On the eastern slopes of Mt. Elden lies a 500' tall Southeast facing cliff. This cliff is broken in the middle by a gully. Mechanical Persistence and the Original Route up the Elysian are to the left of this gully. The Unemployment Line is on the largest face right of the gully.
There are three standard approaches for the Elysian Buttress. I have listed them in personal preference order.
1. Drive north out of Flagstaff on Highway 89A to Elden Springs Road. Turn left here and travel past houses on your right, over a cattle guard to FS road 9180. Turn left on FS road 9180 (medium to high clearance vehicles recommended) and drive south for approximately ten minutes. Take the first right hand fork in this road and park at the dead end. (Drive time is approximately 30 minutes from downtown Flagstaff.) Follow the trail out of the parking area south until a clearing appears on your right. Turn off trail here picking the line of least resistance up to the cliff face. It is a good idea to stick to ridge lines as they entail far less bushwhacking than the gullies. Total hiking time is 30 to 45 minutes to the cliff base.
2. Drive north out of Flagstaff on Highway 89A to the Sandy Seep Trail head. This parking area is on the western side of 89A a little beyond the signal light at Wanona Road. Park here and hike up the Sandy Seep Trail until you reach a T junction. Turn right (north) and hike an additional 10 to 15 minutes until a clearing appears on your left. Turn off trail here picking the line of least resistance up to the cliff face. It is a good idea to stick to ridge lines as they entail far less bushwhacking than the gullies. Total hiking time is 1 to 1.5 hours to the cliff base.
3. Drive up the Mt. Elden Lookout Road and park where Upper Oldham Trail Crosses the road. Hike down Sunset Trail to it's junction with the Heart Trail. Turn right and head down the steep Heart Trail until even with the Elysian Buttress which will be on your left (north). Cut cross country to the cliff. Drive time plus hiking will be approximately 1.5 hours.
The start of this route has several markers. There is a cairn made of rocks and a stick that more or less marks the base. Additionally to the route's right there are three fins of rock in a row. Scramble up about 10 feet to the route's start. It helps rope management if the belayer scrambles up and sits on a fin of rock that is just left of the route's start.Pitch 1 - 5.7+ Head straight up crack system until a 3.5 or 4 camalot placement is possible and where the crack "gooves out" above. At...[more]Browse More Classics in AZ