This was one the mid-80s Arizona testpieces before rap bolting became widely accepted. The route was originally led in two pitches, the second being the crux, the first a 5.11a warm-up. (EFR’s current guidebook shows it going in two pitches, but it was climbed as one pitch shortly after its first ascent). Jim Waugh, one of the state’s leading climbers in the 80s, came down from Phoenix to bag the crux pitch using crack-n-ups and the then-smallest microwires for protection. I recall carrying three full sets of RPs for my ascent, and so armed, not having to use crack-n-ups. However, John Fowler, who was likely the 3rd person to lead the climb, recalls needing them. We didn't have microcams, offset HBs, and other modern trickery during those days, so whether crack-n-ups are mandatory is an open question; that is, until you climb it and tell us.
According to notes I took shortly after my ascent (25 years ago), the climb is “very sustained, multi-faceted” with “unique cruxes … although no crux alone is probably harder than solid 5.11.” The 1985 guide says “[s]everal questionable holds may be encountered.” I don’t remember a whole lot about it now, of course, so go climb it and find out for yourself.
The route begins in the obvious thin crack right of Cripple Creek. The crack doglegs left across Cripple Creek about 40-50 feet up, then continues diagonally up and left. The thin crack is obvious in the beta photo for Cripple Creek, showing that route in yellow. From the crack’s end, a featured face leads to Cripple Creek’s second belay. Take any of the easier lines to the top.
By the way, RR named the climb after an Edward Gorey story, the first line of which is, “A is for Amy who fell down the stairs.” Dark themes continue for the rest of the alphabet.
Follow the description for Cripple Creek.
No fixed gear. Double set of cams from smallest to 3”, full set of nuts, at least a double set of micros, maybe crack-n-ups? The pro is all there, it just takes some work.
|By John Steiger|
Feb 13, 2010
I’ve been lurking the posts from Southern Arizona for some time, and some of you Tucson lads seem to be developing a taste for the, uh, sharper end (see the recent comments for Aurora No Boreals). Cool to see. Inspired me to post-up one of the oldies.
From: Tucson, AZ
Feb 21, 2010
looks great, john! thanks for posting it up. can't wait to see it!
From: Tucson, AZ
Jan 25, 2011
Got on this for the first time last week.
It can be climbed in two pitches by stopping at the anchor at the end of the first pitch of CC. If climbed this way, the first pich is terrific and goes at around .11. The gear is solid but a bit tricky in spots.
The second pitch is harder, there are two cruxes that are around .12-. The gear is questionable for the first and adaquate for the second.
The climb was established as one long pitch and was clearly a proud lead.