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Routes in Upper NW face

Astroboy S 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Dog Breath Variations T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b A0
Fearless Fly S 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Itchibod S 5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a
Mighty Mouse S 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Mini Mouse S 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Padmasambhava Comes Riding S 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Season of the Itch T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Shooting Stars S 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Underdog S 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Description

Best approached from the lower talus filled gulley on the west – via a 4th class scramble right onto the lower face half way up - to access the ledge below the upper wall, which can be followed along the base to the north to get to the top ledges.

Descent- In dry conditions it is possible to descend by the approach trail and ramp on the West side, or from the chains atop “Shooting Stars” at the left end of the upper cliff rap then down climb to the top of “Up Draft” to rap this route and walk off the gully South or North.

In wet or dark conditions from the top you can walked off to the East, traversing the slabs and scree slopes to the South and around the base of Windy Point to meet the Frog Pond trail South of the North Canyon.

There are several options for roped descents of the NW Face;
1- either rap Dog Breath Variations and Aqua Vitae (4 single 60m rope rappels total to the bottom) – not recommended in the wet or dark unless you’re starting at the top of Dog Breath Variations (and not scrambling down to those anchors from the top ledge), or
2- (better) more safely from the top of Itchibod rap to the anchors at the top of Season of the Itch, then walk down to the single anchor at the base of Dog Breath Variations and rap into the top of Aqua Vitae (4 single 60m rope raps), or
3- (best) rap the north end of the NW Face (2-3 single 60m rope rappels total). From the top of the main cliff of Sheep’s Head walk north on the wide ledge about 150’ and locate a sling anchor at the base of the first large juniper tree along the upper ledge (just above the lone pine on the edge of the face); rappel down the slabs to the top of Fearless Fly, just south of the lone pine (2 ring anchors) – (it’s also possible to scramble down to this point). From the bolt anchors at the base of Fearless Fly (or the cold shuts at the top of Puppy Cow) rap to the top of the lower NW Gulley, and walk off, either to the South (most direct), or to the NNW.
4- (in dry conditions best to) rap “Shooting Stars” and “Up Draft” as described above.

Getting There

From the lower NW face approach gully scramble up and right as soon as possible to the right hand base of the upper wall. Scramble up the diagonal ledge to access the routes on the main wall, or to scramble (3rd class) to the top.

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