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Areas in The Drysdale Trail

*Perfect Day Wall 0 / 0 / 0 / 9 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 9
A. The Gateway Wall 0 / 0 / 0 / 6 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 6
B. The Whining Dog Wall 0 / 0 / 0 / 9 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 9
C. NPR Wall 0 / 0 / 0 / 7 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 7
D. The Little Black Wall 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0
E. The Railroad Wall 0 / 0 / 0 / 19 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 19
F. The Booze Pig Wall West 0 / 0 / 0 / 9 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 9
G. The Booze Pig Wall 0 / 0 / 0 / 9 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 9
H. The Half-life Wall 0 / 0 / 0 / 6 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 6
I. Long Ryders Wall 0 / 0 / 0 / 9 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 9

Description

The Drysdale Trail connects 1/2 mile of some of the best four star walls at The Ridge, all the while entertaining you with views of Lower Lake Mary, and Mormon Mountain to the south. Over the course of many, many seasons this game trail was cleared of rubble (though it always returns) and made pad friendly.

Named in honor of the late Robert Drysdale, who may have been one the first climbers to set his visionary eyes upon these bands, his presence is almost tangible among these walls. Rob was known as "The Condor" from early in his career, and at 6'4" with a +ape index he certainly lived up to the nickname. Let's just say he had a talent for finding the tall boy classics and would have become a powerhouse (more so, than he already is) in the history of Flagstaff rock climbing, if not for his untimely passing. As The Verm writes in his Stone Crusade,

 "Drysdale's full legacy will never be known- he died before telling others of all his routes. Just as Drysdale enjoyed finding ancient artifacts, in the future some boulderer is going to pull over a desperate shield of limestone, find himself high off the deck, just a move or two shy of a first ascent, and there, hidden in a thank-god hueco, the key to the summit, will be an empty pint can."

The Booze Pig Wall is without doubt the showcase wall for the harder lines.

 
Dave Gershwin and John Bernhard trying to emulate Rob on Booze Pig V6, back in the early 90's.

 These walls are laid out west to east, The Gateway Wall marking the west end of the trail, while The Long Ryders Wall marks the east end of the trail.

Also, the grades on these walls are rough suggestions. Please give your two cents on them.

As usual any help in maintaining the integrity of this trail is much appreciated, as it sees a lot of wild life travel, and monsoonal changes. It makes this area more of a pleasure cruise than the ankle twisting bushwhack it was for decades.

Getting There

Drysdale Trail Aerial Overview

Just past the entrance to The Lake Mary Picnic area there is a dirt road on the north side of the highway. It's the only road on that side for a ways.

Parking can be had before the gate if you have a low clearance vehicle. Otherwise there are several pull outs up the road and through the gate. PLEASE park responsibly and leave the roads clear for forest personell to pass if needed. They do frequent the area.

From the junction of the dirt roads walk west for 60' looking for a small climbers trail which leads you up the slope. Follow this until you have to work around a few benches near the gully.

The wall immediately to the right (east) of the small gully is The Gateway Wall. The Perfect Day Wall is west of the The Gateway Wall about 5 minute walk.

Or, from the parking area, hike east up quaint two track road. Eventually you come across and old timey circular well house made of stacked limestone blocks. Go left around this, and up through a "Notch". A climbers trail leads you east, then up some benches, then east, and up some more benches, eventually this trail intersects the Drysdale Trail with the Booze Pig Wall to east about 5 minutes walk.

83 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at The Drysdale Trail

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
More Classic Climbs in The Drysdale Trail »

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jon bernhard
grand junction, co
jon bernhard   grand junction, co
Thanks to JJ for putting this together. Hats off for the respect and research of the colorful history added to the Flagstaff climbing chapters.

Like JJ said,we will never know all the gems Robert "pulled down on".

I often recall and laugh with friends of the tales of Robert shaking his way up the first ascents of Booze Pig problems. Then watching him smoothly float these routes again and again. Or wondering for hours along this cliff band checking out new potential.

I can't wait to get back to my roots of Flagstaff climbing, a few beers in the pack, a punk song in my head, soaking in the sun, all the while helping this new generation test these Drysdale Problems.

Robert, see you again someday soon. Apr 12, 2015
I was out at the Drysdale trail this past weekend and conditions were great (at least for a Phoenix area climber)! Low 80s and a nice breeze. We bumped into some other climbers out there and pointed them in the right direction for Whining Dog wall. As it turned out they were first timers to the area (this trip was only my second). It seems many climbers, myself included, are enjoying the area thanks to the development by Drysdale and friends back in the day, and JJ for stoking the fire. Thank you! Jul 12, 2016
Austin Kaiser
Flagstaff, AZ
Austin Kaiser   Flagstaff, AZ
JJ, thanks for putting together a really organized, quality MP area that does a great job of describing the history (giving credit where it's due) and organizing the walls in an easy-to-understand east to west format. All of the walls and routes have detailed descriptions and most have excellent topo photos.

I'm surprised that this area sees so little traffic relative to the Draw, especially given their proximity to one another. The density, quality, and variety of routes here is bomb. I'll certainly be coming back and look forward to getting after it and trying to hit every problem in the area. Jul 31, 2018
JJ Schlick
Flagstaff, AZ
JJ Schlick   Flagstaff, AZ  
It’s been fun to document Robert’s problems. Robert and I grew up in the same city in Wisconsin. I narrowly avoided attending the Catholic High School he went to, though I was several years behind him. We had the same climbing mentor, and he was a great one. Growing up climbing I heard many a story about the Condor who could climb anything and had a knack for finding classic FA’s. It was only after I moved to Arizona that I learned he had died at Priest Draw. None of our shared Wisconsin friends could even mention his passing, only his glory stories. He meant a lot to a lot of people and he still does. And I swear he still haunts these bands and is most likely pleased that his classic lines are still kicking ass and taking names. Aug 9, 2018

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