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Routes in The Sheepshead

Absinthe of Mallet T 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Animal Husbandry S 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Bantam of the Opera S 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Bruise the Rooster T 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Burning Calves S 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Climb Too Tough To Die, The T 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13
Dark Horse T 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
Ewephoria T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Get The Flock Out Of Here T 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Greedy Little Varmint T 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c
Hardskins of Our Forefathers T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R
Ides of Middlemarch T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Last Roundup, The T 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Mad Cow Disease T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Peacemaker, The S 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Phony Pony T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Stampede S 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Tombstone Stripper, The T 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Unmitigated Audacity S 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
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Type: Trad, 750 ft, 5 pitches
FA: Scott Ayers
Page Views: 42,368 total · 288/month
Shared By: Mike on Sep 17, 2006
Admins: Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick, Greg Opland

You & This Route

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Ewephoria is a nice, mostly bolted route up the North side of the dome. Though not as classic as Absinthe of Mallet or Stampede, its shorter length, many bolts, and easier rating make The Sheepshead more accessible.

P1: Up the dihedral until a bolt leads out left, then up to a bolted belay. This pitch looks super-easy from the ground but is surprisingly harder than it looks. Gear: small to 3".

P2: Move left for a move or 2, then up past bolts & small cams.Then climb up and right to a bolted belay just left of the gully. Do not go all the way to the gully. Gear: a few small-medium-ish cams.

P3: Follow the tightly bolted line up a slippery slab to a headwall. More bolts take you up and right past the headwall. Run it out a bit on giant holds to a bolted belay amid the huge chickenheads. It is possible to get some gear by slinging chickenheads and/or large nuts/hexes between the plates. Gear: a couple big nuts/hexes and some long runners.

P4: Climb straight up past more chickenheads, then up and right past bolts to a large ledge & comfy, bolted belay. Gear: 1 or 2 large slings or cord to wrap chickenheads.

P5: The regular route then follows the large chimney on your right up to the top (the original finish for Absinthe) or for a much better option, finish on on Too Tough To Die, which goes at 5.8. To do this, follow bolts up from the belay to a huge chickenhead. Surmount this, then climb up and right past bolts on an exposed slab to the top. Gear: an optional large nut/hex for the big chickenhead.

To descend follow cairns down and left to the obvious gully on the North side, then follow the trail back to the start.

For topos & more information check out these two links:……


The first pitch is trad and takes pro to 2". The second pitch is mostly bolted, but pros with a couple of small to medium pieces in the crack. All other pitches are bolted. However, a couple of large hexes & nuts slotted between plates will help tame the runout on easier terrain on pitches 4 & 5. All belays are bolted.


Take the approach trail to where it meets the dome at Absinthe of Mallet. Follow a trail left, contouring around the dome and working up until reaching the 1st pitch ramp/dihedral (see picture). Note that you can't see the 1st belay bolts from the ground.


Hampton Uzzelle
Tucson, Arizona
Hampton Uzzelle   Tucson, Arizona
I think Christian is turned around. Ewephoria is on the north face of Sheepshead and starts in the large descent gully between Sheepshead and Muttonhead. Jan 22, 2007
David C. Burke
Tucson, AZ
David C. Burke   Tucson, AZ
The easiest way to find this climb is to think of the Sheepshead as a clock, the face visible from the parking area with Absinthe, Peacemaker and Ides is roughly 6 o'clock. Ewephoria is at about 9 o'clock. Mar 7, 2007
I've done this a couple times, and each time I am surprised at how slippery and technical I find the first pitch. After the first trad pitch, it's a relative cruise (except for one move off a ledge with a bolt that won't protect your ankles). Good clean fun, and the wild alternate finish is definitely recommended. The chimney is easier, but half scrambling and half chimney. It does have some bolts near the top of the chimney if you stay out of the back.

