6/ also recommend dbls of blue TCU and single of every thing else. plus 2 bolts on the second pitch. rap twice with a 60m rope.

Photos of Desert Mule Slideshow Add Photo
the route is visible on the approach
BETA PHOTO: the route is visible on the approach
Mike almost the P1 crux
Mike almost the P1 crux
Recent area radar.
BETA PHOTO: Recent area radar.
awkward finish of P1
awkward finish of P1
bouldery finish
bouldery finish
awkward start on P2
awkward start on P2
 on P2
on P2
Nate bushbashing his way to the base.
Nate bushbashing his way to the base.

Comments on Desert Mule Add Comment
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By Zach Harrison
Mar 17, 2015
rating: 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c

Desert mule is one of the coolest towers in the area! Varied, steep, burly, scenic, esoteric. The gear list is pretty spot on, but mortals would like doubles of BD#.4 also. More like 140 feet long, but very worthy. One of the few mini towers worth a repeat, it has really good climbing. An overlooked gem.
By Kevin Kent
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Apr 20, 2015

This is definitely an unheralded classic. Beautiful aesthetic tower, awesome hero climbing (especially on the 2nd pitch), and it being totally safe make for a very fun outing! If you're worried about it I didn't think any of the OW was harder than 5.10. The crux top-out on slopers is very solid 11 though!
A little note on the approach, you should be under the tower after about 30 minutes of hiking, it'll be on your right. I would advise starting up the wash that drains directly below the tower, after 3-5 minutes get up on the ridge on the left and follow the path of least resistance up to the buttress, and then traverse right to the tower.
The route sees shade until mid-afternoon all year long.
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