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The West Gully route starts on the slabs at the west end of Elephant Head.
Fourth-class up base toward huge white colored slabs at bottom of gully. Keeping to the right, locate rusty hand cable and follow it over easy 4th and 5th class terrain for a few hundred feet. This old cable has been compromised (smashed)in a few places by rock fall (or vandalism), so trust it at your own risk.
At the cable's terminus, pick a line of ascent, generally following the major gully. There are endless options here, with terrain of all qualities and difficulties. The climbing in the gully is generally poorly protected slab, about 5.4-5.6. Some of the rock is very good, and some very, very bad. Do not hesitate to explore your options.
Ascend for several hundred feet through varied terrain, towards the huge notch below and west of the summit.From this notch, it is another short pitch to the top.
True, this is not your typical day at the crags and it is definitely a little weird. Regardless, it is lots of fun and successful parties will be rewarded with one of the coolest summit experiences in Southern Arizona.
Descent: From summit, descend to the east, down the Elephant's neck. This technical scramble is well cairned, although highly exposed in spots. Continue on for twenty minutes to the saddle.
From the major saddle east of Elephant Head, follow a very steep and brushy drainage southward back to the main wash 1000' below. This wash will return you to the road.
|By Forest Hill|
From: Denver, CO
Nov 1, 2004
Did this yesterday. Great fun, abut a very long day the way we did it. We did 5 pitches of 5.6-ish climbing right off the ground (starting further to the north than what we later thought was the normal easy slabby start. This made for 12 60m pitches of roped climbing and a lot of 3rd class in between.
We also turned right down a drainage right as the cairns ran out, having been warned not to go too far and end up in the box canyon. This was definitely not the trail. But it did work, after a *lot* of thrashing through prickly plants of all varieties and much care not to drop rocks on each other.
Made for a long 11 hour day!
|By David Tilley|
Sep 17, 2012
rating: 5.6 R
We climbed this route or some variation thereof this weekend 9/15/2012. We simul-climbed through all of the technical sections except for the last section where we choose to finish the route by pushing far left and stepping out over the northface, exceptional exposure!!! We completed the route in 3+hours. We descended down the hiking route and turned left at the saddle so that we could get a closer look at the north face. The descent was relatively mild, afforded some spectacular views of the north face and was in the shade the entire time. It took an hour and a half to get to the road and we were drinking cold beer by the stream a few minutes later.