If you're not completely sure where the route starts, you can hike a little more up the trail and see the anchors from the side. Apr 15, 2007
This a really fun and satisfying climb. I like that it 'summits' and that it has a lot of nice variation. That said, this is a sand bag rated at 5.7 and if you believe the 1st pitch is 5.5 then I'd like to talk to you about a land deal. I would excercise caution when recomending this 1st pitch to less experienced trad leaders. Now having said that I would still give this climb a bunch of stars and highly recommend it to anyone ready for it. The last pitch up the final head wall though harder and short is still a real grin fest. Apr 18, 2007
missoula, mt
joshf   missoula, mt
The first pitch of this climb protects well but is harder than 5.7. The route starts up a gully thats mostly in the shade so the slab can be wet a long time after rain. Oct 25, 2007
Casa do Cacete
Christian   Casa do Cacete
Haven't led the first pitch yet but on parts of it the rock is very water-polished, which adds to the difficulty. I'd guess at least solid 5.8 on lead. Oct 29, 2007
i climbed this a few days ago and on the last pitch we climbed a bolted line that started at the base of the chimney and went up and left - clipping the last slab bolt on the Too tough to die variation. anyone else done this ending - i was curious about a consensus on the rating?

Nov 25, 2007
Casa do Cacete
Christian   Casa do Cacete
Hey Matt,

I asked Geir Hundal today and he said about 5.8.

Hope you're enjoying Tucson.

Cheers Dec 1, 2007
I would simply rate the climb 5.8 and recommend it. The first pitch is old awkward 5.8. The variation last pitch to the left and above the anchor is quite fun. Mar 31, 2008
Mike Diesen
Sierra Vista, AZ
Mike Diesen   Sierra Vista, AZ
If you know how to lie-back the first pitch is probably no harder than 5.6 or 5.7. If you can't do lie-back probably want someone else to lead or you're going to grunt up it. Bring lots of small to medium cams for pitch one and you won't have any problem with protecting this pitch. Be sure to climb to the chicken heads above the dike before stepping across to the face. Makes the step across onto the face easier and allows better protection in the crack. Nov 11, 2008
David Lammers
Grand Junction, CO
David Lammers   Grand Junction, CO
There is a new route to the left of Ewephoria (name is unknown). If you keep heading to the climber's left on the second pitch it is possible to continue following the bolts to the other route (over a small runout). To stay on Ewephoria angle straight up the rock from the 4th bolt and the belay station will be at the water stain. If you end up on this other route it is probably a 5.10 mixed and if you had trouble leading pitch one you are in for a difficult climb. Personally, I found the first pitch of Ewephoria to be just fine and I could not figure out what all the hype is about. Dec 18, 2008
Las Vegas, NV
E IV   Las Vegas, NV
Geir - thanks for the spectacular topo!

Very good intro to multi-pitching. First pitch is significantly harder than the rest of the pitches - I'd probably say 5.8+. All of the run-outs are on 5.4ish terrain. TTTD finish is definitely a GREAT way to finish, with excellent exposure! Jan 3, 2009
Forest Hill
Denver, CO
Forest Hill   Denver, CO
I actually think the crux of this climb is at a bolt on the third pitch just when it gets near vertical. Jan 3, 2009
Brian Boyd
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Brian Boyd   Kowloon, Hong Kong  
The beta photo of the first pitch is worth bringing along: We spent awhile looking around before deciding the the bushy gully was the actual start. In fairness, the snow piled up at the base and lack of footprints didn't help us much either.

My gear list: 1 ea, blue TCU, .5 and .75 camalot, 2.5 friend, 2 ea 1 and 2 camalot, 2 pink tricams. There were many opportunities for additional placements if needed. The moves on P1 aren't hard, but they aren't terribly obvious either.

The 5.9 finish is an excellent option. Very airy as you pass the bulge and top out on the arete. Feb 16, 2009
David K
David K  
Definitely not a 5.7. I fell on the 4th pitch and I lead 10s on Lemmon. Feb 28, 2009
Tucson, AZ
Geir   Tucson, AZ
A new topo with this climb can be downloaded by clicking the link below:…
Enjoy! Oct 8, 2009
Phoenix, AZ
Tradster   Phoenix, AZ
Pitch 1 seems about 5.7+ or 5.8 and pros very well. A bit awkward, but not bad at all. The crux seems to me getting over the bulge on P 3, however, the final 'chimney' pitch seems awkward, to say the least. Finish the 'Too Tough to Die' exit. We did it in about 4 hours as we had to wait on another party ahead of us. Can easily be done in three hours or a bit less. Nov 12, 2009
Mesa AZ   Mesa AZ
Definetly a good route - bring your slab climbing shoes.. Pitch one was the hardest... Pitch three was interesting - kind of run out above the bulge...imho and pitch four was the easiest...
Good Route, great new climbing friends, and awesome day! Nov 16, 2009
Phoenix & Prescott, AZ
arjunmh   Phoenix & Prescott, AZ
Thank you, Geir, for another awesome topo! Sweet intro to Cochise for me -- soloed it with no hitches and lots of fun in well under 3 hrs.

