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Areas in South Side

1. East End Wall 10 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 10
2. Pillar Wall 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
3. Canary Wall 6 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 6
4. The Iron Wall 14 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 14
5. Memorial Wall 5 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 8
6. West End Wall 14 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 14

Description

The South Side of Volunteer Canyon is a stunning array of well balanced columns. While some of it is losing ground in the battle against erosion and gravity, there are pockets of the cliff that are unbelievably solid and offer up some timeless routes.

 
Joel Unema at the crux transition of Phantsam 5.11, during his onsight. Wade Forrest Photo

 These routes require rapping to specific belays, and climbing out, which may make them a bit tricky to find your first time out. For now, all I can say is that it is best to locate the routes from the North Side of the canyon, and eye the topouts well. There are faint trails, and to the discerning eye the topouts should be recognizable.

 
JJ plugging it in on the "orange" jug during his first lead attempt of what would become Nyctophiliac, 5.12-.

 The East End Wall and The Pillar Wall both face North, and in the dead of summer hold fast to their shade. The Canary Wall, the Iron Wall, and the West End Wall face Northwest, and stay in the shade until early afternoon. More shade in the fall. 


The walls are listed in order of appearance from the falls at the head of the canyon.

 The East End Wall
 The Pillar Wall
 The Canary Wall
 The Memorial Wall
 The Iron Wall
 The West End Wall


Big hands for a big crack. Steve Grossman and the Canary Crack 5.10. 1970's

The most accessible and enjoyable camping is also found on the rim of the South Side. Please be aware of any fire restrictions that may be in place depending on the season, and please drown your campfires.

 We have encountered Black Tail Rattlesnakes in temperatures near 90 degrees. Watch your step, and watch out for your dogs.

Getting There

Drive through Volunteer Wash and take the first dirt road on the right. Follow this along the rim (can be flooded during monsoon season) until it ends in a turnaround. You can pretty much drive to the rim. Find the point, and start poking around.

55 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at South Side

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
 25
A Rusted Rapture
Trad
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
 17
Pig Iron
Trad
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
 16
Experimental Forrest
Trad
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
 18
Sindarete
Sport
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 9
Drop the Hammer
Trad
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
 19
Phantasm
Trad
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 13
Cash, Grass, or Ass
Trad
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
 3
Long Iron
Trad
5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 10
Nyctophiliac
Trad
5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a
 12
Iron Potato
Trad
5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b
 5
Death Dealer
Trad
5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b PG13
 4
Jade Feather
Trad
5.13- 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E7 6c
 3
Pack Mentality
Trad
5.13- 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E7 6c
 3
Like a shadow in the Night
Trad
5.13- 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E7 6c
 3
Disco's Dead
Trad
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
A Rusted Rapture 1. E End Wall
 25
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
Pig Iron 4. The Iron Wall
 17
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Trad
Experimental Forrest 1. E End Wall
 16
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Trad
Sindarete 5. Memorial Wall
 18
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Drop the Hammer 5. Memorial Wall
 9
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Trad
Phantasm 6. W End Wall
 19
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Trad
Cash, Grass, or Ass 6. W End Wall
 13
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Trad
Long Iron 4. The Iron Wall
 3
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Trad
Nyctophiliac 6. W End Wall
 10
5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Trad
Iron Potato 4. The Iron Wall
 12
5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a Trad
Death Dealer 1. E End Wall
 5
5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b Trad
Jade Feather 6. W End Wall
 4
5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b PG13 Trad
Pack Mentality 1. E End Wall
 3
5.13- 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E7 6c Trad
Like a shadow in the Night 6. W End Wall
 3
5.13- 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E7 6c Trad
Disco's Dead 6. W End Wall
 3
5.13- 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E7 6c Trad
More Classic Climbs in South Side »

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Photos

You guys should try hard to drag Baxter out there and get him to document the stuff he did out there. Seemed like the few times I went out there with him he kept pointing out other stuff he'd done. Jun 26, 2013
JJ Schlick
Flagstaff, AZ
JJ Schlick   Flagstaff, AZ  
It does bum me out that the history here wasn't as well documented as other older crags like the Forks and the Overlook. There are some damn hard lines to do, and it won't surprise me if this place churns out a few test pieces for this generation to chew on... Jun 26, 2013
john crawley
flagstaff, az
john crawley   flagstaff, az
And the drums go ba da ch! For Darren. Jun 29, 2013
A lot of the history wasn't recorded for a few reasons.
There was never a ton of activity for one. The area has a certain feel and look to it. Some of the walls look like they might decide to pay homage to gravity any day now. Most stuff was just word of mouth, way back when. There were a number of test pieces for the time that were scattered out there, most of the hard stuff was on the south side. And originally, it was out there all by itself. Once the Forks was found, well... There was enough to do there to stay pretty occupied.

Those new routes look really cool. Jul 1, 2013

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