The last airy move is definitely tricky for the follower (Did it both ways, obviously) -- watched 2 parties struggle with this because of poor communication. The follower has to have enough slack to flick the rope around the arete and move left. Dec 6, 2009
Oakland Park, Florida
Floridaputz   Oakland Park, Florida
I really liked this climb. A trad first pitch, (slippery) then the nature of the climb gets sporty. I thought the crux move was on the 4th pitch. If you top it off with the "too tough to die finish" you have a classic. highly recommended. Jan 2, 2010
Tyler Williams
Flagstaff, AZ
Tyler Williams   Flagstaff, AZ
great climb! a few pictures of the final arete pitch:… Jan 11, 2010
Ah man did this sweet route on April 19th 2010...I thought the first pitch was definitely 5.8+ maybe easy 5.9...Do not try and go left into the small chimney...hahaha I did that and realized it was not indeed not easier so I had to down climb. Of course I was leading it with a bunch of gear on and only a year and a half experience trad leading. The pro is kinda sketch around half way up before leading to some bomber placements...Currently there is a fixed nut around 3/4 of the way up someone left...I thought the second pitch was 5.7- very easy. 3rd pitch was 5.8 with a moderate run out. 4th pitch was two hard 5.8 moves with solid bolts and you are very tempted to cheat using the bolts, just trust that the move is there!!! pitch 5 is super awesome and exposed. Cheers to the setter on this one. leave your extras in the car just take what you need for the wall the hike isn't that bad... Apr 20, 2010
Uhhh.....nah I think im gonna keep it secret thanks...? Apr 20, 2010
Daryl Allan
Sierra Vista, AZ
  5.8 PG13
Daryl Allan   Sierra Vista, AZ
  5.8 PG13
Here's one of them:
Mar 28, 2012
Jerry Cagle
Tucson, AZ
Jerry Cagle   Tucson, AZ

There is a bad bolt on the "Too Tough To Die" finish just before the traverse. I didn't notice it, but my second said it was spinning in its hole... Sep 8, 2012
Jerry Cagle
Tucson, AZ
Jerry Cagle   Tucson, AZ
A 50 meter rope is just right for this one... Sep 8, 2012
gblauer Blauer
Wayne, PA
gblauer Blauer   Wayne, PA
For this gunks climber (in other words...very slab inexperienced), I found this climb somewhat more difficult than 5.7. We finished on A climb to tough to die...nice and exposed. Dec 7, 2012
Chris Meyer
N Lake Tahoe
Chris Meyer   N Lake Tahoe
climbed Dec 2, bent bolt able to clip,
Looking for the photographer who got the great shots, Dec 10, 2012
Brandon Baldwin
Sahuarita, AZ
Brandon Baldwin   Sahuarita, AZ
I realy enjoyed this climb, it was my first multipitch climb and it beat me up physically. We got off route on the second pitch and went to the anchors on "Get The Flock Out Of Here" but we were able to get back on route fairly easily following a ramp up to the right. My second couldn't make it up the TTTD finish so I got to climb that finish, rap down and lead the original Ewephoria finish following the bolts on the left side of the chimney. I enjoyed both finishes. Jul 8, 2013
Ben Lock
Cedar City, UT
Ben Lock   Cedar City, UT
Excellent climb, yes first pitch is quite slippery, I think crux is through some technical slab that is not super protected on fourth pitch. Heads up. 8+ Mar 21, 2014
You can find the original topo and detailed route description here:

I have hundreds of route descriptions just like this. Can't wait to get you on some more climbs! Apr 22, 2014
Tucson, Arizona
bikesrockswaves   Tucson, Arizona
NEW ALT FINISH/variation, "Ewephoria Direct" (5.11a/b TRAD): Stellar.

At the end of the 2nd-to-last pitch, rather than crossing the dihedral onto the tree ledge belay, finish directly up. Follow the chickenhead highway up toward its natural end. Then, depending on finishing plan, rope length, & drag, either belay here on chickenheads or in dihedral. Or (as I did, on 80m rope) continue up dihedral into & through roof/bulge (crux). Pull challenging 3-star sequence to get into hand-crack wedge and finger lock in lip of bulge and top out above this. Kinda rad & hard.

You could either belay above the roof/bulge (#3 Camalot + bolt on Unknown to right(?)) or, for bonus points, connect as link up w/ Unknown 10+ to top.

On Geir Hundal's topo, this would basically go straight up from "5.6R" thru "140'" and connect to "5.10c".

Due to rope drag & non-.11 climbing partner & fading daylight, I ended up up using the Unknown bolts to lower & backclean & downclimb to still bring my 2nd to the ledge below. But it was a fun onsight to link that section, direct line. The full awesome-sauce would probably belay on chickenheads below then connect a pitch to the top into Unknown to right, joining in rather naturally by traversing 5' right after bulge into join that line. (BTW, is that hand hold on Unknown chipped there?)

Protects very well on gear. Upper part of dihedral (easy part) protects well with sequence of standard BD cams. There are multiple placements for smallest BD C3s in horizontal bulge.

(Both Luis C. & SA that day confirmed they were unaware of this line being climbed before.) Dec 6, 2014
1Eric Rhicard
1Eric Rhicard   Tucson
Did this for the first time yesterday, the day after the CASA Adopt a Crag. Now I understand why everyone loves it so much. I did the original route that finishes on the left wall of the chimney which was nice as it involved no chimneying. Glad I had a photo of the topo to guide me along. Feb 22, 2016
Gilbert AZ
  5.8 PG13
walmongr   Gilbert AZ
  5.8 PG13
Fun route.. First Pitch is better then it looks from the ground. Thought the 3rd pitch was the toughest getting over the bulge, don't fall hiking the chicken heads after you turn the lip it's easy 5.2-5.3 but a slip and you would come screaming into the bushes near the anchors for 2... Apr 29, 2016
Scott Beguin
Santa Fe, NM
Scott Beguin   Santa Fe, NM
Climbed this Friday. It was my first route at Cochise. I thought the first pitch was the crux with the exception of Too Tough to Die exit which we did and I highly recommend that variation as it is airy, scary, spectacular, and keeps your attention, especially when the wind was whipping like it was. Take two ropes if you think you need to bail, otherwise one is fine. Excellent climb. May 3, 2016
Paul Zander
Bern, CH
Paul Zander   Bern, CH
Booty Alert! I dropped a pink tricam from the anchors at the top of the third pitch. It landed in the trees directly below that anchor (to the climbers right of the bolt line on the third pitch). I did not attempt to retrieve it. If you find it and want to give it back I'll buy you a beer for sure, shoot me a PM. Or just keep it for yourself, you deserve it.

As for the climbing... Great Route! I was surprised how almost every pitch had solid 5.8 cruxes. I felt I needed a little more than a single rack for the first pitch, doubles .75-2 BD should help. Also, the scary spinner on the TTTD variation for the last pitch has been fixed as of this posting. I'd recommend full length slings on the last two bolts before clearing the roof, it makes the slab more enjoyable to have a smoothly running rope, and I suspect the odd direction of pull caused by shorter draws may have caused that bolt to spin out of its hole. Oct 3, 2016
Kemper Brightman
  5.8+ PG13
Kemper Brightman   Tucson
  5.8+ PG13
An enjoyable route, and (as far as I understand) a tame intro to Cochise. That said, I wouldn't recommend this to the un-experienced trad climber, or first time multi-pitch team. This ain't Lemmon folks. Be prepared for long quests between bolts, and climbing that is often more technical (and consequential) than it looks. Mar 10, 2017
Justin Hunt
Tucson, AZ
Justin Hunt   Tucson, AZ
My wife and I went to climb this about a month ago and she ended up sick so we bailed off the first pitch. We found a watch on our way down and it still works. I just stumbled across it again and wanted to post it here. PM me if you think it's yours and I can get it back to you. Apr 18, 2017

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